Fantasy Football Strategy

Fantasy Football Strategies, Tactics, and Tips

This fantasy football strategy article is a continuation of a series of articles that started with the following: Fantasy Football Advice, Fantasy Football Tips, and Fantasy Football Help.

Fantasy Football Draft Tip #10: Wait on Positions With Depth

Imagine that you need a player at two different positions. Now, imagine that you have rated only two acceptable starters remaining on the board at the one position, while there are six remaining acceptable starters at another position. Your strategy? You need to draft the player at the position there is little quality left.

You can wait until the next round to pick up a player at the second position. As soon as a position starts to get a little thin on the depth, you should draft at that position.

Fantasy Football Draft Tip #11: Know Your League's Rules

Fantasy Football StrategyMost fantasy football strategies, magazines and websites rate players according to a fairly standardized scoring system. But if your local league has one or two idiosyncratic scoring rules, those expert lists might not apply to your league. You might need different strategies.

Examples of idiosyncratic rules are points off for interceptions and fumbles, point-per-receptions leagues or special defensive scoring rules.

When quarterbacks lose points for interceptions, you need to research which quarterbacks throw more interceptions. In leagues which use the point-per-reception scoring, wide receivers and tight ends become much more viable high round draft picks.

In one of my leagues, Team Defenses get high points for holding opponents to a certain score. This makes defenses much more important in leagues where TM Defense gets a small bonus for a shutout. In these big point Team Defense league, tactics like drafting a defense in the early-middle rounds become important. In leagues where it's just points for fumbles, interceptions and sacks, then you might as well wait and get any old defense, because those stats are unpredictable.

I'm in a league where we have maximum flex positions. You have to start 1 runner and 2 receivers, but there are two flex positions which allow you to start either/or on the runners and wide receivers. Since this league is also a point-per-reception league, it becomes perfectly reasonable to draft one runner and a team of wide receivers. In this league, some teams try to build a team around 3 running backs. Others try to draft 4 great receivers and fill in with a runner. With that kind of a league, listening to the conventional advice to draft RB-RB doesn't really apply, though the draft still sees 10-11 runners go in the first round.

So when you are taking advice from a fantasy football website or a fantasy magazine, keep in mind if your league has different scoring rules. Adjust your fantasy football tactics accordingly.

Fantasy Football Draft Tip #12: Know Your Opponents' Draft Tendencies

Try to guess what your opponents are going to do. After a few drafts with certain guys, you should have an idea how an owner will draft.

I know one guy who will not draft a tight end high, but he wants to be draft a productive defense before anyone else.

I know another guy who inexplicably ends up drafting a backup quarterback before his starting line up is filled, so if I'm waiting to draft one quarterback after all the other teams have theirs, then I sure better have two quarterbacks in mind, because one is certain to get snatched up.

This is impossible for new fantasy football players or veteran players entering a new league, but most fantasy football players have their "local" fantasy football league. If you can, know the scouting report on your opponents and use it to make your draft strategy.

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy #13: Draft a Kicker Late

Kickers are the diametrical opposite of running backs. Kickers are completely unpredictable. They don't tend to get hurt very often. And there are plenty of them on the waiver wire.

Don't stress about getting a good kicker. No kicker has led the league twice in scoring over the past five years. Someone who was great last year might be average this year. There's no telling.

That's because there are so many factors to making a kicker successful. The kicker needs opportunities, so the kicker's offensive unit needs to be able to move the ball. But if the offensive unit is too potent, then the kicker still might not score that much.

Remember the year Peyton Manning broke the passing touchdown record?

You would think Mike Vanderjagt would have had a great fantasy football season. He was money in the years prior, so that the Colts kicker was always one of the first PK's drafted.

The problem was, the Colts Offense scored a touchdown every time it went down the field. All Vanderjagt did was kick extra points. A field goal kicker needs field goal attempts to score any real points in fantasy football.

Of course, an offense that hardly ever gets it on the other side of the field isn't going to have a good fantasy kicker. Teams which are always behind usually don't have good kickers, either. If a team is behind by a couple of touchdowns most of the season, that team will stop trying field goals in the second half of the game. Your kicker has no chance to score points.

See what I mean? There are too many moving part to a good field goal kicker. That doesn't even take into account that the place kicker might be having a down year, or the weather might be bad.

So draft a kicker late. If he doesn't work out, then waive him and pick up another one. Keep trying until it works.

My Final Bit of Fantasy Football Advice: Don't Get Too Clever

Every fantasy football owner wants to be more clever than his opponents. Everyone wants to spring that sleeper pick that no one else has heard about, or snipe that sleeper a round before a rival owner. When doing this, don't get too clever.

At the very least, fill out a starting line up before drafting a sleeper player. Have a solid foundation before you start make your gut selections.

Sure, it's fun to add a couple of guys you think are going to have breakout years, but they call them sleepers for a reason. You don't want your fantasy football strategy to have to depend on these guys. It's just nice if they just so happen to wake up.

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