Ladies and gentleman, get ready because it is almost that time of year again. A time of the year when friends become bitter rivals. A time of year where money rules all. A time of year where ego runs high. A time of year where we control the fate of our teams.
Of course I am talking about the land of fantasy football.
Every year, it is the same routine for me. I watch the new season of The League on Netflix. After the new season is complete, I watch the entire series over again. In fact, I just started the first episode as I type this.
That being said, I decided to give my own personal list of rules to follow to help you in fantasy football.
I know you’re thinking, why would I take advice from this ass clown? The answer is simple. I am a god at fantasy football. My lack of athleticism had to compensate somewhere, right?
Last year, I played in four leagues and finished, first (10 teams), second (10 teams), fourth (12 teams) and seventh (8 teams), respectively. Of course, I shit the bed in my family league two years in a row. Probably because I take stupid risks on draft knowing there is no money on the line.
I have won my money league three of the last five years. I am a bit of a dynasty. So anyone who may be reading this that tends to text or message me for advice (you know who you are), here are some rules you can follow for your league. Leave me the hell alone when you are drafting.
1. Take the guy who has been there before
I have never been a fan of drafting second year players (including Odell Beckham last year) or a guy who randomly has a breakout year (Mark Ingram two years ago) in the first two or three rounds. Don’t reach. A year of game film on someone can do wonders.
Those first three rounds are crucial. The guys you draft there are your moneymakers so make them count. Not saying I would not draft them at all, but where you pick them is what I am getting at. Stick to running backs or receivers…or Gronk of course.
2. Wait on a QB for goodness sake
Someone does it every draft. They grab Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning in the first two rounds in year’s past. This is not real life, quarterbacks are not THAT important in fantasy football. There are about 18 of them who can put up decent numbers most weeks.
Why waste a high pick on a QB when you can grab a running back or receiver who can get you double digits every week?
Wait until the 8th or 9th round when you can grab someone like Tony Romo who will put up 16-17 points per week. Ironically, two of those big money championships I won, Romo was my starting QB and the other was Russell Wilson (drafted in the 9th). Use your early picks to load up on great running backs or receivers.
3. No Player is safe
If I were a GM for an actual franchise, players would hate me.
Don’t be afraid to trade your biggest assets. I know entirely too many people who cling on to their stars and don’t even entertain the idea of trading. Always entertain the idea! Some people get desperate for wins and will unload the kitchen sink.
Every week, I constantly look for ways to re-load and stockpile my team. It is a numbers game.
If you can trade someone like Antonio Brown (just hear me out) for three starters (Maybe Eric Decker, Matt Forte and someone like Gio Bernard), pull the trigger if your team can use it. Get as many week to week starters as you can because you never know when the injury bug can come knocking at your door. Making decisions on who to start because your team is loaded is a good problem to have.
4. Be active in the waiver wire
You know that guy on your bench that is never going to play, make a move. Pick up someone who has potential to be a factor. Every year, there are players who go undrafted and randomly breakout. If you see a guy continuing an upward trend, jump on it!
The more moves you make, the more likely you are to win in fantasy football. If you are not good at convincing your friends to trade, then go balls deep in the waiver wire.
Your team should not look the same on the final week as it did week 1. If it does, you’re probably not doing well.
5. Screw the Bye Weeks
We all know the guy who looks way too much into the bye weeks. Don’t be that guy! If you’re not going to take AJ Green when he falls into your lap because he shares a bye with your other top receiver, you’re an idiot. Don’t be an idiot.
You know how many times during a draft I look at the bye? Goose egg. Zero. Zilch. Never.
You will wind up screwing yourself out of good players because you were harping on that bye week. If my whole team has a bye on week 8, congrats to the person I am playing for their win. I am ok with it because that means I have my team at full strength every other week.
6. Get Volume Players
If you are torn between two guys, think about who is going to get the most looks and touches. The more looks, the more likely the stats will follow. Get the running back who isn’t handcuffed to someone. Get the receiver who is going to get all the targets because he is the offense.
Someone like Matt Forte up until recently was always a solid choice because he was so heavily involved in the run and pass game. Now I am not going to give you any ideas for this year, simply because I don’t want to show my hand to anyone I may be competing against.
I have never understood the appeal for guys like Darren Sproles unless you get points for receptions and return yards.
7. Know when to look at match ups
There is nothing worse than getting a text from a friend that asks whether or not he should start Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan based on the match up. Aaron Rodgers, not even close. You probably grabbed him in the first, maybe second round. If you’re really debating between those two, see rule 3.
By all means, look at the match up if you’re debating between two flex players. Don’t ever look at the match ups for anyone you drafted in the first three rounds, those are the guys you never sit except for the bye week, unless you shit the bed on those first three picks. You’re pretty much screwed anyway at that point.
8. Draft for value
Don’t reach on a position when you still have plenty of talent to stockpile out there. There is always that one asshole who drafts a defense in the 6th round then everyone jumps on the train. STAY OFF THE TRAIN.
While everyone is taking the top defenses in round 6, use that opportunity to get someone like Golden Tate or Latavius Murray. Then when the swing picks comes around again, you grab another position player. Now the dunce who was drafting a defense is stuck with someone like Donte Moncrief as his second receiver and he still needs a good flex player probably.
9. Know your sleepers
Always come prepared with a list of guys who can potentially fly under the radar for the season. I already have about 6 or 7 guys I really like this year. Figure out what the player’s Average Draft Position (ADP) is and base it off that (this kind of goes for every player). My point is don’t be the kumquat who calls STEAL when you draft someone in the 4th who would have been there in the 7th.
10. Take emotion out of it
I can’t stress this final rule enough! We all know the friend who drafts the same guy year after year because he is waiting for his breakout season. You’re beating a dead horse at that point.
I hope some of you found this informative. If you agree with the rules, great. If not, I really don’t give a shit. I leave you with this…