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How to Generate Your Own Basketball Player Rankings Using SignAndTrade Tools Customized to Your Leagues

by ja on 8/25/2012 3:55:35 PM

SignAndTrade just released a third NBA player ranking tool to go along with the two that we already had! Here's a quick rundown of SignAndTrade's tools for generating NBA basketball player rankings. As of this writing we've got 3 ranking tools and each can be customized by you to your leagues rankings and run over any date range you wish (even spanning multiple seasons).

The newest tool (the custom stat weights ranking tool) in our collection allows you to choose an amount of fantasy points that the stat should be worth. Based on the values you choose and the stats you choose to include in your ranking analysis the tool computes a total fantasy points score for each player. It then ranks the players from most points to least points. This type of ranking is ideal for leagues in which the scoring system is Fantasy Points based rather than stat/category based. I'm not sure about it's value for rotisserie leagues… I'd love to see some comments from readers regarding that question.

The tool that is the most often used for generating rankings is the "distance from average" player ranking tool. Pretty much everyone uses this algorithm to calculate their rankings and then manually tweaks them. The computation itself is pretty "safe" and easy to understand so there's not a lot of risk involved in ranking players via this average. Plus it's generally hard to argue with the results so why not?! The fantasy basketball player rankings are calculated by using a "Distance from Average" algorithm. Basically the average of all the stats for all the players is calculated. Then a player's distance from the average is computed by subtracting the average stat value from the player's stat value. If the distance is positive, the player is "better than average" by the distance that was computed. Then we sum up all of the distances (for all of the stats) to determine how much "better than average" (or "worse than average") the player actually is. The higher the total distance is from the average the better the player is deemed to be. Turnovers (TOS) and personal foulds (PF) are negative stats and are subtracted rather than added when calculating a players rank.

Another tool that you can use to rank players is our battle royal ranking tool. Using it comes with a little more risk because of the way it ranks. What it does is generates player ratings for nba basketball players by running them through a "battle royale" type tournament where each player is compared to each other player stat by stat. A certain number of points are applied for each "win", a lesser value for "ties" and another even smaller value for losses. The player with the most total ranking points is considered the best player, second most points is second best, and so on. The reason is comes with more risk is that the some players can incur a huge penalty if they're really bad at something while others may get a huge ranking bump by being really good at something. What can happen is a player is above average in most areas and is then really good at one particular thing can shoot to the very top. When someone like Rudy Gay jumps to the overall #3 player in the league we start to have doubts about those rankings! But it also tells us something about Rudy Gay - namely that he is potentially very underrated based on his overall game. It also tells us that if you need the stats he's good at he won't hurt you in any other stats. I'll talk more about this in a later article since this article is about the ranking tools rather than the results and what we can read from them.

All three different ranking tools that I've mentioned have different strengths and weaknesses, but all of them are valuable tools that you can use in your analysis to help you win your leagues. Learn them and use them. They'll help you both during the preseason all the way through the playoffs. As always, let us know what you think about them and how we can improve them!

NBA Player Movement for Offseason 2012 - Fantasy Basketball Draft Kit (Atlanta Hawks)

by ja on 8/21/2012 9:18:02 PM

Today I'm going to talk about the movement of players to and from the Atlanta Hawks during the 2012 offseason. I'll talk about the fantasy implications and see if we can't find some useful info to help us out come draft time!

In order to help out with the discussion I've included a screenshot from the SignAndTrade.com Fantasy Basketball Draft Kit. It breaks down automatically for each team which players have left the team, which players have been added, and which players are still there. It also includes each player's position as well as minutes played. Finally, at the team level is specifies how many total minutes need to be filled (total minutes played by players that are now gone).

As you can see it's got tons of info so let's take a look at today's example, the Atlanta Hawks.



The Hawks had 9 players leave their roster since April 15, 2012. They've also added 9 players. The returning players are Jeff Teague, Jannero Pargo, Ivan Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Zaza Pachulia. Notice anything about those returning players?

