Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Draft Rules To Live By



It’s time for fantasy drafts throughout the land. Follow these tips and maybe just maybe, you’ll be on the way to glory.

1. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail: Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden is a bona fide genius and heeding his advice is a wise manoeuvre. Prepare yourself for battle. Mock drafts are all over the Internet and readily accessible. Go into a draft and target what players you want. Another preparation tool is setting up tiers for players at each position. For example, a grouping of the top five quarterbacks might be called gold or franchise. Meanwhile, the next five may be called second string. Utilizing tiering or examining ADP (average draft position) is a good way to get mentally prepared prior to the big day.

2. Feed the machine: Remember the 2008 Summer Olympics? If Michael Phelps taught us anything, it’s that great performance comes from substantial eating. Whether it’s at the draft site or beforehand at home, load up on the good stuff. Pancakes, eggs and bacon prior to an afternoon appointment; pizza and pasta are the go-to-guys prior to a night time draft. Perhaps 12,000 calories is overdoing it but you get the point. A legendary performance can only exist if an equally awesome pre-game appetite is quenched.

3. Bring more than one magazine: It never fails. Another owner will enter the draft without a magazine or with some ragtag collection of printouts. He will blame his girlfriend, wife, mailman or job. Instead of being a knight in shining armor, hold your counterpart accountable for his transgression.

Don’t hand over a magazine to a fellow competitor. Bringing another magazine may provide another perspective or have it on hand just in case one magazine lacks in one area versus another. Unless you are a kind and gentle soul that listens to Sting and Bruce Hornsby, don’t be so kind of draft day.

4. Don’t pin your hopes on the franchise: What do LaDainian Tomlinson, Tom Brady, and Randy Moss all have in common besides owning NFL single season records? While this year potentially they could all be first round choices, in season’s past they’ve let you down during money time.

Despite throwing 50 touchdowns (23 scoring tosses going to Moss) in 2007, Brady’s Week 15 stat line (14-of-27, 140 yards, 0 TDs, INT) was a horror show for his owners. Moss clearly didn’t benefit from Brady’s sole statistical setback with five catches for 79 yards. Those performances certainly did not help owners advance in the fantasy playoffs. Meanwhile, Tomlinson faltered down the stretch in 2005 which likely doomed many of his owners.

The lesson is to never put all of your eggs in one basket and mindlessly go through the rest of a draft. Building depth at all positions can never be taken for granted. Once crunch time arrives in the fantasy playoffs, having another solid performer or two will help you survive a superstar’s off day.

5. Don’t fall for fool’s gold: Just because a player does well and wins Super Bowl MVP does not mean they will explode in the following season. Deion Branch, Hines Ward and Eli Manning did not provide significant fantasy spikes the following season. This year is no exception. Don’t drink the Santonio Holmes Kool-Aid.

6. To beer or not to beer, that is the question: Draft day is serious business. Not to sound like your mother, but drinking is highly dangerous if you have any designs on winning the league. Remember, only the strong survive in fantasy football. Put that brew down and sub in a water or soda. Better yet, pass the brewski down to your enemy and let him drink it.

7. Think outside the box: Stud running backs are becoming extinct. Teams using running back by committee continue to increase season by season. Coaches are beginning to finally understand that over usage of backs is not only a bad thing, but can alter your franchise for some time.

Towards the back end of the first round, don’t be afraid to grab a receiver.

8. A Cold Day In Fantasy Hell: November and December are often tricky months for fantasy owners because weather can play such an unpredictable role in games. In 2007, Week 15’s Jets-Patriots game saw driving winds that greatly altered the success of New England’s passing game which lead to Tom Brady’s only game of the season with no touchdown passes.

Don’t ignore weather issues — especially at quarterback. Brady, Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb, Derek Anderson and Ben Roethlisberger are quarterbacks whose performances may be affected down the stretch because of inclement weather.

9. Kickers and Defenses Don’t Matter: Don’t take kickers or defenses in mid rounds. It’s a complete waste. There isn’t a big difference between the first and 10th kicker in fantasy. The same goes for defenses. Ideally, wait until the last couple of rounds to deal with one. Owners pass on talented players every year to take the Adam Vinatieris of the world or the Baltimore defense. Who could have more of an impact on your team — an extra back or receiver, or a guy who barely kicks field goals of longer than 40 yards these days?

A couple of seasons ago, I saw an owner take David Akers in the eighth round. That’s just embarrassingly too high for a kicker.

10. Decompress: After browbeating owners with a great draft, sit back and enjoy life. Take some time to get away mentally from the mess.  No matter the fair, do something that takes mind away from football for a time. I’ll typically opt for an awful movie on Retroplex or the always epic Season Two of Miami Vice. Seriously, the Definitely Miami episode featuring Ted Nugent is required television viewing.

Now, make like James “Sonny” Crockett and seize the day by overcoming your draft day foes…without using excessive violence, naturally.

Oh…one more thing.



Everyone needs a good motivational video before conquering anything. I have a few suggestions.

AC/DC’s Long Way To The Top video:

or…a live version of Shoot To Thrill.

The training scene from Rocky II.

The training scene from Rocky IV.

If you aren’t ready to run through a brick wall after watching these, your pilot light is out.

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