Rotisserie and Head to Head League Differences & Who to Avoid in Roto Leagues?

August 7, 2019 By Jason Bernard
Jason Bernard explains the differences between head-to-head and roto and runs down some players to avoid in fantasy basketball roto leagues.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY6: Oklahoma City Thunder Guard Russell Westbrook (0) waiting on inbounds play versus New Orleans Pelicans on February 26, 2017, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena Oklahoma City, OK. (Photo by Torrey Purvey/Icon Sportswire)

The good people of Thailand have a saying “same same, but different”. This saying could easily be applied to Rotisserie (Roto) and Head to Head (H2H) Basketball Leagues. Most player rankings are the ‘same’ between Roto Leagues and H2H formats, but some are very different.


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What are Roto Leagues?

In Roto leagues, Fantasy Managers accumulate statistics throughout the season in several categories. Eight or nine category leagues are typical. Key categories in most leagues are, points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, three pointers made, field goal percentage and turnovers. Some leagues offer free throw percentage, free throws attempted, three-point percentage and even technical fouls as a category.

The key for Roto leagues is to have a balanced team that can score well across all the categories in your league. Roto leagues are suited to those that like a more analytical style of fantasy sports with a focus on building a balanced longer-term plan for your team.

What is a Head to Head (H2H) Basketball League?

H2H leagues use the same statistical categories mentioned in the Roto leagues. However, Fantasy Managers face off on a weekly basis to see which team can win a majority of categories for that week. For example, if your team has more points than your opposition in the week you are playing them,  you win the points category for the week. If you are in a nine-category league, you therefore only need to win five of the categories to win the week against your opponent.

H2H leagues are great for those that love weekly competition. You can also shape your H2H team to be strong in a majority of categories, but weak in others. For example, pairing Ben Simmons with Andre Drummond, both who shoot poorly from the foul line, probably means you would ‘punt’ the free throw percentage category. You would obviously be very strong in most other categories though.

Now let’s look at those key players that are stronger in H2H, but weaker in Roto Leagues because they hurt you significantly in one or more categories. For the purposes of rankings, we have used 9 category leagues.

Avoid These Players in Roto Leagues

Russell Westbrook

If you are in a roto league with turnovers, field goal or three-point percentage, steer clear of Westbrook early in drafts. Whilst Westbrook provides lots of positives in traditional categories like points, rebounds and assists, he can single-handedly lose you the field goal percentage category because of the volume of shots that he takes.

Westbrook hurts your roto team in more than one category, and it is difficult to balance your team with him as your lead player. In H2H, Westbrook can be paired in a ‘punting’ field goal percentage strategy to build a strong weekly lineup.

Roto Rank: 31

H2H Rank: 12

Andre Drummond / Ben Simmons

Drummond and Simmons kill your free throw percentage. They shot 59% and 60% respectively from the foul line last year. Even Shaquille O’Neal shot 62% for one of his seasons! It is still too much of a liability to warrant either player to be in the top 20 of Roto leagues with free throw percentage as a category.

Ben Simmons Roto Rank: 32

Ben Simmons H2H Rank: 18

Andre Drummond Roto Rank: 23

Andrew Drummond H2H Rank: 11

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak is arguably the best player in the NBA. He is the reigning MVP and provides Fantasy Managers with incredible box scores. However, he still has one major flaw to address; his three-point accuracy.

Antetokounmpo shot only 25% from three-point land last year which put him in the bottom rung of players who shot more than two three-pointers per game. If he starts hitting his threes at a better rate, he will be a consensus number one pick across all formats of fantasy basketball. He is a H2H top 5 pick now, but I steer clear of him inside the top 10 in Roto leagues with three-point percentage.

Roto Rank: 10

H2H Rank: 2

Devin Booker

Booker has been the leading scorer for Phoenix since he joined the league. His all-round game has been improving. However, he limits Fantasy Managers in Roto Leagues with his high turnover rate (4.1 per game), coupled with his poor three-point percentage (32.6%). I would expect his turnovers to decrease with Rubio handling the ball more this season. However, be careful you don’t overpay for Booker as he is yet to prove he is an efficient scorer throughout an entire season.

Roto Rank: 38

H2H Rank: 22

Which players are you fading in roto leagues? For more great analysis check out all of our great fantasy basketball content!


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