FANTASY SPORTS, FAKE OR REAL??

 

If you spend way too much time obsessing over fantasy sports, you are not alone. Nearly 60 million people in the United States and Canada also fall into this category.  The debate that I have wasted too much breath on (that is why this is in print) is: do good fantasy teams make good real life teams, and vice versa? For a sport like football, the answer is obviously yes. If you have AB, Hopkins, and Jordy on your real life team, that is going to be a much better receiving core than if you have Sanu and Matthews. Rodgers and Brady both offer real life and fantasy value, so your team selection choices would be easy excluding salary limitations.

For fantasy basketball, it is not always as cut and dry.  You might think that you want the entire Warriors lineup and that will set you on the road to another stellar season. However, basketball has a different set-up that weighs select statistical categories. In order to attract a larger audience and cash in on the ever growing fantasy sports obsession, the NBA came out with their own scoring format earlier this year. If you have played any official form of Daily Fantasy Sports, then you are likely familiar with this format. The downside to this “official” format is that it does not take into account shooting percentages, which most head to head leagues have included in their repertoire of categories. However, there is no perfect way to play fake sports and all we are really doing is living vicariously through these hyper athletic dudes that we once thought we had a shot at being. I mean, who didn’t think that they could be a point guard in The League one day? If you ever watched Space Jam or Like Mike you definitely thought you had a shot.

Finally, in an attempt to answer the question of weather or not the best actual teams make good fantasy teams, I have come up with a perfectly imperfect method. This method utilizes the statistical category weights published by the NBA and totals them up to come up with what I call the “Official Fantasy NBA Power Rankings”.  This system takes the average fantasy points per game in these categories sanctioned by the NBA and sums them together to come up with a true Fantasy PPG average. Oh yes this is shamelessly a rip off of the power rankings published by more notable sources such as ESPN or the Ringer. You are certainly welcomed to look at these and think they are garbage and that they don’t tell you anything, or you can be fascinated by the findings and let that spur on some meaningless escalating conversations over a few beers with your bros. Through two official weeks of this already glorious NBA season, the first edition of the Official Fantasy Power Rankings is here. Peruse at your pleasure.

Rank Team Avg Pts
1 Golden State Warriors 251.2
2 Utah Jazz 243.8
3 Orlando Magic 234.6
4 Washington Wizards 233.2
5 Toronto Raptors 229.6
6 Oklahoma City Thunder 228.1
7 Brooklyn Nets 224.0
8 New Orleans Pelicans 223.7
9 Portland Trail Blazers 221.3
10 Indiana Pacers 219.2
11 Los Angeles Lakers 217.2
12 LA Clippers 217.2
13 Boston Celtics 216.9
14 San Antonio Spurs 216.4
15 Philadelphia 76ers 215.0
16 Phoenix Suns 211.8
17 Miami Heat 211.8
18 Minnesota Timberwolves 211.0
19 Houston Rockets 210.5
20 Detroit Pistons 209.7
21 Denver Nuggets 208.9
22 Charlotte Hornets 206.6
23 Memphis Grizzlies 204.3
24 Atlanta Hawks 203.6
25 Milwaukee Bucks 203.5
26 Cleveland Cavaliers 201.3
27 Dallas Mavericks 192.1
28 Sacramento Kings 191.2
29 Chicago Bulls 187.6
30 New York Knicks 141.5

At first glance, you will notice that the mighty Warriors indeed do top the list. This might cause you to jump to conclusions that this is a worthless exercise… Hold on just a minute! You need look no further than last year’s Eastern Conference champions to find the first major anomaly. They are currently leading the East in the real NBA, but as far as Fantasy PPG goes, they rank slightly above the middle. This might be the first sign of support to the side that debates that fantasy teams are way different than real teams. If this exercise does nothing else, I hope that it can show you that there is more to life than just sports… there are also fantasy sports, and that is where all of us can find a small slither of pleasure and give us an additional reason to watch the sports that we love.

 

[banner image from newsok.com]

 

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