Feasting On Fantasy—My Perspective On A Fun Pastime

Jennifer JohnsonAnalyst IAugust 27, 2008

With the fifth pick in the "We Are Family Fantasy Custom League," Team Johnson selects Bryan Westbrook, RB of the Philadelphia Eagles.

To us fanatics that love them some football, the 2008-2009 NFL season can't come quick enough.

The  New York Giants and Washington Redskins are set to battle it our for early division supremacy a week from tomorrow.  Each team has suffered some major injuries and are looking for help from "under the radar players," that will emerge as dependable allies in their quest for the almighty Super Bowl Trophy. 

At least the Giants can say they have been there and done that. That's reality! What I want to focus on is fantasy.

The following article will illustrate the do's and don'ts, of constructing a high octane powerhouse that looks to reign over their opponents from week-to-week.

Lesson No. 1

Pick for points, not name. 

So many newbies fall in love with players they have heard about in the news. It's not always the Chad Johnsons and Terrell Owens of the world that can get the glory. 

Pick the top receiver, running back and QB for a team that has an average chance of making the playoffs and u might find yourself  atop your division.

Think Andre Johnson of the Texans. He's been an 1,000 plus yard-eater for at least the last three years, and if the o-line can protect Matt Schaub better than they did for David Carr than save him for your fourth or fifth pick.  If you are in a ten to twelve league team you can't rely on Randy Moss lasting past the 1first round anyway. 

Lesson No. 2

Don't sleep on the sleepers.

Kick return specialists and rookies tend to hang around because they don't produce like starters.

Yet, that one week you have an injury to a major player, and you are searching for a quick replacement, you can't panic and go down a player.

The bye weeks can kill you, if you don't have a Plan B.  Execute a fourth quarter comeback of your own.

Think Devin Hester or Donte Hall.

What is fantasy football if you aren't going to gamble here and there? Roll the dice, Mike McD and snake your way to a win.   

Lesson No. 3

Watch the waiver wire. If you have an underachieving player that you want to drop, do so before you over-think it. Frank Gore was a late season fill-in for me two years ago (the last time I participated in fantasy) and carried me through to the second round of the playoffs. Some players are worth waiting for, but if you start out in the hole, you might not recover in time to taste sweet victory.

My advice keep Romo, Brady and Manning in the active spot at all times. Say aloha to Big Ben, Fahvra and Brokedown Bulger if the numbers don't match the hype.   

And my final lesson in fantasy drafting:

Wear the jersey, draft to win.

If you choose to select a player based on him suiting up for your favorite team, you are making a huge error in judgement. If you must absolutely have to have someone, don't hesitate.

It's okay to make these caveats, but do so at your own risk. An exception to this rule would be to draft both backs in a two-backs system. Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts add up to one great back.

In a league with a higher number of bench spots could accommodate this serious Jones you carry for your team. Just remember though, a team full of Packers will do little more for you than cover you in curdled cheese.  

Kids if this was not a brain teaser for you then ignore my opinions and enjoy the view from the bench. Hell, I want to win so bad I have an eagle and a cowboy in my starting lineup. You do what you have to, even when it hurts.

By the way I lost out on Cooley to my week one opponent. Scooped him up a lot earlier than I would have chosen, but no risk no reward, right? I won't root against him, but if he catches two balls for 20 yards, I won't cry in my corn pops. As long as my Skins don't lay a goose-egg on Thursday evening I'll find a way to cope win or lose.

Here's to good chips and better tips! See you in championship row.