By David Kovsky, Freelance Writer at www.dimemag.com This is my first article for PistonsForum.com so I would like to start out by thanking its founders for inviting me to share some of my fantasy know-how with you all, the readers. As a life long fan of the Bad Boys, it is quite an honor to talk directly to some of the most hardcore fans out there. But enough flattery, let's get it started (by the way, I love being cliché). For those of you that are casual fans or have never tried a fantasy league before, this is going to break it down for you and tell you what it's all about. First, playing fantasy basketball is one of the best ways to interact with the game we crave. If your league is competitive and full of smack talking hoops junkies, you'll end up watching every game and jumping for joy each time Peja Stojakovich "pulls" from downtown or Jerome James inhales rebound number 11. Boiled down to the bare minimum, fantasy basketball is an interactive game that allows you to draft a team of real NBA players and compete head-to-head in weeklong match-ups against your league opponents. The success, or failure, of your team is determined by the players' successes and failures in real life. In almost every sense of the name, you are the "General Manager" of your team. As GM, the responsibility of making trades, starting players, benching players, picking up new studs out of a free agency pool and dropping the dead weight falls on your shoulders. Although leagues can compete in many different categories, I am going to tell you about my league because it is intensely competitive and a lot of the wrinkles have been ironed out over the 7 years we have been tusslin'. To ensure that ties are kept to a minimum, we compete in the following nine categories: FG%, FT%, 3PT%, rebounds, points, blocks, steals, assists and turnovers. One significant difference that you might encounter in your league is the way 3-pointers are handled. Many other leagues choose to compete in 3-pointers made rather than percentages. But, in the end, it's a matter of preference and you can compete in the areas of the game that draw the most interest from the league members. In a head-to-head competition, the real stats of the players on your team for that week are totaled and you have the opportunity to gain up to nine mini-victories per week. If you win five categories (points, rebounds, turnovers, FT% and FG%), lose three (blocks, steals and 3PT%) and tie in one (assists), your record the following week will reflect 5 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie. As each weeklong match-up comes to pass, your team incrementally adds to the wins, losses and ties columns. With roughly one month left in the real NBA season, the top teams in your fantasy league will begin participating in a playoff tournament. The last team standing at the end of the playoffs is the overall winner. There are a variety of free leagues out there so take a chance, sign up for one, and before you know it, watching the Atlanta Hawks play the Los Angeles Clippers will be nearly as exciting as a rumble between Detroit and Indiana. Also, don't forget to check back at pistonsforum.com and dimemag.com for the latest fantasy strategies, player updates and free agency suggestions that will keep you competing at a high level every week. If you have any questions about trade proposals, free-agency acquisitions or general fantasy help, please feel free to send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The best questions will be answered publicly for all to read so be sure to include your pf.com forum nickname and city. Microwave note: This is a free service jdmiser has offered to perform for the pf.com community. You must be a registered pf.com member to make use of this facility. Please keep in mind, jdmiser will not be able to answer every inquiry. Help him out by making your questions precise. Include as much info as possible to have the best chance of receiving a reply.