I’m not going to waste your time. Because this is your moment.
Your fantasy time. Even better: your fantasy basketball time.
And right now… is a pivotal moment in your season. The moment to make his playoff push. The time for you to take extra time to look, plan…then act.
(Only an extra 10, 15 minutes or so. Don’t overdo it. Or the anti-fantasy forces in your life may demand temporary restitution. Weird and scary lawsuits. Tango lessons. Game night. A third child.)
If you are dominating and navigating? Even you should be thinking about a little postseason maintenance.
Because things happen. Because everyone below you in the rankings is coming for you. Up and down in every league, every season, the 2007 Warriors are beating the 2007 Mavericks in the first round.
In a one-week fantasy playoff window? Or a two week window? Anything can happen.
In the NBA playoffs and NBA fantasy playoffs, David takes down Goliath with shocking regularity.
Hello fourth place team. sixth place. ninth place. I’m telling you: you all have a chance. In the fantasy playoffs, a puncher’s chance is all you need.
So. What are you going to do?
I know. Taking decisive, game-changing action in a playoff bid is tough. Because everyone else is trying to do the same. Convincing a competitor to do something in their best interest is difficult.
But wildly unbalanced trades are unlikely to happen. You just have to be creative. Flex that right brain!
Imagine Coca-Cola calling Pepsi, offering the rights to Mello Yellow for the rights to Mountain Dew… and somehow pulling it off.
Or imagine shipping Robert Covingtonjerryd bayless, Dario Saric and a second-round pick for jimmy butler.
That happens. (The second thing.) You can do it too!
This is where I give you the good stuff.
The best way to make a playoff-altering trade is to make trades designed explicitly for the playoffs.
Moves where your immediate regular season benefit is less obvious. Maybe even nonexistent.
But come playoff time, sixth-place team? Moves that suddenly reveal the game-changing hidden buff you’ve been hiding behind your back since the deadline.
Your rope-a-drug. Your “checkmate”.
(Moves that at first, just seem like your janitor tricking you into washing his car and doing yard work. But then comes the All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament, those moves end all of Cobra Kai!)
That can be you!
You can make the business offer that inspires a short term “What? Really? Okay.” Off the first place team. That first place does it because they think you’re the fool.
But by the end of March, that “meh” hits precocious puberty and turns into a “RAWR” that gives away the subwoofer. A “where the hell did that come from?”
(Yes. That could be you crushing Johnny in the leg in the finals and sending him hurtling into a 30-year existential nosedive! While becoming the monster you killed all those years ago!)
But I digress. I hear you. “What kind of trade are you describing, old man?”
The trade that can, at the right time, temporarily trigger a short-term boost in your team’s production.
The trade for a maddeningly inconsistent impact player.
In head-to-head leagues? These are the same players that smart homeowners avoid. But each team ends up with one or two of them.
Because altogether, over the course of 82 games, these inconsistent stars post perfectly desirable, even drool-worthy, stats.
But in short stretches? Their numbers vary wildly from “meh” to “RAWR”.
And even stars and superstars are hot and cold.
Star wings who live off high volume scoring and 3 point production go through shot drops.
Star point guards’ assist totals drop when those wings get cold.
Star big men who hit three shots a night on the 12th row are suddenly benched when a matchup demands 30 minutes of small ball.
A whole team from a small market town comes here to play for the Clippers and Lakers, and eats the Howlin’ Rays for lunch and dinner two days in a row.
But then… the polarity is reversed. We have tithes.
That wing suddenly can’t miss. That point guard has a double-double streak. That big one gets a home game against the Rockets and blocks 11 shots in 48 hours.
And the cycle begins again. But what if you get a couple of these inconsistent stars peaking at the right time? Playoff time? When do you face the number 1 seed?
David can defeat Goliath.
But I hear you again. “Split the names. My time, remember?”
Good. I started with the problem. Now here are some solutions. Players who have highly inconsistent seasons, in order of fantasy impact…
But don’t you want to know how I got these names? Big.
The game score. I keep mentioning that score every week. The easily obtainable stat that best corresponds to fantasy production. you use that
You look at a player’s game scores over time. Track the ups and downs in your game score. Mark the mean. Calculate the average standard deviation of that mean.
Or can I… well here are the names…
One more thing! A high standard deviation rate means less when a player is averaging a very high game score. Just like a lower rate means more when a player averages less.
Forgiveness! Here you have…
Wendell Carter Jr..