A Beginner and Expert’s Guide to Fantasy Football

Every year I am confronted with the same exact choices.  Which quarterback do I target late in the draft?  Which running back am I going to be able to take in the first round.  Which defense has a good matchup next week?  Should I draft 1, 2, or 3 running backs in a row this year?  Is Brett Favre or Tim Tebow still in the draft options so I can draft them as my final skill player?  What about Emmitt Smith?  T.O.?  Questions that require deep thought.

And every year I run into the same exact problem.  I have no idea what is going to happen on any given Sunday.  No expert, coach, or anyone else knows.  If someone has an in on an injury report that is your biggest competitive advantage… which can still be game planned against.

The joy of fantasy football year after year is that every single week I get to be an absolute beginner.  I won a daily fantasy league…once…out of 17 weeks (with multiple lineups each week).  Honestly, my best strategy was start the best combination of players from both teams early enough in the season that they were still affordable that allowed for a little more skill than luck that week.

Auction style weekly drafts are a luxury no owner of a fantasy team has.  So you have to think about the entire season every week.  Do some of my players have good matchups in a weak division?  This answer had better be yes.  Otherwise your player is never going to have that game with 3 touchdowns or 200 yards.  Those kinds of performances can win you an entire game.  My championship was pulled off this year because the Cardinals D/ST mauled the Packers.  Who saw that coming?  I had lost so much hope I went to see Star Wars and emerged from the theater having enjoyed Star Wars, but more importantly a champion.

You’d think watching more and more games would make you an expert right?  Only if you’re still enjoying it.  My advice to everyone out there this week is simple:  If you’re not enjoying it, take a break.  I miss weeks of daily fantasy because it becomes too much about winning, and not enough about rubbing that hard fought win into your opponent’s face because you saw that random drive the Jaguars ran to win the end of a game.  So have fun!  This is a hobby, a game, not some life or death situation.  Never bet more than you have.  Invent a rating system for your players.  Like Favres.  Always rate everything out of Favres.  I rate QB arm strength based on Chad Pennington’s noodle arm too.  Nothing wrong with either QB (unless you dislike shaving, then Favre is your enemy).

While this may seem long and rambling.  It is.  Enjoy the offseason because soon instead of learning to play guitar or reading Moby Dick we’ll be watching Andrew Luck try and return to football after an injury riddled year (maybe he’s a good late round flier this year).  Or Todd Gurley try to become one of the best ever and leave a legacy.  Hell.  Maybe Peyton Manning will retire only to unretire for the next three seasons.  He could be my new rating system.  Only time will tell.

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