Monday, July 27, 2015

Getting Started: Fantasy Football 101

Guess what ladies and gentleman? It’s that time of the year again! NFL football will soon be upon us, and that means we’re ready for Fantasy Football. Here come the discussions at the office and amongst your circle of friends. Fantasy Football makes the NFL season that much more fun: but let’s face it, winning a championship is the ultimate goal. Here are some tips to get you to your final destination…

1. Trust Your Draft Board:
·         Gather as much information about players as you can, and rank them position by position. When you’re on the clock to pick next you should be ready to pull the trigger. Do not rearrange your board last minute, but pay attention to injuries. Don’t be that owner who selects a player on injured reserve. Nobody wants to be that guy. Also, don’t be afraid to rank a player higher or lower than your colleagues. Your opinion should factor in, this isn’t an exact science.

2. Take The Best Player Available:
·         The days of drafting RB/RB in the first two rounds are dead; unless a RB is available in round 2 that’s just too good to pass up. You don’t want to pass up on an elite WR like Antonio Brown or Dez Bryant to take a #2 RB like Justin Forsett or Mark Ingram. You can win in many different ways, with an elite group of RB’s, or WR’s or talent spread across your roster.

3. Trends on Draft Day:
·         Often times in a fantasy drafts there will be a run on a certain position. Don’t feel like you have to take a RB because six or seven just went right in a row. Stick to the Best Player Available plan. This is especially true when it comes to QB’s and TE’s. After you’ve passed the elite QB’s and TE’s the rest are all pretty equal in value. If you don’t get Gronk or Graham, don’t panic, you can wait until later in the draft and scoop up two TE’s. Maybe one will blow up like Greg Olsen last year; if not, play the matchups. You don’t want to wait too long to draft your starting QB or TE, but don’t over pay for one.

4. RB/WR Depth Is Crucial:
·         These positions are the most critical to your success in FFB. Injuries will occur, and depth is necessary to overcome yours. You can also take advantage of injuries to other owner’s injuries via trades. You should look to get the depth early and often in your draft unless an elite QB or TE falls in your lap. When in doubt, draft a WR or RB… It’ll pay off later.

5. When Should You Draft a D/ST?
·         Wait until the end of your draft to select one. Every year you’ll have one owner that takes one in the 6th or 7th round. That is way too early. Continue to add depth to your roster. Every year you can find a solid D/ST on the waiver wire. Another good strategy is to play match ups, and start a decent defense against an offense that couldn’t punch their way out of a wet paper bag.

6. When Should You Select a Kicker?
·         Wait until your very last pick. The difference between the #1 kicker and the #12 kicker in 2014 was 29 points. You can always find a good kicker on the waiver wire when the one you draft is on a bye. Never keep more than one kicker on your team; it’s a waste of a roster spot.

7. Identify Your Stud Players:
·         You should end up with a few elite players on your roster. Start them every week with confidence regardless of their match up. There is nothing worse than benching one of your studs because of a tough match up and they have a great game. If a stud player has a few rough weeks, that means they’re due for a big game. Keep them in your lineup.

8. Playing Match Ups:
·         This is a very tricky thing, even for veteran owners. There is so much turnover on NFL rosters from year to year that it takes a few weeks to figure out which teams will have a good defense. The more you know about individual players, in particular cornerbacks, the better off you are. There will still be things that carry over from last year. If a team was terrible against the run and it doesn’t look much better in the beginning of the year, it probably going to continue. Keep up with how defenses are against the run and the pass, especially after week 4. If you’re on the fence about who to start and the two players are very similar, start the player against the weaker defense.

9. Working The Waiver Wire:
·         It is extremely important to be active on the waiver wire. You need to continuously improve your bench in preparation of bye weeks and injuries. Every year there will be a handful of players who go undrafted in most leagues that explode on the scene and can lead you to a championship; i.e. Justin Forsett and CJ Anderson last year. If you start the year with a subpar record you have the opportunity to grab free agents that can help you in the long run.

10. Trades:
·         The trade game is all about buy low/sell high. Look to trade for players that are struggling but you believe will turn it around. Maybe they’ve been hobbled by a small injury or played some tough competition. Look for owners that are tired of a particular player you like and offer them something. It never hurts to try. If you have a big named player that is constantly underachieving and you get a good offer, take it. Don’t get frustrated and make rash decisions though. Be patient and wait for the right deal. Finally, if you’re headed to the playoffs, look ahead and be aware of playoff match ups for your players.

These 10 tips will get you started and give you the basics for a successful season. Check back with Fantasy JoneZ as we’ll provide more in depth strategy and rankings for The 2015 Fantasy Football Season. Don’t forget to check out the ONLINE STORE for your league’s Championship Ring, and click the SHARE button!