Fantasy Football Rules To Live By:
New Players and Champion Alike
Fantasy Football has been linked to dungeons and dragons for a long time. Not entirely sure why, I assume people here the word ‘fantasy’ and think that it has to be nerdy. Which it is, and I am glad to have you here you nerds.
Let’s not get it twisted. Fantasy Football is more mainstream than it has ever been.I would assume at this point that there are more offices that DO have fantasy football leagues than that don’t. Maybe that is why you find yourself here, invited to a league and you don’t want to get your butt kicked. Well welcome, all readers are appreciated. Even if you just clicked on it, didn’t read a word of it including this sentence. The website tracks traffic off of clicks, not reads. All the same to me. But, if you want to I wrote some stuff below.
Through this simple article I am going to line up some rules that I have tried to live by every year that makes fantasy football more fun and as well can lead to you being in the green. If you are first time player who doesn’t want Becky from accounting to beat you or you are someone who is trying to repeat as champion. Rules remain the same, strategy remains the same.
Scared money don’t make none
Don’t play in free leagues. Seriously, I know they exist and I know people play in them. You sir or madam are dumb and are a danger society. Playing with no stakes is a mistake. When the stakes are literally nothing you don’t get the full experience and fun of fantasy, or other wise known as socially acceptable dungeons and dragons. You also have John’s little brother who asks if he can take the Green Lantern in the 2nd round. I understand playing for money is uncomfortable sometimes, especially if you are the one who has to make the suggestion. I get it, been there.
My reasoning though is that if people don’t have skin in the game you get players who don’t really care, you have people who forget to set their lineup every week, and then the ‘drop every player on their roster and pick up Tim Tebow’ crowd.
Screw the Tim Tebow people.
Over all though money, or really any stakes you can create, makes it interesting for everyone the whole year. It forces guys and gals to be dialed in which is a better experience for everyone. They want the reward, or in a lot of leagues they DON’T want the punishment. Play for money (even just $10 or $20) or make a bet. It makes it better for everyone.
Do your homework; Study up kiddo
Know what kind of league you are in. You should know these answers BEFORE the draft starts.
- snake or auction draft (I prefer auction)
- PPR or standard scoring (I prefer PPR)
- What is the roster size?
- How many flexes, QBs, WRs, and RBs do you play a week?
- How many points is a touchdown pass? (this is one that commissioners change the most and it drastically changes games as well as draft strategy)
Now, if you are experienced you know to check those things. Other things to consider about your league before it starts for more experienced players are as follows.
- What NFL team does every guy root for? People love drafting their favorite players.
- Know who ESPN, CBS, and Yahoo have labeled as sleepers in the draft. Expect them to go higher than their expected draft position. Guys love sleeper columns.
- Stacking positions in a draft or drafting based off need DOES NOT need to be decided before the draft starts. Allow that to happen as it comes, identify value not strategy. Draft strategy is not concrete. Know YOUR rankings and stick to them, value value; not position.
- If you are drafting online always and I mean always reorder the list by average draft position (ADP) not the rankings. That is always more accurate to what the actual draft will line out like.
Love hurts, but it worth the journey
When drafting for the first time it is easy to get swayed in a wrong direction pretty quickly. If you are an Oklahoma State fan you may want to snag James Washington a little early like rounds 7 or 8 to ensure you get your favorite Cowboy…. I am not going to tell you how to live you life but… fall in love with guys, just the right guys.
Every year I draft 1 or 2 guys that I personally love as guys or players. I usually pick them a little too high but I want to make sure I get them. I know I want to cheer for them this year. When trying to find out who those guys are for you take this fact into consideration. Do they have a role today? Are they actually going to be on the field or would it take an injury for them to get a real chance?
Find guys that you like, just make sure they actually have a chance to succeed and you are just holding on to a bench guy and cheering for an injury. That is not fun or cool. However, draft guys that you like, that actually have a chance to shine. Snaps are a given. When looking for home run swings, check out snap counts and let that guide your decision.
The past two seasons I have snagged Braxton Miller, Texans receiver, and that has yet to pay off. He is the slot receiver in an offense with DeAndre Hopkins. He is ultra talented and is on the field for over 70% of the snaps for the Texans offense when he plays. Also, one of the most exciting college football players I have watched. However, nothing really of note yet. A low gamble for me but a fun one. I also generally get him with my last pick, super low risk. Every game I would be begging for the Texans to run a bubble screen and hoping I could text all my friends “I FREAKING TOLD YOU! I AM THE SMARTEST MAN ALIVE!”
I still have that text ready to roll whenever it happens.
I a few years ago snagged Devonta Freeman in every league. His rookie year, I thought he was a lot of fun. I knew he was the day one starter in his second year but had Tevin Coleman behind him. A risk, but one worth taking. Paid off huge for me that season.
Draft guys you love, just make sure they actually have a chance to be successful and get them at value. I don’t know if you are noticing a trend but.. Fantasy is literally all about value.
Know the Numbers
Drafting QBs are fun. Aaron Rodgers is a blast to have. Wait to draft QBs. There is always a guy who goes undrafted who ends up being a top 10 QB. My last 5 picks of any snake draft are QB – TE – QB – Defense – Kicker. Take two swings of the bat at QB late in the draft, numbers tell us one of those guys will be successful. Every pick before my last 5 are running backs and recievers.
Note: My above drafting strategy does not work in your in a league of more than twelve. I would wait for about 6-8 QBs to come off the board, then snag mine.
If you are in the first 4 rounds of your draft and you are trying to decide between a running back and a wideout… lean running back. True bell cow backs are a thing of the past. Running backs sharing touches is becoming more and more common. Wide receiver can be found with value later in the drafting process because there are more of them. Quality starting running backs for week to week starts are harder to find.
Don’t trade your top 6 picks before week 5
I can’t believe I have to say this but here we find ourselves. I know that trading is fun but you never know what you have until after week 4. You never know what another guy has until after week 4. Stick with your guys, you drafted them for a reason. There are special circumstances but don’t shop you top 6 picks at the beginning of your season. Those are your best guys, and for the love of god don’t trade them for a guy who had an awesome week 1…
NOW, saying that, if you have a late round pick who really pops the first two weeks don’t get cute. Move them, get a guy who has a more proven consistent track record for the rest of the season. Every so often there is an exception to this rule, but generally those guys regress (Tarik Cohen of the bears last season). Their value will never be higher than after a no name guy puts up back to back 30 point weeks to start the year. This will bite you ever 4th or 5th time but more often than not, you will get the better season player.
Last year I swapped Cohen for Adam Thielen and Duke Johnson. Cohen eventually regressed because he was on a bad offense with a rookie quarterback and Thielen was one of the best receivers in the league to close the year.
Sell no name guys who pop in week 1. Keep your top picks, don’t get cute with guys who you don’t know.
There are a few quick and simple rules to crank through in your fantasy year. With this weekly column I would love to do fantasy football questions at the end. Hit me up at Chisholm.H@tylermedia.com or @ChisholmHolland and I will put them here at the bottom of the column every week.
See you next week you fantasy football heads and all you D&D nerds.