5 Keys to Ruling Your Fantasy Football League

Are you still placing in the bottom half of your fantasy football league?  Want to finally beat the guy in your office who has won your league for the past 10 years? It’s time to change your strategy and get out of the fantasy football cellar. If you want to go from being the Raiders to the Steelers here are my keys to winning your league.

Read Moneyball

Okay, you don’t have to really go out and read this best selling book about the business of baseball, but it will help you cut through the “expert” nonsense and get to the heart of the matter -scoring points! Every year, you hear pundits say to draft a running back first.  Yet, I don’t know how many years there has been at least one quarterback (Peyton Manning) that posted more total fantasy points than all but 2 or 3 running backs.

My advice is to take the best possible scorer when your first pick comes around. I’m not telling you to pick a particular position but to look to the previous year’s stats.  If the top scorer available when your turn comes around is a QB, take him.  I know this flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but the stats bear me out. For three years in a row, I managed to pick Peyton Manning as my number one pick and each of those three years he put up more points than any player drafted before him in my league.  

I took him because the numbers guided my strategy, -not the experts and not “conventional wisdom.” That is the fundamental strategy of Moneyball and it will help you win games.

Prepare for Bye Weeks

Bye weeks can kill you if you have too many guys out on the same week. Suddenly you’re forced into picking up somebody’s cast off receiver just to fill your roster and maybe having to cut someone you will later need. Make sure you pay close attention as you draft to when your bye weeks happen.  Managing your roster can be the difference between winning your league and being this week’s punch line.  

Pay Attention to the Injury Reports

Sure, you drafted LaDanian Tomlinson and are feeling pretty stoked about the points you’re going to rack up this week. Too bad you didn’t check the injury report. Come Sunday, LT is posting a donut on your scoreboard and nursing a pulled hammy.  Meanwhile, you’re getting beat by your wife’s cousin Dave -the guy who only drafts players from teams with bird mascots.  

The moral: check the injury reports. And I agen bola terpercaya mean just see who’s out. See who is listed as probable as well.  Make sure you’ve got someone ready to go if your guy is pulled on Saturday night.  If you have to pick up a free agent during the week to hedge your bets, look for somebody who has a favorable match-up that week. Don’t grab a great running back if he is going up against the run defense in the league that week. Look for the mismatches that favor you.

Avoid the Playoff Rest

This may seem counterintuitive, but don’t draft too many players from the odds on favorite to make it to the Super Bowl. Why? The “playoff rest” will bite in weeks fifteen and sixteen -which is usually when your team is in the fantasy playoffs.  Please, learn from my past chokes; draft a few players from teams that will be in the hunt, but are unlikely to sew up their division by week fourteen.  I’ve had teams that dominated the regular season, only to get hammered in the playoffs because the players were rested in real life in order to be fresh for the playoffs.  How many times have we seen Peyton Manning start a week fifteen or sixteen game, only to give it up to Jim Sorgi after the first quarter.  

This scenario has happened to me twice, so I know the pain. Never again!

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