I am halfway through my second decade in fantasy football (sorry had to have a “Hawk” Harrelson moment there), and I’ve played in free leagues (Yahoo), and have three championships to my name.
But I’ve had way more bad teams and terrible players than good, so with this being the main week where people draft fantasy football teams, let me steer you to avoid the errors of my ways. Also to have a decent fantasy season.
Don’t get drunk before or during your draft, yes I know most people do drafts around drafts of beer, either in a bar or at someone’s house or even draft remotely and you drink. Trust me if you drink now during this draft when your teams is getting crushed every week in October you’ll regret it. Especially if you don’t even remembering drafting the team or certain players.
Don’t draft a player because “I always get that guy”, I’m guilty of this, I’m loyal to a fault and will draft a guy LONG after his best days are left on the field because of his production from a few years ago.
Don’t draft a lot of people from the same team or division, they might be great but consider “bye weeks”, most teams within a division have them at the same time, you don’t want to have a week or two where you have no one available and then have to go to the waiver wire to get people or worse have to just take a loss or two.
Don’t draft Jay Cutler, just trust me on that one.
Don’t draft kickers early in the draft (first three or four rounds), quality kickers are available under piles of dirty laundry, even in the “waiver wire” post draft.
Don’t draft rookies high in your drafts, they are unknown commodities in this league, unless you know a starter is injured and out for weeks (or the season), or they are guaranteed to start. And even then have some veterans on your bench just in case.
Don’t do any serious preseason trades (or even early season trades), in my experience you don’t know what kind of fantasy team you really have until late September maybe Columbus Day weekend at the latest. There are a lot of flukes early in the season. I’ve had seasons where I won the first two games just killing the league and then the rest of the league spent the next two months killing me.
So don’t get too hype or down on a team too early, you can suck your way through September but I won my first league by losing through September and getting hot in early October and not losing another game until the first week in December.
However keep your eyes open on the” waiver wire”, if you are in a league that allows “pickups and drops” (and I’m not talking about trucks or convertibles), watch that activity like a hawk (I used to get up at 4 A.M. on waiver Wednesday to get the best waiver players), and see who is available and is having big weeks.
Also watch your match ups, if you league allows, check the week before your game to see who your players are up against. You may have a starter doing ok (5-10points) but a bench guy who is playing a bad team (or even terrible defense), and should “blow up” (15-30 points), don’t be afraid to go with that bench guy and bank on him getting you more points than your starter.
Go ahead and read one of those fantasy draft magazines, the old Pro Football Weekly was the best but they are gone, so check with your favorite sports network and or see what Hub Arkush says. He’s all over the place and has been in football journalism forever.
It’s all about points and production (except if you are in an auction league, never done that), so simply know your players and get the most points you can get, that’s the name of the game.
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