It’s that time again, guys and gals. Time to scour the internet, the magazine racks, and every sports network available for information that might give you an edge on draft day. This year, you say, is MY year!
Because this is the year you win the big game. Maybe.
People can say, “It’s not whether you win or lose…” all they want, but for fantasy footballers it all comes down to the W beside their team’s name. We want the satisfaction of knowing the interminable hours of research and planning were not in vain. We want bragging rights. We want to be THE MAN for a year. We want to win the BIG ONE.
Everyone yearns to find the great secret that will aid them in their bid for a Championship. I think we all know by now that there is no such animal. It’s all sweat and persistence- and a lot of luck.
There may be no great secret to winning in fantasy football, but I do have the next best thing. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Six Commandments of Fantasy Football.
1) KNOW THY LEAGUE SCORING SETTINGS
This can’t be stressed enough. It is virtually impossible to have a good draft and set an effective line-up each week if you aren’t familiar with your league’s scoring system. Read it. Study it. Memorize it like a 10th grade Tennyson poem. You’ll be glad you did.
2) KEEP THYSELF FAMILIAR WITH ALL OFF-SEASON ACTIVITY
“What? In prison? He can’t be in prison! I drafted him!” If this is you, you must not have heeded the 2nd commandment. Coaching and coordinator changes often mean new offensive or defensive schemes, player personnel changes, or both.
3) BE NOT DEPENDENT UPON OTHER’S OPINIONS
This refers back to commandment #1. Sure, players that fantasy websites tout or those recommended in forums may indeed be the best bet- in standard scoring systems. You need to do your research based on YOUR league’s scoring system.
4) NEGLECT NOT THE TIGHT END POSITION
Tight end isn’t really that important is it? Wrong. There are only a handful of TEs available that can put up WR type numbers. The rest are a crap shoot. Let the other team worry if their tight end is going to score them any points that week.
5) TAKE CONTROL OF THY DRAFT
Easier said than done? Not really. If you draft early you’re in the driver’s seat to begin with, but if you draft late you need to take control if you are to have a decent draft. For instance, if the owners before you take all the elite RBs (like they usually do), go ahead and take the top wide-outs on the board. If you are going to be stuck with mediocre backs anyway, you might as well load up on elite receivers. Then the fun part is watching the scramble to get YOUR leavings at wide-out. Always taking other manager’s leavings is a sure way to end up below .500.
6) HANDCUFF, HANDCUFF, HANDCUFF
One thing is certain in the NFL- players get injured. While handcuffing isn’t as important at other positions, running backs take a pounding, and even the most durable of backs can get injured on a fluke play. This also helps to eliminate the dreaded game-time decision dilemma; if your starter can’t go, you have his back-up ready to fill in- even if all the other backs on your team played in an earlier game. Handcuffs of other team’s starters make excellent trade-bait as well.
And there you have it. Following these six rules will take you far in your league. Maybe even- with a little luck- all the way to the CHAMPIONSHIP.