Welcome to 2023! As a kid, I can't help but think about how I envisioned the world being some version of Back to the Future II and Demolition Man by now (or insert any sci-fi action flick from the 80s/90s). But hey, I guess I'll make do with flying cars and Cybertrucks for the time being. With the turn of the calendar year also comes New Year's resolutions. The opportunity to manifest a new you. Or keep the old one, whatever you choose.
Most of the fantasy football community is using this time to reflect on how to adjust or improve their processes for next season. However, I'll take a different approach since basketball season is still in session. Besides the typical revisionist, "I should've drafted Luka Doncic over Giannis Antetokounmpo" type of player analysis, here's my fantasy basketball resolution.
I will no longer play in weekly season-long points leagues.
I've grown to hate it more than the "90-Day Fiancé" spinoffs (you can thank my wife for that).
But hear me out.
Why I'm switching to solely daily-lineup fantasy basketball leagues in 2023
The purpose and intent of weekly leagues are to lock in lineups at the beginning of the week, so you don't have to set lineups every day for up to 23 weeks straight. It's convenient so that you can enjoy playing fantasy basketball but not have to burden with the daily grind. I get it.
It's the easiest path to participation while also becoming so insufferable during the NBA's load management and COVID era that it's rendered the format a headache for me. Two things can be true.
The information cycle for the NBA changes by the hour, and with star player absences reaching new heights, how can anyone confidently set a lineup on Monday and assume that their players will actually suit up for an entire week?
As injuries and rest days mount across the league, new research shows that NBA stars play about 76% of their games, down from 86% in late 90s and 84% in the 2000s. https://t.co/AHt8n8r5uP pic.twitter.com/0SXqJkBRbA— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) December 21, 2022
I've been burned more times than I remember, but I distinctly recall a situation with Pacers center Myles Turner at the start of this season. Turner stepped on a ball boy's foot during pregame warmups and sprained his ankle a couple of hours before tip-off. However, it wasn't reported to the public until 30 minutes before the game started. Shame on me for not checking Twitter on the Pacers opening night but needless to say, I found out after the 7 pm ET start.
Well, he missed the rest of Week 1 and a total of three games, which resulted in Turner earning zero points and a loss for my team to open up the year. That experience set the tone for my season. At this point, I'm pretty much waving sage over my computer in the hopes that my fantasy team doesn't sustain any injuries or unexpected absences in the middle of the week.
If you're playing in a weekly league, at least your league mates are dealing with the same limitations. And don't get me wrong; I'm still digging my way out of an early hole, attempting to combat what's outside my control. I look up team schedules in advance to maximize the number of games played each week and make those weekly start/sit decisions based on the volume of games played and the matchups. That's part of the strategy that I love about fantasy basketball — it's just losing the critical element of being able to utilize your bench or making a last-minute pickup off waivers to get the maximum production from your team that irks me.
With all the absences these days, fantasy managers require flexibility and some semblance of control. How else will you be able to juggle the mental gymnastics of dissecting the NBA injury report nightly? Even though daily season-long leagues are laborious, at least they allow you to pivot in a bind. And Yahoo is the only app in the game that enables you to set your "optimal" lineup for the week ahead if you don't want to worry about locking them in daily.
Yahoo's allowing fantasy managers to operate as a weekly league but use its daily features. There's no downside!
So, in 2023, unless I'm asked to compete in a high-stakes or analyst type of league, it'll be daily season-long leagues for me, no questions asked.