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It's Time to Gear Up for Fantasy Football!


One of my leagues started their draft this week. It has been a bit brutal because I was hardly prepared. Seriously, who the hell does a fantasy draft in July before camps open?

To make sure none of you fall into the same hole I did where I sat paralyzed for an hour trying to decide if I should draft The Gronk or Larry Fitzgerald, I shall offer you some advice on how to properly prepare for your own upcoming drafts. Regardless of how crazy you are about your league we all know that dominating your buddies every week feels awesome. So let's do some prep-work and crush those bastards this year!

Just for the record I snagged the Gronk. This league is TD heavy and as much as I love Fitzgerald, I can't imagine he will find the end zone more often than everyone's favorite porn-star popping party boy from Boston.

Pre-Draft Tips

1. Review your league rules for roster size, starting lineups, and scoring. This is the top key. Everyone should be drafting based on assembling the best team they can. That means having a guy in each slot that will be outscoring the other guy if possible. Some leagues reward more for yardage; others take away a lot for fumbles or interceptions.

One of the best things to do is print out the scoring leaders list from the last year. From there move guys up or down based on factors like switching teams or injuries. Then you add in rookies based on potential for points. This should be a basic blueprint.

When you start drafting, just aim for the highest scoring option available and start filling up your starting line-up. Sure, "everyone" might go for running-backs early but if in your league the QB is the highest scoring position, then grab that first.

2. Mark down which positions will probably fill up first. This is where your research needs to focus on because it will be harder to find 'gems'. If you have been in the same league for years just look at the last year or two draft history and see how everyone else drafts.

3. If you do an automated draft DO NOT use default rankings. Modify your stuff based on your league set-up. A lot of people do use auto-draft rankings which can allow you to target specific people in the first few rounds. You just run down the list based on the draft order and guess who will go to other teams and then see what should be there for you. You can then move guys up or down your draft list to help assemble the team you want. For example, you might like Larry Fitzgerald as a player but would rather grab another running back near that spot so you move a few choice RBs that are better than Larry above his slot so you will pick them up instead. If those guys get chosen at least you still have a top WR as conciliation.

4. Have at least one draft site to use for information. I prefer Yahoo Sports as I have done leagues with them for a long time. In the weeks leading up to the draft I usually start reading the fantasy columns to get an idea what the general vibe is and see how the 'experts' are setting their lists. While I might not always agree, this gives me an idea what other people might be thinking for their own teams.

5. Have fun. It's just a game and sometimes a complete crapshoot if your top guy gets crushed in week 1 and is out for the season. Of course that is why having a deep team is so important!