Okay, I have to admit that I did play Fantasy Football last year. But it was a free league of 8 people and three people forgot that the league even existed, so I’m not going to count it. This post is for all the girls who don’t really like to watch sports, haven’t really followed along with sports, and think the Superbowl is all about highly-caloric snacks and booze for a few hours. Oh and maybe a performance by Beyonce. So I’m sure my audience is like….2 people out there. Great! This post is for you!
The reason I’m actually playing Fantasy Football is for two reasons: 1) My boyfriend loves football and I wanted to find something that would help me get more interested in Football and 2) I like statistics, games, and competition. How about you? Same reason? Cool.
Beginner Guide for Fantasy Football
Anyways, here’s some key tips I’ve picked up since I’ve started playing that have helped me. BTW, I’m second in my league of 20 people, so you can trust me 😉 for now….please don’t make this post jinx me.
Pick a witty team name
First and foremost, this is about having fun. So be punny and make a decent team name. Sarah has some great fantasy football team names here. So dear god, if you’re “Brittany’s Team” go into your settings and change it now. Don’t be lame. My boyfriend changes his name every week to a pun on his opponents name. I challenge you to be witty.
Most drafts are snake drafts. There are some leagues that are auction drafts, which I think is scary and want to avoid at all costs. With snake draft leagues, each player will be assigned a number randomly and it will “snake” through the numbers back and forth. For example, if there are four people in your league, the first round draft choice will have player 1 go first, player 2 second, etc. On the second draft pick, it will go backwards, so player 4 will go first, then player 3, then player 2, then player 1. This will continue on until the end of your draft.
Since you’re new to football, you probably won’t know much of the good players off the top of your head or know stats on them (like the fact that Le’Veon Bell was suspended the first three weeks). So what I’d do is google a fantasy football cheat sheet. During your draft you can go down the list and pick the best player that is available, whenever a player gets chosen, cross them off your list and keep going.
Most leagues typically have a roster that looks like this: 2 starting running backs (RB), 2 wide receivers (WR), 1 tight end (TE), 1 quarterback (QB), 1 Kicker (K), 1 defense (DEF), and then 1 flex position. A flex can be different depending on each league but it’ll usually have the option for a variety of positions. You’ll have a few extra bench positions to pick up extra players that won’t start. However each league is different so look at what your league roster set up is before you have your draft. For example, my league this year allows a Flex player to be a WR/RB/TE/QB and had no starting QB position. So technically, I didn’t need to pick up a starting QB because the only position I could start him in was my Flex. But I could also play a WR or RB in the flex position who can score more than a QB.
When you’re making your picks, you should choose the players based on who will give you the most points. Typically these are running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks.
Lastly, you’ll want to be aware of Bye Weeks. Bye weeks are the week where that team won’t play. So don’t get two of the same position players (two TEs) that have a Bye week the same week because then you won’t be able to start either of them for that week they aren’t playing.
Fantasy Football isn’t just a one or two day thing, it’s your little baby that you get to monitor throughout the week. Just like your old Tamogotchi or Nano Pet. Remember those? I really was into those, too. You’ll most likely have a few different players playing on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday. Like I said before, you’ll want to start the players who are projected to get the most points. However, don’t just the projections on the app/system you’re using. I used ESPN last year which I felt are a lot more accurate than Yahoo, which I’m using this year. For example, Yahoo kept projecting that RGIII was going to be the best player for weeks when he was out on injury. So google everything. Google the specific players news to see who they are playing against, their projections, and any news that mentions that they might not start. This was a new one I learned because I had a QB that the team kept switching between him and their secondary. Having a player like this is risky because you never know who the team will actually start or if they will play the entire game if they do start. So focus on starting players who are guaranteed to start.
Each week, you’ll have certain deadlines that you’ll need to check and maintain your team. Each Tuesday, scan all available players in your league that you might want to pick up. If you have a crappy defense that you picked in your draft, you might find a defense that someone dropped. When you add players, there are two things you’ll notice. Free Agent or Waiver. The difference is that a free agent can be picked up at any time, first come-first serve. If a player was just dropped from another team, they will be played on waivers which is a mandatory freeze time before anyone can pick them up. It’s also not first come first serve. It will go off your waiver number, which is similar to your snake draft number. The biggest loser will have waiver number 1, so they will have the first pick on anyone they choose. If you’re winning, you’re waiver number will be last. This way it gives a little advantage to the underdogs.
Each Thursday (morning or afternoon), check and see all the players you have on your roster and make your decision of who you want to start. My favorite way to decide this is to go to Fantasy Pros and ask who to start if I’m stuck in between any two people. But again, google news on the players to help make your final decision. You’ll want to switch out any players who are marked with a red “O” for out, or any players who are on Bye weeks.
Lastly, on Sundays will be your last chance to switch out anyone. Some teams will wait until Sunday to make a decision on who they are starting or check to see if there are any last minute injuries. This will be your final time to switch out players since most games are played on Sunday.
My last tip is don’t be afraid to make lots of moves. Switch around players, request trades from other players, pick up players from the waiver wire. There’s no need to hold on to someone who might be good in two weeks. Grab someone right away who can do some good for you. Have fun & Good luck!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me and I’ll answer them and if I can’t, I’ll make my boyfriend answer it for you.
P.S. If I used any wrong terminology in here, lemme know and I’ll fix it.