Fantasy Football: O how I love Thee

The weather is starting to change. The leaves will begin to change. The kiddos are back to school. Baseball season is finally almost over. These are all inevitable signs that  football season is here. And with the return of football brings with it another season, that my friends, is fantasy football season.

I have gotten into fantasy football on a regular basis over the past few years. I really enjoy the entire process, and I feel like it has made me a bigger fan of the sport. Before I started playing, I would only root for my favorite teams. Now I cheer for many different teams, and most of my fantasy draftees. When I first began, I would only pick the players on my favorite teams, and I shouldn’t be the one to break it to you, but that is no way to draft a fantasy team. Over the past five or six years since I’ve discovered fantasy football, my team ownership has almost doubled every year. My initial thought process was there is no way to effectively manage more than one team, but after actually experiencing it, I found it pretty simple.

Over the years I have accumulated a brief list of rules that I play by, and I would like to share that with you, please don’t make me regret this.

1. Pick your homerun in the first two rounds.

This one is pretty obvious, if you have a player or two in mind, get them as soon as possible. Don’t bet on Drew Brees or Payton Manning being there in the later rounds, including the later picks in round two.

2. Pick skill positions first.

Again this one is pretty obvious, fill out your backs and receivers before selecting a defense, kicker, or your back up quarterback.

3. Bye weeks mean nothing.

I draft a solid starting lineup, and I fill my bench with veterans and rookies. Simply because you only need them for a couple of games, unless a lot of your team have the same bye week.

4. Don’t be afraid to draft rookies.

Rookies could potentially be the key to some peoples teams. For example, if C.J. Spiller has a monster year numbers wise, he would be a great pick up. Also, you could potentially draft them in the later rounds, freeing up earlier picks to go get other top players.

5. Don’t be afraid to bench a superstar.

Tom Brady wouldn’t know if you benched him, and if he’s having a terrible fantasy year, bench him. On the same token, if he is your back up and he’s having a monster year, elevate him to the starting position.

6. Tandems are optional, but recommended.

If you can draft a quarterback and his top wide receiver, you should be in pretty good position. Quarterback and receiver would both get the same points. Also, if a team as a “two-headed monster” running game, don’t be afraid to draft both guys.

7. Trade at your own risk…

I have never really had good luck with trades. Either I get rid of a quality player for bench players, or I get a superstar name who doesn’t produce much. You should know what the players values are before you consider trading them.

8. Don’t go by projections.

The projections are a guesstimate of how many points a player may make. I literally picked the “best available” players last year, and came in dead last. Granted, I did it on purpose, but you get the point.

9. Your defense is essential….sort of.

Most defenses don’t produce high point totals per week. Your defense pick should be a team that doesn’t give up too many total yards or touchdowns. The takeaways and special teams plays are a benefit, but are never guaranteed.

10. Remember, it’s just a game…

Have fun with it, get your friends and family involved. Place friendly wagers per week, or  for the entire season. Bet your buddies the first round at the bar you’ll score more fantasy points than them, or bet the cost of the pizza, just have fun with it.

Before I close for the day, I would like to give some thoughts on the Vikings/Saints game. Brett Favre looked forty, and appeared to really miss Sydney Rice. He looked about as good as he did at the beginning of last season, but remember Adrian Peterson did carry the team the first few weeks of the year. The defense looked surprisingly strong, considering they were missing key players in the secondary. The Saints looked like the Saints, albeit a less explosive version, but the defense is still there from last season, so I think they’ll be better once the offense gets over the hiccups they’re having. I will be back on Monday to recap this weekends round of NFL week one action, and again next Friday to do a preview for week two.

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Posted on September 10, 2010, in Football, Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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