As I have just come to the end of my first dynasty mock draft with pretty much a bunch of people I don’t anything about, I found the draft much more difficult to complete and be happy with my team. There were various reasons for this so I thought I would do a quick post on do’s and dont’s for anyone either new to fantasy football or maybe trying a different format of league. Some handy hints when doing drafts, prepping and general in season guidelines to follow to help you get the most out of your fantasy football.
Rule 1 – No Regrets
I can absolutely guarantee that at some point every season in every league you play in, you’ll have a decision to make (get paid the big bucks, me).
You’ll ponder over a trade decision, you’ll wonder how much FAB to spend on a player on waivers and you’ll definitely weigh up who to play in your flex spots each week.
Sometimes it will keep you (me) up at night trying to figure out what is the best decision to make and more often that not, they become rash decisions and consequently wrong ones.
When mulling over these types of decisions in your leagues, trust your gut instinct. If you don’t, luckily the Internet was invented so that you can go and find some information to try and make a more informed decision.
Whatever decision you make in the end, be happy with it. Have no regrets that the decision you made was the best one you could have made with the information you had available to you. You can have regrets about not having enough information or not researching enough but never have any regrets about making the decision. It’s the best way to learn from the wrong decisions. It stops you hating players further on down the line, it stops you from making subsequent wrong decisions about that player that may have let you down previously (we’ve all been there, right?).
Another good example is your league’s yearly draft:
You are in the middle of Round 4 and you are thinking of reaching for a player (I don’t know, lets say Golden Tate) but you are afraid of the reaction of your league mates or you aren’t sure if it’s the right decision. If your gut says to you you want that player, then select him, but don’t be mad at the decision if it doesn’t turn out to be as fruitful as you’d have hoped. Be mad that you didn’t do enough mock drafts and see that the player you want regularly went a round or 2 later. Be mad that you didn’t go to a website that charts Average Draft Position (ADP) and look at data detailing the player’s trends leading up to the draft. Don’t be mad at the decision when you selected him, because that’s what you wanted to do and felt it was right.
Again, if it turned out to be a bad decision, make sure understand why it was a bad decision and put steps in place to make sure it doesn’t happen in subsequent drafts.
Other examples include trading with league mates:
If you trade CJ Anderson for Odell Beckham Jr, dont be made at the decision to click the accept button (or offer button for that matter), be mad that you didn’t think to explore scenarios that could’ve played out and seen that this was a knee jerk reaction and a rash decision. Don’t be mad at CJ Anderson and Odell Beckham from a fantasy perspective either, it’s not their fault.
At the end of the season, if you can say hand on heart you had no regrets, then you’ll find that even if your season didn’t end with a playoff run, you’ll have a lot more fun with it and be at ease that you sucked.
Rule 2 – Prep, Prep Prep
If you want to trust other peoples opinions and put polls on Twitter to help you with your starting lineup, go right ahead. You’ll regret it (usually), and that breaks the first rule of Fantasy Football (see above). If you cant be bothered to put the time in to look at players match-ups, stats, news throughout the week on injuries and previous game footage to help you make an informed decision about next week’s lineup, you’re destined to fail at some point, usually the playoffs. (unless your opponent has done less of it than you or he forgets to set his team).
For the more casual fan, this is fine. It’s a bit of fun, no money is exchanging hands and bragging rights are not of utmost importance (to which you then go and set your Premier League fantasy team captain…smh). But to most, they are in leagues now where there is a small (to large) monetary buy in to ensure people continue throughout the season and don’t lose interest. If you are in one of these leagues and don’t apply yourself to the rule above, you are a fool.
Now I’m not saying quit your day job and be a full time NFL nerd. But have an app that gives you the latest news, maybe put an hour aside at the weekend to take a look at match-ups, player performances and stats to help you analyse best what team to put out on a Sunday. Trust me, you’ll find rule 1 a lot easier to adhere to.
Rule 3 – Know your league, Know your opponents
This one has multiple aspects to it.
Knowing your league is simply knowing all the different scoring nuances in it.
Do you know what the points system is for your defence and special teams? Do you know how many points your QB gets for a passing touchdown? Do any of your players get extra points for a 100 yard game?
If you don’t know the answer to these questions, your draft can go horribly wrong and you may well be scuppering chances at winning championships before the season has started. This mainly applies to leagues that are either standard scoring or PPR to be honest, which most of you will know but I bet there are a staggering amount of GMs out there that don’t even know which type of league they are in. The same comments apply for your team. Know how many players at each position are starters and what your flex positions are comprised of. Some leagues go 1 RB, some leagues go 2 QBs, most league will have a flex position, but can vary on what type. If you are in a 3 WR league, the value of WR are going to rise and are going to be taken a lot earlier in drafts. Don’t get caught out by this and leave yourself with a depth of TY Hilton, Emmanuel Sanders, Nelson Agholor and John Ross when you have to play 3 of them each week. It’s not going to end well.
An extension of that is to try and know how your opponents operate and play the game:
What players/teams do your opponents like to have on their teams? Does one person much prefer having running back depth or do they stream QBs?
Knowing these little nuggets can help you get the most out of trade deals and can also help you to “one up” them in your drafts, provided you stick to your principles of course. Don’t go and select someone purely because the person after you in the draft probably wants them. Only select them if they will make a useful addition to your team, or a good trade piece if you are getting great value from the pick.
(Just as an extra note, know that if you are in a dynasty league, GMs usually place a lot more value on youth than in normal redraft/keeper leagues so take advantage by drafting a mixture of the top end talents for the older players as well as youth. You’re welcome)
Rule 4 – Don’t try too hard accounting for bye weeks
Lots of players always worry about bye weeks in squad composition (I use to be one of them) and whilst this definitely applies to BestBall leagues, all other leagues, don’t worry about it so much.
Even after weeks 2 or 3, your team could look a lot different. Either through trading or the waivers, what may have been a sticky situation for week 4 or week 8 may no longer be the case after a few games have been played. Injuries, depth chart clarity (or even lack of clarity) can mould the look of your team from the outset so when drafting, don’t worry too much if your team is quite lopsided. You should never shy away from drafting the best player for your team because of a bye week.
These 4 rules should help you become more competitive in leagues but more importantly, enjoy the game more. At the end of the day, it’s all about socialising with friends and having a good back and forth whilst the games are playing. If you aren’t, you’re breaking one of the above rules.
Start the article again.