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Tues, Oct 30, 2001

How to get ahead in Fantasy Basketball... without really trying


Here are 5 tips for winning your fantasy basketball draft ... and 5 great picks for those of you who've never played before:

1. Ignore the Prognosticators
These guys are clueless.  While each of your buddies is loading up on books and magazines, acquiring useless knowledge and making lists until 5 o'clock in the morning, you should be downloading porn.  Just leave the lineup the way they have it set up and let the draft robot take care of the rest.  OK, maybe read the injury report and move them out of your top 50, but you have way more important things to do with your time. 

Plus there are so many players that no one has ever heard of who you can pick off waivers. You'll still come in a solid second in the league with players good enough that your buddies will be wondering what they did wrong.  Remember that there's a  huge down side to taking the "know-it-all zealot" approach.  You'll end up enjoying the game less and laboring under the motto: "Fantasy Sports.... a lot of work for such little payoff."

2. Draft Day Confusion
On the night before your online draft, so long as you're not the one organizing your league, send out an email reminding the other team owners the WRONG time for the draft and wish them luck.  This way it will simply be a battle of the preset draft cards that Sportsline or ESPN have setup.  When they end up with Antonio McDyess in the first round, your job is done. 

If this hasn't worked, then IM your buddies hyperlinks to porn sites during the draft.  By the time they downsize the 80 pop-up windows created by your hyperlink sabotage, their time to draft will be up.  Better yet, send them a site they've never seen before or one with lots of downloadable mpg's. That should keep them busy!

3.  Make sure your Team Name is uncreative or totally unrelated to Basketball
Very important ... the worse your name, like "Deez Nutz," "Pimp Daddy's," or "Hentai Action," the more likely your opponents will doubt your knowledge of the game. For example, I haven't decided on my team name yet, but I'm thinking "Riding Pine" may do the trick.
MJ for Mark Blount: good trade offer, right?

This could be important when dealing with trades later in the season. For example, when you offer someone Mark Blount for MJ, they'll think you're just clueless and let you get away with it.

4.  Meaningful Head Games
Even on the night before the draft, start playing head games with the other owners and keep playing them until the draft kicks off. For instance, mention to your buddy "2 points per assist, huh, I may have to draft a point guard early." Follow this with, "What do you think of Kenny Anderson this year? I heard he's averaging 10 assists per game for his career."

Hopefully, your buddy will become immediately confused and start researching every point guard's stats over the last 5 years regardless of how bad they play today. If players like Kenny Anderson, Mark Jackson and Mookie Blaylock go early, this enhances your chances of getting a solid player like Shawn Bradley (1.5 points per block) deep in the second round.

5. Keep Up the Draft Heckling
Remind everyone of how good a job they're doing during the draft. For instance ...

  • After Shaq goes first overall: "Whew, that was a tough one."
  • When your buddy selects Doug Christie in the second round, make sure you ask him if he remembered to check in with his wife.
  • If someone drafts Jerry Stackhouse: "Good thing we don't count missed field goals."
  • Whenever an Orlando Magic player is selected: "Excellent pick, who you gonna get next week."
  • If someone misfires in the early rounds, say picking up Joe Smith or Kwame Brown, keep reminding them of their keen insight for the rest of the draft, until they run crying from the room.
  • If someone takes Clarence Weatherspoon: "It's always good to have an actual backup as one of your backups."
  • Whenever a New York Knick is selected: "Too bad you can't draft them a center." 
  • Finally, if the 3rd round has rolled along and one of your buddies hasn't drafted someone from their favorite team, especially if its the Knicks or Bulls, heckling is a must use strategy to pressure them to make that pick early. This way you can get better players in the later rounds.

One bonus tip:

~ Bring up past triumphs
If you happened to have won the previous year's league or the last two years' leagues, make sure to remind everybody about this fact before and during the draft. Hell, you should keep it going during the week following the draft as well, send out e-mail reminders whenever possible to the other owners with subject headings like "FROM THE 1999-2001 CHAMP" or "WHEN DO I GET MY 1ST-PLACE PRIZE MONEY?" and load the emails with insults about everyone else's team. You just can't emphasize this one enough.

While you're sabotaging the draft don't forget that you actually have to get a good team, too. Here's the Champ's top 5:

Anna tops our  fantasy wish list.

Center: Anna Kournikova - No she doesn't play basketball, but she's just so cute that every sports list should include an Anna reference. Plus, once Shaq's gone you might as well keep dreaming about getting a good one.

Forward: Derrick Coleman - If you can't get Shaq, take DC early and convince whomever has Shaq that he's worth trading for. Plus, remind them, "Hey, hasn't every team in the league traded for this guy?"

Forward: Ben Wallace - If your league gives bonus points for biggest afro, you'll score big points with this pick.

Guard: Jason Kidd - Two words: Bobble head! Any player that has a bobble head doll night always kicks ass. The Nets have one planned on Opening Night. But make sure to get plenty of glue, the Nets are known for injuries and the bobble heads are no different. Marbury's head fell off as soon as I took him out of the box last season.

Guard: Allan Houston - Knicks GM Scott Layden paid him how much? That's enough for me!

K-Cebo Satashi came in the top .0475% of his Small World Fantasy Basketball League two years ago only to find he had no life when it was over.

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