6 Ways to win your 2007 Fantasy Football League Starting with the Draft

6 Ways to win your 2007 Fantasy Football League, Starting with the Draft

These days, it doesn't matter what position you draft in. Nobody wins their league from their first round draft choice. It's all about grabbing the right guys at the right time and keeping focused throughout your entire draft. The technical term for this is called Average Draft Position ADP , but knowing your league rules, football players, schedule, current state of the team their on and keeping an eye on the start/sit sites & waiver wire throughout the season are a must to win your league. This is what separates you from your competition who all read the exact same Yahoo Big Board or ESPN Fantasy Draft magazine. So how do you separate yourself? Preparation. Preparation. Preparation.

1) First, study your league's rules before the draft:

This is a crucial detail that your average FFer doesn't look at very closely. You need to know if your league gives an advantage for QBs or if you get points for return yards. Knowing these details can be all the difference in winning the whole thing. Wes Welker or Dante Hall suddenly have a lot more value in league that awards points for return yards. Most recently, a bunch of high school football guys around my neighborhood created a Yahoo Fantasy Football custom league and invited me to join their 12 man draft. When looking over their league rules, I noticed that they draft Individual Defensive Players IDP . I knew right away that this is where I would gain my advantage. I started studying IDP player rankings. Then, I did a search in Google with the phrase "2007 IDP player rankings". I looked at the 5 most credible sites and cross-referenced them to see how consistent the players were ranked. DeMeco Ryans appears to be the undisputed champ of IDP this year. After that, names like Zack Thomas, London Fletcher, Keith Bulluck, Ray Lewis, Shawn Merriman & Lance Briggs seamed to consistently appear. My next step is my secret weapon. I registered for rree and logined to http://www.fftoolbox.com/football/2007/cheatsheets.cfm There are other sites similar and maybe even better, but this one was found easily in the search engines. It allows you to customize your cheetsheet based on your league rules. So if your league allows 1 point per catch in addition to 1 point per 10 yards receiving, then you can enter that into your custom settings and it outputs your own customized league cheatsheet. All of the sudden running backs like Westbrook leap frog up a couple spots in the rankings because they catch the ball more often. This also effects how early you should take a WR, especially if your league requires 3. The high school football guy's league put extra emphasis on solo tackles so a LB gets you more points than a DB in this league. You can easily see where you gain the advantage by having this information.

2) Before the draft, study ADP, but be sure to only study ADP that applies to your league size and rules:

Next, go to sites like http://www.mockdraftcentral.com/report_adp.jsp?period=0&sport=3&type=143&color=1 , register for free and login to customize your ADP rankings. I customized the settings to show me only 12 men leagues that allow for Points Per Recption PPR. You quickly see that Westbrook, Addai & Bush get bumped up above traditional RBs like Alexander and Rudi Johnson.

3) 2007 Strength of Schedule:

The important thing to factor in when looking at the 2007 Strength of Schedule rankings is not to look at just the general team difficulty of schedule, but break it down by individual positon. This site gives a good example of QB Strength of Schedule > http://www.ffauthority.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=65&page=1
Now look at the RB Strength of Schedule > http://www.ffauthority.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=65&page=2
You'll see that it's a whole different story between the two. And remember, this is only a guideline when your trying to make a choice between two very similar players when drafting. Do not draft Jones-Drew over Westbrook just because his schedule looks easier. But it does help when trying to make a tough decision between Willie Parker and Joseph Addai.


4) Know your individual football players:

Read daily updates on individual players like this one > http://monksweekbyweeknflfantasyfootball2007.blogspot.com/2007/03/march-14-2007-off-season-fantasy.html
Not only does it give you a more vested interest in your team by knowing football players on a personal basis like Farve having his dad pass away and then play that amazing night last year. But it's also important to know when your player is in a contract year, like the year Shaun Alexander was fighting for the record or Tiki's amazing year because he knew he was going to retire soon. This year is a contract year for Julius Jones, for example, and now Parcell's is gone. He has every motivation in the world to perform right now. It also seems like when guys come off of injuries they have something to prove like Steve Smith after the broken leg or Javon Walker. Right now, Daunte Culpepper has a lot to prove and so does Priest Holmes. That gives them some "Cinderella" upside to consider amongst all the risk.

5) Know the Current State of the Team:

You may think Adrian Peterson is the best runner since Walter Payton, but Walter Payton played for a really good team and did not split carries with anyone. A whole lot of coaching changes took place all over the league in the off season and a ton of players are learning new systems as we speak. On paper, the Vikings look like a pretty bad team, but that's what I thought about the Saints in pre-season last year too. That's the miracle and fun of the NFL. But only so many miracles can happen at one time so my advice is don't take risks when you don't have to. Mike Shannahan got rid of Tatem Bell for a reason and just because he's on another team does not mean he's going to suddenly be a super stud. The Lions backfield is crowded, with TJ Duckett for goaline take-aways and Kevin Jones lurking. So know the current state of your player's team. He could be a stud, but let someone else take the risk.

6) Keep an eye on the Start / Sit / Bench week by week player rankings and the waiver wire, of course:

These do a good job of giving you the history of a player and who they'd be up against. For instance, WR L. Coles is money against the dolphins. It used to be because he loved talking smack with Patrick Surtain, but even after Surtain left Miami, Coles still get as TD everytime he plays the Fins. Some good sites to look at for weekly advice are sportingnews.com or espn.com. I also like to watch the smaller sites:

http://www.nflfreaks.com/Fantasy_Football_Features/Game_Prep/Start-Bench_List/index.htm

http://www.askthecommish.com/sos/index.asp?week=9

http://www.rotoworld.com/content/features/column.aspx?sport=NFL&columnid=139&article=26559

http://www.fantasysharks.com/index.php

As for the waiver wire, that's a no brainer. As the old saying goes, "one man's trash is another man's gold". I love it when newbies throw away guys with huge potential after the draft ends just because they didn't recognize their name. Two years ago, I scooped up Plaxico Burress up off waivers after a guy dropped him to pick up Amani Toomer instead. oops I got him on his way up. Backup running backs are huge after the word goes out that a starting RB got injured. Be careful though, don't dump a good player off your roster to pick a mediocre backup RB. If Edgerrin James goes down, don't drop a good 3rd RB like Fred Taylor to go after M. Shipp or Arrington.

Well, that about all the knowledge I have inside me right now. I hope I helped someone

WR Art Monk
http://monksweekbyweeknflfantasyfootball2007.blogspot.com/

1 comment:

Nelson Jacinto said...

I love your fantasy post! Keep up the good work with the fantasy insight!

njacinto
http://my-football-diary.blogspot.com/