Hey Fantasy Football FREAKS...It's about that time!!!
The weather outside is like the way Herm Edwards likes his Krispy Kreme Donuts...HOT!!!!! It's almost time for the NFL to get started and, more importantly, time to prepare for the 2009-10 fantasy football season.
Many articles are written to tell you the "Do's and Don'ts" for your fantasy draft. They all say pretty much the same thing and a lot of times they leave you with nothing to do after the draft is over but live with your choices.
My article will go over some things to make your draft successful. That is important ,but it's not key to having a successful season. That takes work also. The cliches "It's not a sprint...It's a marathon" and "Drive for show...Putt for dough" are very appropriate here because RARELY does one win a fantasy league with the players that they drafted.
I will also give some "during the season" pointers that might help, but my main focus will be on the draft.
I LOVE draft day. I've been involved with the same league of guys for 14 years. We all know each other very well. A couple of owners came to my wedding. Heck...m?y brother owns a team, and you know how good it feels to beat a sibling!
POINT ONE: Create a league with people that are reliable, honest, and most importantly, that you like.
I am married with three kids and, like many of you, a soul-crushing job. My fantasy football draft weekend is MY weekend. It takes place in St. Augustine every year. I arrive Friday night. I drink most of that night. I arrive at the draft on Saturday morning.
By Saturday night, I'm back at the bar watching college football, drinking again, and debating other owners that I had the best draft. I pass out after midnight, hopefully not still at the bar, and then go home the Sunday morning.
Just so you know...every woman I have been involved with knows that I do this every year.
POINT TWO: Make sure you have as little distraction as possible on draft day.
Nothing can ruin your draft worse than a constantly ringing cell phone, a shift at work following the draft, or a headache caused from a scream-fest with your mate the night before.
This is where I differ from a lot of articles I have read. It deals with drinking. Some act like you are preparing for & taking your S.A.T.'s. This is supposed to be fun, people.
If I show up at my draft Saturday morning not still smelling a little like Friday night...than I didn't do it right. If I'm not a wee bit hungover, then shame on me for being a slacker!
POINT THREE: Alcohol is your friend.
Do you know how many owners I have gotten to admit players they are interested in over drinks the night before the draft? Do you realize how many owners can't figure out the next day how I took players they wanted just before their pick. It's a beautiful thing.
Many fantasy experts say to control your drinking during the draft. Again...it's a fantasy draft...not Texas Hold-Em.
Now, I'm not saying to emulate a "Leaving Las Vegas" bender. But a draft is tense & LONG. You need something to keep you calm and to occupy yourself. Hey...Beer does that!!!
It also helps with the tough choices you have to make sometimes when the draft is not going quite the way you hoped. It will keep you from mentally shutting down. Just make sure there is plenty of food around to sop up the drink.
There are other important points to remember. Pay attention to your player's off-weeks. Always have a cheat sheet, but study hard before the draft. Don't pick kickers or special teams before the last two rounds. Those are pretty standard. Here's something that I live by.
POINT FOUR: Make sure at least one of your picks is a sleeper.
Everyone can pick a Manning, Brady, or Peterson. Make a pick like I did in the fifth round last year (Chris Johnson), and you have some serious "street cred" with the fellas in your league. It could also be what takes you to the playoffs.
OK...now the draft is over. The season isn't going the way you hoped. Either because of injury, underachieving, or just stinkin' picks, you are firmly holding a mediocre record. Time to take up knitting...Right?
POINT FIVE: Don't be afraid to shake things up!
You'd be amazed how many fantasy football owners will completely disregard a superstar's CURRENT stats. They see a name and they can't control themselves. The easiest way to shake up your team is to trade a superstar for an upstart player on the rise, if not two.
Nothing eases your pain like seeing your former problem child terrorizing another guy's team.
Drop a player that's underachieving and pick up a young guy who is starting to show up consistently. If he fails too, what difference does it make. If he takes off, you just improved your team, plus you look like a genius.
The important point is this. Never give up. Don't quit. One year that I won a championship, I started the season losing three of my first four games. My pride then kicked in and I decided to "blow up" my team. Nothing stupid.
I just traded some guys. Picked up a few guys on free agency. Before you knew it, I was playing for the championship. My Goodness...I love fantasy football!
FINAL POINT: Just enjoy yourself.
In this era of "Lifetime Movie" marathons, metro-sexual males, and Mini-vans, there are so few things that are just, well, MANLY. Fantasy football is that thing. Hell...I've even bumped into some outstanding female owners who will take your team to the cleaners in a second.
So complain about freaky injuries to your stars. but do it smiling. Scream about stupid penalties that takes away one of your player's scores. But then laugh it off. It could be worse.
You could be going to the zoo on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Maybe seeing the latest Nora Efron "chick-flick." So what if you lose your game by one point...It's football, son...BE A MAN!!!
This has been a very unorganized article and I wish I could write it better. But sometimes it hard to express "love" without sounding scatterbrained. All I know is this. If one person reads this article and proceeds to have their best season ever, then my work will be done.
If that person uses this information to somehow beats me in a game, then this was the biggest mistake of my life. But hey...that's fantasy football!!!