Introduction
WHAT ARE FANTASY GAMES?
Have you ever dreamed of what it would be like to own your own professional sports team? Fantasy games are a way to live out that dream. And, to make things easier, all fantasy games are fundamentally the same - real athletes and their real-life performances are used to generate points for fantasy teams in fantasy leagues.

For example, in a traditional fantasy league, there is a set number of "team owners." There are a set of rules that determine everything from team roster size, to scoring method, to schedule. You and your fellow team owners hold a draft, i.e. fill your fantasy roster with real-life basketball players.

Then throughout the season, you will set your line-up based on how well you think "your" players will perform. The statistics your positional players generate in their real games are collected, and fantasy points are awarded based on these numbers. The better your players perform, the more fantasy points accrue for your fantasy team.

Ultimately, these points determine a winner in seasonal leagues. The team that accumulates the most points (or points based wins) over the course of the season - or prevails in the postseason-is declared the league winner. With the league championship comes the glory to boast about it until the next season rolls around, at which point the other teams can smell sweet revenge.

WHAT IS ESPN FANTASY BASKETBALL?
Welcome to the world of fantasy basketball - ESPN Style! ESPN.com Fantasy basketball is the closest thing you can find to buying your own professional franchise and becoming the team's coach, owner and president. All decisions are yours to make. And lucky for you, basketball is a game filled with unbiased player performance statistics. By using these statistics, you have everything you need to understand which players are performing well and which ones are not.

ESPN.com's Fantasy Basketball (FBA) is as close as anyone but Mark Cuban will come to owning a winning franchise and becoming the team's manager, owner and president. All team decisions are yours to make. Each team owner is supplied with all of the tools -- multiple draft methods, unlimited waivers and trades, free agency, an all-empowering commissioner, chat rooms, league bulletin boards, player statistics, etc. In other words, everything needed to build a championship team.

Statistical reports, expert analysis and up-to-date feature articles from ESPN.com editors are readily available to keep owners informed. Armed with this information, owners are free to create the team of their dreams. To win, an owner has to be crafty, as each team competes directly with nine other owners who are equally determined to come out on top. Owners can choose who they compete against and are free to join a league at their own level of competition.

Like the race for the final NBA playoff spot, the league title could be determined on the very last day of the season in rotisserie leagues. For head-to-head scoring, the top four teams in each league will play each other in the playoffs, conducted during the final weeks of the NBA regular season. The remaining teams compete in the consolation bracket. Regardless of your regular season record, your team is guaranteed to play every week of the NBA season.

Once you join a league, ESPN provides you with everything needed to build the best possible basketball team. And sure, you got your cut-throat, 11th hour wheeling and dealing between armchair LMs, fully customizable league rules and scoring, multiple draft methods, live box scores, waivers, trades, free agency, custom player updates, a commissioner, league bulletin boards, sortable stats for all players, and more. There's plenty of room to sling trash- talk throughout your league, and enough stats and weekly analysis to make you the next Bill James. We just want to make sure you know what to do with it all! So sit back as we take you through the keys to ESPN fantasy basketball. Then get crackin' on creating the next fantasy dynasty!