The 2020 NFL season is finally here. While millions of fans look forward to watching live soccer matches or streaming highlights with services likeThe really dedicated are already busy drawing teams for their fantasy football leagues. Even so, fantasy football is becoming increasingly popular (not least because of the internet) and is no longer as a niche hobby as it was a decade ago.
If you are one of many new to fantasy football and want to learn the ropes, or if you are a veteran looking for a way to hone your team management skills in order to gain an advantage You have come to the right place. Read on to see our best tips, tricks, and strategies on how to dominate your fantasy football league.
Know the rules and the rating system
This first one sounds obvious, but if you are new to fantasy football you might be surprised at the variation in rules and scoring that you will find. Most websites and leagues follow the standard football rating (six points for a touchdown, etc.) but pay close attention to whether and how other things like interceptions and backyards are scored and how they are scored. Study these rules before drafting so that you can develop a season strategy ahead of time and prepare to select your players based on their strengths and how to tailor those strengths to your goal advantage.
Know the team formations and plan your line-up
Since most fantasy football websites and leagues use default values, most use default team building as well. Still, make sure to do this in advance so you don̵
If you continue with this point, it is a good idea to sit down in front of your design and write down your ideal lineup. You don’t select specific players just yet (that’s what you do next), but rather you decide how many players you want for each position. A formation plan with the correct number of players makes it easier to select certain players later. Don’t forget to make sure you have enough players to fill vacant positions during the bye weeks.
Rank your players before the draft
With the pen and paper out, and after you’ve planned your team lineup, you can write down your dream team – but be realistic. Other people in your league will go for the star players as well, but knowing the design sequence beforehand can give you an edge if you have an idea of which players are likely to be available at your number comes high.
Also, don’t focus too much on the top players. Identify good tier two players that other team managers may overlook. Another useful tip to use while designing is identifying and selecting running backs who are good at catching many passes. These players will earn you lots of yards, speed up touchdowns, and even get touchdowns. Smoke the best ones before you design them and grab them when you get the chance.
Know each player’s matchups and goodbye weeks
You will likely have at least a few great players that you will start almost every game with. Incidentally, you should study the matchups of your teams so that you know in advance who is going against whom. This is another important strategy for adapting your strategy to the strengths and weaknesses of your players.
Just as important as knowing the matchups for your players’ teams is knowing their goodbye weeks. A bye week is a week when a team is not playing at all, which means that the players on that team are completely out of order. This is an especially important consideration for quarterbacks. So make sure you don’t make the rookie mistake of picking two QBs who have the same goodbye week just to get a shock when that week runs around and it’s game time.
Do you know which players are on the waiver wire
The NFL’s waiver wire can give you an opportunity to catch low-ranking players who can nonetheless be very good picks. Such players could get exemptions because they are relatively new to the league or have lost rank due to injuries in the previous year. You can get very lucky here if a great player is dropped and becomes available. However, this window is short. So always keep an eye on the players you are interested in. Don’t assume that other team owners in your league aren’t paying attention either – the savvy ones sure will be.
Know your league’s playoff schedule
The ultimate goal, of course, is to get your fantasy football team to the playoffs (and win). Matchups are weighed even heavier here, so pay close attention to your league’s schedule. Even a good team can be knocked out early in the playoffs if the owner doesn’t pay enough attention to the players’ matchups. You should of course do this throughout the season, but developing good team management habits will really pay off in the playoff season. Don’t be surprised by a good pre-playoff run and let go of your guard.
Don’t be afraid to act
Many fantasy football team managers are quite persistent in trading. That’s an understandable mindset – nobody wants to make a bad trade, least of all with their star players – but you can use this to your advantage. Another manager in your league who is very eager to win one of your star players may be willing to give you several good players in exchange so that if you lose one of your top performers you can keep that trade going.
Even the best player is just a single player, after all. Just study the field carefully to make sure you are actually getting equal or greater value for what you are giving up, and don’t get too eager and ignore the previous tips on bye weeks, waivers etc when trading.