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Categorical League Tips and Draft Strategies

Yahoo Sports feature

Whether you’re new to fantasy sports or a seasoned fantasy football player looking for a new challenge, this guide is meant to teach you how to approach category-based fantasy basketball leagues. The tips and advice here will help you build something practical and hopefully win the league! — Even if you don’t actively follow the NBA, never played fantasy. and.

First, as always: Know your league settings

Almost all category leagues are either 8-cat (8 default categories) or 9-cat (9 default categories). His eight categories by default are Points, Rebounds, Assists, Steals, Blocks, Threes, FG%, FT%. Turnover is his ninth default, the only difference between the 8-cat league and the 9-cat league. 9-cat is more common on Yahoo, but you can play either format if you prefer.

A few themes to keep in mind when playing in the 9-cat league: High-use players are often turnover machines, and rookies, especially rookie ball handlers, are particularly prone to turnovers. Catch-and-shoot specialists (such as PJ Tucker) and non-passing big men (such as Clint his Capella) tend to see the biggest gains in 9-cat values.

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Occasionally, league commissioners experiment with some other category options. The most common alternatives include splitting double-doubles, triple-doubles, offensive and defensive rebounds into two categories, or changing how field goal efficiency is measured (i.e., number of field goals made, free number of successful throws, eFG%, TS%, or a combination thereof). If you play in any of these atypical category leagues, the most important thing to remember is that most fantasy advice isn’t tailored to your league.Articles, Tweets, Podcasts There is still much to be gained and learned from Etc., but remember that all of this advice assumes you are playing with 8-cat or 9-cat.

Weekly and daily lineups. IR spot

This isn’t specific to category-based leagues, but fantasy managers need to know whether they set lineups daily or once a week, and if they have an IR spot. Managers in weekly lineup leagues or leagues without his IR spot should be more cautious on draft day. Someone like Kawhi Leonard who is more likely to miss games due to “load management” does more damage in the weekly lineup league than in the daily lineup league. Injuries are also easier to wait if you have a spot. This way you can add new players without dropping injured players.

Depending on the kind of setup the fantasy league uses, a steady resting player like Kawhi Leonard can be difficult to manage. (Photo by Sean M. Huffey/Getty Images)

Lotto vs head to head.panting

this is a big one. In the H2H (head-to-head) league, he faces one team per week. That is, your category and your opponent’s category. In the H2H league, the team with the best record qualifies for the playoffs and the champion becomes the winner of his tournament in the playoffs. In lotto (short for rotisserie), teams play against entire leagues throughout the season. In a 12-team league, the leader in a given category gets his 12 points, 2nd gets his 11, 3rd gets him 10, and bottom gets him 1 point. Continues until The champion is the team with the most accumulated points on the final day of the season.

The most important difference between H2H and Lotto is that punts (deliberately ignoring multiple categories so that the remaining ones can build very strong teams) usually lead to different results. A well thought out punt build is the best strategy in H2H. However, in the lottery, making a successful punt is much harder and not explicitly rewarded.

The only reason you need to punt in a 1v1 league is because you’re just trying to win the majority of the category. It doesn’t matter if you lose a few. For example, if a cat is in her league of 9, you can effectively punt 4 categories to get her remaining 5 categories. A more unusual build is better because you can compete with others who are punts and you want as little overlap as possible. You can reach a safe player that fits your build. brought

One more note about H2H category leagues: There are two types. Yahoo standards count each category as one game per week. Thus, in a league of nine cats, managers receive results in the order of each category they won, lost, or tied. If he wins 5 categories and he loses 4, he’s 5-4 for the week. In “H2H One Win” only one result is added to his WLT record per week, determined by which team wins the most categories.

Category rarity

block and assist

Blocks and assists are the fewest categories. Most of the league’s assists come from top point guards, with a few notable exceptions. All non-point guard assist leaders are drafted, most of them in the first few rounds. If point guards are worth getting from waiverwire, they are rarely impactful passers.

Likewise, there are shot-blocking big men coming out of the waivers as the season progresses, but as with assists, those players rarely block enough shots to make a big impact. Also, most of the best shot blockers are drafted in the first few rounds.

rebound and three-point

Rebounds and 3-pointers are much easier to find. The league’s elite rebounders have remained fairly consistent year after year, but there are always some big men who emerge early in the season as a reliable board source. Additionally, when a big man is injured, their backup usually steps in to provide a good duplicate of the starter’s rebound load.

Threes is a slightly different story, but the result is the same. As the total number of threes increased, it became increasingly easier to find quality three-pointers for him later in the draft. Every year, a few players add to his 3-per-game leaderboard, which is staggering. Perhaps more importantly, due to the streaky nature of long-range shooting, managers who remain active on waiverwire typically experience hot streaks and average several threes per game. You can find a few players who do.


The point is difficult. On the one hand, all the best scorers are drafted early. Unless he deliberately punts a category, at least he needs to draft one 20 plus his points scorer early on to stay competitive.

Points, on the other hand, are often overvalued by fantasy managers. Low-scoring players are often drafted much later than they should. High scorers are picked up from waivers much sooner, even if they offer little value in other categories. increasing.

Points will be available in waivers throughout the season, but for the most part players are the only ones who score 13-18 points. They might help, but again, if you miss this category on draft day, waivers are unlikely to bail you out.


Steals are always available on Waver. problem? Most of those players don’t provide enough help to deserve a roster in other categories. Especially in his H2H close match later in the week, the director will have trouble using his wire to bolster his roster.

The best way to stay competitive on steals is to draft elite two-way players like Chris Paul and Jrue Holiday relatively early.

Two-way players like Jrue Holiday can help you stay competitive in categories like steals, but they're expensive in draft.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Two-way players like Jrue Holiday can help you stay competitive in categories like steals, but they’re expensive in draft. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

FG% and FT%

A player’s FG% and FT% are more variable than many counting statistics, so they’re hard to predict, even if they stay in the same role on the same team.

So managers should be careful when trying to build strengths in these two categories. If your team thinks he’s either good in FG% or FT% but not great, remember he may have a small tolerance for error.

One final note. There are also well-founded strategic arguments against punting either fire efficiency category. Chief among them is that another manager in the league is likely to attempt the same build, and that if a team plays fewer games than their opponents in a given week, a team with a punt rate will be on the other roster. is to suffer more than a build.

final note

If you’ve played in a point league before and it’s your first time playing in a category-based league, compare last season’s point league final rank to last season’s final rank in the category league. , to help you figure out which players have fairly large jumps and which fall.

Note that category rarity has become much more important than positional rarity. Position is still important, but less so.

Finally, this applies not only to point leagues, but also to category leagues. Keep in mind that the last few picks will probably be discarded after a few weeks. Focus on players who have the potential to take some risks upwards or fill in certain distinct weaknesses — there’s no such thing as “reaching” the end of the draft.