NBA Draft Kit: Experts' Guide to Punting
NBA Draft Kit: Experts' Guide to Punting

This article is part of our NBA Draft Kit series.

You play to win the game. It doesn't matter what the final score is, or how your get there. You play to win the game.

In head-to-head fantasy leagues, a 5-4 win is just as good as 6-3 or 8-1. The core concept of punting categories is based on that basic premise. The idea is that by deliberately ceding some categories, managers will be better able to win the majority of what is left.

The Strategic Advantage Of Punting

The basic idea of punting may seem straightforward, but there are several advantages to punting, and understanding all of them makes it easier for managers take full advantage of the strategy.

The most obvious advantage to punting is that it limits the field of competition each week. When two non-punting teams face-off, they are beginning a fight on nine distinct battlefields, most of which have uncertain outcomes. Management of the battle is complex, and the large number of separate conquests means there are a large number of areas that could yield unexpected outcomes. A team that punts, however, is competing on fewer battlefields, as the team is likely elite in some categories and dreadful in others. A punting team may enter each week almost certain of at least a 2-1 record, and only have to compete in the remaining six categories. Furthermore, the punting team has been built specifically to fight in those six each week, adding further advantage.

Another important advantage of punting is that managers are not wasting production

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Rikleen
Rikleen writes the NBA column "Numbers Game," which decodes the math that underpins fantasy basketball and was a nominee for the 2016 FSWA Newcomer of the Year Award. A certified math teacher, Rikleen decided the field of education pays too well, so he left it for writing. He is a Boston College graduate living outside Boston.
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