Under The Bleachers: Fantasy Football Rules To Live By

(Photo: Someecards)

August is here, September is looming and that means football season is on the horizon.

Sorry CFL fans, I’m talking about the actually football season. You know, the NFL? Not the weird version that gets played in nine cities across the country with wider fields, deeper end zones and random single points for various things.

And with the pending arrival of the 2015 NFL Season comes another chance for you to capture Fantasy Football glory. Whether you’re playing in a league with your friends or against complete strangers in one of several leagues you have across three or four different sites, everyone wants to win and if someone tells you otherwise, they’re probably lying.

Seriously, no one plays fantasy football just for the fun of it. Even the first-timers that get in because “my buddies needed one more guy” get hooked and hardcore before the season is out because it’s addictive and competitive and laying a beating on your friends or Dave from Des Moines on any given Sunday is serious fun.

While some people will try to tell you that winning at Fantasy Football comes down to luck, they’re probably people that don’t win at Fantasy Football very much because if they did, they would know that preparation and proper drafting are critical to fielding a quality team and giving yourself the best chance to claim bragging rights (or whatever cash and prizes are on the line) at the end of the year.

With draft season starting, here are a few key tips to keep in mind when you’re getting ready to sit down and select your team.

Know Your League

I’ve played in the same league with some friends from Vancouver Island for the past five years. It’s basically a two-quarterback league because you’re allowed to start another QB in your FLEX spot and pretty much everyone does it because QBs get you the most points.

I didn’t really grasp that concept the first year I was in the league, took Frank Gore in the first round and got trucked all season long. Last season, a new arrival to our group scoffed as people grabbed quarterbacks early. He took an alternate approach and got smashed.

The moral of the story: know the setup of your league going in. If it’s a two-QB league, get at least one quality QB early. If it’s a PPR league, target guys that are going to haul in a lot of passes.

Additionally, pay attention to how the people you’re playing with draft, especially if you know them and play with them every season. Some guys favour big names and do little prep; take advantage of that. All is fair in love and fantasy football.

Know The Depth Charts

There are 47 different Fantasy Football guides that get published every year and the NFL Network is on 24/7. There is also this incredible invention called “The Internet” where you can find the depth chart for every team in the league.

Don’t be the guy that picks Denver’s fourth receiver in the third round. Know that Tom Brady is suspended for the first four games of the season and adjust your rankings accordingly.

Leave Your Allegiances at the Door

You know a good way to lose every year? Drafting all the players from your favourite team. As great as the Green Bay Packers are in real life, you’re going to need players from outside of the great state of Wisconsin on your team if you hope to win.

Sure Aaron Rodgers & Co. might be able to win you a couple games, but if Jordy Nelson goes down and Davante Adams is your only back-up, you’re going to be sorry, no matter how much you love the Cheeseheads.

Don’t Get Sucked In

Just because some other yahoo picked a kicker in the 9th round doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. At the same time, don’t feel like you have to take a tight end in the 7th because all the good ones are coming off the board and you don’t want to miss out.

The final round is made for drafting kickers and after the first two or three tight ends, they’re all pretty much the same, so fill out your bench with superior depth and thank me later.

Be Active

Propose trades. Work the waiver wire. Adjust your line-up when the situation calls for it. As much as you’re going to like the team your initially drafted, you’re going in encounter injuries, guys are going to struggle and someone might make you an offer that significantly improves your team.

In order to win, you need to be active. It also keeps you from becoming the guy in your league that everyone hates.

Tags: NFL, Wisconsin

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