Fantasy Football: Tips and Tricks for Winning Your League
Since 1998, I have been playing fantasy sports (basketball, football, hockey, and football). Fantasy football has been my favorite of all the sports.
It’s odd that football is not my favorite of all the sports. The NHL would be that. The NHL is where I have found the greatest success in fantasy football. As the fantasy season gets underway, I thought I would share some of my lessons learned over the years.
Know your Scoring System
Yahoo! is one of the most popular websites. Yahoo! and many other websites offer a default scoring system. This means that you get six points for touchdowns and three for field goals. Know exactly what your scoring system is before you enter your draft. Some commissioners use negative points in their design scoring, while others prefer traditional scoring (1 point per interception).
Fantasy football does not normally count return yards as points. If this is the case, you may find it difficult to draft a wide receiver with few receptions. Devin Hester, however, will be a tremendous help if you are looking to increase return yards.
Find out which positions each team will be made up of
Websites that use a default system usually use a default lineup. Your team will have one quarterback, two runningbacks, two wide receivers and one kicker.
Check the lineup settings of each team before you draft, especially if it’s a live draft. The same formula is used in leagues where I am the commissioner. One QB, two RB, two WR, one TE, one team defense, and one K can be used.
Although it isn’t a major change to the default scoring, it can have an impact on your draft lineup. It is important to ensure that you have enough players at each position to cover the bye week.
Know the Bye Weeks for the Players You Are Looking At Drafting
Your QBs will have the biggest impact on your bye weeks. I usually draft two QBs in the leagues I play. I ensure that the QBs have different bye weeks when I draft. You may need to draft a QB from the waiver wire in order to cover that week. When drafting RBs/WRs, you must also weigh the bye weeks. Most websites include the bye week for each player when you draft.
Before you start the draft, know how you want to draft
Every draft I enter, I bring a piece of paper that lists the exact number of players I want at each position. This is how I conduct each draft. I don’t care too much about the draft, unless I have the first choice. I am more concerned with having the right amount of players than which players.
Learn How to Pre-Rank Players Before the Draft
Larry Johnson is No. If Larry Johnson is injured in the final game of the preseason, it won’t be a problem. You should keep up-to-date with the status of a player before you draft.
You can get a good idea of who will be available if you know the draft sequence. Only a few players will automatically make it to the top five (Ladainian Thomaslinson being one of them).
Draft later in the round to identify a second-tier player who will be available when you turn around.
Find out Who’s on the Waiver Wire
Keep an eye out for the waiver wire before and during the season. Sometimes I have been very fortunate to be able to help a team drop an exceptional player due to one or two bad weeks.
On the other hand, I have dropped players I shouldn’t. Keep an eye on the waiver wire. You may be able pick up injured players and place them in a DL spot. This will allow you to bring that player and another player to the team until they return to full strength.
You might also be able to grab a player who has had a major injury in the past year. They are usually ranked very low. You might be lucky if other owners of your league don’t pay attention.
Find out the matchups
You can start many players (Peyton Manning and Terrell Owens), regardless of the team they are playing. You’ll need to check with them who they are playing against.
Normaly, Reggie Wayne would be my first choice against any team. If that team is Denver and Champ Bailey is the opponent, I might reconsider my decision to start Reggie Wayne.
Find out the Playoff Schedule for Your League
The main goal should always be to make it to the playoffs. Then, matchups really start to take place. The NFL schedule has Weeks 15, 16 and 17. These are the weeks that playoffs take place.
I have won many regular season leagues but lost in the first round due to not paying enough attention to matchups. Let me give you an example.
I was in the middle of last season and looked at the waiver wire to see the schedule of the players I was most interested in. Jamal Lewis from Cleveland caught my attention. There were some teams that he could run for. I took him off the waiver wire. He gained 383 yards in the last three weeks. After finishing seventh in the regular season, I won the league title.
Draft Running Backs that Catch a Lot of Passes
Running backs that are good will give you yards and rush TDs. However, great running backs can also get you receiving yards or TDs. Try to draft RBs who can catch passes. Steven Jackson, Rams’ running back, is an excellent example. He rushed for just over 1,000 yards last year in 12 games. However, he also had 38 receptions of 271 yards. He had 90 receptions for 806 yard the year before.
Don’t Be Afraid To Trade Star Players
Many fantasy-football players fear trading their top players. I have always been open to trading top-ranked players as long as I receive equal value in return.
Sometimes, you can trade one outstanding player for two or more good players. My best leagues have been those I’ve had the opportunity to trade or use the waiver wire.
Peyton Manning is a great addition to your team, but you might be able to trade him for Tony Romo or Antonio Gates in the long-term.
Fantasy football is an amazing game. Every year it’s been around, fantasy football has grown in popularity. Enjoy the game!