Fantasy Football is a great thing to have in your life. It creates friendship, laughter, excitement, bragging rights, and so much more. This great community welcomes anyone and everyone who wants to join our family. There are some disclaimers that you should be aware of if this is your first time playing:
In Fantasy Football you will experience heartache, tears will be shed, you’ll be more aggressive, use of profanity will increase, you’ll spend more time on the waiver wire than with friends and family, and there is a chance of death.
I hope that didn’t turn you off from playing Fantasy Football. I was just kidding about the death part, but all the others could happen. Personally, I’ve never cried, or have I. There is a lot to do in Fantasy Football and it can be overwhelming. That is where we at So-Called Fantasy Experts come in. We want to make this a fun and enjoyable experience for first-time players.
There are a lot of first times that we remember. The first day of high school, first boy-girl dance, first kiss, and for most of us here at SCFE our first Fantasy Football draft pick. If you are reading this article then this might be your first time playing Fantasy Football and you’re looking for some helpful tips. Well, let’s get to it.
7 Important Fantasy Football Tips
Tip #1: What Time Is It? Draft Time!!
This may be a simple tip, but it might be the most important one on this list. You want to remember what time and day your draft is. People often forget when their drafts begin and they complain about how they don’t like their team because their picks were on auto. Make sure you plan for enough time to do your first draft.
Tip #2: Three’s Company, League Format
In Fantasy Football there are many types of leagues and scoring formats. These range from redraft, keeper, and dynasty. The scoring can be standard and Point Per Reception (PPR).
One of my favorites is PPR. For every catch, you receive either .5 or 1.0 points. The difference between standard and PPR scoring is simple, you don’t get a PPR in standard leagues.
For example, Larry Fitzgerald and Jarvis Landry are gold in PPR leagues but are more like bronze in standard leagues. Since 2015, Larry has 325 receptions and Jarvis has 316 receptions. Those are valuable points in PPR, but in a standard league, those catches don’t mean a thing. Just something to remember when you are selecting your players.
Tip #3: I Got Blisters On Me Fingers From Mock Drafting
Practice makes perfect and mock drafting can make your roster perfect. This is one of the most essential tools in Fantasy Football. There is no limit to the number of mock drafts you can do. Before every season I do thirty or more mock drafts on many sites, but Fantasy Pros is one of my favorites.
If you’re in a Yahoo league make sure you mock draft in that league, instead of ESPN, for example. Those two leagues have different rankings and someone you could get in the fifth round on Yahoo could be drafted in the seventh round on ESPN.
The main benefit from mock drafting is to get the lay of the land. You can devise a plan to see what draft strategy is the best. For instance, in one mock draft, you can go RB/WR and in another mock draft, you can go RB/WR/WR. Mix it up and see what works best based on your league scoring.
This will allow you to see how your two teams stack up against each other. That way you can make any adjustments you need to in order to get the roster you want. With multiple combinations, don’t hesitate to try them all out. You want to try them all in order to get the best results and determine which strategy you think can win you a championship.
Tip #4: Do You Know Who You Want?
Going into your first draft, know the players you want and based on their consistency, upside, breakout potential, etc. Having three or more players in mind per round would be ideal. You should be able to have an idea of who might be available based on your previous mock drafts.
One thing to keep in mind is to not be stuck on one plan. Each draft will be different so have a backup plan.
For example, let’s say you have the sixth pick. You want to see who is available in your draft and compare that to your list. In this example, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, Saquon Barkley, and Julio Jones are all available.
On your list, you have Antonio Brown, Alvin Kamara, and Odell Beckham. Now you have to make a choice between the two players left on your list since Antonio Brown is off the board. Kamara is coming into his second season and won’t have to compete against Mark Ingram for the first four games. Odell is recovering from a broken ankle.
Now you have to make a choice. From the multiple mock drafts you have done, you know where each player should be drafted, so get to it.
Tip #5: Study Before You Take the Exam
One of the biggest requirements of Fantasy Football is research.
You can’t just go into a draft for your first time all willy nilly. You need to do research beforehand. Think of it as your first day of surgery. There is a reason why you go through all that hard work and research in order to get to the place you are.
The research can be anything from just reading articles such as Spotting a Sleeper or reading the myriad of Fantasy Football magazines. There is one more way you could do research and that is to do it yourself. I’m not talking about in-depth research since this is your first time. I’m just saying to do a little research about some of the players you are interested in.
I gave a good example up in Tip #2 with Larry Fitzgerald and Jarvis Landry. Be sure to conduct pertinent research, such as comparing players, reviewing team schedules (especially the first and last four games), and reviewing injury reports (very important). You don’t want to draft a player that is injured. You also want to gather detailed information on players with an injury history or are coming off an injury.
Tip #6: Kickers and Defenses
Everyone has the same couple rules when it comes to drafting Kickers and D/ST.
There is no need to select a kicker until the very last round. The key thing to drafting a kicker is to go with some of the highest-scoring offenses. The other way is to look at kickers on teams that move the ball down the field. Look at the Rams’ kicker, Greg Zuerlein, and 49ers’ kicker, Robbie Gould, last season. Teams that can move the ball but struggle to get it into the end zone are great options.
The Rams had the highest scoring offense last season and he finished as the best kicker in Fantasy Football. That was despite him missing the last two games due to a back injury. Robbie Gould finished as the third best kicker because he was 17-of-18 on field goals between 40-49 yards. That shows that the 49ers were able to get the ball past the 30-yard line, but weren’t able to convert.
With D/ST there are two main strategies to go with. Either select a Top 5 defense such as Jacksonville, Rams, Philadelphia, Minnesota, or Baltimore in the mid-to-late rounds because those are defenses that usually are weekly starters. The other strategy is to stream defenses throughout the season. What I mean by streaming defenses is just go with a defense with a great matchup, such as a team with a weak offensive line or a QB that likes to give up the ball.
Tip #7: Walk Along The Waiver Wire
You just drafted your first Fantasy Football team and now you have to edit your team at some point. You’ll edit your team via the waiver wire or trade.
What is the waiver wire? Let’s look at an example. In Week 1, Aaron Rodgers brakes his collarbone, again, and if you failed to draft a backup QB, you must look at the players that went undrafted. You notice that for some reason (bad example), Dak Prescott is on the waiver wire and he just went off for 412 yards and three TDs.
Obviously, with Rodgers now out for the season, you put in a claim to pick up Dak. Picking up Dak will be dependent on the rest of your league. In most leagues, the Week 1 Waiver Wire is set by the reverse draft order. For instance, if you picked fourth in a 10-team league, you would be sitting seventh in the waiver order. So, if teams 1-6 did not pick up Dak, you would get him and in doing so, your waiver order would move to 10 for Week 2.
The waiver wire is very essential to utilize. It allows you to steal players that the people in your league are going after, select players that are on the rise due to injury, and get the defenses that have favorable matchups in the upcoming weeks.
Last season some of the more popular pickups on the waiver wire were Alvin Kamara, Carson Wentz, Robby Anderson, Alex Smith, and Blake Bortles. Almost all of those players weren’t drafted but had great seasons. Kamara was someone you picked up because of his week to week production and he was a starter alongside Mark Ingram. With Robby Anderson, he was a solid waiver wire pickup because he had a TD in five straight games.
I just listed 7 Important Fantasy Football Tips and there isn’t that much to it. It can seem overwhelming, but it is fairly straightforward. The tips I listed started from before the season starts to when you are mid-season. Remember when you draft, your league format/scoring, know the players, conduct A LOT of research and mock draft like crazy.
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