As we enter the new fantasy football season, we recommend that you take a look at your competition. It would be helpful for you to understand those who are looking for the league title that you are surely coveting. Of course, those of you who play casual free league may not feel compelled to go overboard with your analysis, but playing against coaches with high levels of success deserves your attention. By taking the time to assess your situation, you will better understand the effort it will take to claim the title or at least some level of respectability. For money league managers, this is imperative.
Rules to manage to win
For novice and inexperienced managers, these simple rules are designed to enlighten you on the things that experienced players have already learned. For those of you who believe you have it all under control, let this information serve as a friendly reminder.
Rule No. # 1: manage your team – Year after year and league after league, the coaches who consistently make the playoffs have one thing in common; They take the time to manage their equipment on a weekly basis. They always seem to have the best players on their active roster and never miss a chance to hit the exemption wire for the promising ones. Awareness is key because a player listed as doubtful after suffering an injury on Friday has stumbled more playoff hopes than you can imagine when the coach missed an opportunity to adjust his roster.
Rule No. # 2: stats are king – Have you ever wondered why your opponent was cunning enough to seat his number one quarterback in favor of number two? The answer is, he probably took the time to find out that his number one was playing against the best passing defense in the league. If that same team’s offense has a great running game to boot, the old number one won’t get the number of opportunities needed to maximize the score. All that astute manager did was use the facts to make a decision that, in most cases, is in their best interest. If you play in the money leagues, you are competing against players who use all the tricks. Review your stats and matchups and don’t select your players based on excitement or loyalty.
Rule No. 3: the exemption cable in a sanctuary for the winners – By the fourth week, if not before, the injuries will begin to accumulate and those who do not perform well will be exposed. For every problem, there is a possible solution in the exemption wire that could end up being a diamond in the rough. You should be on the lookout for runners # 2 and # 3 on each list. The RB’s casualty rate in the NFL is between 35% and 40% each year. Remember, every opportunity you lose is one that your opponent could claim.
Rule No. # 4: put aside personal prejudices – You may be fiercely loyal to a particular team or certain players. That said, fantasy football is not personal, it is a game. Don’t get in the habit of loading your team with players you love if the facts don’t support your action. Additionally, you should be prepared to bench underperforming players who can put you at a disadvantage each week that you put them on your roster. This may come as a shock, but no one except your league managers will know that you benched their favorite player.
Rule No. # 5: get help when appropriate – There are many free tips related to fantasy football on the Internet. Much of this advice comes from people who do statistical work and don’t mind sharing their efforts with strangers in need. If you’re playing in a serious money league, it might even be worth the investment to pay a small weekly coaching fee. You don’t have to know everything. You will improve your management skills if you learn from the advice you receive for free or otherwise.
Rule No. # 6: always play to win – Everyone has been caught in leagues where managers wave the white flag and stop managing their teams once they feel like they’re out of the playoff race. Don’t be one of those guys. You’re the guy who finished last, but cost someone a playoff spot the last week of the season by beating someone, not by letting someone beat you. It’s called losing with dignity.
Hopefully this tip will set you free to become the best fantasy football coach you can be. Experience is a great teacher and the only thing you need to learn now is that fantasy football is a game and should be played for fun, even in the money leagues.