The NBA is the most popular sport in North America, with an average of 17.6 million people watching one game per week during the 2017-2018 season. However, fantasy sports have become so prevalent that fans are now spending more on their draft boards than they do on tickets to watch games live at home or on TV. What will happen next?
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The “fantasy basketball yahoo” is a fantasy sports game. It allows users to create their own teams and compete against other users.
We spoke about how summer NBA rule changes were helping to lower scoring last week.
Fewer free throws are the result of the NBA’s fight against non-shooting motion theatricality. The elimination of a certain kind of offense has a domino effect, lowering 3-point percentage and overall offensive effectiveness.
The changes aren’t all equally rude and depressing. They’re the players who are disproportionately harmed since the former rules favored elites who received “star” treatment (receiving 50/50 calls).
This top-heavy impact is particularly obvious in fantasy, where we deal with about the top 150 players. The superproducers who relied on a leg kick, an uncomfortable flip, or a bearded wince to bring them across the finish line.
The list of elites who have been impacted reads like a fantasy who’s who: James Harden, Luka Doncic, and Bradley Beal, to name a few. Star guards and wings are the most high-profile instances, but lesser-known figures are also being slapped.
We’re left with three questions in fantasyland: 1) Is this going to be the new normal? 2) Will the elites be able to exploit the rule changes and find new methods to score efficiently? 3) Is this more balanced, defense-oriented style of basketball the worst thing that has happened to fantasy basketball since Don Nelson retired?
As of this writing, our best predictions are: 1) it looks like it; 2) there’s nowhere to go but up; and 3) ride it out. 3) Nelly, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,
How do I help you feel better about everything… here’s one way to look at it.
The significance of fantasy is multifaceted. What changes the worth of one player has an impact on the whole player pool. When one player takes a step back, another moves forward. Fantasy basketball is a market, which means it is a collection of value. The value is always there; it’s just showing up in a few novel combinations right now.
Fantasy sports’ extreme statistical volatility adds a little spice to our tremulous activity. It pushes our point-obsessed brains to their limits. It provides us with something fresh to plan around.
But, as I argued last week, it’s reasonable to presume that the elites are due for a comeback. Elites aren’t going to be perplexed indefinitely. They’ll figure it out… but the return of fantasy production might come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
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Consider it this way: Great players find other ways to aid their teams on non-shooting nights.
How about this as an example? Curry, Stephen.
Curry’s offensive stats are suffering in every category we can think of. His points per game (28.7), 3-point percentage (40.6%), True Shooting Percentage (64.0%), and free throws per game (5.1) have all dropped significantly. Curry, on the other hand, is the top player in fantasy basketball according to most metrics, including our renowned Player Rater.
Curry is coming up with new methods to get the job done. Rebounds, assists, steals, free throw percentage, and blocks are all on the rise for him. I didn’t believe it was possible for Curry to improve his line-shooting percentage, yet here we are… 95.8%.
Curry’s biggest boost comes in the form of blocks. On the season, he’s averaging 0.6 points per game. In terms of relative positioning, that’s Gobert territory. A PG who blocks half a shot each game is considered an excellent shot-blocker (another reason why we miss John Wall, btw.)
And here’s the good news: Curry’s conventional talents are presently on the upswing as he finds new methods to get things done. Curry has averaged 31.5 points per game, 6.0 three-pointers, and a 70.2 percent True Shooting Percentage in his last four games.
And that’s without taking into account his free throw attempts. Curry’s 13-of-13 performance at the line in a 50-point game against the Hawks is a rare occurrence. Curry has only attempted 19 free throws in his past four games. When he scored 40 points against Chicago? Curry made one of his free throws. ONE. However, he made 9 of 19 3-point attempts.
The bottom line is that cream rises.
(Take Carmelo Anthony, for example.) Anthony’s greatest underappreciated skill has been his ability to adjust…when he wants to…for over two decades. It’s why Olympic Carmelo differed from All-Star Carmelo in so many ways. That’s why his 3-pointer-fueled third act doesn’t surprise me. Russell Westbrook should probably take him out to lunch.)
