The first preseason game is just a few days away with the Hall of Fame game between the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints. Training camp will be wrapping up here in just a couple weeks, and the season will begin in just over a month! You won’t get much of a chance to see what some players will do going into the season. Here are some tips to help you get through your league as a champion come late December.
DO draft a workhorse running with your first pick-Yes, this has become a passing league, but running backs are going to be the guys that get to touch the ball the most out of all the players on the field, so getting a workhorse back first is key, given the fact that the league has also moved to a two-back system.
Having a solid ground game where you can pick up fast and easy points is important.
DONT worry about drafting a WR early-Unless you are really worried about getting a guy such as Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, etc., don’t waste your time. You can grab a top flight WR in the third round and still be ok.
DO get a QB/WR combo-Look as this like a “bonus” if you will. If you score with the QB and he throws to the WR on your team, look at a “extra six points”.
DONT go for players coming off contract years-Very rarely do players do well after signing a contract. Look at Chris Johnson, RB from Tennessee. Had three amazing years to start his career, putting up almost 1,300 yards a season, including his 2,000 yard performance three years ago and averaged 10 combined TD‘s a season. Last season, he was terrible. Take away a 3 out of 4 games in the middle of the season where he ran fir 473 yards, he had only one one hundred yard game and totaled 574 yards in 13 games and four total TD’s! There are exceptions, a couple things to look at are tangibles off the field, such as the team that the RB is playing for, the culture of the team, etc., these are things that I want to know before moving on with a RB, one in Baltimore is a good example of a RB that “goes against the grain” here.
DO go for running backs going into a contract year-Ray Rice, another RB who just got a new deal, did well going into this offseason before asking for a new deal. He put together a 2,000+ season from the line of scrimmage and totaling 15 TD’s. As you can see, RB going into a contract year or looking for a new contract will put up godly numbers before demanding more money. More numbers=more dough, keep that in mind when looking into a RB.
DONT get caught up in “runs in a position”- What I mean by that is don’t get scared because you might see the consecutive “top tier” players taken and all the sudden you see the rest of the war room go on a run at the position. Create a plan of what you want to do and stick to it. You might draft a player because of the run at a position and might take a player that you will regret taking later on.
DO go after a TE early-Usually, TE’s go mid to later in the draft, but again, with this league becoming a passing league, those TE’s are becoming more important…your Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis’ of the world. Elite players such as these names mention I would advice to take as soon as you fill out at least on starter throughout your roster.
DO keep a empty slot on your bench open at all times-I have seen it many times. People draft a full squad and find themselves trying to find a player to drop and pick another up because maybe one player is out for a few weeks or has been “day-by-day” and has been that way for several weeks and you don’t know when he will return. Your afraid that if you drop that player that some other team will pick him up and that down the road, dropping one of your own players will come back to haunt you. For this reason, always keep a slot open so that you can go out, pick a player up and realize that you don’t have to drop one of your players.
DO pay attention to bye weeks-This goes on from what I mentioned with my last point. There will be several weeks where you see multiple players are on a bye week and you will hit a patch where you are seeing 2-4 players on bye. Points become very difficult to come bye at this point, and just to make sure you get some points for the week, I have seen people starting to cut other players to pick others up to score points for the week. Sure enough, there’s someone lurking and another team will snatch up one of your players…again, down the road a move you don’t want to regret. When drafting, look at who’s got their bye’s and try to match up accordingly. If you can get a majority on the same week, that’s good. Throw one week, make it your “bye” week so that throughout the rest of the season, you have piece of mind knowing that you will pretty much have a active roster for the entire season.
DON’T go for second year players-I believe with the exception of guys like Cam Newton who I believe will be a freak to continue on into his second season. Stay away from second year players as much as possible. Many rookies come in during their first year and have decent seasons. Know why?! Because teams won’t pick up enough film on a player and won’t be able to really see and break down a players tendencies until late in the season should they play from week one. But most rookies won’t start week one, they see the field later in the season. Having said that, teams going into the next season now have film on a particular player and can “dissect” them. This is what all know as the “Sophomore Slump”, and how well these second year players can adjust once the NFL has caught up to them is the challenge. Going forward in fantasy football, how they perform their second season for me is when to decide obviously going into the next season whether they will be legit or not. But looking at the here and now, just judge a second year player on how well he did his second season. As long as his numbers don’t drop significantly from the rookie campaign, go ahead with picking him up! Otherwise, proceed with caution.
DO look into situational players a flex option-This was a approach I took last season with the Broncos backfield. I figured before the season started that Knowshon Moreno would be the back that would rack up the yards, but come redzone and goal-line…it was Willis McGehee who would get the touches. I was right, until Knowshon got hurt and it became the Willis Show. Your goal-line backs are more valuable than other backs because these guys can rack up a few yards while scoring touchdowns. A goal-line back who touches the ball ~10 times, picking up 40 yards and TD is better than hoping that your other back while your other RB touches the ball ~15 times, picks up 80 yards and no TD.
Fantasy Football season is upon us, this is the wisdom that I look to spread to other Fantasy Footballer’s. Hope this info is helpful, best of luck drafting and best of luck on your season….Oh and by the way, a little luck does go a long way as well in winning a championship.