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The scoring at Sports.ws is what sets it apart from other fantasy leagues. Some offer "head-to-head" gaming, but it usually means adding up a week's worth of scores and lining them up to that week's designated opponents.
Sports.ws offers true head -to-head action, identical to the NBA, yielding a final box score and true league standings. Just like in the NBA, one game lasts 48 minutes, unless there is a tie, in which case the game is extended at 5-minute intervals until a victor is determined.
Individual Game Results
Sports.ws bases its head-to-head gameplay on the fact all 30 NBA teams are scheduled to play 82 games this season. This means that every NBA team will be playing a first game, even if it's not on the same night. Likewise, every team will be playing a 17th, 29th, 57th, or any other game. We designed a fantasy schedule to matchup with each of these games, and since every team will be playing the same amount of games, every game can be scored fairly (some other sites force users to ancticipate bye-games, slow weeks, and sometimes don't involve every team in every score).
Your individual fantasy game results are based exclusively on the official results of corresponding NBA games in numerical order. For example, if you have a player on the Celtics, the stats for that player for your first game would be based on the Celtics' first game. Similarly, if you had a player on the Knicks, the stats for the player for fantasy game 1 would be based on their first game, even if it is on a different night.
What are "fantasy points"? They're usually the sum of different statistical categories, sometimes weighted. Each league can have their own scoring method (only premium commissioners can customize) but our standard scoring method looks like this:
Real Stat Fantasy Points
Technical Fouls -1
Let's pretend Shaq plays a game where he scores 30 points, pulls down 15 rebounds, has 5 assists, 4 blocks, 2 turnovers, and a technical foul. With this standard scoring his fantasy point production would be broken down like this:
Real Stat Shaq's Performance Value Shaq's Fantasy Score
Points 30 +1 30
Rebounds 15 +1 15
Assists 5 +1 5
Steals 0 +1 0
Blocks 4 +1 4
Turnovers 2 -1 -2
Technical Fouls 1 -1 -1
Shaq earns 51 fantasy points for this game, which is a healthy amount. Now, depending on how you arranged your lineup, all, some, or none of these might contribute to your total fantasy score. Note: the above uses standard scoring - premium commissioners can adjust the points awarded for each statistical category above as well as free throw, field goal, and three point shots attempted and made, personal fouls, the team's win/loss result, even the attendance of the game.
Your success doesn't just depend on getting the best players on your team. The order you arrange you lineup can dramatically alter the number of points you earn as a team.
Just like the NBA, we only allow 5 players on the floor at once - 1 center, 2 forwards, and 2 guards ("on the floor" means "virtually"). We do not differentiate between power and small forward, nor between shooting and point guard. The combined total minutes for each player at a given position cannot exceed the length of the game. That is, in a regulation game, the combined minutes of players in the center position will not exceed 48. The combined minutes of players in the guard and forward position will not exceed 96.
In essence, you have 96 fantasy guard minutes, 96 fantasy forward minutes, and 48 fantasy center minutes to use each game. The first player in your lineup will start using these minutes. If they are a forward, they'll start eating into the 96 forward minutes, and if they played 30 real NBA minutes, they leave 66 when they are done. The second player is then analyzed, then the third, fourth, and so on and each accumulates minutes until they either run out of fantasy minutes at a position they can play or run out of the actual minutes they played. If somebody lower in the lineup can still fill up minutes at another position, they do so automatically (it's like your backups automatically subbing in for players that don't play).
Let's look at a real life example and see how minutes might add up.
The above example only includes 9 players, but the same logic is used for 12. You can see that, if a player doesn't player for whatever reason, a player lower in the list will get the minutes automatically. Also, some other sites will count a player as having played, even if it was just for a few minutes. Here, you'll get to fill in the rest.
Also note that we are aware the players used in the example are not current. It's just an example.
Weighting and Lineups
So you can determine the number of fantasy points earned by a player (based on NBA results), and now the number of minutes played (based on the lineup you set ahead of time). What happens next?
Individual player fantasy results are weighted based on the ratio of fantasy minutes to NBA minutes they play. Put in algebraic terms, Game Points = Fantasy Points * Fantasty Minutes / NBA Minutes. In other words, if your player uses only half of their minutes in your fantasy game, you get half their points.
Let's look at some of the players above and how they'd score.
