Here is some fantasy football advice from a two-time Yahoo public league champion and last year’s runner-up in the Georgetown “DC Chillin” league.
Do: Follow the Pre-Draft Rankings, but Check Last Year’s Stats and Injury Status
The last thing you want to do is draft a player who is going to be hurt all season. Make sure you look up each player before you pick him. The pre-draft rankings are usually pretty reliable, since it is the analysts’ job to compile them. But always double-check the stats. There are players who are rated very high solely based on potential. For example, in Yahoo! Fantasy, Ray Rice has been a top five overall pick the past two years, even though he has never cracked the top ten in points at the end of the season.
Do: Be smart when making your picks, but also be efficient
Nobody likes the slowpoke in the draft who makes it drag on for hours on end. Research each guy a little bit, but also have these choices lined up before it’s your turn. Don’t be stupid and have guys ready who are going to get chosen.
Don’t: Draft rookies
Because of the lockout, rookies have not seen as many reps in pre-season. Therefore, they have not fully integrated into the NFL and the team’s system, so it would be risky to take rookies early in the draft. The biggest gambles would be quarterbacks, while running backs would probably be the safest choices.
Don’t: Draft guys out of jail
The same can be said for most new players on teams, although they have been, for example, Plaxico Burress cannot nearly be ready for the season. Merril Hodge said on ESPN he didn’t think Plaxico would be back to his normal level until the end of the season. That doesn’t mean that Plax won’t have some solid numbers, but he still should not be taken too high.
I’m also not totally sold on Michael Vick as one of the top picks. His numbers were falling towards the end of last season and he hasn’t played an entire season in seven years. He threw an interception in each of his last five games. The Eagles are the “dream team” mainly because of their defensive additions. They only added Ronnie Brown as a backup running back.
Don’t: Panic if your team does not look great after the draft
Outside of the players like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Adrian Peterson, you never know how most of the players you draft will perform. Who would have thought that an undrafted free agent named Arian Foster and former prisoner Michael Vick would be the top scoring players in the fantasy football? You win fantasy leagues through free agency and trades.