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Fantasy League Frenzy

DARIUS GARLAND FROM THE CLEVLAND CAVS

By Adel Ahmedz

It’s that time of the year where friends get together and are glued to their phones or computers for 45 minutes to draft professional athletes of their choice to their fantasy sports team.

For the last two years, NAIT Radio student, Russell Vicenta, has been a part of a Fantasy Basketball League with his friends. Vicenta enjoys this time of the year since the NBA season is only one month away.

“The [Fantasy Basketball] league I’m in differs because picking up the best players isn’t the best strategy as opposed to other sports,” said Vicenta. 

“If you have a team of the best [NBA] players but they don’t contribute to other statistics within the category, you’re not guaranteed to win that week. You can pick up players who may not be as big of names but if they contribute to specific categories then you have a chance to win.”

There are multiple types of scoring formats in Fantasy Basketball. The two most common ones that are used are Rotisserie and Head-to-Head. According to ESPN, a Rotisserie format is where teams are placed from first to last in each statistical category. Points are given based on the order in each category, then added up to determine an overall score and league rank. 

On the other hand, Head-to-Head allows you to choose an “X” number of statistical categories. Vicenta has been playing in the Head-to-Head format since he joined the league. 

“For the league I play in, it’s divided into nine categories based on statistics in basketball. You get scheduled against another person in your league for the week. In order to win that week, you need to have one more statistical category than your opponent. So, if I win five categories and my opponent wins four, I will have won that week,” said Vicenta.

Money is something that fantasy leagues use as an incentive to bring in more individuals. Vicenta says he and his friends agree to put $25 down each season. It’s something that Vicenta believes is important to do whenever a league is formed.

“You want some sort of incentive to play for. Money is definitely one of the motivating factors for people to try their hardest, and [to make them do their research]. It gives people a reason to play” said Vicenta.

Despite some finding joy in joining fantasy leagues every year, some may not truly understand how it works, which ultimately leads to individuals choosing not to join at all. Vicenta gives some pointers to those who have minimal knowledge of fantasy sports leagues.

“Find a group of people who are not as eligible but have the same knowledge or experience as you do. It’s more fun that way and it lets you and your friends learn more about the sport and grow more interest in [fantasy leagues],” said Vicenta.

If Fantasy Basketball League is of interest, take a look at  ESPN or Yahoo’s website to create a league today.

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