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Top Fantasy Football Tips For Having A Winning Season

Updated on October 6, 2012

Preparation

Begin preparing early. Do not be the guy who is trying to cram all the news in a half hour before the draft. Start catching up on the latest news 3-4 weeks prior to your draft. Pay particular attention to:

  • The top rookies prospects. Know which players were drafted high and any news from their training camps.
  • Free agent moves. Know which players situation changed for better or worse. For example: Did a player move from a team where they had a primary role to a team where they now have to share the ball?
  • Injuries. Know about players who are injured or recovering from surgery and missed camp as a result.

Preseason

While its not necessary to watch every (or any) preseason games, it is necessary to follow the news coming out of those games. Again you want to focus on Injuries, and depth chart competition. This is were you can start build a list of potential fantasy football sleepers and breakout candidates. We want to look for players who:

  • Excelled in camp & preseason
  • Are injury free
  • Have the possibility to overtake an injured or under performing player on the depth chart

Pre-Draft

In the days leading up to your draft you'll want to go do at least one fantasy football mock draft, but more is ideal. Practice makes perfect. Mock drafts will give you a nice feel for how the first few rounds of your draft will play out. Make sure you try a few times with different draft order.

Just before your actual draft make sure you have compiled a fantasy football cheat sheet to help you out.

First make sure your cheat sheet includes a "Do Not Draft" list. These are the players you think will be complete busts and should pass over in the draft.

Second have your fantasy football player rankings handy so you can see how each player ranks up vs other players in the position.

Third is have an ADP list available. ADP is fantasy football average draft position. It's a critical tool for having a great draft. Knowing every player's ADP will tell you if you need to reach for a target player or you can leave him until your next pick. For example if you have picks 25 & 30 and the player you ant has a draft position of 33, you know that you can wait until pick 30 and still be likely to get that player allowing you to take a more valuable player with pick 25.

The Draft

If you have followed all my advice so far your fantasy football draft should go fairly smooth. A few final tips:

  • Stay focused in the mid & late rounds that's where you can find sleepers and good value picks.
  • Grab a few sleepers but don't over do it. Most sleepers end up not panning out.
  • Rookies can be notoriously inconsistent so be wary of drafting too many.
  • Don't draft a defense until the second to last round.
  • Don't draft a kicker until the last round.

Post-Draft

You had a great draft and built a fantastic fantasy football team, now what? Don't be temped to put everything on auto-pilot.

Every year a top 5 or 10 player emerges from the waiver wire. Thats why it's important to stay active and try to get any pickups that will improve your starting line up or bolster your bench for bye weeks. You will also want to block other teams from getting the same players on their team (but not at the expense of your own team).

Also remember to check your line-up before games start. Late scratches can cost you a game. In competitive leagues 1 game can be the difference between making the playoffs or not.

Good Luck and have fun!

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