Is Curry an oddity in this brave new anti-flop society because of his particular genius? No, I don’t believe so. I suppose it was because of his unparalleled intellect that he figured this out first.
Great players have control over their own gravitational fields. They’ll figure out a method to have an outsized impact on the proceedings.
Curry’s disproportionate effect, like that of the other affected superstars we’ve discussed, is encapsulated by one of my favorite fantasy metrics: Usage Rate. When a player is on the court, the proportion of possessions they own.
Anything above 30.0 is considered elite. Curry’s 32.6 fantasy points per game ranks ninth in the league. It’s enlightening to see how many high-usage users are suffering with the new guidelines. It’s even foreshadowing.
My guess is that some high-usage elites will ultimately adapt, but others will not. I believe that athletes who have a history of being efficient are stronger bounceback possibilities. So, if you’re thinking about buying cheap (which you should), keep that in mind.
Let’s take a brief look at the other use elites (and near-elites) I’d label as “struggling” in light of our discussion.
Damian Lillard is a point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Lillard has a history of being a top-20 shooter in terms of overall efficiency. And, despite making his life at the line, Lillard has made significant changes to his game in the past. I’d be yelling “buy cheap” from the rooftops if I were in excellent health. However, Lillard’s abdomen problem is the kind of long-term problem that might end up jeopardizing a whole season.
Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic is a point guard.
If Doncic’s ankle injury weren’t an issue, I’d consider him a buy-low candidate. Particularly in point-based leagues. It’s not like Doncic was ever a serious danger from the charity stripe. He’s having trouble with everything. But, given Doncic’s unusual multicategorical portfolio and the fact that he’s still a long way from his ultimate peak, I believe he’ll start rearranging his box scores.
Bradley Beal is a center for the Washington Wizards.
My Wizards have their greatest record in my lifetime after 13 games. And they’re doing it as Beal has a fantasy round underperforming.
It’s rather amazing. Only one round of worth has been lost by Beal. His numbers are a cattywampuswampuswampuswampuswampuswampuswampus The polarity in Beal’s home/road divides is poisonous. At home, he scores 27.0 points per game, but just 19.6 on the road. At home, he’s shooting 47.3 percent, but on the road, he’s shooting 34.0 percent.
Most analysts underestimated how revolutionary the depth the Wizards obtained in exchange for Westbrook might be. (No, I didn’t.) But I’m only a fantasy analyst.) As in recent seasons, Beal hasn’t had to do everything.
So, is this the new normal for Beal? No. Beal is a great buy cheap option, particularly in rotisserie leagues. Beal has faced with a lot in his early career, between regulation changes, COVID status, a minor injury, and a huge personal loss. With Wes Unseld Jr., the early contender for Coach of the Year, at the helm, Beal will have to find out how to increase his output while blending in with the 10-3 newcomers.
New York Knicks’ Julius Randle (PF)
Randle was one of the players I predicted would be a fantasy letdown heading into draft season. Randle’s 29.3 Usage Rate in 2020-21 was almost hard to match, even with the addition of Kemba Walker and the development of RJ Barrett. His 2020-21 season was one of those exceptional ones.
Randle, on the other hand, isn’t going to be this bad all season. He’ll never be a top-15 fantasy player on a consistent basis. On the Player Rater, though, he’ll finish higher than 37th. Randle’s multifaceted skill, like Doncic’s, will find a way to produce.
Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum (SF/PF)
In roto leagues, buy cheap and hold in points leagues.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you explain fantasy basketball?
A: Fantasy basketball is a type of fantasy sport where you use statistical analysis and projections to make predictions for the upcoming NBA season.
Is there a basketball fantasy?
A: There is no basketball fantasy available for the current version of Beat Saber.
Is there an NBA fantasy league?
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