Fantasy football doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are some simple tips to help you find fantasy football glory.
Know the league rules, particularly the scoring rules. Understanding the rules your league uses will enable you to gauge which players have the most value, and where players should be drafted.
Know which players have the potential to score you the most points per game and go from there.
Points are relative, and how many points a particular player can score during a specific week varies wildly between leagues. This is due to rule differernces between leagues.
Scoring variations can include: points per reception, points per x number of passing yards, points per passing touchdown, points per yard rushing, points per yard receiving, points per turnover, among many others.
It is always wise to go over your leagues’ entire scoring rule sheet before you draft your team. Scoring rule sheets can be found on your league’s website if your league is online, or you can get them from your league manager if your draft was done offline.
Draft consistent players. Players that will reliably give you an average to above average amount of points are better for your team than those that score either a ton of points or a few. . It is very difficult to predict when boom or bust players will have a good game. You don’t want that kind of indecision to plague your season. Generally, you can find consistent, low-risk players after round 6, when most of the studs have already been drafted.
If you like a player, draft him. I have seen many players that have seemed like reaches propel their team to victory. There is no such thing as a “reach” in fantasy football. One year I drafted Thomas Jones in the first round although he was viewed as a third round talent. His team, the New York Jets, had just added a premiere Quarterback and offensive lineman in the offseason. Jones went on to lead the AFC in rushing, and helped my team dominate the regular season.
Taking a player a few round early is much harder to the more teams in your league. It is generally avoided in 12 team leagues, as there is a shortage of top players to go around. 8 team leagues are much more flexible due to the high concentration of top players available to each team. Keep this in mind.
Listen to your gut. If your gut tells you to avoid a player like a snarky salesman, or make sure you have him on your team no matter the cost, listen to it. Great managers win by drafting who they feel like drafting. One of the keys to success in fantasy football is to have thick skin, and to draft who you want to when you want to. Seasons rarely play out as player rankings predict due to injury and the unknown.
In the later rounds look for players who finished the year hot. These players oftentimes will carry over their performance into the next season. One year, I selected Kurt Warner off waivers. He had finished the years strong for the Cardinals the year previously, but was engaged in a battle for the starting Quarterback spot. I drafted him in the last round of the draft. He not only got the starting gig, but he finished 2nd amongst fantasy Quarterbacks in points scored. He was the key piece that lead me deep into the playoffs.
Stick with your consistent players. It might be tempting to trade players in your starting lineup for a trendy bench player after they have a bad game. Usually, consistent players will turn things around. See how they perform for 2 or 3 weeks before you bench them. If you are constantly micro-managing your linueup from week to week you will suffer when your consistent players, who are now on your bench, go back to scoring a lot of points.
Remember: when it comes to fantasy football, less is more.
Have fun! Fantasy football leagues are meant to be a good time. If you find yourself mindlessly micro-managing your team, do yourself a favor and take a step back. Relaxing activities include: smelling the roses, baking a cake, or taking a nap. Football-themed Snuggies are optional.
Source: Lance has played fantasy football for over a decade.