By Matthew Berry,


This system actually works even better if you play in a head-to-head league. In most H2H leagues, you get points for various stats (two for every block, etc)… so what that means to me is that you don’t have to compete in every category. If you get two points per block and your whole team would be all shot blockers. And nothing else.

Because if you are getting a ton of points for your blocks, you don’t need them from elsewhere. Most points at the end of the week wins that week’s games – just like in fantasy football.

It doesn’t matter if you get the points from a star running back or an obscure tight end, they both count. So by building on strength, especially in the rare categories, you should win quite a few weeks. Be prepared to blow off categories in H2H just so you can get even more guys who qualify.

The other type of scoring for H2H leagues is the same “roto” category style we spoke of, but instead of you competing all year long against everyone, you compete each week against one team in categories like steals, threes, points, etc. You get more blocks in a category than your opponent, you win that category. If you have more category wins, like five to three, you win the game for that week.

In that kind of system, it is super easy to use this system to win. Because by getting all the rare categories, you’ll win every week in steals, assists, threes, blocks and hopefully free throw percentage. You don’t care about points, boards or field goal percentage. It will be an ugly looking team, but it will win. Every week.

You just need to make sure, in that system, that your big men shoot well from the line, and you probably want to add another small forward who gets a lot of threes instead of one of your power forwards (since, in this system for H2H all you really need big men for is blocks. Get yourself a few Samuel Dalembert types and you’re all set there).


I hate leagues that count turnovers. It’s a negative stat – you’re in effect rewarding someone for not touching the ball, which is insane. And it’s just not a "fun" stat – roto should be fun. I blow off turnovers for the same reason I gave above – most of the guys who are good turnover guys are poor candidates for our system. The more a player touches the ball, the more he turns it over.

Let me name some guys for you. Gilbert Arenas. Dwyane Wade. Steve Nash, Paul Pierce. Allen Iverson.

Pretty good list, wouldn’t you say? All will be first or early second round fantasy selections this year and rightfully so.

Well that list is the top five players last year in MOST turnovers. LeBron was number six.

So now LeBron James has a negative? Is there anyone out there – fantasy player or NBA Exec – that wouldn’t want this guy?

Anyways, I generally think if you are smart when you draft, you can finish in the middle and that will be okay. But if you’re not, don’t worry about it. A lot of point guards have big turnover numbers and there’s nothing you can do about it. It dilutes my plan a little, but it still works. You just have to be more careful in drafting.


Here’s some more draft day hints.

1) If you do an AUCTION: Pay for studs. The more, the better. More so than in any other type of fantasy game, the studs are truly a cut above the rest. After you get past the KG’s, LeBron’s, Kobe’s and Dirk’s… it’s really all the same. After the first three rounds, some are better than others, but it’s not a huge difference. The difference between, say, Dirk and Jamaal Magloire is huge while the difference between Dwight Howard (16 and 9) and Josh Howard (15 and 6) is not very much, but one will go for a lot more than the other.

You will be able to field a solid team a $1 forward. So pay for as many studs as you can and then wait. There is so much talent in the NBA that the secret is to get as many “difference makers” as possible.

2) If you find yourself getting screwed out of a position, don't panic! Say you've got pick 11 in a 12-team league and you find yourself on the short end of a point guard run. Instead of reaching for a guy like Eric Snow just to have someone, grab another center. Or a stud small forward. Give yourself something to trade for a guy.

Eric Snow will still be there a round later, trust me. But by cornering the market on a scarce commodity rather than just grabbing a warm body, you'll be a lot happier.

3) If you are in a snake draft, especially at one end of one…grab what you need when you can. By that I mean… it comes to you and you really want a good #1 point guard. You see there are at least 12 left. So you grab a second power forward. But one good run and you're screwed. It's 20 picks until you get to choose again, if not more. Don't wait. Grab what you need, get surplus later (unless you're in a situation like I described above).

4) Don't listen to anyone else at the draft! First – and this is the secret that we fantasy "experts" hold tightly to our chest – no one knows anything! That's a quote from William Goldman about Hollywood, but it's appropriate here as well.

Yes, we experts probably spend a lot more time looking at stats, trends, players and teams and the like than you do, but that's because you have a life. And we've probably been playing a bit longer. I've been playing fantasy sports since I was 14 (I'm 35 now).

But again, that's because you have a life. So we probably have a more informed opinion. But that's all it is – an opinion. A well-educated guess. But a guess nonetheless.

So if I'm telling you experts aren't always right…. Other people in your league sure as hell aren't. If they mock your pick or sneer at your team… who cares? Screw them. Don't let it rattle you! I often find the loudest guy at the draft is usually the stupidest. I've seen too many good drafts screwed up because someone listened to some loud jerk rather than trusting their own opinions.

Listen, you've done the research, you've played the game – hell, you've read this far. You're into it. And your opinion is as good – if not better – than anyone in that room. So let them mock you for grabbing Smush Parker late in the draft, as I did in one league last year. And then laugh all the way to the playoffs.

5) Have fun. Remember we do this for leisure. We all (I, especially) take it very seriously and play to win, but it's not worth ruining friendships over. At the end of the day, all we're doing is playing a slightly cooler version of Dungeons and Dragons.

6) Finally, remember we at are here to help. Columns, advice, analysis, everything you need, like and more. So come on by, say hi. And if you drop Kwame Brown’s name, all the better (#9).

Go Back: Part I | Part II

Also check out: Player Rankings | Sleepers and Risk-Takers | Expert Mock Draft

The views expressed by represent only the views of the writers; they do not represent the views of the NBA or any NBA team.