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We are at the end of draft season so it is time to test your knowledge.

There are many ways to prepare for your final drafts or for the beginning of the Fantasy Football season.  Many people not prepared for their drafts when the day arrives.  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “I just bought my magazine yesterday” or “I just started preparing this morning”.

These Fantasy Footballers survive the first three or four rounds but the lack of preparation always catches up to them.  I do not want you to be one of those guys. Be the one who brags about the massive amount of preparation you did all offseason.

How can you become a fantasy football scholar and a strong drafter during the latter rounds?   There are six important pieces below that will increase your knowledge and help you to become the champion you are striving to become.

Now, the bell has rung so let’s begin the lesson.

Listening Is a Skill

I began listening to SiriusXM Radio five years ago because I couldn’t tolerate the number of commercials on terrestrial radio and I was enamored by the idea of commercial-free radio.  One day, I discovered the fantasy sports station which is when everything changed for me.  The number of fantasy football experts employed is impressive.  I gained more information listening to them than anything I had ever come across in the past.  They discussed their “starts of the week”, discussed injuries from around the league and even told me the best waiver wire pick-ups.  Discovering this was like discovering fantasy football gold.  Amazingly, I now write for some who appear on the station!

Utilize Twitter As A Fantasy Football Resource 

A few years back, I joined Twitter not knowing what do with it.  I planned to use it as an avenue for sharing my thoughts but I never expected it to turn in to a wealth of Fantasy Football/NFL information and an unbelievable place to network.  I began “following” those who I listened to on SiriusXM initially for updated information and breaking news.  As I learned more about the social media site, I decided to find out where the “so called experts” acquired their information.  I searched through those they followed such as reporters and others in the Fantasy industry.  I then scoured through Twitter in order to find reporters for each of the NFL teams so that I can get the information directly rather than waiting for someone else to tweet or retweet such information.  I have also found doctors who have worked for NFL teams and write about injuries that occur in the league.  Do yourself a favor and create a network and I can guarantee your knowledge of both fantasy and the NFL will increase 100%.

Participate In Mock Drafts

This is a great exercise to prepare for your upcoming drafts.  It also provides you an opportunity to test your flexibility and to deliberate less and react more quickly.  I realize many of you participate in snake drafts and so do I occasionally (high-stakes drafts only).   In these type of drafts, you must be prepared well before it is your turn.  You should play out every possible scenario that may occur up until it is your pick.  When doing mock and real drafts you must be cognizant of your position of need, understand that the plan you had for your next pick may change sometimes because of one single prior pick.  Often, you will have sixty to ninety seconds to pick which means you have nine to eleven minutes between picks depending on league size, which is ample time.

Watch Preseason Games

This was something I began doing years ago and did it ever pay off.  I recall one specific season when I watched a Houston Texans game and came across a player who looked amazing and ran for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns.  I drafted Arian Foster in every one of my leagues that season.  Nobody heard of him and many badgered me because they never heard of him. He turned out to be one of the top producers at the running back position that year. At times, fellow owners will insult you or question your knowledge when they feel insecure because they don’t know the players such as Arian Foster.  Preseason games afford you the opportunity to learn about running back rotations and receiver formations for each team.  You may learn who is being utilized as the “goal line” back, the “third down back” and who the third receiver is on passing situations.  Additionally, you will learn who the reserve/back up player is for the obvious starters.

Avoid The Use of Fantasy Magazines

This breaks my heart to write this because I have purchased the same magazine since 1990.  I do it more now because of tradition and also because it is easier for my young daughters to point to a picture when they draft in our family league.  Yes, I introduced my daughters to Fantasy Football but I waited until they were two years old!  Unfortunately, magazines cannot be updated in real time like websites.  Many of the owners in my leagues continue to bring their magazines and scratch off player by player as the draft progresses.  Using magazines only offers them outdated information.   The magazines would not realize that players like Kelvin Benjamin and Jody Nelson are out for the season.  Utilize the internet for rankings and projections that are updated daily.  The website on which you are reading this article is a great place to start!

No Friends In Fantasy Football

Ladies and Gentlemen, you will hear from many experts in the industry that there are no friends in fantasy football, which is advice I have followed for many years.  Do not help your friends when inured players are nominated in auction leagues, do not help them toward the end of drafts by offering suggestions and most of all, don’t listen to their pre-draft rhetoric.  In the end, everyone wants to secure payouts and have the championship trophy no matter what they tell you.  Do not trust anyone in your fantasy football league!

Like school, there aren’t any “short cuts” in fantasy football.  You often get what you put into it.  Don’t be the guy carrying the out of date magazine, be the one who studied and prepared for everything and anything.   Keep in mind, these tips can also be applied to in season preparation and will certainly give you an edge on your opponents.  Class dismissed!

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