At this time of year, everyone resolves to go to the gym regularly, quit smoking, eat better, or embark on some other sort of health-improvement quest. We're not really interested in those types of New Year's resolutions, though. We're looking for those of the mental health variety. And what better way to ease your restless mind than by swearing off some of the worst behaviors fantasy owners employ.
Below are my fantasy football New Year's resolutions for 2014. Feel free to share yours in the comments.
• I will not be seduced by explosive-yet-unproven running backs getting their first real shot as a starter. Looking at you, David Wilson.
• I will avoid running backs who can't manage to run for more than three yards per carry, regardless of the preseason hype. Looking at you, Trent Richardson.
• I won't buy into quarterbacks who started for half a season before becoming the darling of the fantasy community. Looking at you, Colin Kaepernick.
• I will not take running backs with my first two picks. There are simply too many busts among the players ranked in the top-20 at the position in the preseason.
• I will not take a running back in the first round unless I'm 100 percent confident in him. Not only do a ton of backs go bust, but it's also easy to see them coming. Most everyone had real doubts about C.J. Spiller, Ray Rice and Richardson this year. When there are sure things available at wide receiver, it doesn't make any sense to roll the dice on a second-tier running back.
• I will own two wide receivers within my first four picks. The elite players out wide are far more reliable than those in the backfield. We all know that fantasy owners cannot afford to miss on their top picks. By investing in the most reliable position in fantasy football, we greatly reduce the chance of that happening.
• I will continue to wait on quarterbacks. The position is as deep as ever, and it takes a historic year, like the one Peyton Manning just had, to justify taking a quarterback early in drafts.
• I will not let Calvin Johnson get past the fourth pick in any league. Right now, I have Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte as the top three players on my board for next season. After that, there isn't a player I'd rather bet on than Johnson. In his career, he has averaged 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. He has at least 12 touchdowns in four of his seven seasons in the league, including three of the last four. He's as strong a first-round pick as there is, no matter your league format.
• If I don't get Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski, I will be the last person in my league to take a tight end. Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron, Charles Clay, Martellus Bennett and Delanie Walker all ranked among the top-12 tight ends. All were outside the top 12 according to average draft position. There is seemingly always value in waiting on a tight end.