Everything I Need To Know For Fantasy Football This Year Fantasy Football Tips to Play Fantasy Football Like a Pro

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Fantasy Football Tips to Play Fantasy Football Like a Pro

The best way to learn any subject is to experience it firsthand. No amount of cheat sheets, checklists, advice from friends, or new ideas can replace the wisdom that comes with years of experience.

The good news is that it is possible to glean some knowledge from those who have been there before. Our science is built on standing on the shoulders of giants and so are our sports.

Following are the tips every fantasy football pro learns from their experience.

1. Understand what kind of league you’re in.

The type of league is a factor in a player’s value. Brandin Cooks is a prime example; Cooks was a great pickup in dynasty leagues last year, but was no more than a sleeper option in redraft leagues until this year. After gaining some experience, he is projected as a potential stud.

2. Know your league’s roster rules.

Sure, it would have been great to have Marshawn Lynch, DeMarco Murray and LeSean McCoy as your first three picks, but if the starting lineup consisted of just two running backs, a lot of points would be wasted and the second spot would suffer. Pros always have a full roster plan.

3. Change the choices based on the scoring system.

Having a great quarterback is great, but most leagues reduce the number of points scored by passing stats by reducing their scoring ability. Aaron Rodgers’ six points per TD and one point per 20 passing yards is worth a high draft pick. Four per TD and one per 30 points? Not too much.

The most common example is PPR (points per reception). Wide receivers increase in value and the running back rankings change. Matt Forte is a mid-to-low end RB1 in traditional scoring, but he’s a stud in leagues that use PPR. One point per reception adds to his 2014 total of 100 points.

4. Draft safe picks early.

Not every “safe” player can play a season, but it is possible to reduce the risk. Every player available early is a great player. Aside from last year, picking Adrian Peterson over Darren “Glass Man” McFadden was a no-brainer for any pro. Early picks are the cornerstone of a team, and picking an injury or legitimate threat in the first round is unnecessary.

5. Draft for upside after setting starters and subs.

It would be nice to grab a halfway decent starter as a second or third backup wide receiver, but it’s a terrible idea. Players can and will go down during the season. More importantly, players can and will pop in a given year. Arian Foster the year he broke out, Kelvin Benjamin last year, and Alfred Blue and Davante Adams this year are great examples of “sleepers” – players who surprised most owners and put up great fantasy scores. The league champions will have one or two starters that no one expects and unless the league uses 20 man rosters with replacement level players to cover the bye weeks and injuries are readily available.

6. Don’t draft a kicker or defense early.

There are exceptions to every rule, but think about the previous tip. Getting a top end kicker or defense requires a pick somewhere in the eighth to tenth rounds, a good range to pick a top end sleeper. Kickers change from year to year, and many pro fantasy players use a different defense each week to make matchups easier. “Streaming Defense” can even outperform top end defenses. That doesn’t mean drafting the Seahawks isn’t worth the pick, there’s more value in waiting for a higher defense.

These are just the beginning. It’s possible to write an entire novel on fantasy football, and every rule can be broken occasionally. The key is to remember this one word: value. The best fantasy football owners look for ways to generate additional value and acquire better players at lower costs.

Take these tips, play like a pro and win your league if possible. Good luck!

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