The Top 5 Mistakes Fantasy Football Owners Should Never Make

SpartanNation

 

fantasy_football

OTA’s have started, and we all know what that means. It’s time to get prepared for the upcoming fantasy football season. Let’s face the facts. We may all tell our significant-others that we like to play fantasy football because it keeps us in touch with old friends, or that we do it for the fun of tracking our players, but we all know we play to win our leagues. That’s why a loss coming by the hands of an inexplicable performance by a terrible player on Monday Night Football has the uncanny ability to ruin our Tuesday. If you’re looking to win, make sure you never commit one of these common mistakes.

 

First, a bit of explanation. All of this advice is tailored to owners involved in a league using a standard scoring format (1 point per 10 yards rushing/receiving, 6 points for a touchdown, etc.). If you play in a league with a strange scoring system, make sure you keep that in mind while reading this article. Now, on to the mistakes:

 

1. Overvaluing your favorite players: It is extremely common for people to think their favorite player is the best player in the league. But when it comes to fantasy football, allegiances have to be thrown out the window if you want to win. Sure, you may love Mathew Stafford. You may even think that he has all the tools to be a stud NFL quarterback this season. However, if you draft him anywhere near the top fantasy quarterbacks like Brees, Brady, Manning, or Rodgers, you have officially lost your mind. Heck, if you draft him with the middle tier quarterbacks you should probably be put in a padded cell. If you look at Stafford’s production from last year combined with the Lions less than stellar offensive line, Stafford is likely to go anywhere from the 9th to 12th round in a standard 12 team league. If you really feel strongly about Stafford feel free to take him around that area, and stash him away as a potential sleeper candidate. However, if you take him before the 9th round you’re passing up players like Kellen Winslow or Visanthe Shiancoe who could be very valuable at a traditionally weak tight end position.

 

2. Drafting a wide receive in the first round: Unless you play in a “point per reception” league, don’t ever do this under any circumstances. Wide receiver is a traditionally streaky position with a guy going for 8 catches and 160 yards with a pair of scores one week and the very next week getting 1 measly catch for 15 yards. If you take a look at the top scorer from each position in standard leagues last year you’ll see why drafting a wideout in the first round is asking to find yourself in your league’s cellar.

 

Aaron Rodgers, QB:Â 327 points

 

Chris Johnson, RB:Â 329 points

 

Andre Johnson, WR:Â 205 points

 

To put these stats into perspective, Johnson’s point total is only good for 7th if he was a running back, and a pathetic 14th if he were a QB. Wait until at least the second round to pick up your team’s top wide receiver, and even then go for a “sure thing” type of guy who has had multiple years of consistent success.

 

3. Panicking: I’ve seen it a million times. A usually good player has one or two bad weeks to start the year and all of a sudden he gets traded for a group of scrubs. Just because a guy starts slow doesn’t mean it’s going to be a continuing trend throughout the year. For example, Ryan Grant started the 2009 season with games of 61 and 48 yards rushing. Grant, who was generally drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round as either a first or second string running back, was getting dealt left and right. However, by the end of the year Grant had amassed 197 fantasy points, good for 8th amongst running backs. On the flip side of this, if you see a guy you think will be a stud that is off to a slow start, try and snag him for one of your bench players. You’ll look like a genius, and find yourself near the top of your league.

 

4. Holding on: I know, I know, this seems contrary to what I just told you about panicking. But at some point it becomes obvious to any owner that a certain player isn’t what you thought he would be. That’s the time to get whatever you can for him. If you see one of your stud players struggling your best bet is to try and trade for a sleeper, as by that point most other owners will have noticed the decline. Get what you can, because you don’t want to be the guy stuck with the 2008 version of Marvin Harrison as your top wideout. The tough part is finding that middle ground of not panicking, and not holding a guy too long. Sadly there’s no magic formula to tell if you’re cutting bait too early, or hanging on too long. The best advice I can give is when a guy starts out slow, start offering deals for other teams’ stud players. If nobody bites, and the downswing continues, you can start sending out offers for lesser players. However, always make sure you legitimately want the players you’d be receiving. You’d be better off trying to deal with the waiver wire for his replacement than trading for players you don’t think are any good.

 

5. Drafting a kicker before the last round: If you make this mistake, you don’t deserve to win. And I don’t mean the league, I mean a single game. There are ALWAYS productive kickers in the last round. Heck, there are productive kickers who will go undrafted and sit on waivers until bye weeks start. The best kicker last season, Nate Kaeding, only scored 155 fantasy points. While that kind of production is certainly helpful, it isn’t going to win you a championship. In all of the rounds prior to the final round you should be drafting serviceable backups for bye weeks and in case of injuries. When one of your players goes down, you’ll be glad that you did.

I am pleased to be added to the Spartan Nation family of writers. With over 150 players in the Spartan Nation Fantasy Football Leagues every year, Hondo has asked me to bring my expertise for a weekly Fantasy Football column. I look forward (starting in July) to a weekly column to help you do better!

My user name in the Phalanx Forum (the official message board of Spartan Nation) is rohirim36.  I look forward to talking more fantasy football there. 

