Monday, November 10, 2008

Yahtzee FTW? Uhhhh, No.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks on FSL.

I have been cold as ice (pun intended) in fantasy hockey. I did manage a winner last night, although I couldn't find much heads-up action.

I got swept in NASCAR (0 for 3). Again, I was doomed from the start when I finished last in the Nationwide portion. Jeff Gordon's engine failure cemented my last place finish in this week's chase.

I think I am still clinging to the overall lead in the chase, but it will be very close with one week to go.

I managed a nice bounce back Sunday, cashing in 24 of 43 for a +45.98% ROI. This is about a typical Sunday for me this football season.

So what's missing from all of this fantasy activity? Basketball? Yeah, I'm giving basketball the old heave-ho.

Why, you ask? Well, IMHO, FSL fantasy basketball has little or no skill advantage. I cannot find an edge in this game. It's just like rolling dice, really. In other words, it's a basketball version of Yahtzee.

A few random thoughts on fantasy hoops:

1) I'm not a big fan of the scoring system. There are only minus points for turnovers. Personal fouls and shooting accuracy (or free throw accuracy) are not considered.

2) The roster depth really hasn't changed the game that much. I played in a 6-man salary cap multi on Saturday where 4 users had the exact same roster. (I had one player different and finished 5th, behind a 4-way tie for 1st.) There were 6 games on the schedule that night.

Even though there are 9-man rosters, it's still coming down to 1 or 2 player contests way too often (in all cap formats).

3) Since I don't see an edge in this game, I feel it's -EV to play in the long term. I think the only strategy that would work is to vary your rosters across several multis (assuming a few rosters would cash and cover your buy-ins and generate a little profit). However, FSL really doesn't offer enough basketball multis for this method to work.

IMHO anyone playing this game HU against an average opponent would likely lose money over time to the rake.

Now I know I donated on the night I missed 'Melo's suspension, but I have tried several strategies in hoops and all have led me to the same conclusion. (FWIW, I've run bad in hockey too - but I still feel I have a huge edge there. Not to mention identical rosters almost never happen in hockey.)

As for what I would change about fantasy hoops? I'm not sure at this point, besides adding -1 or -2 for fouls. But there is no question that hoops (and baseball) have much less EV as compared to the other games.

I'll still play the $1 hoops for fun, 'cause it's all about the Washingtons, baby!

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