Hey there! Parker Olhiser again, with another helpful article to help you dominate your fantasy league. In this article, I will be detailing tips and tricks that can be utilized by everyone from industry experts to the casual fantasy football players. If practiced all year long, these tips and tricks will give you an edge over everyone else in your league!
1. Always check the “League Transactions”.
The League Transaction can be found where your league is played. This tool gives you the ability to see ANY transaction made by anyone in your league. The information included in this section are player adds, drops, trades, and waiver claims.
It is beneficial to track this activity because you as a fantasy manager can then take advantage of any mistakes your league-mates might make. Opposing managers can drop valuable players, who you can then claim off of waivers.
This is also a good way to prevent collusion within your league as well because of the added ability of every manager to view (and sometimes vote on) every trade executed.
Lastly, for the more advanced fantasy managers, this is a tool you can use to identify who is streaming what positions in your league. If another team is constantly streaming a distinct position, they are desperate for stability. Which, in turn, makes them predictable during waivers and easily taken advantage of during trades.
2. If you are one of those teams streaming a position, get a week ahead on player matchups.
Simply looking ahead to the next week(s) on a player or D/ST’s schedule, gives you the ability to take advantage of the matchup when it comes without surrendering FAAB dollars or your place in the waiver order.
Managers can even do this in the draft, looking ahead to Week 1 matchups to decide who to draft as their D/ST. Search for a defense with low season expectations and a good Week 1 matchup. You can usually select them in the last round, thus saving even more draft capital which can be invested in the rest of the lineup.
3. Take in as many opinions and facts as you can from as many sources as possible.
When searching for fantasy football advice, stats, and opinions, many people only look to one or a few sources for the answers to all their questions. Instead what you should do is take in as much of this information from as many different sources as possible.
Stats and facts do not differ from one person to the next, but opinions and advice do. However, stats and facts used to support those opinions and advice may not be common knowledge and therefore give you an even further advantage over those in your league without that knowledge.
After taking in all the information possible, we need to formulate our own educated opinion of a player. Do not just regurgitate the exact words of your favorite talk show or podcast as your own. Do your own “homework” and formulate your own opinion!
4. Watch as much film as you can!
You might be asking, “well what am I supposed to be watching for?” There are actually three things to watch for, talent, opportunity, and consistency.
Your eyes can be the best judge of talent, trust them. Everyone knows a talented athlete when they see one, all NFL athletes are talented. The guys who differentiate themselves by having superior size, speed, strength, vision, balance, and knowledge of the game, are the type of athletes we want on our fantasy team. There is a debate as to whether one can observe these characteristics from a stat sheet: in my opinion, there are valuable takeaways that come from watching the game.
What you can see on a stat sheet is the opportunity. Whether it be rushing attempts by a running back or targets to a receiver, these are quantifiable numbers we can see on a stat sheet. However, we cannot see what situation or importance was placed on those touches without watching the game.
When the back received carries inside the goal line that were not converted: was he stuffed in an open hole, or did his offensive line lose? When the receiver was being targeted, was he catching easy balls or successfully fighting for contested catches?
Is this player consistently displaying talent during the opportunity given to him? The game film will help answer questions like this.
5. Always be up to date on depth charts throughout the season.
Through the access to team websites and current rosters, we can be fully up to date on a team’s starting lineup and depth behind them. To detail possible changes on the depth chart or position battles in camp/practice, it is also smart to follow local “beat writers” covering that organization.
It is important to practice this throughout the season in order to track the progress of possible breakouts from players moving up the depth chart or decline of players moving down the depth chart. For example, J.K. Dobbins, RB for the Baltimore Ravens, is listed as the 4th string RB on their depth chart to start the season. Once he starts moving up, it may be a good time to start playing him in your fantasy lineup.
6. Always set an alarm for one hour before game time.
One hour before every game in the NFL, every team must submit an injury report and final game-day rosters to governing officials. At this time it is key to pay attention to every single one of your players as well as other players in the league.
Not only do you want to be sure that all of your players are fully healthy and set to go, but you also want to track the health of other players in the league. Their health, or lack thereof, may affect your start/sit or add/drop decisions on your own team.
You also want to be on the lookout for healthy scratches during this time period as well. Sometimes teams choose to give a fully healthy player the day off for various reasons. For example, LeSean McCoy was a healthy scratch in the Super Bowl last year.
7. Take advantage of any overreactions from Week 1.
For some reason, fantasy managers seem to overreact the most to the fantasy performances of their players during Week 1. Take advantage of this!
Last year, when Sammy Watkins caught 9 of 11 targets for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns, people thought he was back and possibly the new WR1 in Kansas City. This obviously ended up being false, but his trade value was at its peak during this time. Trading him away would have allowed you to obtain a solid week to week starter.
On the other hand, you can use this same effect in your favor when others overreact to one of their best players starting out a bit slow. Again trading for another every week starter because of overreaction.
8. Treat trades like an auction.
Start with a low “bid” for a player and work from there. You may end up getting a player you want for a lot less trade value than originally believed. If you begin with your best offer, you could end up losing better players that you never had to trade away.