The 2017 fantasy football season is upon us. Across the country owners are getting ready for their draft with the hope they can get the players they desire. Fantasy football is tricky because you can either be great or you can struggle all season. Everyone makes mistakes with their team, either with players that struggle or they just make bad decisions throughout the season. These tips will help anyone not only this year but for future fantasy football seasons.
The first tip for all fantasy football owners is knowing your league. There are many different types of fantasy football leagues in which to participate in. Whether you are in a standard league, a PPR league, a two-quarterback league or even a dynasty league, they are all different and therefore how you prepare for your upcoming draft is different.
The second tip is the draft. The draft is where it all begins for a successful team. In most leagues the draft order is randomized, but according to Mike Braude of Apex Fantasy Football Money Leagues the highest scoring teams had an average draft position of 7.5. What this should tell you is it doesn’t matter where you pick, you just have to pick smart. You need to have a game plan and a backup game plan on how you want to draft. You need to know what positions are deep that you can wait on and what positions you need to fill right away.
For the later rounds of the draft the best strategy is let the draft come to you. Add depth and fill bye weeks without reaching for a player you can get a round or two later. In any case, you can’t go into a draft just winging it, you need to have a strategy that you can deviate from if necessary.
The next tip is managing your team and planning for the “what ifs”. You need to pay attention to the free agent list. There is always one or two players that have a breakout first couple of games that no one expects. Keep an eye on these players, as a couple of weeks doesn’t always translate to an entire season. Another good tip is showing patience in players who start slow. You may not want to start them but you don’t want to have a knee jerk reaction and cut a player who is struggling early but has good track record.
An often-overlooked tip is what to do with an in-season trade opportunity. Rarely will another owner propose a trade that won’t benefit them. The idea is to win trades not lose them. Don’t be afraid to counter offer if you feel another player on their roster will help you. Remember the idea is to win games and losing in a trade doesn’t help with that. According to an Apex Fantasy survey, 96 percent of all fantasy league plays like trading however, a player who would call themselves a fantasy addict was more likely to disapprove trading.
Most important, there is no shame in rejecting a trade offer.If you truly don’t want to part with a player don’t trade them, even if the player you are receiving could help your team. Trades are tricky and it makes little sense to strengthen a weakness by weakening a strength.
My last tip is to be ethical. Leagues are made up of multiple owners who in many cases know each other. If your team is struggling and not in playoff contention, don’t trade player A to team 2 because team 2’s owner is your buddy if you wouldn’t trade player A to team 5 whose owner you don’t know. This not only makes you look like a complete jerk but it hurts your credibility with other owners.
My most valuable tip to all owners in any league is to enjoy the season and have fun. Whether you play for money or for free, winning shouldn’t get in the way of enjoying the game of fantasy football. Never be ashamed of being competitive, but don’t let it take the enjoyment away from you or the other owners.
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