What Is The Key To Winning In Fantasy Football?
Fantasy football is fun and easy to play, but difficult and frustrating to try to master. Even if you follow all the keys for success, you might be disappointed with your fantasy football team’s output. In this piece, we’ll cover the three keys to winning your fantasy football league: deft drafting, ambitious acquisitions, and a little luck.
If there was just one key to winning a fantasy football league, it would likely be the draft. You can’t win a season just from a good draft, but you can certainly lose a season just from having a bad draft.
There’s only so much you can do on draft day, as, after all, nobody can see the future and know how well players will do after you draft them. However, there is a lot that you should know going into your draft:
- Have a general idea of who will be drafted around your first pick. You should have a first choice and one or two backups.
- Make sure you know about any news around the NFL. If a player was recently injured or cleared to play, it might affect his draft stock.
- Have a plan going into the draft. You don’t have to stick to it, but it’s good to have a general idea of what you are going to accomplish.
- Don’t get rattled if the players you want get taken before you can draft them. Instead, try to capitalize on players that fall further than expected in the draft.
During the draft itself, the most important thing to consider is when to draft players from each position. Running backs are hard to come by, so you should prioritize selecting these players first. Don’t waste high draft picks on quarterbacks, kickers, or defense/special teams.
Free Agency, Waiver Wire, and Trading
You build your team during the draft, but you maintain it throughout the year through acquisitions. Free agency is the easiest way to bolster your lineup, as you can add players at no cost. Players will first appear on waivers, with everyone in the league having a chance to claim them. Players who clear waivers become free agents, meaning anybody can instantly add them to their team if they have a roster spot available.
The best players to grab from free agency are those that are taking over for an injured player. For example, imagine the Patriots’ top running back is injured at some point during the season. Suddenly, the Patriots’ backup running back is exalted into the starting role, meaning he has way more value for fantasy leagues. Everyone will be racing to grab this new starting running back now that he is expected to get more points. This trend of an injury leading to a backup getting more playing time is not a new concept; in fact, some people draft backup running backs late in the draft just in case the starting running back on that team gets injured.
Trading is the trickiest part of fantasy football. It is rare for a trade to benefit both sides, so tread cautiously, especially if your league-mates are more experienced than you. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or other league members if a trade that was offered to you is fair before you accept it. In general, it is better to acquire one great player than two good players in a trade. This is because there are a limited number of starting lineup spots in fantasy, so only your top 10 or so players actually count towards your score.
A Little Bit of Luck
To have success in fantasy football, you need just as much luck as you do skill. Only one team can win, after all, even if every manager consistently makes smart choices.
You can’t control how much luck you get, but you can control your reaction to the randomness of fantasy football. If you lose, try not to get too dejected: it’s simply a part of playing fantasy football. And if you win, try to stay humble: not everything about your victory stemmed from your skillful decision-making.