Back to BasketBlogging
Updated: Feb 19
After I rage quit fantasy basketball and my short-lived fantasy basketball analyst career in 2018, I rethought my approach to both and I'm back... in moderation
The headline says a lot, and below I'll share a little about why I rage quit fantasy basketball, and how I've gotten back into it with a less unhealthy approach. I'll focus future posts on thoughts about the NBA from a fantasy basketball perspective — player news, fantasy strategy, the analysts covering it, the platforms we play on, and a little about the only league I play in.
I started playing fantasy basketball in the 2008-2009 season. Back then I followed the Celtics as my hometown team, but I had limited NBA knowledge outside of All-Stars. A few of my friends from college looped me into their league, and I think my first ever pick was Chauncey Billups, Nuggets edition. I didn't have any clue on strategy, but I'm a fairly competitive person and after reading Matthew Berry's "point guards and power forwards" manifesto, I started to take fantasy pretty seriously.
There was a lot of Tyrus Thomas and Andrei Kirilenko for me in the early days, as well as a lot of streaming too much, extreme punting where I was trading Chris Paul for Nerlens Noel, and 2:59am ET alarms to make sure I snagged JJ Barea for his upcoming B2B set.
Things got more serious around 2016, when I started a league with friends from work. I quit the more casual leagues I was in at that point to focus on this one, where the daily trash talk and trade drama was pretty entertaining. I had recently discovered Basketball Monster and became a huge fan of Josh Lloyd, finding myself beholden to BBM projections and living and dying on every little change to a player's z-score.
Fantasy was like this for me until 2018 when I ratcheted things up one last notch. Given how much time I was investing into this hobby, I decided to start sharing my thoughts on fantasy basketball steaming with the fantasy community as BasketBlogBoy, a play on Kevin Durant's "blog boys" interview with Bill Simmons. After a few weeks of posting my favorite daily streamers, Kevin from The Fantasy Unicorns noticed my posts and asked me to start contributing to his blog. My short stint with the Unicorns even resulted in a moderately successful post on the fantasy bball subreddit about the 50 greatest fantasy basketball players of all time.
Meanwhile, in the years since the fantasy league at work had begun, married life, kids, and my career meant less and less time for fantasy shenanigans, like the 2:59am alarms and posting about streamers every single day.
In the midst of doing BasketBlogBoy, my work league had become no holds barred. Unlimited streaming and daily transactions. Keepers. Auction dollar incentives for teams to tank their way into the playoff consolation bracket and then win it. I had set it up this way to favor try-hards, but it caught up with me and I got burnt out on fantasy. My breaking point came while I was playing with my son, when a player on my opponent's team that week received an unnecessarily early INJ designation from Yahoo, allowing him to pick up a steamer for the day. Meanwhile, I had a player who had been sidelined for longer, but had yet to receive the precious downgrade from O to INJ. I was furious AND simultaneously cognizant of how ridiculous it was to get that mad about fantasy basketball. I emailed the co-commish and quit on the spot. I retired BasketBlogBoy, too.
Everything In Moderation
I sat out the rest of that fantasy season and thought about what it would take for me to get back into fantasy. A must for me would be dialing back the try-hard settings so that I couldn't burn myself even if I wanted to. This meant going from daily to weekly acquisitions, getting rid of keepers to eliminate the existential dread of trading or dropping a rookie for short-term gain, and making a number of other tweaks to ensure a fun but lower intensity experience. The league was happy to get back together with the new settings, and we moved from Yahoo to Fantrax to allow for more change and experimentation with league settings (we've since moved back to Yahoo, and I'll do a post on league settings at some point).
My first season back ended in the fantasy semi-finals for me, when the NBA ground to a halt after Rudy Gobert touched all the mics. I'm back again this year, navigating the chaotic schedule and trying to survive matchup to matchup. And I feel like I'm in a good enough spot in terms of time commitment to reboot BasketBlogBoy. I won't be doing daily streaming and will be choosier in terms of content, but I hope to cover a much wider range of topics.
Looking forward to it. BBB