Fantasy Basketball – America’s New Favorite Past Time?
By: Kelli Bailey
BANGOR, ME – It’s not too late to catch the tail end of the National Basketball Association season, or better known as the NBA. With about 10-15 games left in the season for each team, now is the time to brush up on your fantasy basketball league.
Fantasy basketball originated from the idea of fantasy baseball in the late 1990’s. The first purpose of this was to help keep track of team statistics and player statistics. Fantasy teams apply to a variety of sports such as; baseball, basketball, soccer, football, UFC, and the list goes on. Once people saw how fun and addicting the thought of drafting your ideal “dream team” could be, it became very popular.
To break it down in the simplest terms, you start with a group of your friends and create a league together. You and your group set a draft time to choose players, in a “snake” format, meaning you alternate picks from first to last, then last to first. Once all the players have been chosen, let the games begin.
Levi Soper has been an avid fantasy basketball player since 2012. Drafting basketball rosters is one of his favorite past times. He and his friends communicate on a daily basis during basketball season. Talking about who to pick, who not to pick, and projected stats.
“There is so much that goes into making a roster. You have to look at rebounds, offense, defense, assists, steals, blocks, turnovers. I mean the list can go on and on”, Soper explains. “If it wasn’t for fantasy sports, the NBA wouldn’t be as popular. It gives people a reason to watch. You learn to follow players, more than the teams. Your interest shifts to a player based game, rather than the whole team, because the players are the ones that score you fantasy points”.
There are many ways to track your fantasy team, but the two most popular platforms are Draftkings and Fanduel. As opposed to your normal ESPN or Yahoo draft where you choose one team for the whole season, these two processes are bit more involved.
“These particular ways of tracking your team is a little different than your standard ESPN fantasy draft. In Draftkings, and Fanduel you draft your team’s everyday. This makes it more interesting because you play for money, and could potentially win big” says Soper.
This fad has become so widely popular that there are hours of podcasts, blogs, articles and even an XM radio station devoted to fantasy sports. Drafters spend copious amounts of time researching and striving for that perfect lineup. It’s worth it all in the end, when you get to watch your team get that win!