This year I’ve been invited (read: suckered) into joining a well-established fantasy football league. Since my reputation, pride and $20 are on the line, I’ve been researching the best possible methods to approach this season. Of course my goal is to win, but really for a first-timer it’s about not coming in last. So I researched and channeled my nerdiness to come up with easy tips to make sure your fantasy doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
#1 Remember fantasy football is a game and to win you need to know the rules. Some leagues reward bonus points to receivers after a set number of catches, some will value yardage more heavily than others. And while you’re in a studious mindset, learn the bye weeks. It’s great if you have a solid roster of stars, but if they share a bye week each of them will be warming your make-believe bench while your opponents win some easy games.
#2 From what I can tell, go big when it comes to running backs. Their ability to score on the ground and through the air makes them highly valuable. RBs will be the key in racking up the most total yards and if chosen carefully they can make or break your fantasy season.
#3 Tempting as it may be, don’t just pick your favorite quarterback. During your non-fantasy football time you can talk as much trash about QBs across the league, but when drafting players you may miss a playmaker. Statistics show that even a decent quarterback can help you win, even if you’re not able to draft one of the famous elites to your squad.
#4 Try to draft backup players that will be free to play when your starters are on the bye-week or suffer injuries. Cowboys fans are starting this season with a team rife with injuries and after watching these preseason games it’s obvious that not everyone is going to make it to the field later in the year.
#5 Another issue to consider is whether or not you want to take a chance on some rookies. There is always the chance that fresh meat will underperform when it counts. Every now and then a new guy comes into the game and makes a name for himself, but there will be many who won’t. Unless you’re positive you’ve got a winner on your hands save these kids until the later rounds.
#6 Once you’ve completed the draft you’re going to feel that you’ve put together a contending team. But there will be some lesser-known talent on your roster that will pick up the slack when there is fatigue after Game 7. Do everything you can to research these guys’ history, because they can be serious trade bait when times get desperate.
Unfortunately some things on the battlefield of fantasy sports will just come down to luck. We all know someone who goes to Vegas and hits the jackpot every time, which makes the long ride home downright annoying. Study up and plan your attack so you have a fighting chance.