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Basics Of The Sporting News Playoff Fantasy Hoops Challenge

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Musicman 55

Joined: 22 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 04/19/08 12:01 am    ::: Basics Of The Sporting News Playoff Fantasy Hoops Challenge Reply Reply with quote

The actual purpose of this message is to explain what Mike Miller and I feel are the most important things that anyone should know in order to do well in the Sporting News Playoff Fantasy Hoops Challenge. This is a fairly new Name for the Playoff version of the Game that has been called the Sporting News Salary Cap Challenge for many years.

In order to avoid any unnecessary confusion, since this Fantasy Game has always been referred to as the Salary Cap Challenge in the past, we will continue to refer to it by that Name for the purpose of our explanation. Please remember that the first Playoff Games are scheduled for April 19 so be sure to create your Roster prior to the first Game that day at 12:30 P.M. Eastern Time.

I posted complete details on how to join our Group in a previous message, but here once again is the link you will need in order to create a Team.
Our Group Name is Points Contributed and the Password is musicman.

Hopefully none of you will be confused by the fact that the Sporting News now has a new Name for the Playoff version of the Salary Cap Challenge. Please substitute the Sporting News Playoff Fantasy Hoops Challenge wherever we refer to the Salary Cap Challenge if you prefer.

Actually the Weekly Fastbreak Challenge and the NBA Salary Cap Challenge are my own personal favorites of all of the Fantasy Games. Now here are the basic fundamentals related to the Playoff version of the Salary Cap Challenge. The differences between the Weekly Fastbreak Challenge and the Salary Cap Challenge are sometimes subtle, but they are very real.

One of the more obvious differences relates to Injured Players. In the Fastbreak Challenge, we are all affected in exactly the same way because we can only update our Rosters once per Week. But in the Salary Cap Challenge, each Tuesday night at 11:00 P.M. Eastern Time we are given what they call 2 Trades. You might prefer to think of these as 2 Free Picks because we can select any Player we want as long as his Value fits under our Current Roster Cap.

But we can actually hold on to as many of these Free Picks as we would like so that we can use them at a later Date. It is probably always prudent to save 1 Free Pick to use in case a Player becomes Injured, but some Weeks you might be tempted to use all your Free Picks in an effort to obtain the Ultimate Roster. You will probably come to regret that decision if you end up without a Free Pick to use to replace an Injured Player.

We started with this example because it so clearly demonstrates that we are trying to accomplish two different Goals at the same time in the Salary Cap Challenge. First as with all the other Fantasy Games, we are attempting to select the best Roster we can fit under the Cap in order to score the most Fantasy Points for the current Week.

But in addition we are also hoping that our Player Values will go up so that next Week we can acquire an even better Roster. We are given $35 Million in Cap Money at the start of the Game and with it we must select a Starting Line-Up consisting of 2 Guards, 2 Forwards, and 1 Center plus a 6th Man who can play any Position at all.

So we have to fit 6 Players under the $35 Million Cap in Week 1. One of the best tips for someone new to the Salary Cap Challenge is to attempt to include one or two Multi-Position Players on your Roster. A G/F and a F/C are great Players to have because you can use them at more than one Position as you make adjustments to your Roster.

Two of the best filters to use for selecting Players each Week are Average Fantasy Points Per Game and Number of Games Played that Week. And the Week can actually start on any Day that you would like just so long as you have at least 1 Free Pick available. You could add a new Player on Saturday if you have only 1 Free Pick left and then add 2 more Players the following Wednesday once you are awarded the 2 additional Free Picks.

You earn Fantasy Points based on the Production of each Player on your current Roster for each Game that they play. The Prices for the Players are adjusted Daily and the system works very much like the Stock Market. Player Prices seem to be controlled mainly by Demand but to some degree by Fantasy Production.

Player Values rise and fall based on how many Managers buy or sell a given Player on a particular Day. So the Overall Value of your Team can either increase or decrease due to the current Value of each of your Players. The Managers who are the most successful usually sell one of their current Players and obtain an even more Productive Player.

During the Regular Season, you probably want to look at the Schedule for the next 3 Weeks in determining your Roster. Since you only have 2 Free Trades per Week, try to select Players with as many Games during the next 3 Weeks as possible. All your Players should at least have the maximum Number of Games for the current Week.

But during the Playoffs there actually is no guaranteed Schedule for each Team except for the current Round. Please keep in mind that 16 Teams will be playing in Round 1, but only 2 of those Teams will make it all the way to the Finals. So part of your success in this Game will be determined by how well you are able to project who will still be playing in the next Round.

Finally allow us to remind you that there are two Features posted in the Files Section of the Yahoo Sports Group website that should be helpful in selecting your Roster for the Salary Cap Challenge. I have already posted a List of the Top 100 Players for the Regular Season Salary Cap Challenge. In addition the Combined Power Rankings for all 30 NBA Teams according to 6 Quality Computer Rating Systems are posted as well.

We are always looking for new members for the Yahoo Sports Group so if you are interested in either of these Features, please join us. Here is the link to the Yahoo Sports Group website:
One of us will be more than happy to approve you for membership if you decide to join us.

The information we have outlined here would seem to cover all of the basics to help get someone started in the Salary Cap Challenge. And please remember that this Game is now called the Sporting News Playoff Fantasy Hoops Challenge. If you do decide to sign up to participate in our Group for the NBA Playoffs, we wish you Good Luck with your Selections.

Phil Zorn and Mike Miller

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