OTA’s have started, and we all know what that means. It’s time to get prepared for the upcoming fantasy football season. Let’s face the facts. We may all tell our significant-others that we like to play fantasy football because it keeps us in touch with old friends, or that we do it for the fun of tracking our players, but we all know we play to win our leagues. That’s why a loss coming by the hands of an inexplicable performance by a terrible player on Monday Night Football has the uncanny ability to ruin our Tuesday. If you’re looking to win, make sure you never commit one of these common mistakes.

 

           First, a bit of explanation. All of this advice is tailored to owners involved in a league using a standard scoring format (1 point per 10 yards rushing/receiving, 6 points for a touchdown, etc.). If you play in a league with a strange scoring system, make sure you keep that in mind while reading this article. Now, on to the mistakes:

 

1. Overvaluing your favorite players: It is extremely common for people to think their favorite player is the best player in the league. But when it comes to fantasy football, allegiances have to be thrown out the window if you want to win. Sure, you may love Mathew Stafford. You may even think that he has all the tools to be a stud NFL quarterback this season. However, if you draft him anywhere near the top fantasy quarterbacks like Brees, Brady, Manning, or Rodgers, you have officially lost your mind. Heck, if you draft him with the middle tier quarterbacks you should probably be put in a padded cell. If you look at Stafford’s production from last year combined with the Lions less than stellar offensive line, Stafford is likely to go anywhere from the 9th to 12th round in a standard 12 team league. If you really feel strongly about Stafford feel free to take him around that area, and stash him away as a potential sleeper candidate. However, if you take him before the 9th round you’re passing up players like Kellen Winslow or Visanthe Shiancoe who could be very valuable at a traditionally weak tight end position.

 

2. Drafting a wide receive in the first round: Unless you play in a “point per reception” league, don’t ever do this under any circumstances. Wide receiver is a traditionally streaky position with a guy going for 8 catches and 160 yards with a pair of scores one week and the very next week getting 1 measly catch for 15 yards. If you take a look at the top scorer from each position in standard leagues last year you’ll see why drafting a wideout in the first round is asking to find yourself in your league’s cellar.

 

Aaron Rodgers, QB:Â 327 points

 

Chris Johnson, RB:Â 329 points

 

Andre Johnson, WR:Â 205 points

 

To put these stats into perspective, Johnson’s point total is only good for 7th if he was a running back, and a pathetic 14th if he were a QB. Wait until at least the second round to pick up your team’s top wide receiver, and even then go for a “sure thing” type of guy who has had multiple years of consistent success.

 

3. Panicking: I’ve seen it a million times. A usually good player has one or two bad weeks to start the year and all of a sudden he gets traded for a group of scrubs. Just because a guy starts slow doesn’t mean it’s going to be a continuing trend throughout the year. For example, Ryan Grant started the 2009 season with games of 61 and 48 yards rushing. Grant, who was generally drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round as either a first or second string running back, was getting dealt left and right. However, by the end of the year Grant had amassed 197 fantasy points, good for 8th amongst running backs. On the flip side of this, if you see a guy you think will be a stud that is off to a slow start, try and snag him for one of your bench players. You’ll look like a genius, and find yourself near the top of your league.

 

4. Holding on: I know, I know, this seems contrary to what I just told you about panicking. But at some point it becomes obvious to any owner that a certain player isn’t what you thought he would be. That’s the time to get whatever you can for him. If you see one of your stud players struggling your best bet is to try and trade for a sleeper, as by that point most other owners will have noticed the decline. Get what you can, because you don’t want to be the guy stuck with the 2008 version of Marvin Harrison as your top wideout. The tough part is finding that middle ground of not panicking, and not holding a guy too long. Sadly there’s no magic formula to tell if you’re cutting bait too early, or hanging on too long. The best advice I can give is when a guy starts out slow, start offering deals for other teams’ stud players. If nobody bites, and the downswing continues, you can start sending out offers for lesser players. However, always make sure you legitimately want the players you’d be receiving. You’d be better off trying to deal with the waiver wire for his replacement than trading for players you don’t think are any good.

 

5. Drafting a kicker before the last round: If you make this mistake, you don’t deserve to win. And I don’t mean the league, I mean a single game. There are ALWAYS productive kickers in the last round. Heck, there are productive kickers who will go undrafted and sit on waivers until bye weeks start. The best kicker last season, Nate Kaeding, only scored 155 fantasy points. While that kind of production is certainly helpful, it isn’t going to win you a championship. In all of the rounds prior to the final round you should be drafting serviceable backups for bye weeks and in case of injuries. When one of your players goes down, you’ll be glad that you did.

 

I am pleased to be added to the Spartan Nation family of writers. With over 150 players in the Spartan Nation Fantasy Football Leagues every year, Hondo has asked me to bring my expertise for a weekly Fantasy Football column. I look forward (starting in July) to a weekly column to help you do better!

My user name in the Phalanx Forum (the official message board of Spartan Nation) is rohirim36.  I look forward to talking more fantasy football there.

 

 

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