Allen Law is the author of Straight Outta Vancouver. You may also know him from his work at FreeDarko. He most often goes by the name dj turtleface, which is, you know, neat. Heíll be dropping an unusual type of fantasy column on you here at HP. Itís based on the idea ofÖ oh, okay, well.. Iíll just let him tell it. -MM

Names and numbers are boring things.

Phonebooks have names and numbers. Why donít I read those in my free time? Or, if I chose to be a bit more productive, I could sit and memorize the encyclopedia to make a nice little run at Jeopardy. Now Iím no Krazy Ken Jennings, but with the amount of time I spend playing fantasy basketball each year, Iím sure Iíd at least be able to snatch one Daily Double.

The thing is pounding out statistics is not really my idea of a hobby. Or a job. Or anything, really. I hate dealing with names and numbers.

And ultimately fantasy basketball is a game of names and numbers. Names are the heart of fantasy. Names win you drafts and trades Ė the most interesting components of the game Ė and you begin the year with nothing but a list of names. But ultimately numbers are king. Stats win you points or matches, depending on your format of choice. When the time to deem a winner comes, the heartless machines inside ESPN donít count LeBronís or Dwightís acquired, they just tally the ten categories.

Funny then, that Iím completely stuck on fantasy sports, isnít it? It could be one of those loathsome, self-destructive, lose-lose relationships, I suppose. But itís not. No, because Iím also here to tell you that if you hit up this very spot each week from here till the end of NBA days Ė sooner than you think, lockout baby! Ė itíll give you all the fantasy basketball ďexpertiseĒ that youíll ever need.

Unlike names and numbers, theory, psychology, style and aesthetics, saying Queensbridge, systems analysis, creativity, and philosophy are all things I get behind. Unfortunately, youíll probably notice a glaring absence these things when you read the sage advice of the Talented Mr. Roto.

Thereís a better way to improve your fantasy basketball skills than looking at Player A and Player B, stunned to find out that Joel Pryzbilla is a poor manís Marcus Camby. Whatís the better way you ask, well, how about starting with actually improving you skills
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