and Jon Millman
Last Updated: Aug 02, 2011 4:26 PM
Fantasy Football University – Class II
How to Prepare for a League
We keep things basic in this early course, and the later sessions will become more advanced, like how to uncover sleepers and evaluate talent. We'll go into MUCH more depth on our advanced drafting strategies in our Draft Kit.
Know the Variations
The first thing to do when preparing for a fantasy league is being aware of the variations in roster and scoring, which will affect your strategy. You cannot approach every draft for every league the same unless the scoring systems and starting requirements are identical.
Depending on the scoring system, the actual rankings at each position will change. Quarterbacks become more valuable in leagues that award six points for touchdown passes, rather than three or four. Running backs who are featured in the passing attack are more valuable in PPR leagues (Points Per Reception), than runners who don't see much action as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.
The actual starter requirements are the other key factor that will determine your drafting strategy. It is less essential to grab a stud wide receiver in fantasy leagues that only start two receivers rather than three, as the talent pool is not stretched out as thin in the early rounds.
Going back to the PPR format, possession receivers who catch a lot of passes get a boost in value.
Next we come to the FLEX position. Be aware if your league uses this spot, and what positions are eligible. Running backs touch the ball the most and are the most productive, making them more ideal for the FLEX spot than a receiver. It is never a bad idea to stock up on running backs in the opening rounds of drafts, and it becomes even more advantageous if you can start three running backs with the third as a FLEX play. That is not the case if your league allows for a quarterback to be used as a FLEX though. In this scenario, it is wiser to try to get 2 solid QBs as they tend to score the most points, so it would be advantageous to use a QB as your flex whenever possible. Again, the key here is to know your league's variations.
Be aware if your league requires a tight end in the starting lineup. Don't be the fantasy owner who misses out on a stud tight end after overlooking that your league has a starting spot for the position. There are very few stud tight ends and having one gives you a nice edge over the fantasy owners who are without one.
We now come to distance scoring. This format puts a premium on big plays, and makes guys who can score long touchdowns at a premium. This can relate to kickers too, as some leagues reward bonus points for long field goals. Another key factor is if a WR or RB gets credit for return yards if they play special teams.
This last one should be a no-brainer. Don't forget to bring your tiered CFG cheatsheet to the draft, and stay focused on the mission at hand, which is dominating your league.
Types of Drafts
There are online drafts which can be done from the comfort of your own home, and then there are drafts that are done in person, generally the re-draft type. It is more fun to draft in person, and you can use a bit of strategy to talk up a player that you do not want and feel will be a bust, in a bid to get another owner to bite on him early.
The auction leagues take the most preparation. In auction leagues be sure to get the amount of the salary cap beforehand. This is to plan your budget, allotting the most money for studs and thinking about the sleepers and fliers who can get for a bargain.