Fantasy Football Tactics

Fantasy Football Strategies, Systems and Tricks

There are plenty of fantasy football tactics on the Internet and in books and magazines. I want to share the tactics I use season after season. I'm not going to tell you that I win every year, or that I'm some kind of local fantasy god. I can tell you that my tricks are successful and the leagues I play in always end up buying me a few cases of beer.

Fantasy football systems are taken so seriously that people sometimes pay pretty good money to learn about them. Seems like if you can't figure something out on your own, doing research, basically for free, then it isn't fun anymore. Then again, I'm the first guy in line making fun of the Yankees for buying their team, so maybe this is more an issue of ethics.

My point is that learning fantasy football tricks doesn't have to mean giving your credit card number to some Packers fan boy. Here is a breakdown of some of the more popular fantasy football tactics, tricks, and systems.

Fantasy Football Draft Tactics

Fantasy Football Tactics"Tiering" is the fantasy football drafting tactic that I find myself using more and more these days. You'll end up putting your players in groups or “tiers” to help you draft. A tier is a group of players in each position who will are in the same ability group. Let's say there are 3 RBs who we can all agree are at the top of the RBs in terms of ability. Write these guys into a tier on your RB drafting cheat sheet in "tier number one". Continue this process until you've run out of RB names on your cheat sheet, move on to the next position, etc. What this does for me is keep me from panicking -- so Edgerrin James is gone . . . I can move on to Carnell Williams. You get the idea.

Another popular fantasy football system in drafting is VBD or Value Based Drafting. VBD uses a specific point system to rank the "most valuable" players in each round. There's another twist in the VBD system. Average Value Theory, known as AVT. The AVT is a bit too complicated to explain in full here -- just know that it is a ranking system based on fantasy points. Using VBD, you can give each player on your cheat sheet a value number that is easy to recognize and makes sure you pick the best player possible that round. If that's your thing. Sometimes I've found that picking the "best player" is the worst decision I've made. The best fantasy football systems involve doing your homework.

Fantasy Football Theories

You have to be careful of fantasy football theories -- a lot of the stuff you hear on fantasy football forums and in water cooler conversation is old wive's tale territory. "Only ever draft two QBS!" or "it is better to draft QBs in the second round!", then there's "always draft 3rd year WRs" and even venerable fantasy football stat writing like the so called "consistency ranking" or "crank" scores.

All of this stuff is voodoo statistics at best, and at worst it is misinformation sold to you at a premium. The "crank score" that some websites pawn off as holy scripture turns out to be based on some really bad mathematics if you look into it. It is best to understand a few basic ideas about fantasy football, and read up on your players and use good drafting tactics. If you need voodoo to win, you probably shouldn't be playing.

Fantasy Football Schedule Strategies

This is another hit and miss area of fantasy football tricks. Many fantasy football managers like to look at the team schedule for a particular player and determine if said schedule is "hard" or "easy". I've railed about this elsewhere on this site, but it is a topic I'm passionate about. Indulge me. The only reason you need to understand that "strength of schedule" prognostication is crap is the amount of what is called "parity" in the NFL. This means a bad defense can very quickly become a good defense -- a running game that is mediocre can suddenly become the top running game in the league. Putting on your wizard hat and using last year's information about this year's time sounds like madness to me. You can't predict a team's defensive ability based on what they did a season ago.

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