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Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Mid-Season(?) Form

This week gave birth to the first real complicated part of the season for fantasy owners: the mid-season tournament. A lot of people have struggled and complained about how to handle this interruption on the fantasy basketball side of things. We had a few questions about the tournament and how it has affected fantasy now and into the rest of the year. Furthermore, today will be centered around the topic proposed last week, which was bad teams. Establishing how to operate with players on those teams is important to figuring out pick-ups and drops. Welcome back to the weekly fantasy basketball mailbag.

Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Mid-Season(?) Form

There is a question mark next to the mid-season strictly because it is not mid-season. It is during the football season when people do not care as much about basketball, but to have it this early would be disingenuous to call it mid-season. I digress.

How do you deal with the mid-season tournament? I play in a weekly league and a daily league and it seems like a crapshoot. – Matt

The mid-season tournament has thrown a lot of variance into a pretty simple process. Let us start from the beginning here. The in-season tournament has made a drastic difference in the way teams score points. Generally, individual scoring is up during games that matter for point differential. Instead of playing worse players towards the end of blowouts, teams kept their stars in and ran up the score to gain point differential on their opponents.

It is hard to account for this many scenarios on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. A lot of it is luck of the draw, like scheduling. If your players aren’t playing a bad team, it makes it tough to play an opponent that has a good schedule (which is part of fantasy). For daily lineups, it can make it interesting on the waiver wire to have to navigate dropping a decent player to get a leg up that week.

Now that I am reading everything out, maybe the mid-season tournament was a good idea, from a fantasy perspective. Most leagues are daily, and that can make people super active on the waiver wire, and only makes scheduling kind of complicated for two-ish weeks. As a league manager, it was frustrating trying to figure out how this was going to affect the league. Lot of conversations to be had over nothing, that is for sure.

Suffice to say, it has not hurt the leagues too much. If you lost because of the tournament, I understand, but that has been hard to truly quantify unless it’s very specific.

I drafted over-ranked players like Jordan Poole way too early. What do I do? – Tyler

That is a great question, Tyler. Struggling with underperforming, over-drafted players is the marquee to a bad season. Holding on for too long may be a death sentence as well.

One thing I would recommend doing is jumping into the numbers a little on a per-player basis. We will use Poole as a reference, but it is not exclusive. Having an inefficient player that is not an absolute number-one option is a poor business decision, and anyone can buy into the hype. It is not your fault. That being said, maybe selling low is not terrible. Try to find a player to trade for, maybe an underperforming sophomore player or somebody poised to take a bigger role with good numbers after the trade market finalizes.

You are going to have to be patient either way. Maybe put it in part of a greater deal and fill in the gaps on the waiver wire if you can. Completely up to you. It is a bad beat not drafting well, which is why I like Dynasty and keeper leagues. That way, you can utilize other assets to make trades instead of a desperation 2-1 which has a tendency not to work out, or flat out not accepted. Have to try though.

Will Tyrese Haliburton’s fantasy explosion continue through the rest of the season? Are there any players that will get this kind of jump into next season? – Ryan

These are two good questions. Haliburton is one of the premium point guards right now and has had a steady increase throughout the last few years. Pairing his efficiency with his output, it is no secret that linear progression was in store. Scottie Barnes is one of these players, his efficiency has gone up in his third year, as has his usage. Barnes is the quintessential wing type and should continue to improve in analytical categories necessary to build around on a fantasy team. Devin Vassell was another one of those players who was given both usage and efficiency. If you have a chance to acquire either of those players moving forward in a keeper/dynasty league, it may work out well. Scottie Barnes is a bit of a higher name on peoples’ list, but Vassell is injured and on the Spurs.

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