As August approaches, it is undoubtedly the best time of the year for football fans! Although the spotlight may be on your favorite team’s training camp, fantasy football feigns are left to ponder the question as to which players will fill up the spots on their rosters. Before you delve into your draft, you will want to be prepared with the most basic fantasy knowledge to see you through a successful season. Read through my 5 steps to “faking fantasy like a pro.”
1. Know the design – Whereas traditional football relies on team performance, fantasy focuses specifically on individuals’ achievement. Because your team will be made up of different players from a variety of teams, you will want to create the best possible mix of players to gain the most points. The emphasis is typically on offense, where you may have 8 individual players. Defense and special teams, however, are represented as a team.
2. Decide your level of commitment – Essentially, you are a team “owner” and need to put forth the necessary effort to keep your fantasy franchise afloat. Before you commit to a league, you should decide how much time you are willing to spend on your team. Thankfully, there are several different leagues available online. You can join an anonymous league for free here at Yahoo. If you plan on getting serious, you can begin your own with friends, making bets upwards of $10. Fantasy truly is like anything else in life – you get out what you put in.
3. Get acclimated with your opponents – As contradictory as it sounds, you will want to get to know the people you’re up against. You will face most of your opponents at least once, so knowing a little bit about their team beforehand can help you to decide which players to play, who to bench, etc. Also if you get extra friendly with some of them, they may be more willing to trade players with you!
4. Choose a good Defense/Special Teams – Many fantasy rookies tend to focus solely on big player positions such as quarterback or running back. Despite the possibilities for big points with these players, never underestimate the power of choosing a good defense and special teams. Offensive positions and their performance depends heavily on the defense in which they face; face a team with a strong secondary, you may see your QB’s passing rates go way down. Yet, if you pick up a great defense and special teams unit, you can bank on points if the team is known for interceptions or fab returning skills (think Adrian Peterson).
5. Book your Sundays (…or get stat tracker) – The most exciting part of being in a league is spending your Sundays switching back and forth between multiple games to see how your fantasy team is faring. I can remember many a-Sundays spent flipping fervently from Fox to NBC, just to check up on the various players that culminated to make up a fantasy team. If you aren’t prepared to spend your Sundays glued to the tube, invest in a stat tracker which can conveniently send updates to your phone, email, etc. You can find tons of stat trackers on the web. The ones at nfl.com are great and affordable too! Trust me, you’ll want to miss the Tuesday morning blues after you neglected your team over the weekend.