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Book Released - Drinking And Drafting - Fantasy Basketball Strategery for Each Phase of the Game

by ja on 9/23/2012 1:46:22 AM

It's been in the works for a while, but it's finally out there in the wild! A few days ago I published the fantasy basketball strategy guide I've had in the works for a couple of years. The book is called "Drinking and Drafting: Fantasy Basketball Strategery for Each Phase of the Game" and it's currently available for sale for just $4.99 on Amazon.com in Kindle format and on Barnes and Noble for the Nook in ePub format. You iPad folks don't need to worry though - the book is on the way to the iTunes store also... it just takes a little longer to get published there based on differing requirements. Finally, for those of you who just like regular old pdf files you'll be able to buy directly from this site within a day or so now that we're live.

I've included the description of the book as it is on Amazon.com below, but I want to first make an offer to everyone. Anyone who purchases the book AND leaves a review on Amazon or Barnes And Noble will receive a code for free "Allstar Membership" to the SignAndTrade.com website (a $15 dollar value plus the book for just $4.99) which includes the draft kit, ability to download several yahoo leagues into our tools, and priority access to the tools during peak loads . I want to give people some incentive to both pick up the book AND to share what they think about it. After you leave your review just send me (via email support-at-signandtrade-dot-com) the review text, your amazon username (so I can view the review), and your SignAndTrade.com username. I'll send the code to to your email address you used when you signed up for your free SignAndTrade.com account! Easy! This deal is limited so get in quick!

So here goes the description:

If your interest in this book is in taking your fantasy basketball game to the next level then “Drinking and Drafting” might as well have been written for you personally! Fantasy basketball is a lot of fun, but it takes quite a bit of skill and effort to be a great manager. This book will help you know when and where to focus your efforts and how to best tweak your own approach to team management in order to fit your personal strengths / weakness.

The author has over a decade of experience playing fantasy basketball and has also developed fantasy basketball software tools to help others analyze trades, compare players, and even analyze entire teams based on scheduling as well as other factors. You’ll find as you read the book that the author is the only fantasy basketball author who has personally written an entire fantasy basketball scoring system and hosted fantasy leagues of their own. I am that author and the time I have spent studying fantasy basketball and my experiences through the development of my own systems and working with my customers is exactly what makes me comfortable writing this book. When I was deciding whether to write a book I vowed that if I was going to take the time to write a book for fantasy basketball players then I wanted to produce something of real value. So I set out to create a book that would bring to light the things that the best players know, and this book is the culmination of that effort.

A large portion of the book focuses on fantasy basketball "strategery" - the act of developing and carrying out a strategy. Yes, it's a bogus word - I know! The prominent use of the word in the title will hopefully be a sign to the reader that the book is written in a light hearted and down to earth way. But have no doubt that it is packed full of useful information for fantasy basketball managers.

Here’s a quick listing of the types of things discussed:

- Different fantasy basketball strategies and how to choose which one you want to use
- How to initially rank players and how to customize / tweak your rankings
- Drafting strategies
- Team management tips for during the regular season, playoffs, and offseaon (keeperleagues)
- Trade analysis fundamentals and how to maximize your chances of getting deals done
- Lots more!

“Drinking and Drafting” describes each phase of the fantasy basketball season from the preseason/offseason all the way up through the fantasy playoffs and tells you exactly what you should be doing during each phase to gain a competitive advantage. Those who are just getting in to fantasy basketball will certainly appreciate how the book is carefully broken down into manageable chunks representing each phase of the season. Following the advice presented will save new managers countless hours (and errors) and minimize many of the mistakes that are made by newcomers. Many of these mistakes have been historically made by just about everyone ever to play fantasy basketball. Just like in the Matrix - everyone falls the first time, but with this book you won’t actually have to make all of those “noob” mistakes.

Seasoned fantasy basketball players will find proven ideas about what makes a fantasy basketball team successful and about how to maximize their own skills in each area of the game. There’s an abundance of information about how to identify your strengths and weaknesses as well as how to both choose and execute a strategy based on them.

When you're done with “Drinking and Drafting” you’ll know more about fantasy basketball head-to-head strategy than you ever thought you would. You’ll also perform better once you start applying the concepts. You’ll know exactly what parts of your game you can improve and you’ll have actionable tips for how to make those improvements right away. In short, “Drinking and Drafting” will help you to realize and maximize your own skill, knowledge, creativity, mathematical, and optimization prowess in the realm of fantasy basketball.


