2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: 10 Mistakes You Must Avoid

2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: 10 Mistakes To Avoid

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No matter how many years you have played fantasy football, there is always something new you can learn. I have learned many valuable lessons throughout my career as a fantasy football manager, and more importantly, I have learned from the errors of myself and others.

Here are 10 mistakes to avoid in your 2014 fantasy football draft.

10. Not Trusting Yourself

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10. Not Trusting Yourself

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Whether you have $ 100,000 on the line or you are just playing for free, fantasy football is supposed to be about fun and interacting with people in your league. If you draft players that the experts love but you don't, then you aren't going to enjoy your season. If you think Frank Gore is going to have a monster season, then you should draft him! Trust yourself, and don't solely base decisions on the advice of others.

9. Don't Zone Out In The Later Rounds

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9. Don't Zone Out In The Later Rounds

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I have seen this many times over the years. Players have a pretty solid draft, and they will start to lose their focus after the sixth and seventh rounds. They think they already have a great starting lineup, so why pay attention to players that they might not start? The later rounds are where you build your depth and can find steals. I drafted Josh Gordon in the 10th round in one of my leagues last year. Don't zone out.

8. Not Knowing League Structure

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8. Not Knowing League Structure

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Every league is different, and you need to know how many players your league starts, as well as how your team is able to score points. Are touchdown passes worth four points or six? Do you get a bonus if your quarterback throws for 300 or more yards? Do running backs receive any points for rushing attempts? If you want to optimize your lineup, you need to fully understand how your league works.

7. Loading Up On Rookies

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7. Loading Up On Rookies

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Unless you are in a dynasty league or a league where rookies are needed for the long haul, it doesn't make sense to load up on rookies. We see an Eddie Lacy or Keenan Allen every year, and fantasy players swear they will be the individuals who draft a rookie star next season. If you want a sobering fact, Allen was the only rookie wide receiver to make the top 20 last season. Don't reach for rookies or draft too many.

6. Drafting Unnecessary Backups

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6. Drafting Unnecessary Backups

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There should be no reason to have three kickers, defenses or tight ends on your team. I am not sure the reasoning behind this strategy, but it is something I continually see. Having just two kickers on your team means you are missing out on depth at wide receiver or running back. Imagine what you are missing out on with three kickers.

5. Relying On Last Year's Numbers

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5. Relying On Last Year's Numbers

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You can use stats to help predict the type of season a player will have, but the numbers a player put up last season are never guaranteed to be repeatable. If you draft Peyton Manning as the first pick in your draft just because of last season, it will be devastating if Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers has a better season. The numbers should just be used as a guide, as there are many other factors that account for a player's success.

4. Not Paying Attention To Coaching Changes

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4. Not Paying Attention To Coaching Changes

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Every position and head coach have a different philosophy than the person they replaced, so it's important to research the history and preferences of a new coach. Alfred Morris is not known for being a dual-threat back, but Roy Helu may have an increased role this season with new coach Jay Gruden, as Gruden's back Giovani Bernard totaled 514 receiving yards in 2013. Looking at those type of dynamics will give you an edge over your opponents.

3. Drafting A Defense Too Early

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3. Drafting A Defense Too Early

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Defenses rarely post the same fantasy football production from year to year, and you can often find that streaming a defense from week to week is the best way to go. If you pick the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round, you can miss out on players like Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and Maurice Jones-Drew.

2. Being Too Rigid

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2. Being Too Rigid

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Make sure you are able to adapt or it will be a long draft. If you planned on drafting Adrian Peterson with your third-round pick but someone drafted him with the second pick, don't let that ruin your game plan. You aren't always going to get the players you want, and you need to be able to quickly adapt to anything that happens.

1. Listening To Your Opponents

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1. Listening To Your Opponents

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Asking an opponent for advice is like a quarterback asking a defense what play he should run. Not only will your opponent try to mislead you, but if they actually try to help you, they probably don't know anything you don't know! You should never ask your opponent what they think of your team or who you should draft.


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