Okay so the fact of the matter is fantasy football might not be rocket science, but it's not quite as simple as playing tic-tac-toe. There are plenty of details to fantasy football that you need to be aware of, details that can make or break your season.
Over the years I've heard some strange and wild advice given to people who have either never played or never played fantasy successfully. After doing some research I've found that these terrible pieces of advice seem to be a common thing which is why I'd like to call out a few of them.
Fantasy Football Advice: The Worst of the Worst
Some of the advice I found in my research was actually helpful but the majority of it was terrible. With fantasy sports adding tons of new users each year they deserve to know the truth (or at least my version.) Without further-a-do lets see how bad the advice can get.
You Can Draft the Perfect Fantasy Team
Going into draft day we all feel great. Our rankings are done and updated, we love our draft spot and we just have a feeling that this year is going to be the one where we win it all.
After falling short all those other years, finally this draft is going to bring you a championship. I don't disagree with the notion that you can make great strides to winning your league on draft day but I'll laugh time and time again at the notion that you can draft the perfect team.
Depending on what day you draft there is so much that can happen between when you make your first pick and the first snap of the NFL season. Go into your draft with an open mind and be prepared to take a few chances. I say that because there are always going to be injuries to deal with, other owners who overpay for guys you thought you could get later and the waiver wire pickups that turn into superstars.
Every year we hear of players who come off the wire to have great seasons. If you look just at 2014, Nick Foles and Zac Stacy are two guys who ended up having great years for their owners and both of them likely weren't drafted highly, if at all.
Just keep in mind that scouring the wire for the next breakout player and making trades with other owners can help get you the pieces to build the "perfect" team. Fantasy football isn't won on draft day, however you can certainly lose it with the wrong attitude and plan.
Trust What You Hear In the Offseason
We have all thought at some point in time that we'd found the golden ticket, the fantasy news that would give us the edge we needed. At times we may have been right but the majority of times what we hear and believe in the offseason couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, in the offseason teams are known for sharing misinformation and giving us nothing truly valuable.
The great teams won't tell us anything meaningful, if they share anything at all.
The reality is we won't get a great grip on what to expect from each team until week 1 of the season. Don't psych yourself out over depth chart rankings that seem crazy or the latest news your heard in April. It's always great to keep the information in the back of your mind, but if you're going to let it drive your draft strategy, you've already lost.
One of my favorite examples of this comes courtesy of Yahoo who breaks down the thoughts on Randy Moss prior to the 2007 season. "Back in early September in 2007, a rumor percolated that the Patriots were actually going to cut Randy Moss, the receiver they'd just acquired from Oakland via trade. This was an actual story, reported by respected sources. Moss, as you'll no doubt recall, was on the brink of a record-shattering season. He caught nine passes for 183 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, then caught two TDs in each of the next three weeks. He finished the season with an obscene 23 scores."
Let's be honest, if you were believing all the rumors and hype you knew that drafting Randy Moss was a losing bet. Only the fools would touch him and they'd be sorry...
Don't Worry About a Players Past
Every year there's at least one NFL player who is coming off an injury the year prior and the year before that and possibly the year before that (I'm looking at you Darren McFadden.)
We continue to get lulled into a false sense of security that a particular players past doesn't indicate how they will be in the future. We see the professional rankers give them a decent ranking and think, maybe this is the year they get it right.
They usually start the season off decently, building your hopes up in the process, and then they come crashing back to earth. Effectively ruining your hopes in one effective swoop.
Don't let a player's past injury history slip past you. I've been burned on McFadden before, which is why I chose him specifically for this story, because I believed that he couldn't possibly keep getting hurt and losing me games. Boy was I wrong.
Moral of the story is trust your gut and the facts. At some point everyone, no matter their injury history or past, is worth taking a chance. Just don't reach for a player like this, it'll end up blowing up in your face more often than not.
If You Know Football You Know Fantasy
Watching football doesn't automatically qualify you to draft a fantasy football team, err well I guess it does. It'll provide you with the most basic knowledge to select a team. To be honest it may be enough to compete depending on your league and how dedicated of a football fan you are. If you're only concerned with how your team is doing and not paying attention to other teams - don't expect great results.
When I started I had always enjoyed football but mostly focused on watching the Kansas City Chiefs, they're my team.
As I began my fantasy career I was forced to pay attention to every team and every game and it gave a whole new definition to my Sundays. Now I'm cheering for guys on different teams and watching games such as, Browns vs. Texans, that no one is really all that interested in (sorry guys). All the while I maintained my loyalty to Kansas City, but when it came to fantasy there were no grudges against division rivals' players. Having a bias like that will sink your team before they even get started. Learn about the different players available and pick them based on their merit alone. Don't overanalyze it, just go with your gut.
Finding the Best Fantasy Advice
As the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true it is. Don't blindly trust advice you're getting from random people (I guess that statement discounts me) and be wary of the advice of some of your fellow league mates. As long as you're with a good group they won't steer you wrong but they might leave out a few important details. Look to the experts if you're just getting started with fantasy to see what they say and recommend. I mean it's their career for a reason right? They must be pretty good at it.