Fantasy Football Do's and Dont's

By Brianna Nathan

Brianna Nathan
Brianna Nathan

The greatest time of the year is upon us: football season. If you’ve never participated in a fantasy football league before, make this your year! There are few things better than competing against your friends, and a fantasy league offers a socially acceptable reason to bet against your friends and curse at each other in public. Need I say more?

There are so many variations on lineups and scoring systems that I won’t get into them here, but luckily Wikipedia has it covered. Don’t let that scare you off, though – fantasy is really easy, even for beginners! Here are a few quick tips to make your fantasy team a success:

Do:

  • Enjoy football. You don’t need to understand every detail of the game in order to play in a fantasy league, but you should be at least moderately interested in at either football or an excuse to drink every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.
  • Get a fun group together. No one wants to play in a league with boring folks. Join a group of people who will talk smack and your year will be exponentially better. In a similar vein, don’t join an ultra-competitive league if you’re a newbie. Go with people at a similar skill level and you’ll have much more fun.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. Go into your draft with at least an idea of who you want to pick up, and take advantage of the information available on ESPN, Bleacher Report, Yahoo, etc. Do a mock draft (or several) online – it’s just like the actual draft, except at the real one you’ll be having fun.
  • Embrace the social side. Watch games with the other players in your league. The best part of fantasy football is drinking with your buddies and yelling at the TV.
  •  Take note of your matchups. Setting your lineup based on projections along is boring, and you never know when one of your players is going to have a great week. Pay attention to who they’re playing and you’ll stand a much better chance of predicting their performance.

Don’t:

  • Tinker with your roster. Once you set your lineup, leave it alone. Sunday morning is not the time for roster changes.
  • Get too attached. Make trades. Pay attention to the waiver wire. Unless you’re in an ultra-competitive league, you’re not going to lose much by taking a gamble. Don’t be afraid to drop dead weight.
  • Be a slave to rankings. There’s more a player than projected points. Don’t get so hung up on a player’s ranking that you ignore any other information.
  • Let your heart decide. Or do, I won’t judge you. Go ahead and draft players just because you think they’re hot – just make sure they don’t all have the same bye week.

All of this means nothing if you don’t remember the golden rule of fantasy football: Aim high, and talk shit the whole way down. Fantasy football is nothing without trash talk. Sure, you might not win come playoffs, but that’s no excuse to back down now. And if you do win? Look forward to rubbing it in everyone’s faces for the next year.

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