The simplest way to master any subject is to have it firsthand. No number of cheatsheets, checklists, buddy advice, or new ideas can replace the wisdom that is included with years of experience.
What’s promising is that it’s possible to glean some knowledge from those that have been there before. Our science is created by looking at the shoulders of giants, and our games are the exact same way.
The following are tips every fantasy football pro learns through their experience.
1. Understand what sort of league you are in.
The kind of league is a factor in the value of a player. Brandin Cooks is a perfect example; Cooks was a good pickup in dynasty leagues this past year ทีเด็ดบอลสเต็ป 2, but wasn’t more than a sleeper option in redraft leagues until this year. After gaining some experience, he’s projected as a potential stud.
2. Know your league’s roster rules.
Sure, it would have been great to possess Marshawn Lynch, DeMarco Murray, and LeSean McCoy as your first three picks, if the starting lineup can only include two running backs, lots of points should go to waste while another position suffers. A pro always includes a full roster plan in mind.
3. Vary picks based on scoring system.
Having a good quarterback is nice, but many leagues nerf their scoring capability by reducing how many points earned from passing stats. Aaron Rodgers may be worth a high draft pick at six points per TD and one point per 20 passing yards. Four per TD and one point per 30? Not too much.
The most common example is PPR (points per reception). Wide receivers gain value, and the running back rankings get shuffled. Matt Forte is a middle to low end RB1 in traditional scoring, in a group that uses PPR, he’s a stud. One point per reception adds 100 points to his total in 2014 alone.
4. Draft safer picks early.
Not every “safe” player reaches play the growing season, but it’s possible to reduce the risk. Every player available early is a great player. Besides this past year, picking Adrian Peterson over Darren “Glass Man” McFadden was a pretty wise solution to any pro. Early picks are the cornerstones of a group, and picking an injury or legal risk in the initial round is unnecessary.
5. Draft for upside after starters and subs are set.
Grabbing a halfway decent starter as an additional or third backup wide receiver may seem great, but it’s an awful idea. Players can and should go down through the season. Most importantly, players can and will play a given year. Arian Foster the season he broke out, Kelvin Benjamin this past year, and Alfred Blue and Davante Adams in 2010 are great types of “sleepers”- players that surprised most owners and set up top end fantasy scores. The league champion will probably have 1 or 2 starters that no-one expected, and unless a group uses 20 man rosters replacement level players to cover bye weeks and injuries will be readily available.
6. Never draft a kicker or defense early.
Every rule has exceptions, but look at the previous tip. Acquiring a high end kicker or defense takes a pick somewhere in the eight to tenth rounds, an excellent range to select top end sleepers. Kickers vary wildly from year to year, and many pro fantasy players make use of a different defense every week to chase easy matchups. A “streaming defense” can outperform even top end defenses. That doesn’t mean drafting the Seahawks isn’t worth the pick, there’s just more value in waiting on a high defense.
These are just the beginning. It’s possible to publish entire novels on fantasy football, and each and every rule can occasionally be broken. The key is to keep in mind this one word: value. The best fantasy football owners find ways to generate extra value and acquire better players for a lowered cost.