Fantasy Fever

Jason Flam, Web Editor

The start to another NBA season is right around the corner as the end of October approaches rapidly, and with that comes the start of another important season: fantasy basketball. ESPN is already gearing up for an exciting 2010-11 fantasy year, as drafts are currently taking place and the projections have been released for the players.

This year, Kevin Durant arrives as the number one overall player on most draft boards. This has a lot to do with the fact that last year’s number one, LeBron James, has joined forces with fellow superstars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Sharing the ball with two other prominent scorers will lower anybody’s stats, even LBJ.

LeBron does return as the reigning fantasy MVP after leading all players in total fantasy points. But a shift in power this year will leave Durant alone as the best. Durant was the first one off the board in this year’s Clarion Fantasy Basketball Draft, followed by New Orleans’ Chris Paul and Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.

If you’re drafting anytime soon but do not have a top three draft pick, you may want to consider some other viable first-round options. These players may be what you’re looking for:

David Lee, Golden State Warriors, Power Forward/Center

Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic, Center

Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks, Power Forward

Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat, Shooting Guard

Amare Stoudemire, New York Knicks, Center/Power Forward

Deron Williams, Utah Jazz, Point Guard

Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers, Power Forward, Center

Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets, Small Forward

But let’s not forget that the draft extends far beyond just the first round. The key to having a good fantasy team is being able to identify good players that can give you that extra boost in the late rounds at the utility slot or as an extra shooting guard.

Depending on the scoring format of your league, you should try to be evenly balanced at each position. However, if you’re scoring by categories, then making your team stronger in certain areas such as rebounding or assists may better suit your team and your chances to win the whole enchilada.

Whether you’re a casual basketball fan, or a fantasy geek, fantasy basketball has the excitement and competitiveness that all true sports fan live for.