Fantasy Football DOs & DON’Ts

Saturday, April 8, 2017
Getty Images Sport / George Gojkovich
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Although it would be ideal to follow, there is no set formula or amount of data mining that can guarantee success in fantasy football. Due to ever-changing variables like injuries and new offensive schemes, it is difficult to predict the future output of skill position players in the NFL. However, there are various rules to abide by in fantasy that can increase the likelihood of success on an annual basis. Below, I review a few of these unspoken rules in preparation for 2017 drafts.

Editor’s Note: Check out some of our other strategy-related articles such as Top 10 Tips & Tricks and Frequently Asked Fantasy Questions.

Do

Participate In Mock Drafts
In order to have a sound understanding of player value, it is crucial to participate in mock drafts. By doing so, an individual can identify fluctuations and trends in player value. To gain a competitive advantage over other owners in a league, it is even more beneficial to partake in mock drafts before and after the actual NFL Draft. This enables a fantasy owner to witness the impact of possible role changes in an offense due to increased competition, in addition to monitoring how rookies will be valued in real drafts as the regular season approaches.

Depending on the size of a league, it could also be advantageous to allocate extra time to mock drafts in order to select from every possible spot in a serpentine format. This will prepare owners to respond as needed during an actual draft, as each position and its corresponding outcomes will be accounted for ahead of time.

To give you a feel for how mock drafts work, check out Andy, Mike, and Jason’s recent Early Mock Draft from Episode #363 of the podcast.

Take The BPA
No, I am not referring to the compound that is regularly found in plastic water bottles. In this case, “BPA” refers to best player available. Focus on selecting the best talent on a draft board, and face the dilemma of submitting a starting lineup at a later time. Building a balanced roster is a necessity, but collecting the best value on draft day is of utmost importance. After all, roster tweaks can be made as needed via free agency, trade or waivers during the season.

Prepare For A Draft
Instead of merely printing out skill position ranking sheets before a draft, be prepared by already noting offseason personnel changes, free agent signings, and incoming rookies. In order to remain updated on news and player rankings, be sure to pre-order the Ultimate Draft Kit. The UDK is assembled with player profiles, projected stats, draft day tools, expert picks, research tools, a 2017 NFL preview and much more. Best of all, it is constantly updated as a living and breathing product!

Don’t

Draft To Fill Out A Starting Lineup
A common tendency in fantasy football is to fill out a starting lineup during a draft, and then proceed to add depth at other skill positions after the fact. Even though the former will make it effortless to set a lineup every week, the latter often translates to more frequent success in fantasy. When in doubt, select the best player available regardless of lineup or roster limitations.

Rely On ADP
When it comes to utilizing data and tools, average draft position (ADP) can be helpful and harmful simultaneously. As opposed to relying on ADP for each and every draft pick, use it as a measurement tool to gauge the market value of players. After all, ADP fails to calculate the temperature of a draft room or the level of aggressiveness from other owners. At times, it is necessary to bypass popular opinion and reach for a player before others do so in a league.

Forget To Read League Rules
It is imperative to read and understand the rules of a league before committing to it. This same philosophy applies to the commissioner of a league, as it is essential to distribute a set of rules or bylaws to all league members before a draft so no confusion arises on a later date.

Since a majority of fantasy football enthusiasts participate in multiple leagues, it is crucial to identify league parameters, starting lineup requirements and scoring rules before each and every draft. This is a rather simple task that can often determine success or failure in a league. For example, if one of three leagues a person partakes in is PPR instead of standard scoring, then rankings and strategies need to be adjusted accordingly.

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