Whether you are new to the game or a seasoned pro, here are ten tips to help you win your upcoming fantasy football league.
# 1 Fantasy Football Tip – Know Your League
Even though this sounds extremely basic, you would be surprised to know how many fantasy football owners do not have a complete understanding when it comes to the rules and scoring system for their league. For example if your league awards one point for every receptions, you may find yourself bumping up running backs on your draft board, like the Eagles Brian Westbrook, who has more receptions than most running backs.
# 2 Fantasy Football Tip – Do Your Homework for the Draft
Even though luck plays a part in winning your fantasy football league, the primary ingredient is preparation. Prior to your league’s draft, you want to know, not only which players who switch teams during the off-season, but who has suffered any injuries during pre-season and who is entering a contract year. All of these factors can play a major part in how well or poorly a player may perform for you. Be sure to look at various resources when you are completing your homework. Remember, if you are in a league through a major site, like ESPN, the other owners will probably rely upon the same articles from the website.
# 3 Fantasy Football Tip – Be Flexible with your Draft
It always happens. You spend weeks and weeks completing your research for the draft, even participating in a mock draft through an online site. Based on your research, you think you have found several sleeper selections that should be available in the middle rounds of your draft. That is until one of the owners jumps the gun and selects your players’ two rounds earlier than you expected. Now you may need to completely revise your entire draft based on the one abstract decision made by someone else. Though it is a good tip to have a solid plan for your fantasy football draft, make sure to have some wiggle room for exceptions.
# 4 Fantasy Football Tip– Pay Attention to the Bye Weeks
When it comes to fantasy football drafts, this can be one of the most daunting tasks for any owner. But if you do pay attention to the bye weeks and draft your team accordingly, you will find an easier road for yourself during the season. The best practice that I have used over the years is to make a note of each player’s bye week, sorted by their position. This way, I am able to ensure I do not draft a third wide receiver that has the same by week as my two starters.
# 5 Fantasy Football Tip – Wait to Draft a Kicker
When it comes to fantasy football drafts, there is only one hard fast rule I have always stuck with. Wait to draft a kicker for your team until the final few rounds of your draft. Why? The simple reason is that even the top scoring kicker never repeats their performance in the following year. In 2008, Stephen Gostkowski (New England Patriots) led the league with 148 points. Mason Crosby (Green Bay Packers) led all kickers with 141 points. In 2006, Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears) was the leading score with 143 points.
# 6 Fantasy Football Tip – Do Not Panic Early On
Every year, there is always one or two fantasy football owners who are ready to throw in the towel after losing their first few games or suffer an injury to a star player. A perfect example of would be if owners of Peyton Manning panicked at the start of the 2008 season. During the Colts first 7 games, they compiled a 3 – 4 record under Manning who completed about 55% of his passes with 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. With Manning’s pedestrian numbers, people starting to question whether the Colts would even make the playoffs. If an owner decided to give up on Manning at this point, they would have missed out his final 9 games where he carried the Colts into the playoffs and earned a MVP award.
# 7 Fantasy Football Tip – Don’t Be Afraid to Trade
If you find your team in the middle of the pack at the halfway point of your fantasy football season, sometimes a trade involving a star player can really help turn your team around. Keep an eye on each of the teams throughout the season to make sure you have a better idea of which players would be more appealing to them as trade bait. Do not be afraid to take chances because your fantasy football season can be over before you know it.
# 8 Fantasy Football Tip– Use the Waiver Wire to Your Advantage
Most owners will spend their time looking through the waiver wire only when they have an injured player or are looking for a bye week replacement. Why not use it to make sure you maintain the advantage over the other owners in your fantasy football league. Perhaps there is a rookie running back, which has really impressed you but you already have 3 1,000 yard rushers on your team. If you have the room on your roster, there is nothing stopping you from picking up a “hot” running back to make sure the other owners are not able to claim him. All is fair when it comes to fantasy football.
# 9 Fantasy Football Tip– Know the Weekly Matchups
It is all about the X’s and O’s, especially when it comes to fantasy football. Since you will be competing to get the most points, it is important for you to manage your team by examining who your players will match up against. Make sure to take a look at recent trends, like how the opposition has been performing along with the player themselves. Be careful, you can over think a decision and cost yourself a win if you think too much. There is no reason to go back five years to see how your wide receiver faired in home games in the winter months.
# 10 Fantasy Football Tip – Remember to Have Fun
Of all the tips listed here, this is the most important one. Some people tend to forget this and treat the season like a complete waste if they do not come away with the prize money or the league’s trophy.
Statistics Courtesy of http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl