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Strategic Benching as a Fantasy Basketball Strategy

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Strategic Benching as a Fantasy Basketball Strategy

by ja on 11/20/2012 6:19:59 PM

Let's talk about the strategic benching. The purpose behind strategic benching is to gain an advantage against an opponent by benching a player (or more than one) in order to win a particular stat. It sounds counter intuitive, but it's an important thing to pay attention to and it can help you squeeze out a few extra wins over the course of season if you stay on top of it. Here's how it works.

Let's say you have a guy on your team who is a great shot blocker, but a terrible free throw shooter. Examples of these types of guys are Dwight Howard and Deandre Jordan. If you are dominating your opponent in the block category then you've met one of the criteria needed to consider strategic benching. You also need to be solidly ahead in the other categories that these players are strong in or at least have reason to believe that your other players (the ones you won't bench) will win those other categories for you. Now you have two of the criteria. The last criteria is that of you being competitive in at least one stat in which the player will hurt you if they play. If so, then since their likely positive contributions don't really matter you should consider benching them and removing their negative values.

So, let's say you're ahead by 10 blocks going into the last night and your opponent is playing only guards or centers like Ryan Anderson. Basically, you've got blocks in the bag, right?! Well, now it's time to look at the other categories and see which ones you might be able to steal away. Maybe your opponent is just barely beating you in FT percentage... well if your guys that get you only blocks shoot FTs badly, then you should bench your blocker. If your opponent has a bad night of shooting free throws then their percentages may be brought down enough for you to take the lead. If you leave your own poor shooter in and he shoots a bunch of bricks from the line then even if your opponent shoots poorly you will gain nothing from the bad luck.

Strategic benching generally only works in percentage categories and "negative" categories. In fantasy basketball, the percentage categories are FG%, FT%, and rarely 3P%. Negative categories in fantasy basketball are TO (turnovers) and the rarely used PF (personal fouls).

Monday through Friday you should basically always play your best lineup, but come Saturday and Sunday you may find some opportunities for strategery. Just be careful about trying to get too cute. When in doubt, play you best lineup. When pretty darn sure, run the numbers again, and if you're still pretty darn sure then go for it. When it's an obvious situation where every stat has been decided and playing a player can only LOSE you a stat, then by all means, make sure you bench the player.
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Comments

Article has 2 comments.
#42 by Anonymous posted on 11/30/2012 2:23:19 AM
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