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InsideHoops NBA [Home] Mar. 1, 2004

Fantasy Basketball Answers




The Answerman is the first and only Fantasy Basketball and Romance advice columnist on the web. He is here at to answer all your questions (or at least the interesting ones).

Let’s clean out the Inbox:

I’m thinking about trading Kirilenko and Q. Rich for Iverson and Rasheed because I'm an Iverson fan, and I would like to get him in my team. I know Kirilenko is one of the most valuable players. Will it hurt my team if I lose him? - AK

Dear AK:

Three reasons why you should ABSOLUTELY do this trade:

1) Rasheed and Iverson are simply better than Kirilenko and Richardson.

2) Iverson is an odd player. While he is the league leading scorer and stealer, he will hurt you in other categories. The only similar player who dominates in so many categories while killing in others is Shaq.

I say take the player who dominates categories and absorb whatever hit you take in the weaker categories. Very few players can match Iverson’s steal + point + assist combination. He’s worth whatever hit you take on field goal percentage.

3) Follow your gut. You are an AI fan. Get him on your team. Remember, this is fun. You are not actually a GM. Get your favorite players on your team. If you lose with them, then at least you went down with guys you believe in.


This is my team:
Jason Kidd, Manu Ginobili, Ray Allen, Larry Hughes, Ben Wallace Jason Williams, Richard Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Chris Bosh, Rasheed Wallace, Kenyon Martin, Pau Gasol, David Wesley, Dwyane Wade, Jerry Stackhouse

Can you tell me what I need because this is a good team and I am last place.


Dear GT:

Your last sentence reminds me of an old Bill Parcells quote, “You are what your record says you are”. You are in last place. Despite your contention otherwise, this is not a good team.

The problem with your team is that there is no method to it. You put together a group of the best players you could get and thought they’d just produce. You need a strategy. A reason why all the stats from all your players will work.

For example, J.Kidd is a great passer and stealer but you compliment him with Gasol, Hughes, Bosh, and Ratliff who are black holes in terms of passing or stealing. Even your second point guard – Jason Williams – is under 1.5 steals a game. So you wind up middling in two categories your superstar dominates.

Trade for Gasol and J.Williams for Marbury and change. See if you can get Baron Davis from a combination involving Stackhouse.


Dear Answerman:

I consistently lose ft %, fg %, turnovers, steals, and sometimes 3's. I’m getting desperate at this point. Do you have any potential advice, trades to propose, people to go after? I really respect your opinion. Thanks a lot man,

My team:
PGs: Chauncy Billups, Nick Van Exel, Jason Williams
SGs: LeBron James, Dajuan Wagner, Voshon Lenard, Vince Carter, Raja Bell.
SFs: Hedo Turkoglu, Mike Dunleavy, Caron Butler, Bruce Bowen.
PFs: Joe Smith, Pau Gasol, Antoine Walker, Kwame Brown
Cs: Dikembe Mutombo, Ben Wallace, Zydrunas Ilgauskas.


Dear SS:

The categories you are losing in free throw %, field goal %, and turnovers are the result of your players being too good. What does that mean?

The best players in the league are consistently poor percentage and turnover players. They have such a large role in the offense, which causes them to shoot and handle so much, they are bound to have more missteps. Players who always have the ball turn it over. Similarly, when a player shoots a high field goal percentage, they didn’t shoot enough.

The best advice this year is to occasionally bench some of your marginal players to reduce turnovers and bring your fg% back up, without it hurting your “other” categories. Chauncey Billups, Dajuan Wagner, and Antoine Walker are good benching candidates.

My advice for next year is to avoid leagues that penalize players for having too large a role in the offense.

As an aside, due to fantasy baseball's history, many basketball leagues are tied to the stat categories, like fg% and ft%, which are like baseball's ERA, WHIP, etc.

There was a time when this was necessary. Not anymore. Fantasy Basketball has been around long enough that it deserves it's own personality - more reflective of the sport. (Do football leagues use percentages anymore?)

Baseball is a small sport: A pitcher throws a small ball into a small target where a batter uses a thin bat. They score about 7 times a game. If a player scores 1 Run and gets 1 RBI, they've had a relatively good game. As a result, to create greater production, they need percentages. Otherwise there'd be practically no stats on a game-by-game basis.

Basketball is a volume sport: Big men cover a large area with a large ball and score about 150+ times a game. Basketball players get big rebound, point, assist, block and steal numbers. We don't need percentages because our players produce enough numbers to exist without it.

Play in fantasy Basketball leagues that focus on the big stats, and not percentages. Basketball is basketball, not baseball.


What's the best site to use for an NBA fantasy league?


Dear D-Swan:

Excellent question (I like to rate questions that I cannot answer). Personally, I am in two leagues. One is a league that goes years back and has developed so many complexities, we just use a stat keeping service. My other league is a free Yahoo league, which I joined to stay in touch with the readers. I open D-Swan's question to the readers. If you know of a good league site, let me know and I’ll pass it on.


I am a soon-to-be recent college grad. I am nervous about entering the real-world work-force along with the real-world dating scene. Any advice?


Dear EG:

You should be nervous. Unlike college, where you can go to a college bar, hang out with drunken underclass co-eds, ask their major and watch them swoon, the real world dating-scene is much more competitive. Here’s some thoughts:

- Learn the Word “Merlot” (pronounced Mer-Lowe). When you take real-world women out to dinner you have to ask them “Do you want to get wine?” They always say “Yes”. Whatever they order, you can feel secure in saying Merlot. They think you have taste and are impressed that you pronounced it correctly.

- Read a book. They’ll always ask, what’s your favorite book. You better have an answer. It cannot be “Catcher in the Rye”. Go to Barnes & Noble, pick up something you’ve heard of, but hasn’t been a movie – tough one. Read it and prepare to discuss. A good recent example is “The DaVinci Code”.

- Buy a Lamp. No one ever tells you this. Overhead lighting makes people look bad. White people look like ghosts. Lighting from below makes you look mysterious and tan. Women know this and will appreciate your ability to light them appropriately.

- Get a Job. “What do you do?” “Well, I’m still looking” “Best of luck with that. Bye.” Get it? Get a job.

- Three Good Stories. Everyone needs three good stories. Interesting, funny, easy to tell, and highlights your good points. Tell them to friends and family until your delivery is perfect. Keep them short and NOT about work. This is actually easier than buying the lamp

Remember, any questions ask the

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