We here at Pro Style Football are committed to providing quality Fantasy football rankings and quality advice. So here are 10 tips for preparing for your Fantasy Football Draft and beyond.
- Know Every Running Back: Every one know the top forty something Running Backs but its really important to know 2nd and third string backs for certain teams, like teams with an uncertain starter. This is essential when looking for RBs at the end of the draft or scalping the Waiver Wire for a backup at week 6. Examples: Zac Stacy and Andre Ellington in 2013, Alfred Morris in 2012, and Peyton Hillis in 2010.
- Understand ADP: ADP is average draft position. Using the ADP data from Here you can see on average where players are getting taken. Knowing where players are normally taken is crucial for knowing what round to target players. For example I’m planning on targeting Rob Gronkowski for my fantasy team. His ADP is the 3.08 (3rd, 8th pick) which means I should target him sometime early in the third round to get him. Also note that in leagues with uniformed playesr (eg taking Tony Romo in the 1st round) can really make a guy slide so I wouldn’t be surprised if he were there around the fourth if I was in one of those leagues. Knowing ADP is crucial to getting the maximum value for your team.
- Know the Player’s schedule: It’s important to understand what teams your players face. For example, last year Peyton Manning had one of the greatest seasons of all time aided by playing 4 games against the weak NFC East, where he averaged almost 27 points a game. This year Peyton Manning is going against the NFC West, and QBs going against them averaged a bit more than 12.5 a half points. Peyton Manning is about 55% better than the average QB So it can be assumed that he will likely average 18-20 fantasy points in those games, which costs about 7-8 points a week for four game compared to him playing against the NFC East. On the other hand Andrew Luck struggled against the NFC West last year and is going against a really easy schedule including the NFC East.
- Select a QB strategy: There are two QB strategies you can choose from: 1 QB or 2QB. The 1QB strategy is where you take one of the top 5 or 6 QB and start them every week no matter who they are playing, and for the bye week you just pickup the best option off the wire. This strategy hurts your RB and/or WR strength because you need to take one of these guys in the first 5 rounds. The other strategy is to draft 2 QBs. Many things can happen with this scenario. Both QBs you draft play well and you rotate them by matchup, one of your QBs does better than expected and you drop/try to trade the other one, the final situation is that both of your QBs under perform and you just pick up some guy off the wire. (Which can be good if you pick up the right QBs like Nick Foles or Josh McCown last year and Cam Newton in 2011.
- Understand how TEs Work: There are 3 types of TEs: Jimmy Graham and a healthy Gronkowski, Studs, and everyone not on the waiver wire. Jimmy Graham and Gronk are only going to have a bad game (under 6 points) once in every four games. They have the ability to put up game changing numbers every game. Studs are the next tier and consist of guys like Julius Thomas, Vernon Davis, Jason Witten, and Jordan Cameron. These guys will have more good games than bad games and will put out a great performance once or twice a year.Guys like Davis and Thomas got most of their points though TDs while the other guys got most of there points from yards. The other guys may have a big performance perhaps once a year but they will have more bad games than good games. This is important to know when estimating how many points you’ll get from TE.
- Don’t Handcuff your RB: Seriously when has this strategy worked? Let’s see which, if any, of the most popular handcuff’s from last year turned out OK. Arian Foster got hurt and then along came Mr. Handcuff Ben Tate who only had 2 games with double digit fantasy points and even got hurt himself. How about Bernard Pierce? Everyone expected Rice to have a down year but no one expected Pierce to be worse averaging 2.9 Y/C. Bryce Brown, didn’t much as LeSean McCoy started all 16 games. And what about Toby Gerhart? Well did you know he has had only one 100 yard game in his career? And last year he got hurt and Matt Asiata had the big game. This years handcuff look no better. Kansas City’s Knile Davis only had a 3.5 Y/C, fumbles too often, and is coming off a broken leg. Know one knows who’s going to back up AP over in Minnesota. (Is anyone getting excited about drafting Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata?) Darren Sproles isn’t really a handcuff since he gets more receptions than rushes. James Starks is too injury prone to be trusted and as we know the Packers offense can operate without a real rushing threat because of Aaron Rodgers. The only handcuff I may consider would be KaDeem Carey for Matt Forte and only if I hear he is doing well in camp. In all honesty if your first round pick goes down with injury your pretty much screwed regardless unless you drafted really well with the rest of your picks. Using a late pick to acquire more depth is smarter than using it on a handcuff.
- Rotate Defenses: Don’t take a Defense early. Last year according ESPN’s Scoring System the top 5 defenses were Seattle, Carolina, Kansas City,Cincinnati, and Arizona. Only Seattle and Cincinnati were likely drafted in your league, the other 3 were picked up off waivers. It’s also smart to draft a D that plays a bunch of easy games early in the schedule like the Texans, and then switch your D’s out based on their opponent and there upcoming schedule.
- Know what kind of WR your getting: Do you want a WR who will get you more than 5-7 points every week and rarely have a great game, or would you rather have a guy that can put up 20 points any week but also has a tendency to put up games where he gets less than 5? Look at the WRs your targeting game logs and find out which kind of WR they are and you could find out cool stats like Antonio Brown had zero games with less than 5 receptions AND 50 receiving yard but only 2 games with more than 20 points, while Dez Bryant had 4 games with less than 5 catches and 50 yards but 4 games with 20 or more points. Another great example of this idea is 19th ranked WR last year T.Y Hilton who scored 56 points in his 2 best games but 76 in the other 14. These guys are especially frustrating because they always seem to have there best games when they are on the bench.
- Know the Rules: Different fantasy football leagues have different rules and it’s imperative to know them, so you can exploit them. Some common rules are Points per reception leagues, which place more emphasis on WRs like Wes Welker and Antonio Brown who get lots of catches. In 2 QB leagues the QB has much more value so it’s smart to take both QBs within the first 3 rounds. Also understand the rules for tiebreakers, which is how I missed my league’s playoffs last year despite being 3rd in points.
- Be Active on the Wire: Not only do you need to be active on the wire you need to be able to nab players before they’re on the top of Matthew Berry’s add list. You also need to be able to forecast which defense you are going to want to start 2-3 weeks in advance. Having skill and a little bit of luck with the wire is important to your success in fantasy football.
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