Contributed by: Ray Salemi
Got a Life? If you do, thatï¿½s too bad because for most people a life is an insurmountable obstacle to a fantasy football champion; unless, of course, you are a One-Hour Champion. Iï¿½ve won championships using the One-Hour Champion program and in this article Iï¿½ll share the secrets of the program with you. This is the basis of a series of articles that show you how to be a One-Hour Champion.
Like the famous One-Minute Manager, the One-Hour Champions get the most out of their fantasy team and wins championships on only one hour of preparation a week. When you follow the One-Hour Champion system you can win your fantasy league and take championships from those who have devoted their entire lives to the pursuit of the fleeting fame of holding up the golden plastic trophy of victory. But youï¿½ll have the trophy AND a life!
One-Hour Champions use a Weekly Lineup Service
Ted Williams used to say, ï¿½If you donï¿½t think so good, then you shouldnï¿½t think too much.ï¿½ When it comes to your weekly lineup, I can guarantee that if you are only spending one hour a week on your team then you arenï¿½t thinking too good.
If youï¿½ve only got an hour a week then your lineup picking tools consist of a random collection of pointless prejudices, goofy guesses, and baseless biases. Do you wonder why picking the right players is keeping you up nights? Itï¿½s because your addled brain is reeling around like a blindfolded, sugar-drunk 4-year old trying to whack a piï¿½ata with a wiffle bat. This is no way to win championships.
A line-up service frees you up from your weekly torment and lets you focus on more important things. The people who deliver these projections are willing to put in countless hours figuring out all the angles on the weekly matchups. They take into account the weather, the defense, and the latest rumors on what the coach is thinking. They roll all this together into a set of predicted stats that are light years beyond what you can do with a hot tip from your buddy Frank at the coffee machine.
Now, there are those who claim Iï¿½m speaking blasphemy. They say that making your own weekly picks is the essence of fantasy football and that if you just plug in the players from a service that you are at best lazy and at worst cheating.
These owners obviously have more than an hour a week to spend on fantasy football. If they donï¿½t then Iï¿½d ask them to join my league because I like to win. The essence of fantasy football is to maximize scarce resources, and your time is the scarcest. Using a lineup service frees you up from a mechanical weekly activity so you can focus your time on high payoff activities.
There are many lineup services. The Fantasy Sharks Lineup Coach is a great option. Itï¿½s very simple. You tell it what players you have and it tells you who to play. You can have your weekly lineup done in 10 minutes and youï¿½ll even have some time to analyze your opponent and perhaps take a key waiver pick from him.
When you pick a lineup service look for the following three keys:
Make sure you can customize the service to match your leagueï¿½s rules. Youï¿½re giving up points if you use a service that just gives you generic stats on each player.
Make sure the service gives you an estimated point total for each player on your team. That way you can tell how strong your bench is and whether any of your bench players have a shot at cracking the starting lineup.
Only choose a service with solid logic behind its weekly estimates. If you see a service with comments like ï¿½25 points because this guy is due!ï¿½ you must find a new service.
Once you have a service, use it to analyze your team and your opponentï¿½s team. Check to see if there is anyone on the waiver wire that can help either of you. Grab a player off the waiver wire if he would break your starting lineup. Once you are set, see if you can grab a player that could crack your opponentï¿½s lineup just to keep his weaknesses weak.
Remember to check your service at the last minute to catch players who are cut from the lineup on Sunday morning. It happens more often than you think.
Now, during the games, just enjoy yourself. Youï¿½ve fielded the best lineup possible and you deserve a break.
Tuesday Morning Quarterback
Itï¿½s Tuesday morning and you wake up bleary eyed from Monday Night Football to see how your team did. Tuesday is your analysis day. Now itï¿½s time to spend the rest of your hour preparing for next week.
There is one thing you should
never do on Tuesday morning. Never spend any time looking at the players on the bench and baying at the moon over bench players who beat your starters (unless of course you second guessed your lineup service, then feel free to beat yourself up for not following your strategy.)
Fantasy football is a game of averages. Your lineup gave you the best odds of winning that week. Youï¿½re going to have players blow away your expectations and others who will be startling disappointments. Donï¿½t worry about it. If you keep fielding your strongest players youï¿½ll be rewarded in the long run.
The key to a successful Tuesday Morning is asking the right question. There is only one question that will focus your mind on building the best team in the league. Consider this question as you gaze over the waiver wire:
Can this guy ever break into my starting lineup?
The power of this simple question is incredible. It cuts down the clutter and noise and focuses you on the players who can help you win. Use this question to analyze the waiver wire and your bench. If youï¿½ve got a player who you
know will never break into the lineup then drop him and pick up someone who has a shot.
As you work the waiver wire and free agent list, focus on the following three areas in the following order. Again, focus is key when winning with just an hour a week:
Do you have any new injuries to worry about? Injuries will allow someone new to crack your lineup. How strong is your backup? Is it conceivable that someone on the waiver wire will beat him out next week? When you are filling in for an injury you may be filling a position week to week. Look for players who will be playing this yearï¿½s defensive dogs. Theyï¿½ll have the best shot of cracking your lineup next week.
Who has a bye in the next few weeks? You have a roadmap of who wonï¿½t be available over the next few weeks. Will your bench players be your best options those weeks or do they have tough games that will kill their productivity. You can go a long way if you plan your byes just two weeks out.
Whoï¿½s hot where youï¿½re weak? It makes no sense to look for hot players in your strongest areas. If youï¿½ve got Dante Culpepper as your QB and Tom Brady as your backup, why would you spend time investigating Losman? Focus your attention on your weakest player and see if you can find a hot player who can take his job next week?
These questions will keep you focused each week and supercharge your hour of analysis. Working the waiver wire is the highest return activity you can ask for. Itï¿½s the secret of one-hour champions.
What about Trades?
One-Hour Champions only consider trades one time a year ï¿½ after the draft and before the first game. This is because they know the dirty secret of fantasy football trades; they are almost never fair. Someone is usually the chump in a fantasy football trade and if you donï¿½t think its your opponent then its probably you.
This makes fantasy football trades a bad use of time. You easily blow your hour budget trying to create a win-win trade only to have your opponent ask you to throw in the last player who makes you the chump.
Itï¿½s best to avoid the whole thing and just focus on the waiver wire.
A Championship and a Life ï¿½ What a deal!
There is little that is as sweet as winning a competitive fantasy league. As a One-Hour Champion youï¿½ll be using your time effectively every week asking yourself the right questions and building the strongest team in the league.
Focus is the key to success. By letting someone else make your weekly picks and focusing yourself on finding players who can crack that lineup you too can be a One-Hour Champion!
Between his family, job, social life, and community activities Ray uses his copious spare time to create gifts for Evil Managers and their vict … team members on EvilManager.com.