So this weekend is the big weekend of the two NFL Down Under Fantasy League drafts. No matter what league you are in or how experienced you are, there are always a number of important things one must do before Fantasy draft day to better prepare themselves. The following is my "10 Things Every NFL Fantasy Player Must Do Before Their Draft" in no particular order.
- READ YOUR LEAGUE RULES
Every league has the ability for its rules to be customised and a lot of league managers will change rules from the default. It is on you to understand how all the points in your league are awarded and when trade deadlines occur. This of course will lead to you altering your draft strategy. If a league awards Quarterbacks 4 points for a touchdown then that position is not as important in draft value as it would be if 6 points were awarded for a touchdown
- KNOW YOUR DRAFT TIME
I know this seems like an obvious point but its a pretty important one. With a lot of Fantasy football sites being hosted in the USA, times and dates can sometimes lead to confusion so double check that your time zones are correct.
- ENSURE YOUR COMPUTER CAN DRAFT
There is nothing worse than getting to the draft, logging in, only to find your flash version is out of date or a firewall is blocking you. Check this out before hand.
- SETUP YOUR AUTO DRAFT
Even if your planning on being at your draft, unforeseen consequences can occur which could lead you to missing you draft. Ensure you set up the auto draft functionality to your liking just in case.
There are a million sites out there that give fantasy football advice and rankings and during the season I will do my best to give you good information. But get out there and read blogs, look at different QB, RB, WR rankings etc and work out which players you want to target. Look for those late round sleepers who you think you will give great value.
- RANK PLAYERS BY POSITION
Go through each position and rank your top 10 players for that position. Then take all the players you have chosen and rank them all against each other. This is going to help you immensely during the draft as you are time limited. Nothing is worse than feeling like your running out of time and your stuck trying to choose between Ray Rice or Maurice Jones Drew. The ranking of everyone is not as important as the positional ranking but if you already have a list then it makes life easier for you on draft day.
- MAKE SOME DRAFT PREDICTIONS
This is a tricky step but can be very worth while. The idea is to attempt to predict in what order you think players will be taken off the board and therefore there should be no surprise who you will get to choose from when it comes to your turn to pick. This is only ever going to work for the first two rounds maybe even the third if your good. It gets very difficult to predict after the third round. This is useful for you as you would hope to see no surprises pop up but if you do, then you will have already thought about what options you have and be one step ahead of the game.
- CHECK BYE WEEKS
Make sure to have a web page open that lists all the teams schedules so that you can draft bench players that do not have the same bye weeks as your starters.
- KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR HAND CUFFS & SLEEPERS
This leads on from research but remember what I said in a previous article that hand cuffing your Quarterback with a their backup can be a great idea. Also try to find one player (generally a wide receiver or possibly 3rd down running back) who you think is primed to have a break out season if they get a little luck. Look to draft this player in one of the later rounds and fingers crossed, it works out for you. I had Mike Wallace last year as this guy and Miles Austin the year before, so definetly worth a punt on a bench player.
- HAVE FUN At the end of the day its all about having fun and watching football. Fantasy football is great in that it makes you interested in every team across the league and not just in your favourite. It also helps you learn the players name and learn some great statistics along the way. The draft is one of the most fun times during the fantasy football season as everyone takes a gamble on players and banter and chat is thrown between game managers. Good luck to everyone this season, and I hope that I have given you something new to think about, have a great draft.