When you play fantasy football, your goal is obviously to win your league, but that’s easier said than done. There are a lot of strategies that go into fantasy sports, and it takes time to hone your skills.
The following is a guide to ten ways you can be a better fantasy football player and potentially come out on top next season.
1. Do Your Research
Research and analysis are critical to doing well in fantasy football. It’s not a game of luck. It’s a game of skill. That means that you regularly listen to the best fantasy football podcasts, you read updates and team news, and you follow what’s going on even during the off-season.
You want to do your homework and get access to data that the analysts and experts in the industry are sharing. Then, you’re making educated, informed decisions when you’re drafting, developing, and managing your roster.
You’ll hear people argue that fantasy sports are all about luck because, let’s face it, luck is what determines if someone stays injury-free, for example. At the same time, the strength and depth of your team are what determine how much of an impact a potentially unlucky injury could have.
Stay informed along the way too. Don’t wait until Thursday night to check league news. Use the app or platform for your league and turn on your notifications.
2. Study Depth Charts
You can study depth charts and go-to team pages to figure out what’s going on.
A depth chart helps you view the order of each team’s roster. This is a good way to determine the value of a player, and you can locate starters, bench players, and handcuffs based on position.
In football, depth charts are a list of the teams’ rosters based on rankings in their positions. It’s broken down into 28 positions. Eleven are offense, and eleven are defense. Then, the remaining six are on special teams.
At each position, you find the anticipated starter and the backups. The depth chart features players at each position in the order they’re going to rank. Not all positions will have a backup. For example, a fullback and kicker position don’t usually have a backup.
NFL teams release their depth chart because they’re required to based on media access rules, so take advantage of this requirement.
Every team has to provide a credible weekly depth chart for the media, according to rules, starting no later than the week of the first preseason game. It has to be updated weekly through the end of the season.
3. Check for Bye-Week Problems
You don’t want to have any complications for your roster, including bye-week issues. Check your roster and make sure that, for example, your starting QB and your backup don’t have the same bye-week. Do this for all of your positions.
If you have a problem and you don’t fix it proactively, it can cause a bad week or two.
4. Keep Up With Injuries
Injuries happen nearly all the time, and that can have a huge impact on your fantasy football roster. You want to keep up so that you know who’s injured, how it could potentially affect your lineup, and what you might be able to do to reduce the effects.
Injuries can impact many aspects of a game, including affecting teammates. If someone goes down, think about who’s going to be replacing them.
While you’re checking in on injuries, you also want to look at promotions and demotions. Promotions are those players that appear to be on the rise. Demotions are naturally the players who are on the decline, by contrast.
5. Wait to Draft Your Quarterback
You should try to wait as part of your draft strategy on your quarterback.
There’s a lot of general depth in the quarterback position, so you don’t need to overpay. You should instead be loading up on running backs.
6. Avoid Mainstream Advice
While you do want to do your research and stay up to date on everything going on, you want to avoid following mainstream consensus rankings and advice. If you’re just drafting players that did well last year or your drafting on ADP, you’re not likely to be successful.
A lot of mainstream advice that you’re coming across is going to tell you that since someone finished well last year, then you should draft them in the same order this year.
7. Have a Backup Plan For Everything
If you want to be successful in fantasy, you need a backup plan for everything you’re doing. For example, if you’re in a one quarterback league, get two. If you’re in a two-quarterback league, get three, and so on.
8. Let Your Brain, Not Your Emotions, Guide You
If you’re someone who’s played a lot of fantasy football, this tip may be especially relevant to you. You can build narratives about players based on a number of factors.
These factors can include what they’ve already done for your team, what you expected them to do initially, what pundits say they can do, and what you hope they’re going to do.
It’s important if you want to do well in fantasy football that you take a step back. Don’t use your heart and your emotions—use your brain.
9. Look At Volume
You have to prioritize players who touch the ball the most or have the most volume. You really need to pay attention to this tip if you’re in league with points scored on receptions.
10. Discuss Trades
Finally, you can make good additions and also subtractions to your team if you talk trades. You have to remember that it’s rare for someone to draft a team that stays healthy all season long. Your lineup is inevitably going to have weak spots, and every player is also going to have a bye-week at some point.
You can make claims on the waiver wire and improve your team weekly. If you stay informed, this is going to help you have the information you need here.