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How To Be the Best Fantasy Football Player Ever

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How To Be the Best Fantasy Football Player in Your League

Are you tired of that one rival fantasy football league owner who keeps beating you in heads-up matchups year-after-year, or who has won your league two years running? Do you get tired of the snarky comments people make at fantasy football drafts when you draft a player who has been fighting an injury throughout training camp? Or have you been a contender in your league for years, but you want to truly dominate your competition?

Here’s advice on how to be the best fantasy football player ever.

How To Be the Best Fantasy Football Drafter Ever

Don’t talk yourself into drafting a quarterback in those first few rounds. There never is a quarterback such a lock to dominate the NFL that he’s worth that kind of consideration. I learned that lesson last year when Tom Brady slid to me in the mid-to-late 2nd round. Brady was coming off a 50-TD season, the best season ever by an NFL quarterback. Going against a long-standing rule of mine, I said, “It’s Brady. He’s going to be a difference maker,” and I drafted him.

Terrible mistake.

Tom Brady was out for the season in the 1st quarter of the 1st game. And because I had told myself there was no reason to focus on quarterback backups, I had almost nothing to replace him with. (Matt Cassell was a waste his first month, if you remember.) Now, that’s the worst-case scenario, but it re-taught a lesson I should have learned: there is no sure thing at quarterback and you can always find someone almost as good, if not better, much later in a fantasy football draft.

I’ve looked back at my records of that draft. Philip Rivers went in the 6th round. Aaron Rodgers went in the 8th round. Jay Cutler went in the 11th round. Kurt Warner, who was Matt Leinart’s backup at the time (replaced him the next day, in fact) went in the 19th round.

Sure, Drew Brees went in the 3rd round and was the best quarterback, but if you had one of those other four QBs, your team was still probably much better, because you had maximized the potential of your draft picks.

The thing is, teams that wait until the 6th round or later in fantasy football drafts almost always look more talented after the draft. There are good quarterbacks to be had later in the draft – really good quarterbacks. Those 5 QBs I mentioned above were the Top 5 in fantasy football in 2008, going in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th and 19th rounds. Drafting a quarterback in the 1st round, no matter how good he looks, is just a bad idea. Draft 3 quarterbacks sprinkled from the 6th to the 16th round and you’ll probably do just fine.

Focus on running backs and wide receivers in those top 5 rounds. Those are the heart and soul of every fantasy football team. If you do so, you’ll be the best fantasy football drafter…ever.

How To Be the Best Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Owner Ever

Be aggressive on the waiver wire in the first month of the season. Don’t fall in love with every player on your roster, even in a keeper league. The thing is, even the best fantasy football owner is going to make a mistake here or there. Don’t be so certain that your fantasy football vision is 20/20 that you won’t clear up those mistakes quickly.

Go after talented wide receivers in the first few weeks of the season. This is the position where good players are most likely to go undrafted. You can add a couple of key players through free agency this way. Even if you don’t use them as starters, they will be valuable trade bait for later.

The best fantasy football teams every year are active in all three phases of player acquisition: drafting, free agency and trades. That brings me to my next point.

How To Be the Best Fantasy Football Trader Ever

Be aggressive in trying to facilitate trades. Initiate trade talks. Don’t wait for other owners to make you trade offers. Inevitably, those owners are going to propose trades that fit their needs and not yours. Figure out what your team needs are; figure out what your team’s strengths are (what you can trade); then make a trade happen.

To be a good fantasy football trader, look at other teams and see what those teams need. Sure, you can sometimes sell another team on a trade that makes no sense for them, but it’s quicker and easier to find real needs and address those through trades. Hopefully, you’ve built up some depth on your roster, so you can trade 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 on productive players. Generally, you want to be getting back the best player in the trade and the only way to do this is to give multiple productive players back in return.

Don’t gut your team of depth in a trade, because injuries inevitably happen in fantasy football. That is, don’t mortgage your team’s future by getting a better trade for tomorrow’s game. At the same time, be sure to point out any good matchups a player you’re trading might have soon, or the fact that players you’re trading for are on a bye week this week.

What is an Aggression in Fantasy Football?

When I say be aggressive, I’m not suggesting you try to make the hard sell by stalking owners via cellphone, spamming them with a dozen offers a day or stopping by their house when they’re trying to have some quiet family time. Just make a targeted offer or two and let it gestate.

Post on your league message board exactly what you’re looking for in a trade and what you’re willing to offer. Make your trade offers, listen to those which come in to you and make counter-offers to anyone offering you a trade (which doesn’t meet your needs).

Finally, be patient when trading. Don’t accept a trade offer just to make a trade. Don’t get upset when people keep turning down your offers. Stay active. Stay pleasant. Understand most trade proposals are turned down and you’re only going to make one or two trades a year that make any difference. But when the opportunity hits, take it.

The Best Fantasy Football Player

If you do all the things above, you may not be the best fantasy football player ever, but you will become one of the best fantasy football players in your league. All fantasy football takes is for you to keep up with the fantasy football updates, avoid bonehead fantasy football draft picks, free agent moves and trades, and then cross your fingers and hope for a little luck.

Being the best fantasy football player in your league starts with being active and not mailing it in. Just participate and you’ll be one step ahead of a few of the fantasy football players in your league. You might even become the best fantasy football player in your circle of friends.

And really, being the best fantasy football player among your friends is just about the same as being the best fantasy football player ever, at least so far as you and your go.

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