Grab Sixers deep-sleeper K.J. McDaniels
Though the Sixers are dealing with something of an image crisis right now, there are plenty of young studs relevant on the fantasy team lurking in Philadelphia. While Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams are the headliners, don’t sleep on rookie wing McDaniels.
Deemed a first-round talent by a majority of talent evaluators, McDaniels slid to the Sixers at the top of the second round this summer. He has quickly shown why many scouts loved him, flashing obscene athleticism as his skill-set rounds into form. The key to his value is his ability to out-produce other players at his position in certain categories — this guy led the ACC in blocks during his final season at Clemson.
That’s a hell of a feat for a wing player, and the Sixers up-tempo style should inflate his raw numbers a ton. He isn’t yet starting, but given what we’ve seen early on, that day will come soon, and you’ll be glad you snatched him early when it does.
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Don’t try to win every category
The hardest part of fantasy basketball is the give and take of owning certain players. Dwight Howard will clean up a number of categories for you, but his free throw woes can submarine the category single-handedly. Rajon Rondo will stockpile assists, but he isn’t a big scorer and you can’t count on him for three-pointers.
Rather than trying to cover for those deficiencies, embrace the strengths of those players. Trying to straddle categories will often lead to losses, as you don’t get wins by being merely average in every category. If you have a star with a specialized skill-set, try to enhance his value with the rest of your picks.
You don’t have to worry about constructing a normal-looking roster with your team. If that means loading up on non-shooters or building a three-point juggernaut, just make sure you follow through with it. Steer clear of the middle ground and you’ll be well on your way to fantasy basketball success.
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Just about anybody can play fantasy football. The games are played during the same time slots every week, minimizing the time you have to spend checking and updating your roster throughout the season. There are entire TV shows centered on the topic — it boils down to Fantasy Football for Dummies — and exhaustive preseason rankings that have taken a lot of the guesswork out of it.
Fantasy basketball is a totally different animal. A successful team requires close maintenance and a more watchful eye, and people who are totally invested in seeing their team succeed. Don’t expect to just casually coast through your league and win the championship. Titles in these leagues only come through careful crafting. Unlike in football, there’s no all-encompassing point total that decides whether you win or lose. You have to find sources of points, rebounds, steals, and a number of other statistical categories in order to reign supreme over your opponent.
If that sounds like a challenge, it is! The learning curve is what makes jumping into a new fantasy sport fun. But not everyone is ready to take on a tall task on their own, so I’m here to dish out some advice and get you off on the right foot.
As is standard with any advice about fantasy sports, nothing that follows is guaranteed to win you the championship — you still need to put in the work and read/react to the market on your own. However, you can’t go wrong if you stay true to these core tenets through the 2014-15 season. Here Are 5 Moves You Must Make to Win Your Fantasy Basketball League.
Follow Kyle on Twitter at @KyleNeubeck