The NFL preseason kicked off yesterday, which means it's time for people to start thinking about everyone's favorite pseudo strategy game -- fantasy football. Yes, it is almost time for cheering against the running back that is playing against your own home team, hoping for various star players to get injured, and watching mid-season games between the Lions and 49ers with sweaty palms. Fantasy football offers every fan to be a football general manager. Well not really, but it's kind of fun I guess.
I'm coming off a strong fantasy season last year, when I showed my fantasy expertise by picking Tom Brady in the first round and then replaced him by trading for Carson Palmer. I think I've done enough research to at least duplicate that showing this year, and maybe even improve on it. Here are some fantasy tips that should help you in the upcoming season:
- Defense wins championships -- make sure to draft a defense/special teams unit in the first round.
- To try to find sleepers in the middle to late rounds, look for players who have struggled their entire careers and thus have something to prove. I've heard that Vince Young has come to Titans camp rejuvenated and focused, and is certainly worth a pick somewhere around the 6th or 7th round.
- Make sure to avoid prima donna players like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. While they may get a lot of yards and touchdowns, they'll disrupt locker room chemistry and eventually tear your team apart.
- It's no secret that the success of a running back is highly tied to the play of his offensive line. Draft a left tackle in the first round and then pick up the backs later.
- If a wide receiver puts up 60 or more yards week one and is available on the waiver wire, make sure to pick him up. It is almost certain he will maintain that production the entire season.
- To easily follow your fantasy players, get 12 TVs and NFL Sunday Ticket from Direct TV. If you stack them on top of each other you maximize your football viewing time and get the full fantasy experience.
- Make good use of the "handcuff" strategy of backing up one of your top players with a similar player who is currently in jail. Plaxico Burress maybe?
- To lighten up the mood on draft day, steal jokes from that ESPN fantasy ad such as "TJ Who'syomama" or take Adrian Peterson from the Chicago Bears in the last round and say "HEY I JUST GOT ADRIAN PETERSON." These jokes never get old, and your comrades will greatly appreciate the humor.
- Remember the rule of 370 -- don't take any running back that weighs more than 370 pounds. They will be likely see a significant decline in their performance.
- If your first round pick tears his ACL in the first game of the season... well, you're screwed. I can't really help you here.
- When trying to fire up your team on gameday, I find an inspired, Al Pacino from Any Given Sunday type speech usually does the trick. Remember, these players won't perform to their fullest unless you motivate them for your cause.
- If you draft Brett Favre, be prepared for the media circus that will ensue. He also likely won't show up for your team's training camp.
- Make sure to draft players that aren't gunshot prone.
You're welcome for the tips, and good luck in your upcoming fantasy drafts!