Fantasy Football

10 Fantasy Football Tips for Winning Your League


For Fantasy Sports nerds like myself, the month of August can be a double-edged sword. It’s a great time of year because Fantasy Baseball is in the home-stretch and Fantasy Football drafts have already started. But it’s also a time where what’s left of my brain cells get stretched pretty thin (especially when you consider Fantasy Basketball and Fantasy Hockey drafts are right around the corner). David was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to do a guest post here on, so I’ve managed to find some time to cobble together some notes to help you all get prepared for your upcoming drafts. I realize all of you Fantasy Football owners are likely stricken by information overload from the myriad of Fantasy analysts out there, so I’m going to keep it simple with a list of the 10 Fantasy Football tips that have helped me over the years

(Here’s a look at the ESPN uber leaderboard from last year if you want to see how I’ve done:).


10 Fantasy Football Tips for Winning Your League


1. Draft, draft, and then draft some more

Fantasy Football Tips Jimmy the GreekThis would be the rule that my wife hates the most, but practice really does make perfect. There are tons of great sites out there to do free mock drafts, and I try to do as many as my schedule allows before I get to my real drafts (I’m a complete addict and usually end up doing something like 40 real teams, but that’s a topic I’ll save for my Fantasy addiction counselor).

By doing more drafts, you’ll get a better feel for what it’s like to draft out of different spots and you’ll also get a better idea of where certain players are being drafted. I promise you that by the time you’re done doing all these mock drafts, you’ll have a huge head-start over the rest of your league and you’ll never get frazzled when the guy you’ve been targeting gets taken right before you’re about to pick.


2. Schedule your draft closer to the season

I realize everyone’s excited to start drafting now that football season is upon is, but we haven’t even started preseason games, people! There’s SO much that can happen during the preseason in terms of injuries, position battles, and even new player signings. For instance, do you even know who the starting running back is going to be for New England, Arizona or Detroit? (If you do, you should start playing the lottery.)

I’d much rather mock now and do my real draft during the first week of September when we have a little more clarity. I guarantee you that a big-name star is going to get injured this preseason and if you’re drafting in early August, you deserve what you get.


3. Bring TWO cheat sheets to your draft

Remember when I mentioned information overload before? Don’t be the owner that brings nine different cheat sheets to your draft and gets stuck with an auto-pick because you were too busy shuffling between stacks of paper. Create your own top 250-300 list (more on that in No. 4) and then create a list of tiers by position.

With Value-Based Drafting being all the rage (as it should be), you’ll want to have all your positions broken out into tiers so that you can assess which positions you’ll be able to wait on, and which ones you’ll have to address immediately.


4. Be your own “expert”

There are so many good Fantasy Football analysts out there, but the whole point of Fantasy Sports is to have your OWN team. Every Fantasy Sports owner is a failed GM-wannabe, so while you should take advice and listen to Fantasy Football tips from analysts, make sure your Draft Day decisions are your own.

Remember, Fantasy analysts spend a lot of time researching this stuff, but no one is ever going to be correct 100 percent of the time (and don’t let them tell you otherwise), so make sure the team you own is the one that YOU want – not the team that Matthew Berry wants, not the team that David Gonos wants, and not even the team that I want.

Don’t worry – we won’t be offended if you don’t listen to every piece of advice we give you.


5. Know your league rules

I’m just as guilty of this as the next guy, but make sure you know the type of scoring settings your league has. I mistakenly assumed standard scoring in a money league I did last year and found out after the draft that quarterbacks got one point for each completion. If you’re new to the idea of playing daily fantasy football, then be sure to brush up on the rules, just so you know what you’re getting yourself into and have a better chance of achieving good results. I didn’t own Drew Brees, Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers, so as you can imagine … I was pretty much screwed.

Different types of scoring settings influence the way you’ll need to draft, so make sure you know whether you’re in a points-per-reception leagues, two quarterback leagues, and yes…even a points-per-completion league.


6. Don’t overthink things by planning too far ahead

Fantasy Football TipsOne of the biggest mistakes I see made every year is people trying to plan their bye weeks, or worse yet, trying to plan their playoff weeks. I’m not saying to discount bye weeks, but they’re only one week per player, so don’t let that make you pass up the RB you REALLY want just because he has the same bye week as your other RB.

If you draft enough depth and are active on your waiver-wire (more on that in No. 9), you’ll be able to fill-in whatever holes you have due to bye weeks. As for planning ahead for the playoffs — just worry about getting there and then we can talk.


7. Defenses and Kickers grow on trees

Any halfway-decent Fantasy Football analyst will tell you this, but DO NOT spend a pick on a defense or a kicker unless it’s one of your last two picks (and take kickers last). It’s almost impossible to predict which defense is going to be worth owning (even harder with kickers), so just stock up on running backs and wide receivers until the last two rounds and then take a couple fliers.

Some leagues will even let you bypass drafting a defense or kicker and in those instances, I’ll draft an extra running back or wide receiver to have on my roster before the season starts.


8. You can only start one QB/TE

If you draft a top quarterback and tight end (which you should), you’re drafting them for a reason: to start each and every week. If that’s the case, why would you waste a roster spot on a backup for either position? If I spend a first- or second-round pick on someone like Rodgers or Jimmy Graham, the only time I’m sitting either one is during their bye week. For that one week, the world will keep spinning if you have to spot-start a waiver-wire QB/TE, so don’t waste a roster spot all year for a bye-week fill-in.


9. ALWAYS stay active in your league

One of the most important Fantasy Football tips boils down to two things: trades and waivers. In terms of trades, I try to throw around a trade offer to every team in my league once a week. By doing so, you’ll show the rest of your league that you’re an active owner who is willing to deal and you’ll also increase your chances of finding a sucker that will overpay you in a trade (just make sure you don’t throw around lopsided offers that are going to insult anyone and make them not want to trade with you).

In terms of the waiver-wire, make sure you’re constantly checking it. There’s always people that panic and drop players they shouldn’t, and by taking five minutes to check your wire every day, you’ll quickly turn their loss into your gain. Plus, this goes back to No. 7, in that you’ll want to keep scouring your waiver-wire for good DST and K matchups. I prefer to stream those positions based on matchups, rather than lock-in on one DST or K all year long.


10. Twitter isn’t just for college kids

I saw someone say a few weeks ago that anyone on Twitter that’s over the age of 25 has issues. Well, I won’t deny the issues part, but I’d take that a step further and say that anyone who plays Fantasy Football that doesn’t use Twitter is just asking to lose their league.

Whether it’s a local beat-writer, an NFL insider, or a Fantasy analyst, there are TONS of good people to follow on Twitter that will help make your Fantasy Football team better through player updates, injury news, and even personalized Fantasy Football tips.

If you’re looking for a good list of people to follow, Gonos put together an excellent list that will help put you on the path toward winning your league.


I’m sure a lot of you Fantasy Football veterans live and breathe these rules each and every season, but hopefully you still found them helpful. If you have any other Fantasy Football tips that you play by, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on Twitter: @FantasyTrade411.


Written exclusively for by Nick Raducanu. Nick is the mystery man behind the TraderX persona at and you can also find him writing Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football columns at You can also follow him and ask him for advice on Twitter: @FantasyTrade411



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