Fantasy Basketball: Making a Wins Produced League

If this post isn’t enough, Mosi, Shawn and myself also got together to talk about it on a Videochat! Enjoy

This season the Wages of Wins will be doing more posts on Fantasy Basketball. More particularly, we will be discussing the Win Score Fantasy League, which Mosi has been running for years. In our first piece, Mosi will go over how to set up your own Win Score league.

He helped Mosi win a crown.

It’s time to talk fantasy basketball now that NBA training camps are open and the first preseason games taking place this weekend. This post is a how-to-guide for playing fantasy basketball with the Wins Produced model.

THE SIMPLE VERSION

If you want to play fantasy basketball using the same principles from the Wins Produced model, then Win Score makes it very easy. Win Score is a simple model of player performance that explains 98% of Wins Produced per 48 minutes (WP48).

Win Score = PTS + STL + ORB + 0.5*DRB + 0.5*AST + 0.5*BLK – TOV – FGA –                             0.5*FTA – 0.5*PF

The simplest way to play fantasy basketball is to setup the scoring system in your league to use the weights from the Win Score formula:

  • Points = 1 point
  • Steals = 1 point
  • Offensive rebounds = 1 point
  • Defensive rebounds = 0.5 points
  • Assists = 0.5 points
  • Blocks = 0.5 points
  • Turnovers = -1 point
  • Field goal attempts = -1 point
  • Free throw attempts = -0.5 points
  • Fouls = -0.5 points

Below is a list of the players with the most fantasy points at their position last season, based on Win Score:

Here’s a list of the players espn.com projects to be the best at their position this season:

Word to the wise, the key to winning a simple Win Score fantasy league is big men. The only 3 players that finished in the Top 10 last season for total Win Score that weren’t power forwards or centers were LeBron James (1st overall), Kevin Durant (6th) and Chris Paul (8th).

The Wages of Wins fantasy league used the simple Win Score system in its first season, but we decided to change it after we found out winning the league came down to who had the most big men on their team. So we came up with another system that was more complex, but more reality and less fantasy.

THE COMPLEX VERSION

The complex system for playing fantasy basketball with wins produced uses position-adjusted Win Score (PAWS) to estimate Wins Produced.

How does this work?

  1. Calculate the average Win Score per 48 minutes (WS48) at each position (for the entire league in rotisserie-style scoring or for each matchup in head-to-head scoring)
  2. Calculate each player’s PAWS48 by subtracting the average WS48 from the player’s WS48
  3. Estimate each player’s WP48. Est. WP48 = 0.1 + (1.531 x PAWS/minute)
  4. Estimate each player’s Wins Produced. Est. WP = Est.WP48/48 x minutes played

The complexity comes in because the numbers can’t be automatically tracked in a Yahoo! or ESPN fantasy league. The Wages of Wins fantasy league calculates the numbers and tracks them in a Google Docs spreadsheet.

There are many different ways to customize a fantasy league that uses Wins Produced. For example, we use the real NBA salary cap and specify how many minutes starters and reserves play. You can check out all the rules for the Wages of Wins fantasy league (it’s called the Win Score Association) online and the results of last season at espn.com.

Good luck with your fantasy leagues and if you use Wins Produced, let us know how you set it up in the comments.

-Mosi

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