One of the saddest sights to see is being in a fantasy draft and watching your boy go down in flames because he was picking off of a whim, or off emotion, or just plain hate. Ken, I'm sorry buddy, but I'm talking to you. LOL.
Seriously, ever since college I've always had folks asking me how I was successful in fantasy football, how to play, and what not. First off, I'm not the greatest fantasy sports player (Yes, I said sports. I'll play fantasy football, basketball, baseball, hockey, college pick'em, hell...I've played in a golf league before. Ok I'm embarrassing myself.) in the world. However, I know how to be successful, and at the end of the day you don't want to be that dude in last place and everyone says, "WTF are they thinking?" (looking at you Ken)
Here are some tips for you to be successful, take it with a grain of salt.
#1. COME PROPERLY EQUIPPED TO THE DRAFT - There's a reason why in July and August you see the magazine racks fill up with fantasy football guides with up-to-date rankings, profiles, and depth charts. They will help you. Trust me, just because you know sports and you love football does not make you a dunce by any means, however it makes you prepared. Too many times I've done drafts with people and they just show up. No paperwork, no guide, nothing. Also, if you're doing a live draft, don't eat until AFTER the draft. Drinks are fine (in moderation, don't be slid and be the one try and draft Mike Vick in round 3) but no food. If you have the Internet, go to a sports site where you can quickly access depth charts, knowing that the Saints #2 WR is still on the board (Lance Moore) in the 9th round would be a great add to your team.
#2. THE BEST STRATEGY FOR THE FANTASY DRAFT IS THE SAME AS A REAL DRAFT - As in, take the best player available on the board, at least for the first 4-5 picks. For as long as I can remember, the best way to win your league was to draft RB-RB in the first two rounds. They got the ball the most, and were the biggest points producers. NOT SO FAST My Friend! (Lee Corso what up) In recent years, passing plays has increased, time-share backfields have increased, and have you seen defensive backs try to cover anyone anymore, its impossible. So, if you have a chance to get an elite WR in round 1, go for it. If you just look at running backs and wide receivers, only 10 of the top 30 scorers last year were wideouts. (source ESPN) If you have a chance early, there's about 10 guys I would target at WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Randy Moss, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings, Steve Smith (CAR), Reggie Wayne, Roddy White, Anquan Boldin, and Terrell Owens. That's it, everyone else is similar after those 10. Do the math, there will be RBs still available later in the draft. Regardless, your first 5 picks need to be nothing but RBs, WRs, and a QB. That's it.
#3. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER - This may be the biggest thing that can help you, but for the love of God, learn the rules of your league! How many positions are allowed? Is there a flex position? Find out if the league is a Points-Per-Reception (PPR) league, if so, there's a premium on RBs who catch the ball a ton (see Stephen Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Brian Westbrook, Matt Forte, and Reggie Bush). Also, don't watch SportsCenter to get an idea of how good players are, actually watch some games. Did Beanie Wells break a long run or did he methodically get his 100 yards?
#4. NEVER SHOW WEAKNESS AT YOUR DRAFT - I don't know how many times I've been a draft and someone will be waiting on their pick, they've got a player in mind, and they're hoping the person in front of them doesn't pick their guy. Then that person doesn't pick 'em and they go, "WHHHHHHHHHEW" or "Praise God!" or some craziness like that. Be confident and be prepared, yes if you have the #4 pick and you really want Matt Forte and he gets picked at #3, just know that you've got Maurice Jones-Drew or Clinton Portis ready to go as an alternative pick.
Also, if you are at the back-end of the draft and you don't think you'll be able to get great positional choices at RB for example, don't be afraid to load up at QB or WR. Trust, if you have the 12th pick in Rd. 1 and the 13th pick in Rd. 2 (back-to-back) in the draft and all the RBs are gone, don't be afraid to say, "I'll take Drew Brees and Tom Brady" because someone will be willing to pay for an elite QB.
Oh yeah, for you beginners, go do a Mock Draft. Trust me, this all sounds good until your under the gun and got 90 seconds to make a pick. Go practice.
#5. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, PICK A KICKER OR A DEFENSE UNTIL THE LAST TWO ROUNDS - Seriously, there will be some idiot that will pick a kicker in the 8th round, don't be this person. You will be either laughed at to no end mercilessly AND be talked about behind your back repeatedly. If you picked the #1 kicker last year (Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots) then he scored you 155 points. The #10 kicker last year (Matt Bryant, Bucs) scores 130 points. Over the course of a 16 game fantasy season, that's a 1.5 points/game difference. That's if you could predict the future! The same rule applies for defense. I don't care if you are a Ravens fan (looking at NFL Chick) do not take the Ravens defense in the 7th round. I will ridicule you to no end.
At the end of the day, fantasy football is just what it implies, its a chance to be a fantasy general manager of your own team. So have fun with it, talk sh*t, ridicule other owners, and generally try to make every inconceivable trade you can. Trust this, watching a game of football will never be the same.
ANY QUESTIONS? LET ME KNOW!
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