If you want to dominate your home, friend’s or work’s fantasy football league then this article will teach you three strategies that will help you lock up the big bucks! When I bring up a specific player it is more of an example than suggestion, because anything can happen on the field. You control what happens off it though!
These general strategies will ensure you show up on draft day prepared to dominate.
1. Rules and Scoring: Learn the rules and scoring of your specific league. This is imperative. You should know the answers to all of these following questions:
- How many people do you draft?
- How many of each position do you start?
- Is it a Points-Per-Reception (PPR) league?
- Does return yardage count?
- How many points for a QB touchdown?
- How many point do I lose for an interception?
- Is it a keeper league?
You need to know these questions because all of the answers will effect how you do your research and rank your choices. In a PPR league, WR’s suddenly rise in value and so do pass catching running backs. Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew might be more valuable than, say, Adrian Peterson in a PPR league.
If your league is PPR and counts return yards, then a guy like Reggie Bush will probably go a round or two earlier than in a league without those rules. In many leagues QBs get 4pts a touchdown. In a standard set up where they get 6pts a TD, they are obviously more valuable.
Some leagues even start two QBs, so you will have to remember to grab an extra QB. In fact, you should know all your starting positions so you can ensure you get a quality starter at each position.
In keeper leagues sometimes youth and upside override production. Sure you might be able to draft Cedric Benson, but wouldn’t Ryan Matthews have way more upside for future years? These are the type of questions you have to ask yourself.
When you understand the rules of your league then you can start researching players. If you are in a PPR league instead of Googling “2010 Fantasy Football Rankings” try searching for “2010 Fantasy Football PPR rankings”. Also use common sense, if you are in a league that has an emphasis on a certain skill set/position, then players that bring that to the table will rise in value.
2. Research: Now that you know how to start researching – do it. Make your own cheat sheets. Don’t just use the Yahoo rankings. You can find free rankings in many places:
There are way more sites to look at but that gives you a good start. Go over as many of these rankings as possible and create your own list keeping in mind nothing but these above (or other) sites.
Then go through that list and rearrange based on your leagues rules. Use common sense and more specific rankings (like PPR rankings) to arrange your original list.
Once you have that list you can take it one step further by digging into your targets. Read up on coaching changes:
- Saints’ Defense came up big last year after changing defensive coordinators.
- Jets had a good fantasy D with the arrival of Rex Ryan.
- Could Matt Forte and Jay Cutler have bounce back years with Martz at the helm?
You should do this step as close to your draft as possible. That way you can make adjustments for pre season injuries, hold outs or depth chart changes.
3. Draft Day Checklist: You got your research done and you are heading to drat day, what do you bring?
- Your cheat Sheets: You just spent days creating them so use them. This includes bringing one big master list of all your ranked players. Keep your head in the game by highlighting everyone that goes.
- Latest List of Team Depth Chart’s: Just in case you are scrambling in late rounds
- A list of handcuffs: These are players who will be thrust into fantasy prominence by an injury to a starter. If you have an injury prone player you might want to “handcuff” him to his replacement. If someone else drafted an injury prone player you might want to grab his handcuff just to stick it to him.
- A list of player bye weeks: You don’t want to have all our bye weeks all at once.
- A blank list of everyone else’s teams: This can be huge, I always bring a list that has everyone in the pool listed with the positions under their name. When they take a certain position I check it off. This can be huge because if you notice everyone already has a starting QB then you might be able to hold off on your QB and build depth elsewhere. If you do this step you will instantly be ahead of the general population.
- Drinks: Bring whatever your drink of choice is. Even if you are drinking alcohol, there is nothing wrong with bringing a bottle of water. Having water on hand could mean you get to keep your comfy seat. I would refrain from using that bottle to also relieve yourself though. That’s too far.
- Arrive Early: You want a good seat so arrive early. I know people that actually put lawn chairs in the trunk of their car just in case the home owner runs out of seats.
- Bring a clipboard – Good chance you won’t be at a table, so you better bring a clip board. You will get made fun of, but it will help.
- Different Colored Highlighters: These can be handy if you want to identify potential sleepers or value for an upcoming pick. Also good to use to highlight your master list. You don’t want to be scratching things out in a fantasy draft.
- Sense of Humor: You better bring your sense of humor because there will be little mess-ups along the way. There will also be people like me chirping about your picks. I am not above playing mind games. A little friendly badgering is always fun. You can also try to play mind games to make sure someone you want to choose isn’t drafted.
- Bring your brain: Make sure you bring your brain as well, that means you pick a defense second last and a kicker last.
4. Play The waiver wire wisely: Now that the draft is done use the waiver wire properly. You NEVER waste your waiver on a kicker or defense. Wait until the waiver wire is over (usually Wednesday) and then pick up a kicker or defense for the bye week or as a replacement. You only use your waiver wire on people who can really improve your team. The perfect time is when a starter gets injured and a quality back up is available.
These four strategies will place you heads and shoulders about the average fantasy player. If you are looking to dominate your work or home league then remember to know your rules, research, show up prepared on draft day and play the wire wavier like a violin. Now that you have read this article, put it into practice and enjoy an exciting fantasy football season.