By Steven Keehner
If you’re like me and you’re a massive fan of football, then there’s a fairly good chance that you play fantasy football. If you don’t, then what are you waiting for? Fantasy Football adds so much more to the game; it keeps you invested in the sport as a whole while not really requiring any physical effort. However, we are entering a crucial part of the fantasy football season, and you may need some additional tips to help your team secure a playoff spot, and hopefully a title. Nothing is better than having bragging rights over your friends for a whole off-season. Here are my five tips that can help your fantasy team succeed.
1. QBs are overrated!
When asked “What’s the most important position on a football team?” there’s a very good chance you’ll point toward the quarterback. While in real life this may the case, this certainly does NOT apply to fantasy. Allow me to explain why. Although quarterbacks may often put up the most points, there certainly isn’t any scarcity among them; in my opinion, the quarterback is the easiest to “stream” (a player that is signed for the sake of filling in for another player who has a bye week, or who is playing someone different in that position due to their match up). This is all due to how pass-friendly the NFL has become. You shouldn't waste a spot on your bench on a QB whose performance can easily be replicated by any other QB since it isn’t crazy to see a QB throw for 250 yards and two touchdowns anymore. You should use that extra spot on an extra RB or WR, who even though they may not score as many points, may still be more valuable in terms of their position’s scarcity. This is also the case in drafts. DO NOT waste your first three draft picks on a QB in a standard league. If you’re in a 2QB or an alternate setting, this may be different. You can easily get a guy like Matthew Stafford who was selected in the later rounds but is a top 10 QB this season.
2. Don’t waste your bench spots to have every position!
If you’re league has a position minimum, then this tip may not apply to you, but if you don’t, then listen up! DO NOT be the guy in your league that has a backup kicker or defense. That is literally throwing away a bench spot. Instead of keeping Stephen Gostkowski and Justin Tucker, just pick one. You’ll benefit more by having a flyer of a RB/WR, who while they may not be stars, will almost definitely benefit you more than having a backup defense or a kicker who may never actually play, or may only play once for your team.
3. Take advantage of trading!
While it may be hard to persuade a friend who thinks he is constantly getting robbed in a trade deal to go through with the trade, here is one of my best tips: when negotiating a trade, always try to give up two players for one, three for two, etc. And here’s why: even though you are getting fewer players, you technically aren’t, as you are also getting a free waiver wire signing. If you wait to read my next tip, you’ll see why this is awesome!
4. Utilize the waiver wire!
The waiver wire should be your best friend. I personally always look to make 3-4 signings a week. Streaming is always a great idea because I’d rather have a mid-tier QB playing against a Cleveland or Jacksonville compared to a more top tier QB playing against a top three defense. It may be hard to bench someone initially, but fantasy shouldn’t be played in the playoffs. Every game should be a like a championship, and with that mentality, I believe that it makes decisions easier in terms of who to start and sit. I am not saying to bench Aaron Rodgers for Jay Cutler, but it should be something that is looked at when signing a player and deciding whom to start.
And finally, my most important tip…
5. THE INTERNET IS YOUR FRIEND!
I can’t preach this enough! There are so many resources that can help you, like r/FantasyFootball, which is full of incredible advice from a variety of people who care about this much more than you do. If you aren’t a big reader, then there are plenty of awesome podcasts such as CBS’s Fantasy Football Podcast, or you can go to NFL Network and watch their content regarding fantasy football. Seriously, listen to guys who get paid to do this. Don’t listen to your biased friend who only thinks that Giants players will always do well. I guarantee you this tip will win you games and titles!
Whether or not you win your titles this season, let me give you a final, secret, super tip that will make your fantasy football experience the best: have fun! Seriously, despite the fact that you may have just read an entire article on this game, it’s just a game, and you’re supposed to have fun. The moment fantasy football feels like an obligation, it won’t be enjoyable anymore.