2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: 10 Crucial Draft Day Tips

2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: 10 Crucial Draft Day Tips

Lingerie Football League
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Fantasy Football Draft Day should be a national holiday. If you have to work, quit. But like Christmas, it can be pressure-packed. Mess up today and you'll regret it the rest of the year. Pay attention to these 10 tips and I'll get you ready for a monster year.

10. Do Not Draft a Defense or Kicker

New England Patriots Stephen Gostkowski
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10. Do Not Draft a Defense or Kicker

New England Patriots Stephen Gostkowski
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Many say wait until the last two rounds. I say: Don't do it at all. Use those last two picks to grab another RB and WR. You'll need the depth. A few days before Game 1, look at your roster. Drop two guys who are hurt, in trouble or otherwise unnecessary. Then pick a kicker with a good offense and a bad Week 1 opponent. Select a free agent defense with a good first matchup. Next week? Maybe dump them for another.

9. Bring Clear and Simple Notes

OJ Simpson Notebook
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9. Bring Clear and Simple Notes

OJ Simpson Notebook
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Do not bring a pile of paper, magazines and charts. A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. Print one quality cheat sheet from your favorite source, put a few notes on it and that's it. You should already know who you like and who you don't. The only unknown today is what the others will do. I like to put a certain mark on guys I'd take higher than the rankings say and another on guys I'll ignore. And keep other eyeballs out of your notes.

8. You're not Smarter than the Experts

Matthew Berry 2014 ESPYS - Arrivals
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8. You're not Smarter than the Experts

Matthew Berry 2014 ESPYS - Arrivals
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I believe a Martian could win your league. An alien with no knowledge of what a football looks like who had a cheat sheet and knew RB8 must be better than RB9 could win it. My greatest mistakes in this game have been thinking too much. So don't think Marcus Lattimore is poised to break out, Frank Gore to break down and pick Lattimore over Gore. Just go with the numbers. Keep your frantic hunches to a minimum.

7. Don't Bring Messy Food

Jerk Chicken
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7. Don't Bring Messy Food

Jerk Chicken
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I once made a ton of ribs for a buddy's draft party. They were done just as the draft started. Going through your notes and marking off players as they're picked with a saucy rib in one hand is impossible. Don't use your cheat sheet as a napkin. By the time the draft was over and I went back for seconds, the ribs were gone. Next time I'm cooking something you can eat with a fork.

6. Play "What If?" in the First Round

Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch
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6. Play "What If?" in the First Round

Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch
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You're sitting at pick No. 9. No way you're getting Marshawn Lynch. But what if someone takes this holdout too seriously? What if a couple guys ahead of you think he's over the hill? What if your league goes nuts on QBs or WRs in the first round? Be prepared. Have a contingency plan. I had a league go crazy for QBs, so I got deep with RBs and WRs and didn't take a QB until the tenth round. You never know what will happen.

5. Know How Many and When

Peyton Manning Denver Broncos
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5. Know How Many and When

Peyton Manning Denver Broncos
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How many RBs, WRs, QBs etc. do you want on you team? Will you be starting an even number of runners and receivers? How many flexes and what kind? Decide ahead of time what positions should be on your bench. When will you take a QB? Will you take a backup? When will you grab a TE (See tip 10)? I like a RB, WR and QB each in the first three rounds then tons of RB/WR depth with TE taken very late. You? Figure it out.

4. Bring the Money

Briefcase
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4. Bring the Money

Briefcase
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If you're putting money on this thing, get it over with. If your league manager has to chase you all over for your share, either you won't be invited back or your manager will never lead a league again, or both. Don't take the fun out of it. And don't do it for the money. Your fee buys you a ticket to have more entertainment out of every week of the NFL season. If you end up with some coin at the end of it all, even better.

3. Tight Ends are the New Kickers

Martellus Bennett Chicago Bears
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3. Tight Ends are the New Kickers

Martellus Bennett Chicago Bears
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Take a TE last. Jimmy Graham may go in the first round. Dudes will run at tight ends early. After Julius Thomas, I'm not that excited about anyone. Gronk could be hurt again. Vernon Davis may disappear for games. I don't know who's throwing to Jordan Cameron. They're all risky. They're all deep. Martellus Bennett will be around late with Ladarius Green and other talent. Take RB and WR early. Gamble on TE late.

2. Tips for Live Online Draft

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2. Tips for Live Online Draft

2013 World Solar Challenge Laptop
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Doing the draft live online? Make sure you test your software. Be online early. Have the managers signed up a couple days in advance and lock it. If you tinker with things the day of the draft, the fantasy gods may make you reschedule. Happened to me. Send all little distractions to the movies. Use the bathroom first. Set the time to 30 seconds so over-thinkers will have to hurry. Strap in. It goes quick.

1. Tips for Auto Draft

Dubai Camel Racing Festival 2014
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1. Tips for Auto Draft

Dubai Camel Racing Festival 2014
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I'm not a fan of removing the thrill of the draft from fantasy football, but an employer did an auto draft last year and I won. So listen up. I removed every tight end, defense and kicker from my custom rankings. I ended up with a team of only RBs, WRs and QBs. My opponents all had multiple Ds, Ks and TEs they promptly dropped. Meanwhile, I had the best runner and receiver depth in the league. It was almost easy.


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