The Fantasy Footballers Top 10 Tips and Tricks Episode Recap
The latest episode of The Fantasy Footballers Podcast features the 2020 edition of what has become an annual tradition: 10 Tips & Tricks to Win Your Fantasy Football League. Andy, Mike, and Jason take their most actionable expert advice and condense it down into ten easy to follow tips and tricks.
Want more Tips & tricks? Check out the Fantasy Football Unleashed: 55 Tips, Tricks & Ways to Win at Fantasy Football on Amazon.
10: “Contextual Healing” – Andy
It’s easy to get wrapped up in statistics, analytics, and strategies but it’s just as important to know the nuances of your league. Obviously it’s important to know the mechanical rules and settings of your particular league, but it goes deeper than that. If you’ve played in your league long enough you should have a feel for how the league plays out on a year-to-year basis. Do your league-mates typically “drop it like it’s hawt”? Maybe you know of a specific team or player biases that exist in your league. This kind of contextual knowledge can give you a leg up on your competition as much, if not more than any statistical metric.
9: “Middle Me This” – Jason
The Ballers always stress “being water” in fantasy drafts, but rounds three to six appear to be the perfect place to attack wide receivers this year. The running backs typically drafted in this range by ADP have underperformed compared to their expectations over the past five seasons. The backs going in that range this season, like Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, and Melvin Gordon, all come with plenty of question marks (just like the Batman villain this tip is named after). The wide receivers in this range, however, are loaded with upside. At this point in drafts, you’ll find six of The Ballers’ top-12 consensus ranked wideouts. It sets up as the perfect spot to bypass the questionable running backs and lock up some exciting receivers.
8: “Don’t Blow Chunks” – Mike
Mike’s colorful tip is good for life in general, but when it comes to fantasy football it refers to viewing the season in smaller, easier to manage “chunks”. It’s important to focus on the here and now of each chunk. Worrying about the fantasy playoff matchups isn’t very useful in Week 2. Coasting and ignoring transactions after a 4-0 start can set you up for failure, just like continuing to grind after an 0-4 start can get you back in the running for a #FootClanTitle.
To quote Andy, “Whatever happens one way can happen in reverse”
7: “More Than Meets the Eye” – Andy
It’s a natural pitfall to lock into prototypical players. Everybody wants the team’s number one receiver or lead running back, but there’s value to be had deeper on most depth charts. A team’s second receiver can still finish among the top-24 fantasy wideouts. In fact, Andy referenced the fact that on average four sets of team-wide receivers will finish in the top 24 every season.
An average of 4 sets of team WRs will finish Top 24 every year. An uncanny statistic that's not included in most projections. These are the QBs that have supported 2 Top 24 WRs since 2005.
Side effect: 12 NFL teams won't have a WR finish inside the PPR Top 24. pic.twitter.com/sv1WKD3eSz
— Jacob Rickrode (@ClutchFantasy) August 18, 2020
Non-prototypical running backs are also often passed by in drafts. Austin Ekeler, James White, and Tarik Cohen are examples of passing down backs that have were overlooked in drafts in recent years and went on to have huge fantasy production.
Not every player on your fantasy roster has to be the top option on their own NFL team
6: “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise” – Jason
Tip six actually includes three mini-tips and a trick related to navigating the COVID-19 landscape in fantasy football for 2020.
6a. “Take known production over upside”
Drafting for upside in the later rounds is usually a recommended strategy, but the possibility of players missing games at higher rates due to COVID-19 cases, symptoms, and quarantines could change that in 2020. This increases the value of known commodities like Sterling Shepard, Tevin Coleman, or Jamison Crowder compared to the boom-bust prospects the likes of Henry Ruggs III, J.K. Dobbins, or Mecole Hardman.
6b. “Avoid over-drafting players from the same NFL team”
As we’ve already seen in the MLB, if there are COVID-19 outbreaks they’ll likely affect multiple players in a locker room. Rostering too many players from a single team puts you at risk of missing a good portion of your fantasy lineup for multiple weeks.
6c. “Look for teams with good continuity”
With a shortened offseason and no preseason games, teams that have continuity from last year will have a leg up on those that have lots of changeovers. Buffalo, Kansas City, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, and Las Vegas all return a majority of their offensive starters from last season. On the other hand, Carolina, the Jets, and Washington have many new additions.
Bonus Trick: “Watch Mike on Sunday Live”
If you didn’t already know, Mike goes live every Sunday leading up to the early kickoffs to discuss the latest news and updates. It will be more important than ever to tune in this season as we’re likely to have more last-minute updates than ever to parse out.
5: “On the Grid” – Mike
For this tip, Mike mentioned making the most of your mock drafts and emphasized practicing while focusing on a specific feature: “The Grid”.
The grid, or draft board, is a great way to instantly visualize your opponents’ rosters in real-time during the draft. If you know the roster build of those drafting near you it makes it easier to decide whether or not you should pull the trigger at specific positions, especially tight ends and quarterbacks.
Many platforms have them built into their drafts or you can easily create your own by scrawling a makeshift grid with pen and paper. If you need help visualizing what this looks like, here’s a grid from the first seven rounds of last year’s Ballers Writer’s draft. Notice that each position is assigned its own color for quick recognition.
4: “Intestinal Fortitude” – Andy
The fantasy football season is a marathon, not a sprint. After months of preparation and buildup, it’s easy to overreact to a single week early in the season. You need to fight the urge to buy high or sell low on early season performances. Avoid panicking after a single week’s performance, especially the first week or two. It may have been tempting to cut ties with Aaron Jones when he finished outside the top-50 running backs in Week 1 last season or sell the farm for Sammy Watkins when he easily finished as the WR1 the same week, but those moves would’ve been woefully short-sighted.
3: “The Skeleton Key” – Jason
Jason’s “Skeleton Key” is a twist on mock drafts that also pulls from Andy’s “Contextual Healing”. It’s especially useful in keeper leagues. It involves laying out “The Grid” for your league’s draft, filling in any applicable keepers, and running your own league-specific mock draft where you draft each team as you’d expect every particular owner to draft. This gives you an idea of targets, trade value, and pick value. You could say it’s the key to unlocking your draft.
2. “Know Your Type” – Mike
When it comes to your draft The Ballers recommend using the tier-based rankings found in the Ultimate Draft Kit. However, even when drafting with tiers, the recipe for a good team includes the right mixture of different ingredients. It’s important that you’re aware of the different types of players you’re adding to your team. Some player types mentioned include:
– High ceiling
– High floor
– Breakout rookies
– Super studs
You don’t want to overload your fantasy roster too heavily with one type of player, or it may leave a bad taste in your mouth.
1: “You Get What You Give” – Andy
This is the time to set the table for a good year in your league. Put in the time and effort to make sure it’s the best it can be. Make sure you have good owners (check out FootClanLeagues.com if you need some good replacements). Do as much as you can to engage with your league mates. Set up a communication channel. Discuss rule changes and tweaks. Talk trades and talk trash. Find some league traditions for both winners and losers.
Fantasy football is meant to be fun and the more you can do to amplify the experience, the more fun it is for everyone.