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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Students prepare for fantasy basketball season

With the NBA season starting on Oct. 28, many basketball fans are scrambling to find the best players to draft, the best strategies to use and the best ways to succeed in their fantasy basketball leagues.

Starting soon, players will be able to draft real-life NBA players in an online league and participate as general managers in a tournament against other players. The winner is determined by the player whose team’s players perform the best in statistics, including points, rebounds and assists.

According to ESPN, the recommended first, second and third draft projections are Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant, Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James and New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis.

This year, after his surprise move in free agency, former Miami Heat player James will play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. This change of environment is something that fantasy players should take into consideration, since James will have new teammates to play with.

“When [James is] on the Cavaliers, [point guard] Kyrie Irving is going to dish the ball to him to create more scoring opportunities,”  said sophomore Kevin Couch, a fan who watches NBA basketball at least twice a week during the regular season.

But James is not a first overall pick for everyone. Junior Noah Quanrud likes Durant.

“[Durant] scores the most [compared to James], gets a lot of rebounds, shoots a high field goal percentage and gets steals,” Quanrud said.

Superstars like James and Durant may have the spotlight for being the first pick, but during the NBA season, surprises are bound to occur. In order to put together the best team possible, fantasy players try to predict these surprises before they happen during the draft.

For example, Quanrud thinks that Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Knight will pile up fantasy points because he is on a poor team.

Surprises could go the other way too. Couch thinks that one of the league’s superstar players, Dallas Mavericks’ forward Dirk Nowitzki, now 36, will not meet expectations this year due to his age and lack of agility.

Of course, fantasy players also use other websites to help gather more information before making decisions that lead to success or failure in their leagues.

For some, fantasy basketball  is so fun and so addictive that it becomes a lifestyle. Quanrud, for example, who was influenced by his older brothers to play, started participating in second grade.

“I’m happy that I started [so early],” Quanrud said. “It is a really great way to do things with my family and friends.”

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