Fantasy Basketball for Dummies: How to Pick a Stacked Roster

You follow your team religiously, you watch all the latest action, and you spend hours on YouTube watching highlights packages and interviews. You have all the stats on your favorite players filed away somewhere in your brain, you could make a good go of predicting the NBA picks without ever having to consult the form guide but you haven’t put all of that knowledge into good use yet and dominated a fantasy basketball league.

If that sounds like you then this is the perfect article for you as we explain how you can put your unparalleled knowledge of the NBA to good use and dominate the fantasy leagues, winning bragging rights over your friends.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about picking a stacked fantasy basketball roster.


The Number One issue that almost every fantasy basketball manager forgets at the start of the season is fitness. A player’s overall health and condition isn’t as eye catching or headline stealing as the number of points they score, but if you want to win your fantasy basketball league their fitness should be your top priority. Pre-game, check out the NBA picks as they’ll have been updated with all of the lates team news taken into account, if a player is unavailable through injury they’re not going to be earning you points, so try and weigh up availability against points.

If you can get someone who’s going to score 30 ppg and be available every game great, if you can’t prioritise someone who’s going to be available more often than not.

Understand Scarcity

There is a balance to be struck when it comes to filling your squad in the draft. To ensure you maximise points potential and don’t end up with an unbalanced squad at the end of the draft, we recommend following this strategy:

Early Rounds: Get the best possible players, the ones that are going to gain you the most points throughout the season. If that means getting a couple of players who play in the same position then so be it, at least you have the best point’s generators possible.

Middle Rounds: Turn your focus away from point’s generators to squad balancers. This is where you want to make sure that your squad has the requisite amount of depth in every position to see you through the season with no hiccups. Doing this will help you from falling into the scarcity trap in the later rounds.

Latter Rounds: Now it’s time to throw a Hail Mary or two. If you’ve followed our advice in the earlier rounds you should have the spine of a good, well balanced team along with a handful of standout players who are going to win the lions’ share of points.

With that platform behind you, the latter rounds are your opportunity to throw a Hail Mary or two and gamble on those high-risk/high-reward players. Think outside of the box, use your nerd like knowledge of basketball to pick out a player who flies under the radar but is a solid and consistent performer.

The Key Metrics

If you’ve watched basketball for any length of time you’re probably more than aware of the key metrics to look out for when it comes to picking your fantasy team. Instead of rehashing them, we’ll finish up by sharing 5 advanced metrics that could make or break your team.

(Mastering these advanced metrics will help you pull off major coups in the draft.)

Usage Rate: This is the percentage of plays that your player is involved in, as there are 5 players on a court the average usage rate should be around 20%. The higher the figure though the more likely your player is to be winning you points. The best players typically have a usage rate of around 38%.

Player Efficiency Rating (PER): Developed by John Hollinger at The Athletic, this metric adds up all a players positive actions on the court and subtracts their negative actions. The higher the figure, the better and more consistent the player.

ABS%: Assist, Block and Steal percentages. These percentages help you to reliably pick out specialists in all three of these areas.

Fantasy Points Per Minute: This one does what it says on the tin and is just as important as you can imagine in picking out quality fantasy basketball performers.

True Shooting Percentage (TSP): It’s really easy to fall into the trap of being enticed by a high three-point percentage only to find out that it’s the only shot that player can hit. TSP gives you the whole picture when it comes to shooting, showing you how effective a player is at scoring from every type of shot.

This metric helps you weed out the statistical anomalies and will help you to unearth some of those hidden gems that other less savvy coaches miss in the draft and in combination with our other tips, hopefully turn you into the Phil Jackson of fantasy basketball.

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