You’ve finally been invited to join the office fantasy football league and you’re all “rah-rah” until you realize, you have no clue what you are doing.
If you find yourself in this position, the following pointers are here to help guide you through your first fantasy football draft.
- Familiarize yourself with fantasy football rankings from multiple sources. You can do so by searching on Google, Yahoo or any other search engine. There are loads of articles on which players to target before, during and after the draft. I suggest you pick a couple of fantasy gurus and roll with their rankings and advice.
- Learn the ADP (Average Draft Position). This is an estimate of where players are being drafted in mock fantasy football drafts. Prior to your draft, I recommend you take part in a few mock drafts. This way, you can see first hand where the player you’re targeting are being drafted. However, no two mock drafts are the same and all mock drafts will differ from your actual 2012 fantasy football draft. So, while it’s good to check ADP’s and jot down notes, they shouldn’t be carved in stone.
- Brush up on your league’s rules and scoring system. This is an important step which is crucial to winning your league. Find out if your league is a standard scoring league, a PPR (Points Per Reception) league, a Touchdown league or some other variation. It’s always a good idea to check the rules and scoring system prior to your draft to ensure nothing has changed.
- Don’t auto-draft. Don’t auto-draft. Don’t auto-draft. Auto-drafting is a good feature, but it’s there as a last resort. It’s there in case you can’t make the draft. Owners who auto-draft often end up with very bad teams because the team is computer generated.
- Devise a draft strategy. Determine what will benefit your team the most. If your league has six point touchdowns for every position, it may benefit you most to take a quarterback early, because they score with more frequency. However, if your quarterback’s touchdowns are only worth four points you may decide to wait on a quarterback and take a top running back or wide receiver instead.
- Don’t over think it. Many fantasy leagues out there come with an integrated ranking system to help beginners out. A simple strategy is ranking players by their point totals from last year and selecting the best available player according to your needs.
- Learn what sleeper picks are. These players often fly beneath the radar and are regarded as possible breakout candidates. In most cases they are drafted towards the end of the draft or can be picked up through the waiver wire or free agency period. So, unless you absolutely think it’s necessary to reach for one of these guys, I suggest you don’t draft them while more solid players are still on the board.
- Pay attention to the bye week. This is one of, if not, the biggest mistake made by newcomers. The bye week means that you won’t have that specific player for that week. Drafting players with the same bye week will lead to chaos. You’ll be left scrambling to find replacements and in most cases it forces you to drop someone you don’t want to lose.
- Don’t be a homer. Homers are owners that take every player on their home team or favorite team. This is the best way to have a disastrous season.
Unless you’re playing for a huge payout or have invested gratuitous amounts of money into an auction league, you should try to have as much fun as you can. Give your team a creative name and get your popcorn ready, cause the NFL season is right around the corner.
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