If you’re like us, the whole premise of ‘fantasy football’ has been always based on the beautiful English game as opposed to the NFL. Now, however, we felt as if it was time to delve into the world of American sporting traditions as we dip our toe in the waters of one of the most competitive forms of entertainment that the internet can provide.
Now that’s not to say that all British folk will struggle with fantasy football, but when you’re a first-time player it can all seem a little bit unusual. First things first – don’t panic like a mad man when you’re in the draft room and you see two open slots for players in the R/W/T position because that’s exactly what happened to us.
It turns out that means that you get another quality player in either the running back, wide receiver or tight end position, but we may be getting slightly too ahead of ourselves.
Fantasy draft coming up? You might need this.
— NFL (@NFL) September 4, 2017
We head back to the beginning with joining a league. First off, don’t focus on a funny nickname or an amusing logo (even though they can cause some fascination), because you need to set yourself up with a mock draft. After initially looking into various YouTube videos of so called expert’s opinions on ‘who to pick’, enter yourself into a mock scenario so that you can familiarise yourself with the set-up before the actual night arrives.
Then, the most important thing that you need to do is ensure that you have about 10 alarms set for when the draft is going to go down, because you don’t want to be the bloke left with a red face because your joke of a team has been assembled through auto picks.
Blocking out the negativity from other players will be considered important either, because they may question your strategy as you progress throughout the draft. So what if you’re taking a kicker in Round 7? Prioritise your positions beforehand based on who is likely to accumulate the most points throughout the course of the season, use your own instinct, and set up a plan. Don’t allow yourself to be phased by others who may try and put you off.
— NFL (@NFL) September 5, 2017
Once it’s all said and done you’ll need to analyse your team and decide where your strongest points lie. The app (for the official NFL fantasy, not ESPN or Yahoo) will give you the opportunity to optimise your selection so that the best possible players are in your starting lineup for week one. You should definitely do that, but then you need to use your own initiative by reading the scout reports available so that you can make your own best judgement. This is particularly beneficial if you can’t decide how much time you want to invest in your team.
Then, inevitably, the season will begin and nature will take its course with overhyped players failing to live up to expectations in addition to several injuries likely derailing your campaign. This is where you need to be really smart about your waivers and trades, picking them carefully and with precision. Don’t make a snap decision if things are looking a bit rocky, because if it’s a short term injury or a one off bad game you could end up transferring a player/defence away that will end up being your salvation somewhere down the line.
Lastly, ensure that you don’t get complacent. If you head into a game week with a higher predicted points total than your opponent, that doesn’t mean you can sit back and let things ride out. Check out how each one of your players is doing, and most importantly look at who they’re up against. Sure a world class wide receiver is a good pick, but when coming face to face with a top five ranked defence you may not have as much luck.
So with all that in mind, and hopefully with a franchise quarterback to your name, there should be no issues in the campaign ahead as far as your fantasy teams are concerned. Of course, we’ll probably swing back round to this once the regular season concludes so the pressure is on for the following individuals: Rodgers, Ingram, Bell, Garcon, Decker, Olsen, Fitzgerald, Lee, Gostowski and the entire Texans defence. Make us proud.