How To Stream Your Way to a Fantasy Basketball Victory

Streaming is a popular way to increase your chances of winning a head-to-head match-up in fantasy basketball. Here's a guide showing how I do it using free tools on Hashtag Basketball.

If you're reading this, congratulations, you're in the playoffs.

Right now, you have one goal and one goal only - to win this week and advance to the next round. And to do it again next week, and the week after.

Today I'm going to show you how I prepare for match-ups using free tools I've made on Hashtag Basketball, which help you stream, identify categories to focus on, and better understanding your opponent.

This guide will focus on Yahoo head-to-head leagues, but it'll also be useful for other formats.

But first, here's Pearl Jam a quick description of what streaming is:

Streaming is when you have a roster spot (or two) dedicated to rotating players in and out of them by adding players on days they're playing, and dropping them when they're not.

The more players you have playing, the more stats you collect, increasing your chances of winning your match-up.

Just don't do anything silly, like drop your best player (unless it's the finals and they have no games left to play).

Getting Ready

The best way to quickly research opponents in your league is by signing up for the premium league tools on my website, and yes, they're free (I thought calling them premium would be a good way to distinguish them from the other tools on the website, but it turns out I've made it sound like it's a paid service - my bad).

You can sign up for your free account here or by visiting https://hashtagbasketball.com/premium/

Once you've signed up and imported your Yahoo league, you'll see these league tools available to you:

Premium League tools

Know your opponent

There are two ways to get a quick overview of your opponent's strong and weak categories: The League Scouting Report, which shows you an overview of your league based on current rosters, and the Team Scouting Report, which compares an opponent's past performance to yours.

League Scouting Report

The League Scouting Report shows you how each team ranks compared to each other for each category your league uses (you can change the categories used in your league settings).

League Scouting Report

If your opponent ranks in the top 3-4 for a category, and they're ranked higher than you, it's going to be a hard category to win. If you're in a 9-category league, you want to identify 6 or 7 categories to focus on winning. Compare your team to your opponent and write those 6-7 categories down in order of how likely you think you'll win them.

Team Scouting Report

This tool is only available to people in Yahoo head-to-head leagues. It uses all of the match-up data from your league and lets you compare your team to an opponent to see how your match-up would have gone if you played them in any of the weeks to date.

Team Scouting Report

It's great to pick up on trends, like what categories they focus on, and which you've got a chance to win.

Identify your strategy

The aim of the week is to win and advance to the next round. You don't get bonus points for winning 8-1 or 9-0; you just need to win more categories than your opponent.

After using the League and Team Scouting Report tools, you'll have a pretty good idea of the 6 or 7 categories to focus on. If you're playing against an opponent who you think has you covered, focus on 5 or 6.

This will help you identify the kind of players you need to stream into your roster, but first, you need to identify players who you can afford to drop.

These can be fringe players who only play 2-3 games in the current week or players who are out of form.

The amount of roster spots to have dedicated to streaming depends on the number of transactions you're allowed to make for the week.

If you're allowed 2-3, then you might only have 1-2 streaming spots. If you're allowed 6-7, then you can have more. If your league uses the IL+ spot, you can also get creative and put guys flagged as GTD or OUT in IL+ spots on days they're not playing.

Look at your team's schedule and identify days where you can stream in players

This is as simple as going to your team page and going through your week, seeing which days you don't have spots available, and writing down the days and positions you do.

Checking your roster

The goal is to fill your roster on days that you have available spots with players who provide states in the categories you've identified as categories you want to focus on.

And the best way to do this is with the Premium Schedule Grid. This tool lets you rank players available to add from your waiver wire based on the categories you want to focus on (untick the categories you're not focusing on), and display them based on days they're playing. To get the most recent stats, make sure you select the "Last 7 days" option to show stats from.

Premium Schedule Grid

If you feel like you're going to win your match-up, save a transaction for your final day. If you don't need to use it, start planning for the following week by adding a player who plays on Monday; this way, you can get an extra game without using a transaction allocated to the next week.

We're at the point of the season where adding a player based on their teammate's missing games is something you need to pay attention to, and the best way to get up-to-the-minute player news is by following @FantasyLabsNBA on Twitter (go ahead and turn on push notifications, just make sure to have a phone charger close by).

Good luck, and happy streaming!

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