As fantasy football drafts start occuring all over the country, and perhaps the world, it’s fair to mention some “do’s and don’ts” that start on draft day and in some cases continue through the season. Following these guidelines may not help you chances of winning your league, but win or lose they all should help you be a low-maintenance fantasy owner.
Without further ado, here are my “Ten Commandments of Fantasy Football”, counted backwards.
10. Thou Shall Show Up To Draft Day On Time
Even if you’re not entirely focused on your league during the season, make it a point to show up to the draft on time or even fairly early. Then you can find a comfortable spot, get your beverage of choice and even perhaps have a last-minute cram session prior to the start of the draft or auction. Your league mates will also be glad that they didn’t have to wait for you. Exceptions can and will be made for emergency situations, but league title runs start on draft day and showing up on time is a good start.
9. Thou Shall Know When It’s Your Turn To Draft
Whether it’s a draft or an auction, there’s no excuse for not knowing when it’s your turn to make a pick or throw out a name for bid. A simple key is paying attention to who is immediately before and after you in the draft order to prevent confusion. If you’re not willing to at least pay attention on draft day maybe it’s time for a new hobby, since your fellow owners that do will certainly thank you for your donation every year.
8. Thou Shall Come Prepared
Simple preparation for any fantasy league draft, football or otherwise, comes down to three things: something to write with, something to write on and a list of players so you can cross off those who have been drafted (and circle the players you have selected). Doing this easy preparation, and keeping up with who has been drafted, prevents the embarrassment of trying to select a favorite “sleeper” that went off the board three rounds ago.
7. Thou Shall Respect Fellow Fantasy Owners
This is an easy one, and comes down to not mocking an owner in your league that makes a pick you disagree with and also acknowledging a significant injury situation someone may not be aware of. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure everyone starts on a relatively even keel prior to the season, so don’t let that fall strictly on your commissioner.
6. Thou Shall Not Get Drunk During The Draft
Your league mates will definitely allow you do be drunk during the draft, as long as you aren’t driving home soon after of course, as your resulting poor decisions will be to their benefit. But in the interest of good decisions and making your best attempt at putting together a solid roster, save the majority of your alcohol consumption for after the draft if that is applicable.
5. Thou Shall Limit Distractions During The Draft
In this age of unlimited access to technology, it’s a good practice to turn your cell phone off or at least set it on silent mode during your league’s draft. An incoming phone call or text message and the requisite noise serves to distract you as well as the other owners in your league, so practice good courtesy and go silent while the draft is going on.
4. Thou Shall Not Try To Do Multiple Drafts At Once
Here’s an example. You are at your commissioner’s house or some other location, and during that draft you are also trying to do an online draft in another league via your laptop. Doing so is a recipe for disaster, as it will be hard to keep track of both and both rosters may suffer as such. This ties into commandment #7 too, as you should respect your fellow fantasy owners that you have gathered with enough to give them your full attention all the way around.
3. Thou Shall Pay League Fees As Promptly As Possible
I personally choose to settle my tab for league fees on or around draft day, but if your league commissioner has a deadline in mind and announces it you have to respect and follow that guideline. Special consideration can, should and will be made for unique circumstances, but one of the more annoying parts of a commissioner’s duties is having to shake people down for money at the end of the season. Be sure to acknowledge and recognize that.
2. Thou Shall Not Be Too Critical Of Oneself Post-Draft
This one is easy to violate, and the one I personally break most often when looking at a roster after a draft. You can enter a draft with a plan, but the likelihood you’ll get every player you target is both unrealistic and unlikely. A big part of fantasy football success, as all veteran owners know, is being willing and able to adjust. That clearly starts on draft day and continues right on through the season.
1. Thou Shall Recognize The Most Important Part: Have Fun
After all, fantasy football is a game meant to be enjoyed, right? You should have fun with every part of the process, from draft day preparation to draft day to waiver wire surfing during the season. Some of it can be grueling at times, at least as much as it can be considered grueling, but enjoying it while also taking it seriously can lead to a lot of success year after year in your fantasy league.