Empire Building Part I: Know Your Rules (Obvious but Important)

The number one most important thing heading into your fantasy draft – in any sport – is to know the rules. This seems incredibly obvious but it’s also surprising how often owners get this wrong. And yes, I have done it myself.

Sometimes commissioners can throw little wrinkles into the scoring system that can turn conventional thinking upsidedown and dramatically alter the value of certain players

A couple of years back, I agreed to compete in a 10-team league at the last minute and had to do the draft over the phone at work. (I was suckered in by the big potential payout). Only AFTER the draft did I realize that the commish had used Assist-to-Turnovers Ratio as a category instead of Turnovers.

Because I drafted an excellent front line and took my guards later on, I was dead last in the category most of the season. While my frontcourt players didn’t commit many turnovers, they also didn’t generate many assists, so the ratio was putrid.

I moved up a couple spots late in the season and wound up finishing 9th out of 10 in the category. I finished third overall and may have been better had Andrew Bynum’s knee not crumpled like a piece of tinfoil.

But my lack of draft-day foresight provided an obstacle that kept me from competing for the top spot. I finished about six points out of first.

Be sure you don’t get yourself in a similar situation. The last thing you want to do is be asking fellow owners about the rules during the draft because your opponents would benefit from giving you “disinformation”. If you have to bring a printed out chart of the league’s scoring system/position eligibility requirements, etc, so be it.


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