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Maybe the piece should have opened with this since, unless you do this, the rest isn't going to matter.
Oh, most owners are pretty sure they know the NFL. Yet every year you hear of horror stories (maybe comedies) from some friend's draft where some guy drafted a retired/injured/free-agent player, and every year you roll your eyes.
Of course, that's the most egregious and over-the-top type of story and doesn't apply to most. It's the little things that most owners miss.
Being a casual fan is fine for fantasy if you're in a casual league. You get by with a list of players, usually cobbled together from a few magazines or websites, perhaps with a somewhat-current team depth chart so you know who is where. You may even know a team intimately. After all, you're probably a huge fan of at least one team, right?
If you want to win (especially in better leagues or contests), you have to do more.
You have to know more about what teams are doing offensively, how their schedules look, how the division is shaping up and whether the stud player with the Achilles injury is really going to be 100 percent (and even if he is, if the team is likely to use him like he's healthy or protect him).
You need to know if a quarterback will have a short leash and what it will mean for the wide receiver you have targeted for the fourth or fifth round if he gets benched. You need to know about the offensive line's new blocking scheme and how it's going to get a quarterback killed or free the running back up by clearing running lanes.
You have to know if the read option is really the majority of San Francisco's offense (it's not) and if the Packers did enough to counter it when they see it (they look like they haven't).
There's knowing the NFL and there's knowing the NFL. The former is nice—it's the latter that wins championships.
Andrew Garda is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. He is also a member of the fantasy football staff at Footballguys.com and the NFL writer at CheeseheadTV.com. You can follow him at @andrew_garda on Twitter.