Fantasy Football is an awesome hobby and should be something that players enjoy and look forward to every year. If you happen to play for money, Fantasy Football can actually turn into a year round hobby that acquires some attention. I am going to highlight some tips that can make you a better fantasy player and hopefully get you some championships and payouts in the upcoming season.

1. Know Your League

A fantasy football league should be something that takes up a good amount of your time if you’re serious about winning. Most dedicated fantasy players play for money, so with money on the line, you need to know your league. Know the rules of the league and how it can help you succeed. For example, if your league goes by 6 points for touchdown passes. Draft a QB that has a track record for throwing a high touchdown total. Also know your peers in the league. A good amount of fantasy football players play on emotions. So if you know one of your peers is a huge Atlanta Falcons fan, see what he will give you in a trade for Julio Jones. You might be surprised on how much you can get.

2. Pay attention in the offseason

The offseason in the NFL is almost as important as the actual season itself. New rookies are coming into the league and players are moving teams. Keeping track of the big name players that are moving teams is important. As their fantasy outlook can change drastically. Also pay attention to upcoming rookies that will have immediate fantasy impact. Rookies are now expected to produce in their first year. An obvious example is Saquon Barkley last year. The Giants took him with the second overall pick and he immediately became a workhorse in the NFL. He finished as a top 3 running back. A lesser known example was Alvin Kamara two years ago. If you paid attention, the Saints traded up to draft him, and if Sean Payton trades up to draft a player, it usually means there’s a big plan for the rookie. Then Kamara found his groove and the rest was history. People say Alvin “came out of nowhere” but the signs were there. I actually traded Wayne Gallaman for Alvin Kamara before Kamara broke out because I saw the signs and saw the production that was possible.

3. Develop a Draft Strategy

The fantasy football draft is the most important part of your fantasy team. The players you draft will be on your team, for the majority of the year. So developing a draft strategy is important. Whether it’s drafting best player available, zero rb, zero Wr, or having a pattern to stick to, having a strategy is key. My personal favorite is developing a pattern. I like to draft two running backs that have workhorse outlooks. So I’m drafting two running backs in the first two rounds. Then I like to go three straight wide receiver. This allows me to get low end WR1 to high end WR2 production throughout the year. I always wait to draft a QB until the 9th round or later. Quarterbacks are the easiest position to find consistent production. No matter what your strategy is, find one and stick to it.

4. TRADE

Trading is a key part of developing your team. Nobody drafts a perfect team, so trade to strengthen your weak spots is very important. If your loaded at running back. Trade one for a stud wr or tight end. The worst thing you can do for your team is be oblivious to your teams weaknesses and not trade thinking you have a “good team”. Also knowing trade values is important when trading. Running backs are hard to find in fantasy football. So a good running back will cost a lot and or will net you a couple good players. As we saw last year, tight ends are a very top heavy position. So unless you have a top 4 tight end, you might not like the offers your Receive if you’re trying to move a decent tight end. The whole point of trading is to make both teams better. Doesn’t matter if your trade partner is going to get a “stacked team” if the trade your are doing helps your team then fulfill the trade and worry about your team.

5. ALWAYS Draft your Defense and Kicker in the last two rounds

This is something that still baffles me. Those who draft defenses and kickers early are putting their team at a disadvantage before the season even starts. Yeah Justin Tucker is great, but drafting him in round 10? I could’ve drafted Jason Myers, a pro bowl kicker, in the last round. In round 10 you could’ve taken players like Nick Chubb, Andrew luck, Kenny Golladay and so many more. Those players turned out to be league winners, not your kicker. Same thing goes for defenses. Defenses almost never finish as back to back top scoring defenses. So when I saw the Jaguars defense being drafted in the 8th round last year. I was loving it knowing that those teams would not be as strong. The Jaguars defenses actually LOST owners games last year, and plenty of owners even dropped them. Was that worth the 8th round pick?

So those are the 5 tips I think are the most important when trying to become a better fantasy player! There are plenty of more strategies and tips that can be learned as you play more seasons. If you have any questions or comments shoot me a message and I’ll help you out!