This piece was published in the September 2015 issue of the Prep News
Fantasy Football is good for many things, but for me, the “sport” has always led to these three things: making my Sundays a bit more interesting, making me way more competitive than I should be, and the soul-crushing anguish which I experience every single December, as I am yet to win a single championship in the 9 seasons I have played. Each year, I make the same mistakes, and after years worth of pain, I have finally devised a strategy with which I feel I can alleviate the hurt I have so often felt. Hopefully, these guidelines can help you too.
Just go with the experts’ opinions. In the past, I have been adamant about picking players with my instincts and using the waiver wire on a gut impulse. Don’t make this mistake; think carefully about who you are picking or adding. And trust me, you don’t know more than the experts, they’re often right.
Don’t be that guy with 65 adds, drops, and trades over the course of the year. Often times, a free agent player will blow up and score 30 points one week, and a player of the same position on your team will have a 5 point week. I call the desire to pick up this new sensation of a player “Doug Baldwin Syndrome,” as, throughout the course of his career, Baldwin has had many such weeks and then been incredibly awful for the rest of the season. Just because one player blows up one week, that does not mean he is good. Any number of circumstances can lead to a big week.
Add or draft an elite injured player in the late rounds of the draft and store him on your roster until he is healthy again. For instance, the season Josh Gordon had two years ago after being suspended for eight games and the season Odell Beckham Jr. had last year were both very successful and led to incredible joy for their owners. This year, players might consider selecting the elusive Arian Foster in the late rounds, as though he will be out for the first 3-8 weeks, he will provide a positive addition to any team in the latter weeks of the season.
Contrary to popular belief, drafting players with the same bye week is a strategic move that can lead to much more wins than losses. Though many people try to stagger their bye weeks so that they have no single week where their star players are all on their week off, it actually helps to have them all off on the same week. Instead of having multiple weeks where you are without your top player at multiple positions, you only have one bad week if you employ this strategy. This way, your team will have all its firepower every other week, giving you much better opportunities to claim victory from your friends.