Pretend Alonzo Mourning earned 30 fantasy points for the game. He played 36 NBA minutes and 36 fantasy minutes, so he'd get 30 fantasy points (30 * 36 / 36 = 30). Think about it this way: he used all of his minutes, so he gets all of his points.
Pretend Sam Cassell earned 40 fantasy points for the game. He played 35 NBA minutes and 14 fantasy minutes, so he'd get 16 fantasy points (40 * 14 / 35 = 16). He only got to use some of his minutes based on your lineup, so you only get some of his points.
At this point, you can calculate your team's total score by adding up all the fantasy points earned by each player.
Rounding Player Scores
Sometimes a player earns fantasy points that don't round to an integer, most often when they use a fraction of their minutes and a fraction score is the result. For leagues using standard and simple scoring, the scores are rounded down (to an integer value). For leagues using hardcore and custom scoring, scores are rounded down to the nearest 10th because they're considered more precise and have some categories earning as few as 0.1 points.
To simulate home-court advantage, the home team will get an extra fantasy point, awarded at the end of the game. Similarly, the visiting will lose 1 fantasy point, deducted at the end of the game. The result gives the home team a 2 point advantage. Note: premium commissioners can customize the home-court advantage, or get rid of it completely.
Your team's total fantasy points are compared against your opponent's total fantasy points. The team with the highest sum wins the game.
The game is considered a tie if two teams score the same amount, or within 0.1 points of each other (for hardcore and custom scoring). In the event of a tie, the game will be extended at 5 minute intervals until a there is a winner (just like real basketball games). This means each team gets an extra 5 center minutes, 10 guard minutes (2 guards times 5 minutes), and 10 forward minutes (also 2 times 5). The same logic and lineup are used to determine additional points. In the example above, Cassell only got 14 fantasy minutes, but played 35. Since he's the first guard and has 10 minutes, he'd get an extra 10 fantasy minutes, bring his new score to 27 (40 * 24 / 35). Other positions work the same way. You box score will reflect the overtime played.
If, after 5 minutes of overtime, the score is still tied, an additional 5 minutes per position will be added for a second overtime period. If tied after that, teams will get another 5 minutes per position for a third and final overtime period. After that, if still tied, a winner will be decided by a coin toss. A Candadian two-dollar coin will be used.
Summary and Strategy
The breakdown of how you (or any team) scores in a particular fantasy game will be accessed via "box scores". Real box scores include a line for each player, including stats like points, rebounds, and assists. Our box scores are no different, except that they'll include every category that can earn fantasy points for your league. In addition, a breakdown of how many fantasy minutes each player uses, and the total fantasy points earned are included. Read more about boxscores and predicted boxscores.
You can see from all the above that lineup order affects your overall score, regardless of your player point production. You may want to read more about FPPM and FPPG as well as our lineup strategy article to get some ideas for your team's order.
Also, the lineup that is used for a specific game is decided and "frozen" in advance. Read more about these lineups and when changes go into effect.
If you haven't already familiarized yourself with the way Sports.ws scores fantasy games, read the Guide to Sports.ws Head-to-Head scoring. There, you can learn how each fantasy game is analyzed, what can earn points, how real life minutes and the order of your lineup factor into each game, and how to calculate the total score.
How are head-to-head matchups determined? And what happens when my team changes in the middle of the season? If I change my lineup today, when will I see my scores change? All of these questions are somewhat related, and all are answered in this article.
Again, it's important to understand that each fantasy game is based on a real life game. There are no weekly summaries and nothing as simple as adding up all your rebounds and comparing them to those of another team. Fantasy Game 1 uses results from each NBA team's Game 1 to determine a score. Every team plays a Game 1, even if it's not on the same night.
Let's take a step back and look at your head-to-head schedule. If your league has started the draft, the "Schedule" tab and page should be available. When you click it, you see your individual schedule for the entire year in calendar format.
You have probably seen similar schedules for your favorite professional teams. The different colors represent home and away games, and each game is layed out in an easy-to-read format.
Take a look at the first game, on November 5th (11/05). In this example, the box in the calendar reads "Deadline: 11/02 8:00pm PT." You're probably wondering, "...the game's on the 5th, why is there a deadline 3 days earlier? What do I to 'meet' the deadline?" In this example, it takes 3 days for all 30 NBA teams to play their first game.
