Commandment VIII –
hou shalt treat each of your teams as a separate entity.
If you’re like me, you love fantasy football. Of course you do, or you wouldn’t be reading this. So, chances are you are in more than one league, managing multiple teams. I am not referring to cheaters who manage multiple teams in the same league, of course. Such folks are scoundrels.
Nothing is wrong with managing multiple teams in different leagues. That makes just about every game and every week interesting, because you, your opponent, or the two of you will have one or more players in whatever game you happen to be watching. That’s fine. That ties fantasy football to actual football, which makes almost every play significant on a personal level.
However, do not make the mistake of trying to draft the same player, over and over, in every league. Trust me. I tried this strategy. What it causes you to do, often, is overdraft players just to be sure you’re scooping them off the draft board a round or two before they would normally be drafted. That means you are leaving players of objectively greater value on the draft board just to be sure to draft a specific player you have in another league. That’s a losing strategy for two reasons. First, you are losing out on decent players in order to draft players who likely won’t produce as much for you during the season. Second, you are leaving players for your opposing team owners to grab. That will hurt you doubly during the season as you face these players on your opponents’ rosters.
Instead, objectively evaluate the players remaining on the draft board, and only if two players are ranked reasonably close – preferably by your independent research and the opinions of multiple experts (see Commandment X) – should you select the same player you’ve got in another league. You can certainly rank the players you drafted in other leagues differently than some experts do. After all, you drafted him for a reason. Your objective evaluation put a certain value on that player, which might be somewhat different than conventional wisdom. That is fine. In fact, that’s how you build hidden value in your teams. However, it is highly risky to leave a fantasy stud on the board in order to draft a “dice roll” flyer that you happen to like, simply because you ended up with him in another league or two.
What you should do is try to draft the best player, within reason, who is available at each draft pick you have, in every league you’re in. Minor tweaks when you’ve ranked two players fairly close are fine, but major reaches will leave your team weaker, and make your opponents stronger. It also can tend to spread out the risk of underperformance of a couple of specific players. If one player you’ve got in multiple leagues gets injured during a game, it can ruin your entire Sunday. However, if you’re only holding him on one or two teams out of a bunch, it won’t be that bad. You’ll still be able to enjoy watching the real games.