Fantasy Football

Whether you’re new to fantasy football or you just want this year to be better than your last, there are a lot of things you can do to improve your chances of success. 

Some will say that fantasy football is entirely a game of luck rather than skill, but if you have experience playing, you know this isn’t the reality. 

The following are seven tips to help you be more successful this year than last or to get started if you’re new to fantasy football. 

1. Keep Up with the News

Keeping up with the news in fantasy football is essential. 

You want to know what’s happening in the pre-season, and you want to do your research. You can use fantasy data to develop your own rankings. 

When you’re keeping up with the news and doing your research, you want to make sure that you’re considering per-game statistics, which are more predictive than season-long statistics. 

Things change quickly in the NFL, so keep that in mind to be good at fantasy and figure out when you might need to tweak your rankings or make changes. 

There are hundreds of fantasy football articles published individually on sites throughout the year, as well as numerous podcasts on the subject. You can find some of the keys to winning your season within this content. 

2. Learn From Your Mistakes

If you’ve played fantasy before, you can definitely get better over time if you use each season prior as a learning opportunity. 

The reality is that most fantasy football players aren’t going to win their league title simply because that’s how the math works out. If you didn’t win, then you might want to go back and try to figure out why that is. 

Maybe you had a hard time filling a particular position during the season, or you could have made draft mistakes that you couldn’t recover from. It’s possible you made a bad trade. 

No matter what your mistakes, being able to face them and then adjust accordingly based on them can help you improve your performance going forward. 

It’s important if you do want to learn from your past mistakes, which you should, that you also know the difference between an actual mistake and bad luck. There are inevitably going to be bad outcomes that aren’t in your control, whereas there will be other situations that are truly a mistake you made that you should do everything you can to avoid repeating. 

3. Recognize the Value of Your Running Backs

One of the biggest pieces of advice you’ll consistently hear in fantasy is to load up on running backs. You want to not only load up on them, but you want to choose the right ones. 

You want to trust your running backs, and they should be in a prime position, so they’re going to get a lot of volume. 

One of the challenges that tend to carry over from year-to-year in fantasy is finding reliable running backs. During the 2021 season, there were around 29 running backs who scored at least 150 points, compared to 44 wide receivers. 

The value of a running back is going to come from the fact that there are consistently few of them from year to year. 

4. Don’t Overlook Receivers

While an elite running back is the position you want more than any other, you don’t want to underestimate how important a wide receiver can be. In the first two rounds, the majority of picks, and potentially all of them, will be running backs and wide receivers with perhaps a tight end thrown in there. 

The running back and wide receiver are the only positions that have to play at least two every week. 

If you’re in a points-per-reception scoring league, your receivers are going to have an advantage over the competition since you get a point for every catch a player gets during a game. 

It’s starting to get to a point in fantasy where some will say that the wide receivers are nearly on-par with running backs. Wide receivers are getting more prominent, and some of the top picks currently are wide receivers. Experienced fantasy players are occasionally deciding to pick their WRs first, and then they wait until the second or third round for their running back. 

5. Don’t Rush Into a Quarterback

The overarching wisdom in fantasy is that you should take your time when it comes to drafting a quarterback. 

There are a lot of high-quality quarterbacks available in fantasy. There are also always quarterbacks who are able to exceed the expectations of the preseason. 

If you’re using an early-round pick for a quarterback instead of a running back or wide receiver, then you’re going to have to rely on them to be better than average. 

6. Target Upside

Fantasy football requires you to play a different opponent every week, but how well you do is going to depend on having a roster with upside. 

Keep upside in mind as you’re making your picks in your draft. 

7. Have a Plan but Be Flexible

Every draft is unique, so there’s not going to be any feasible way for you to create a set strategy as far as how you’ll approach it. There’s not a set order to draft players in. While you want to plan ahead and have a general strategy, you want to retain flexibility as well. 

For example, you might have a player that you thought would be available when it’s your turn, yet they’re taken earlier than you anticipated. 

In your first round, just put your focus on getting the best running back or wide receiver you can. 

In the initial rounds, try to build out a starting lineup at key positions, but remember you don’t have to choose your players in any particular order. You want to go into your draft with a general plan, but you also want to give yourself leeway to deviate when necessary.