Take a look at the picture and you'll see a gaping hole in the returning players positional chart. That's right, they don't have a returning legitimate Shooting Guard. If we take a look at their added players we can see that they've added several shooting guards included DeShawn Stevenson, John Jenkins (a rookie), Devin Harris, Anthony Morrow, and Jordan Farmar. So which of those guys is likely to actually get the start at SG? I'm leaning towards Morrow or Harris. Harris is more of a PG though so we'll have to see how that pans out. But either way we can take a quick look at this chart and see that there is some serious value to be had if we acquire the right Hawks guard... even though none of them are likely to be very high on anyone's draft board.

We can also use this chart to see that Devin Harris is a PG and might (probably) will take away quite a bit of opportunity from Teague.

Finally, we can use the "lost" section to guage how many stats were "lost". Somewhere on the team those stats will be expected to be recouped so if we can figure out where the GM thinks those stats are going to come from then we've got a head start on analyzing the team's fantasy prospects.

As it is today we only provide these charts in the our fantasy basketball draft kit. Personally, I love the information that this chart quickly conveys and I am thinking about making it a separate tool with adjustable parameters that can tweaked by the user, but we're not there yet so if you want them you'll need to either get a membership that includes the draft kit or buy the draft kit on its own.

Hopefully this article gives you a little bit of idea on how to use this chart. If you have any ideas on how to improve it or suggestions for other things that can be deduced from it then please post a comment. Also, if you're interested in seeing a particular team's chart, but don't want to purchase then go ahead and post. I'll be doing more and if I have specific requests I'll keep those in mind.

Make use of PlayerGroups to make better use of your time

by ja on 8/14/2012 1:58:50 PM

One of the more common tasks that fantasy basketball managers need to carry out is analyzing a group of players against another group. This is required during drafting, trading, and tweaking of one's fantasy team management so it's important to be good at this and to have quality tools that make it as easy and convenient as possible.

At SignAndTrade, we allow you to make use of "Persistent Player Groups". These grous are named, persistent groups of players that you build and save and then reuse over and over. You can even import leagues from other services like Yahoo! fantasy games. PlayerGroups, once created, can bed used all over the site within various analysis tools. This saves you time and makes things much simpler to run comparisons.

Maybe you are analyzing a particular trade at work during your lunch hour, but you run out of time and then want to continue analyzing it later. Maybe you think you'll want eventually want to look at something very similar, but might want a couple of players different. Player groups allow you to save the collections of players that you are working with and to pull them up again later. Right now, there are two main places on SignAndTrade to use Player Groups:

  • Comparing one group to another using our Player Group Comparison Tool (aka Fantasy Baskeball Trade Analyzer) in which you
    can also view their stats as a collective and individually


  • The Fantasy Team Analyzer has player group functionality built in and it can be used to determine how well a particular group
    of players would stack up versus an "ideal" (or target) fantasy basketball team. Use it to figure out which players can be swapped away to help the team as a whole.


Soon, we will provide tools that allow you to see how groups stack up schedule wise as well as allow you to view the most recent news for all of the players in the group (rather than having to search for each one indivually).

Here are some ideas for potential ways you can make use of PlayerGroups within our tools:

  • Store the fantasy teams in your leagues hosted on other sites. Use our group comparison tool to see how they stack up.

  • Store your own fantasy teams. Then you can see before/after stats to run "what if" scenerios for trades and waiver moves.

  • Store the winning teams from previous years in your leagues. These serve as a baseline. If you build a team that would beat that team then you know you have a good team. Find out using the Fantasy Team Analyzer


In order to make use of PlayerGroups all you have to do is login (create a free account if you don't have one). Once you have an account you can create groups, manage them, import them from other services, and crunch data like never before using our extensive collection of fantasy basketball tools. I hope you enjoy using them and please feel free to let us know what you think!

Import your leagues from Yahoo! and crunch them using our fantasy tools

by ja on 8/7/2012 10:56:46 AM


I've been working on some new features over the last couple of months and I'm very pleased to be able to actually announce a few of them.

The first is that logged in users at SignAndTrade.com can now import and save fantasy leagues from Yahoo! fantasy basketball. That's right, you no longer have to manually build your saved player groups to analyze your Yahoo! leagues.