Player Ranking Tips: Penalize Players with a history of Injury / Missed Games

by ja on 9/16/2012 10:26:01 AM


During the preseason fantasy managers spend a lot of time preparing for the draft. A big part of that time is in creating / tweaking player rankings. This time is well spent, but something many people forget to take into account can really come back to bite them later: the number of games actually played by players. I call this measure "reliability", and I'm talking about the likelihood of a player being ABLE to perform - not so much them consistently performing well. Reliability definitely makes a difference. All of SignAndTrade's NBA Player Rankings tools allow you to take Games Played (GP) into account.

One year a bunch of us programmers with way too much time on our hands decided we were going to get all creative and build our own draft assistants. A friend of mine, who was not a basketball fan at all, built a draft assistant tool that was crude and it took something into account that had never occurred to me at that point. He took GP (games played) from the previous year into account. The team it caused him to draft was interesting to say the least. But, somehow he did really well that year. When I went back and looked at the season numbers it was obvious why. His team almost never had an empty roster spot due to an injury. There were days that he didn’t have players due to the NBA schedule, but on days when he had a player that could have played they were always there. And they were his best players. It wasn’t like he just did a good job of having backup… anyone can do that. That’s why it hadn’t occurred to me as being all that important. After all I could fill my lineup every night. Instead, he did a good job of not needing a backup! That little edge meant several places in the league standings when it was all said and done.

We all "remember" players that burn us, but we often view it as something that just happens… this is sometimes true, but not always. For some players it happens repeatedly. I am being a little overly specific in referring to missed games as being caused by injuries. Some players miss games or significant minutes because they just can’t behave themselves. If a player ends up suspended by their team or by the league it’s the same as being injured in that they won’t collect you any stats and they might end up on the bench until they can get a fresh start in a new city.

With this in mind you need to go through your rankings and make a decision regarding injury proneness of players as well as any known behavioral issues. All you're trying to do is gauge the likelihood of players missing games . If a player misses more than a few games each year, then it might be a sign that you can should leave them out of your plans. If they don’t play, they don’t collect stats… and it’s not advisable to have a guy taking a roster spot who has an unreasonably high probability of giving you nothing in return. So keep games played in mind when you do your rankings to maximize the odds you get value from each roster spot on your team.

What do you think about this? Do you use GP in your decision making process? Do you have any other ranking secrets you want to share? I'd love to hear them if you do!

Being aware of fantasy basketball tools can make your life easier

by ja on 9/6/2012 3:22:56 PM

At some point in man’s history man began using tools. The tools made life easier. Man didn’t break his back trying to move something that he could have easily moved on a cart. He didn’t have to sharpen a spear with his teeth (I’m making that up)… he could use a knife (I’m not making that up). As fantasy sports managers evolve and the level of completion increases most managers become aware that they can reap huge benefits through the use of tools. They can quickly compare two or more players to see which one is better and in which ways. They can analyze entire fantasy teams. They can analyze trades. They don’t have to create their own excel files to figure out which NBA teams (and by extension which players) are going to have the best fantasy schedule for any given week. Those tools and many others are available from third parties and they are huge timesavers for managers who need this type of information.

It’s not something we think about often (except right when it happens to us), but sometimes what we don’t know can hurt… sometimes we don’t know what we need even when we need it. Here’s an example. I go to the hardware store about once a week and walk right by various drill bits and wrenches and if I give them any thought at all the thought is “I wonder what that’s for…”. Maybe a few weeks later or a few months later something goes wrong at the house or with a friend’s car and as I’m working on it I get to thinking, “it sure would be nice if I had a tool that did X -someone should invent that!” I’ll spend unreasonable amounts of time fumbling along for a while and my father-in-law eventually shows up and glances at it and goes “you need a XYZ bit”. I continue plodding along (I can do this myself ya know) before I eventually break down and head off to the hardware store to get XYZ bit. When I find it I’ll be darned if it’s not exactly what I had looked at and wondered about before.

If I had wondered just a little more I might have asked someone “what’s that for “ or read the packaging and then known about it later. Sometimes just knowing a solution exists can be a huge timesaver… at least you have a direction to head in even if you decide to do it yourself! But, if you don’t know that a solution exists then you end up wasting valuable time trying to solve a problem that already has a working, tested solution. The same is true in the fantasy sports world. Even if you don’t think you need them now it’s good to know what they are and get an idea for how they can be used. If, down the road, you think “man, it would be nice if I had a tool that did XYZ” then you might remember this section and find that it does exist! And hey, if it doesn’t exist and you want it let me know at www.SignAndTrade.com - maybe I can build it and add it to the site for everyone to use.

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