Fantasy Football Preseason
It's getting to be that time of year again... Football Season! And that means for soooooo many of us NFL football fans - fantasy football season! I've been a member of fantasy leagues for over a decade and a commissioner for most of those years. So I thought I'd take a few minutes to give out some tips and advice. Like any advice you get from "fantasy experts" it will be crap. Because we all know that there is a lot of luck and stumbling ass backwards to success in fantasy football. A few years ago a guy took Tiki Barber as his running back in the ninth round and Tiki went off that year. It wasn't considered a good draft pick at the time but it panned out. I think this was the same guy who picked the Bears defense in the 2nd round. Fantasy experts talk a lot of talk but fantasy football is a bit of a crap shoot so don't take the experts too seriously.
Now that said, I don't mean to imply that you shouldn't take some steps and check out a few experts and bookmark a few good fantasy websites - you should. But mainly to save face with the other people who are in your league. People who don't know anything either. Which brings me up to my Tip #1....
Tip #1 - Don't Let People Know You Don't Know Crap About Fantasy Football
Even though I feel certain that no one really knows much of anything in regards to fantasy football... this is something you don't say in mixed fantasy football company. You need to pretend like you are the expert. This is called intimidation. Intimidation is a big part of fantasy football. Acting like you actually know something when you don't is a common business practice and one you should employ in your day to day handling of fantasy football related activities.
So take your draft list and guard it like it is gold. Make the rest of those people in your league feel you are onto something. That you have found the holy grail of useful information and you don't plan to share it. This will give you a bit of cache and mystique amongst that band of losers. Use that to your advantage.
Tip #2 - Be Ready For Your Draft
Draft day is THE day in fantasy football. What you do on draft day will dictate your season. While I believe in taking players you like and want to follow, you don't want to take Peyton Manning as your #1 pick if you have the #1 pick. You want to take someone like Arian Foster or Jamaal Charles. Up until last year Chris Johnson was the guy to get but now that is in question. What I'm saying is don't take people you like when there are higher ranked players available or you will regret it.
But what if you don't have the #1 draft pick or even if you do... what next? Well, you need to prepare and I for sure recommend doing some mock drafts. I highly recommend using a site called the Draft Calculator. You don't have to register and it as a variety of drafts using different scoring formats and for teams of sizes ranging from 8 - 14 teams... although early in the season they offer just 8 team and 10 team mock drafts. Unless your FFL is sucky you should know your draft position weeks before the draft. Draft Calculator lets you get a feel for what you can expect based upon your draft position.
Using a mock draft lets you see the rights and the wrongs of your draft strategy without ruining your season. A lot of fantasy leaguers feel intimidated by draft day. They don't want to hear that snicker of "who?" or "I didn't have him going for another two rounds!", etc. You have to expect taunts but it can be intimidating and the mock draft will help you with that. Plus it's fun. There is even a chat box if you want to send out a few taunts. So do some mock drafts. They take about 20-40 minutes so give yourself some time and sometimes people drop off and it skews your results - but that's life.
The closer you get to the opening of the NFL season the better the draft simulation becomes. So if it seems lame now because it is full of children (some of them aged 40 or older) who aren't taking the draft seriously then come back a week later or something. You wont be disappointed.
Tip #3 - Don't Drink At Your Draft
I should've shoved this up in Tip #2 but Tip #2 was getting full... so this will be a short tip. But the tip is - don't drink at your draft. At least not until the final few rounds. You'll make too many boneheaded picks if you drink too early and you'll be taunted like nobody's business. And being gang taunted is not something that is pleasant. So avoid that. I can't say I follow this advice but I'm a seasoned veteran and you probably are not. So this is one of those do as I say and not what I do sorts of things. The kind of advice your dad might give you.
Tip #4 - Take Some Guys You Like
Don't leave the draft without taking a few guys you like. Even a WR3 from your favorite team if that is what you are left with. I like having the Green Bay defense so I take them earlier than I should. It hasn't worked out very well most years but I like having them so it is worth it to me. On the flip side of this advice... don't take a guy you hate unless that guy is Chris Johnson.
I have a rule of not taking any Vikings or Bears and most years that doesn't hurt me. One year though I had to take Cris Carter because he was hanging there in my league of Packer fans. All that guy did was catch touchdowns. So I was forced into it. It pained me to root for a Viking though and I did eventually trade him... and that was a mistake. A few short years ago I took T.O. and he was semi-suicidal that year as well as a jagoff. I should've seen that one coming. So don't take guys you hate.
Take guys you like in the later rounds. They'll probably see a lot of bench time anyway and if they step it up then you have a guy you like who is doing well and it makes it look like you know something. Which you don't because no one does.
Tip #5 - Don't Give Up On Your Roster.... Maybe You Just Had A Bad Day
Your draft is your base. These are they guys who you generally need to stick with. Try to make sure you don't have too many guys bunched up in the same bye week but don't worry too much about that either. But stick with your guys for the first third of a season instead of going out to the free agency market and spending money on guys people didn't even want to draft.
Like any rule - the rule doesn't always hold up. Now and then someone stands out unexpectedly and you have a chance to steal them. Usually that guy is a one week wonder though. Injuries can factor in and if say a running team loses their #1 RB... you might want to grab the #2 or even #3 guy depending upon the team and how well and often they run.
I like people who don't follow tip #5 because those are the people that add money to the pot but I feel that being cheap and sticking with the guys you drafted will serve you better than spending dollars each week on your latest "man-crush". It will save you money and embarrassment.
I think that is enough fantasy advice for now. If you have some questions... shoot them my way in the comments section and I'll give you my advice. Which I wouldn't take a lot of stock in. Because as I've stated, there really are no experts. I do believe this. I also believe that although you can do everything right and still not do well in your league - you can 100 percent ruin your team by being foolish and not thinking through your decision making.