To import a league just log in to your SignAndTrade.com account and on the MemberHome page go to Manage Player Groups. Then click on the "import from Yahoo!" button. Follow the prompts and then happy crunching!

You can use the teams imported in any of our fantasy basketball tools that are "playergroup" based such as the trade analyzer, fantasy team analyzer, schedule analyzer (coming soon), and more.

The second big change I want to mention is that our player details pages have been redesigned. We've added tabs for better organization and faster loading.

One of the changes on the player details pages that you'll want to take advantage of is (here's Kobe Bryant's as an example) the new tab for player comments. This tab will allow logged in users to post comments about NBA players and they will show up directly on that NBA player's page. You can send us messages if you think we missed something, but more importantly you can share valuable information with other users.

There have actually been a lot of other changes and the pipeline is stuffed full with more to come, but I wanted to go ahead and hit the highlights here so you can start taking advantage of these features right away. As always, your suggestions / comments are welcomed and appreciated!

Fantasy Basketball Ramifications of the Lakers and the Princeton Offense

by ja on 8/6/2012 10:51:47 AM

The news broke yesterday that the Lakers are looking to hire Eddie Jordan as an assistant coach and have high hopes that his expertise with the Princeton Offense will help turn things around offensively for the Lakers. I think the change is going to be great. But it is probably going to throw quite a few things for a  loop as far as fantasy player value.

Antawn Jamison has teamed up with the Lakers and lucky for him he also has experience running the Princeton offense under Eddie Jordan when Jordan coached the Washington Wizards. I expect that Jamison's stock will go way up this year. He's a career 45% shooter who only shot 40% last year. The new offense will give him shots that are more open then those he saw last year. His assists could improve dramatically as well because the new offense is all about passing and cutting... he's a decent passer and this new setup will give him a chance to show that off.

Steve Nash will probably get quite a few more three pointers this year because he won't be forced to run everything. There will be times he'll be able to make a cut and see a wide open three where previously teams would not have let him be that open. I don't really see his assists moving a whole lot. He averaged 10.7 last year and his best ever is 11.6... I just don't see him having a career year in assists at this point. He now has a lot better players to pass to, but he won't dominate the offense as much. I think his actual touches will go down and his chances as assists will follow. It's alright though. I think there is enough upside on the 3 pointer category to make the assists he'll give up worth while. He could get back up to a 1.5 or 2.0 3pg player (he was less than 1 last year).

We may see the second coming of Kobe Bryant with this new offense. Kobe just didn't do much last year from a fantasy perspective. He shot an okay 43% from the field, but he shoots so many that even that number actually drags you down. He only shot 30% from three point land. He was down in steals, up in turnovers, and down in blocks as far as his averages were concerned... and that was all playing more minutes then he's averaged over his career. But things are going to get better says I. A lot of his bad shooting percentages was because he was playing under a new coach, in an offense that was new to him and everyone else on the team, and the rest of his team didn't understand Brown's offence. Kobe was forced to shoot buzzer beater type shots on probably 10% of the laker possessions. With the new offence we should see Kobe getting more open looks and more opportunities for assists. It wouldn't surprise me if his scoring stayed pretty close to where it was last year at 28 points a game, but I think his effeciency will skyrocket. He'll be doing it on less shots and we'll see his other stats improve since he won't be having to do it all on offense.

Andrew Bynum will be the odd man out I think. The funny thing about the Princeton is that the Center position is the only position that is not interchangable with all the others on the floor, but at the same time it's not really an offense meant for making use of a great low post player. A player more like Gasol is a much better fit due to his passing and midrange shooting. I'm still taking Bynum in fantasy leagues because the guy is such a beast, but I'm hoping he gets traded to a team that knows and wants to use him.

I was going to comment on Ron Artest (World Peace), but then I looked at it and I hardly even know what to say. I don't see huge overall improvement coming from him under the new offense. I'm going to stay away from him if for no other reason that the following trend in freethrows. Starting in 2008 and going until now here is his free throw percentages:

2008-2009 74.8%
2009-2010 68.8%
2010-2011 67.6%
2011-2012 61.7%


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