Fantasy Football Strategy Tips
Before your draft/auction
- Know your particular league’s scoring system and base your player rankings on it. Never use rankings from a magazine, the Internet, etc. without considering how the scoring system assumed by those rankings differs from your league’s scoring system. For example, if your league counts Kickoff Return and Punt Return yardage for Running Backs and Wide Receivers, make sure that your rankings reflect this yardage. Whenever possible, use player projections and rankings that are customized to your league’s characteristics (e.g. – roster requirements, scoring categories and their associated point values).
- A good player ranking system must reflect not only each player’s projected statistics, but also your league’s roster requirements (i.e. – supply & demand), the relative consistency of players at each position (e.g. – Quarterbacks are generally more consistent from one year to the next than Kickers), and Position Scarcity.
- Whenever possible, consult a web site that contains Average Draft Position (ADP) information for each player. Your goal is to maximize the value you get from each of your picks. If your player rankings suggest a player should be drafted in the 4th round, but his ADP suggests he is generally being taken in the 7th round, draft him in the 6th round rather than the 4th round to maximize value.
- If your league allows keepers, give preference to players at positions with relatively high Position Scarcity (e.g. – Running Back, Wide Receiver).
- If you are participating in an auction, prepare a budget ahead of time. Tier players both by position and the amount of money you’re willing to spend for them. Develop several sample rosters ahead of time so that you can anticipate alternatives should your auction take an unexpected turn (and it always will)!
During your draft/auction
- Track all teams’ remaining roster needs by position. If you are participating in an auction, also track how much money each team has remaining.
- Generally, you should draft Running Backs and Wide Receivers before drafting a Quarterback. Unless your league uses a very unusual scoring format, Position Scarcity is almost always greatest at these two positions.
- Generally, it’s better to wait to pick your starting Tight End and Defense until after you have selected all your reserves at Quarterback, Running Back, and Wide Receiver. Do not draft a back-up Tight End, Defense, or Kicker – there will almost always be plenty of options available on the waiver wire during the season!
- Always wait until the very last round of your draft to take a Kicker!!! Kickers’ statistics are notoriously difficult to project due to their lack of consistency from one season to the next.
- Do not be overly concerned with your players’ bye weeks, especially if they fall later in the season (i.e. – Weeks 7-10). Injuries, benchings, etc. will often leave the best “bye week planning” in shambles by the time the players’ bye weeks actually arrive. That said, if your league requires you to start more than one Quarterback, try to avoid ending up with multiple starting Quarterbacks with the same bye week – good Quarterbacks are difficult to find on the waiver wire by the time the bye weeks arrive.
- For Bench spots target unproven players with high potential, but give strong preference to players who are currently starting over those who are currently languishing on the bench.
- When deciding among several similarly-ranked players during a draft, choose the player who has the most favorable schedule during your league’s playoff weeks (difficult to gauge at the beginning of the season, but still worth the effort).
- Do not draft/buy players who figure to miss more than the first 2-3 games of the season. Use your roster spots on players who are healthy/not suspended to begin the season.
- During an auction compare each player’s actual price to your predicted price for that player. Keep track of the cumulative overspending or underspending for the auction, by team if possible. Your goal is to purchase the majority of your players at points in the auction when other teams have previously overspent on cumulative basis – this will mean less competition for your targeted players. Generally, this condition will exist during the middle stages of an auction (i.e. – after the inevitable overspending on some of the big names thrown out early, but before the final stages, when teams seek to spend all of their remaining funds).
- The key to fantasy football is avoiding risk. Let someone else speculate on rookies and other unproven players during the early stages of your draft/auction.