See all the first games stacked next to each other (you can click "NBA Games" to get this screen):
The bottom line is everything stands still for everything related to Fantasy Game 1 during these three days. You can't change your lineup for Game 1, and you won't get the box score until all the games are done (though you will get updates, read more). The first team to play a Game 'X' sets the "deadline". In the example above, the Pistons and Rockets both play at 8pm on 11/2 so that's the deadline.
When a deadline passes, it will be transparent to your league home and the pages you surf. Behind the scenes, your lineup at that exact time is frozen and saved to use in scoring. The lineups of every other team in your league are frozen too.
Remember your lineup page, the order you set, free agents, trades, and waivers? None of that matters until the deadline passes. You can change anything at any time and your score won't be affected unless a deadline freeze captures a snapshot and saves it. This also means that if, at any point, you have more than 12 players on your team, you can keep all of them until the deadline. In this case, your roster will be trimmed down to 12 and players will be automatically dropped.
There are 82 deadlines throughout the year. It is a good idea to keep an eye on them, so that you don't get caught with a lineup you don't want for a game. Alternatively, if you're saavy and know when the deadlines are, you could get away with dropping players, waiting for players to come off waivers, and not have to worry about scoring less because you don't have a full lineup. At any point in time, you can see exactly what the order and positioning of the other lineups in your league by visiting the rosters page.
You may be wondering why you're playing certain teams on certain days, and how all of the schedules are generated. Each league's schedule is driven by the number of teams in the league and the settings the commissioner uses to control playoffs and playoff settings.
Your commissioner gets access to features like this:
(note: some of the features are reserved for "Premium Commissioners.")
Your commissioner can change these settings until the first deadline passes. You will be able to review the playoff brackets and schedule at the bottom of your team's schedule page. Note: Playoffs use the same deadline techniques. Fantasy playoff games, are, after all, still regular season NBA games.
Depending on the number of regular season fantasy games in your season and the size of your league and conferences and divisions, you might face your most likely rivals (division and/or conference members) at the very beginning of the season, and down the playoff stretch.
Even if all of the above seems clear to you now, chances are you have some questions on how it all plays out, and how you are supposed to work with a schedule to improve your team.
In the simplified example above, Fantasy Game 1 was analyzed. One thing to consider is that a team like the Rockets or Pistons, who play on the first night (11/5), might play Game 2 on the next night (11/6), before the end of Fantasy Game 1. What happens? When the first team starts Game 2, the deadline freezes lineups to score for Game 2, and has nothing to do with Game 1or the results. If you dropped a player between the deadlines for Game 1 and Game 2, they'd play for Game 1 and not for Game 2. Don't worry - they'll have a game to play because every NBA team plays 82 games. It might seem confusing, but there can be multiple, sometimes as many as three or four fantasy games going on at the same time. Game 1's lineups are frozen during those three days, but games are affected. Your schedule and partial box scores help keep you in the loop and up to speed on the progress of each throughout the season.
One of the biggest flaws of this scoring system is that, in order to be fair, all lineups need to be frozen from the time the first plays the game number to the time the last does. In the example above, there is, at worst a 3 day delay. If you find out one of your Pistons gets hurt 5 minutes before their game, you can make a change and take them out minutes before the deadline. However, you'll have to make decisions on your Bulls three days in advance - decisions you can't change for Game 1. Sometimes the lag can be as much as 7-10 days during the middle of the season, but it gets shorter and shorter at the end of the season. We haven't figured out a way to work around this, but are still thinking (we don't want any solution to add to the already complex system). Still, many rivals force you to set lineups a week in advance, and at the worst times of the season, only parts of your team have to endure that kind of delay.
How should you handle the schedule and are there things you should do between games? Fortunately, the scoring system covers your butt during those times when you lose a major player. If they're at the top of the lineup, you won't suffer to much (provided you have depth) because the bench will step in and fill up the minutes automatically. Because of this, you can often cruise on autopilot for most of the season for most of your lineup. You'll want to analyze your players' FPPG and FPPM and switch them around to maximize your minutes, especially when you make trades or free agent drops or pickups.
Really, there is nothing you have to do during the season. Deadlines handle themselves and you are not required to do anything to freeze a lineup - when a deadline passes, the lineup is automatically frozen. But, of course, you're not going to win any competitive league unless you're keeping an eye on your lineup the players' performance, adjusting accordingly.
Last edited by Jose Slaughter; 10-09-2007 at 10:33 PM.