I'll warn you all up front that this gets way into the nitty-gritty of my fantasy basketball league. But for what it's worth, I think my friends and I have developed a pretty solid system, which we are improving on each year. If you're into that sort of shit, read on.
Basically I need your expert basketball advice.
I've always been bothered by the playoff systems of fantasy sports. The final stretch of the regular season, when fantasy playoffs are held, is almost unarguably the worst place to measure the quality of your team and managerial skills. Players on teams with no hope for the playoffs are shelved for the year, some of the best teams (with the best players) stand pat with their playoff destiny's secured. Only a handful of times are playing "real" basketball vying for the playoffs or playoff position, at full strength. In the NBA this is especially problematic, as half the league is usually tanking at this time of year.
(Or, in the Pistons' case, stanking: stanking - adj. - Tanking inadvertently as the result of stinking like rotting cabbage and/or the inside of a rhino's anus.)
To account for this, and to place the result of a managerial-based sports fandom competition back upon the managerial skills of its participants, we developed a system: Our playoffs coincide with the NBA playoffs. Here's how it works:
- Our regular season ends with the NBA regular season
- Each playoff team is allowed two "keepers" from their regular season team
- Players from non-playoff fantasy teams, as well as players not chosen as keepers from playoff fantasy teams are pooled together for a draft
- Top 2 seeds get byes (6 playoff teams total)
- Prior to Round 1, a draft is held. Only players on NBA playoff teams may be drafted
- Draft order is determined by regular season record. It is not serpentine.
- Drafted players will remain on your team for as long as they are in the playoffs
- When an NBA team is knocked out of the playoffs, they are removed from your roster
- When a fantasy team is knocked out of the playoffs, its roster is put back into the pool for the next round's draft.
- Draft order for subsequent rounds determined by team performance
- In order to ensure a balance of games between opposing teams, there is a cap on total games per round. You may also only log 4 games for any one player per round. This usually means starting them for the first two games until you have a handle on how long the series will go, but it's always a gamble. Do you want a Game 3 from Wade, or a Game 7?
This makes your keepers and your draft picks a strategic choice. Maybe you have Steve Nash...but do you think he'll get out of the first round? If you have Westbrook and OKC makes the finals, you get to ride him the whole way. Then again, maybe you want to draft players who will have strong series, regardless of real-world outcome. It's an attempt to live to fight another day.
Due to some unfortunate 5-4 losses in the last several weeks of the season, I'm locked into the 4 seed regardless of whether I win or lose this week, the final week of the season.
My opponent only makes the playoffs if he beats me. We're tied with 3 days left in the week. He also has LeBron James.
I'm considering tanking to let him in. If I don't, then the top seed (my theoretical Round 2 opponent) will be able to draft LeBron in the pre-playoff draft, to pair with Durant. Yikes.
The trouble is that, due to tie-breakers, if I let my opponent into the playoffs by tanking, I will play him again in Round 1. Which makes it a choice between guaranteeing that I go up against LeBron in Round 1 of the playoffs and the chance that I might in Round 2.
Whoa. Hope that makes any sense. Even if you don't have an opinion one way or the other, I'm curious on your thoughts of my league's playoff system. SPORTSMANLIKE ASS SLAPS FOR ALL.