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InsideHoops [Fantasy Basketball] Mar. 15, 2004

Fantasy Basketball: The Playoffs

 


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

Hello dear readers. This article is for those of you in head-to-head leagues. You are likely just one or two week(s) away from the playoffs and assuming you qualified - no matter how small the margin - you are in the position to win your league.

Here's how to do it.

Dance with the girl you brought. You did something right to get into the playoffs. Keep doing it. Upsets happen, in real life and fantasy basketball, because of better execution through an existing system, not panic adjustments, i.e. do not start benching Tim Duncan because you think you need more steals.

Play your guys, but play them smart. Accentuate the positive, ignore the negative. Do not make a lineup change that will hurt your good categories for the sake of your bad ones. It will make you mediocre in both.

Count games. (This is only for people dealing with accumulating, not average, stats). The regular season is a marathon. The playoffs are a sprint. Every week is do-or-die. If there is a free agent that is a little worse than one your "regulars" but has more games - sign him.

Specifically, find yourself a specialist. Know your opponent. Know where they are weak. There is a guy out there for every stat. Damon Jones for assists, Darrell Armstrong for steals, Brian Skinner is coming on in blocks and rebounds as is Tyson Chandler (if you feel lucky), points is tough but Voshon Lenard is a free agent in about 45% of leagues.

Use your brain. Before you sign a free agent, think "Why has this guy been a FA all season?" Either figure it out now, or find out the hard way.

Talk a ton of crap. This is so important. I honestly believe in chemistry, karma, and self-fulfilling prophesies. You talk like your team will win, it increases the likelihood of your team winning. Go in big. Go in confident. Talk about the next round. Talk about domination. If you say it loud enough, you may even fool yourself.

Relax and enjoy it. The playoffs are much easier than the regular season. In the regular season you have to figure out a way to beat every team for an 82-game season. In the playoffs (again, in head-to-head format), all you need is one way to beat one team over the course of a week (or so). How easy is that?

Even better, if you are a low seed you've got no pressure. You have been losing all season long and should be used to it by now (you probably even enjoy it, you sicko). Where low seeded teams get into trouble is when they over-analyze. They fall into traps of not believing in their teams, panicking, and wind up losing big.

Don't fall into that trap. You built this team. On some level you thought these players were good. Go back to that time. Build around them and help them win.

Good luck and remember, if you have any questions ask the answerman@insidehoops.net.







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