GBB vs. 3SOB- The Battle of the Blues

Kevin C. Cox

The 3 Shades of Blue crew has accepted the challenge and will take on five Grizzly Bear Blues contributors and one of our wonderful readers in the Battle of the Blues, a fantasy basketball competition. So how will this go down? Joe Mullinax, the Commissioner of The Battle of the Blues as well as GM and CEO of the league's "Do it for MulliGrizz", is here to explain.

As was announced last week by our fearless leader Chris Faulkner, the fine folks at 3 Shades of Blue have agreed to take part in the 1st annual "Battle of the Blues", a Yahoo! fantasy basketball league. Fantasy basketball is like a hybrid of fantasy football and baseball; head to head match-ups like football, but focused more on stats than points like baseball. It is indeed on like Donkey Kong. Here's the basics-

The Participants- for 3 Shades of Blue- Josh "Red" Coleman, Jonathan May, Katee Forbis, Chip Crain, Steve Danziger and a player to be named at a later date. Grizzly Bear Blues will be represented by yours truly, Matt "The Real" Hrdlicka, Chris Faulkner, Kelly "Trisity" Melvina, Marcus Privitt and our reader drawing winner AJones931.

The Draft- Will be held (tentatively) on October 27th at 7:30 PM CST. The draft will be Auction Style: what is Auction Style, you ask? Yahoo's Brad Evans explains:

Each owner is given a budget, usually $200, to field a team. Based on a predetermined serpentine order an owner queues a name and people bid for the services of that player, usually under a one-to-two minute time limit. The highest bid wins. It's that simple.

The roster will consist of the usual 5 starting spots (PG, SG, SF, PF, C) plus an additional guard (PG or G), forward (SF or PF) and 3 utility spots. 10 starters, and 3 bench players in our league. In The Battle of the Blues, the auction budget will indeed be $200 and that money will need to be spent wisely. For example, if you blow $90 to get LeBron James and $60 to get Marc Gasol, that means you now have $50 to fill out 13 spots on your roster. Some creative budgeting will be needed.

And how you fill out your roster will be interesting as well. The scoring of the league will be based on 9 statistical categories; points scored, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, three-point shots made, total rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and turnovers. The team that wins the majority of the categories in each weekly match-up wins. Strategy is important in this style of league. Do you want to focus on rebounding and scoring with Dwight Howard and tank your FT%, or do you want points scored with a lower shooting percentage from Rudy Gay? Players that are well-rounded, like Marc Gasol and Mike Conley of the Grizzlies, are hard to come by.

The League- Run through Yahoo! sports, The Battle of the Blues will consist of 12 teams in 2 divisions, "Grit" and "Grind." The 3SOBers will play in "Grit", the GBB crew in "Grind." The regular season will start Week 1 (October 29th) and will run through Week 20 (March 10th) with the playoffs starting the next week. 6 teams will make the playoffs; the two division winners will each receive byes into the semi-final round, while the 4 best records after the division winners will play in the first round of the playoffs, 3 seed vs. 6 seed and 4 seed vs. 5 seed. After the first round, the lower seeded first round winner will play the #1 seed, while the #2 seed will play the higher seeded first round winner.

In the coming weeks, I will be posting more about waivers, claiming free agents and daily roster updates. We here at GBB also will have rankings of the top 10 fantasy players at each position heading into the season so you can go into your own fantasy leagues well prepared. As far as this league goes, there will be weekly updates on The Battle of the Blues as the season gets under way, starting with a draft recap before the first games of the season. Who will earn ultimate bragging rights for their blog and reign supreme in the digital thunder-dome of the Battle of the Blues? Stay tuned, it's gonna be a fun season.

(editor's note: GBB readers are encouraged to give us, specifically me, your fantasy advice. - CF)

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