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Is This Just Fantasy: A guide for rookie fantasy football players


1. Get running backs early
Top-notch running backs are like fantasy football gold. The reason for that is because of how rare the top guys truly are. The NFL has shifted to a world where teams have two, three and sometimes even four halfbacks to keep ‘em all fresh throughout the season. That means that statistics are often diluted, which makes a lot of guys hard to play in fantasy football.

2. Pick a kicker last
If this were real football, having a kicker would be of utmost importance. But in fantasy football, the difference between an elite kicker and an average kicker really isn’t all that much. Pick those guys last.

3. Pick a sleeper
A lot of fantasy football is about gut feelings and finding the diamond in the rough before everyone else sees his sparkle. It’s near-impossible to win a league without landing a sleeper—that one guy who comes out of the woodwork and has an unexpected huge year. Roll the dice and spend a late pick or two on a sleeper. It just might pan out.

4. Wait for a QB
Quarterback is the most important position in team sports. But in fantasy football, it’s really not that big of a deal. Yes, it’s vital to have a good one to win. But there are so many good ones in the NFL right now, that they’re really a dime a dozen. Yes, in real life, Aaron Rodgers is better than a guy like Carson Palmer. But in fantasy, they’re about the same.

5. Have fun
Yes, fantasy football is competitive. Everyone loves to win. But even the best drafts aren’t perfect. And even the worst ones can be fixed with savvy moves in the free agent wire during the season. So loosen up, don’t take anything too seriously and enjoy it.


1. Worry about bye weeks
Many experts differ on whether to pay attention to bye weeks when drafting players. The logic is that if you have too many guys on bye in a certain week, it handicaps a team and costs them a game. As for me, I don’t care. It’s just one week out of 17. I always want the best players – even if it means I’m weak for one week when they’re all on a bye.

2. Pick many rookies
It’s easy to fall in love with rookies because they get so much media coverage in preseason. But outside of some rare exceptions (like Odell Beckham), it’s very rare for a first-year player to have a huge fantasy impact. Just steer clear from them in the draft and stick with veteran, proven commodities.

3. Fall for the hometown guy
There is little room for emotion when making sound decisions. With that being said, it’s always wise to avoid every player on your team of choice – unless it’s a no-brainer. We always overrate the guys we root for, which makes it hard to give them an accurate ranking. Just steer clear. It’s for the best.

4. Focus much on defense
It’s good to have an elite defense in fantasy, but if it’s not possible, don’t worry about it much. It’s always wise to play matchups and mix and match weekly to play defenses that are set to face anemic offenses. Don’t sweat the defense spot much. It’s like the kicker – except just a little more valuable.

5. Be absent on opening Sunday
Week 1 says a lot. It shows us depth charts and sleepers. It’s not a good time to be away from the computer. You often don’t get a second shot to find the next superstar.


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