follow me on twitter

Saturday, August 3, 2013

NFL Fantasy Football 2013: 10 Things U Should Know

Hello all, I am back. I told you I would be publishing with more frequency, but you didn't believe me. Now that I have that out of the way, on to the topic of today's blog post.

Today I will be talking about NFL Fantasy Football and the 10 things you might not (but should) know. Like when to draft a kicker, how many tight ends you should consider, etc. Not!!! Hey if you want that kind of info hit up Matthew Berry or the like @MatthewBerryTMR. Who do you think I am, Quicken Loans?

On a more serious note, what I hope to impart to all three of my readers today is a little knowledge that will make your fantasy football experience in 2013 even more enjoyable. Because winning your league is fun, but destroying everyone else on the way to the championship is even better. Kinda like having your cake and eating it too. An expression that is way overused, I know.

So, without further ado, here are 10 things you should (but might not) know about fantasy football:

1. Most fantasy football leagues last 16 weeks,  but most experts make projections thru week 17. It might do you some good, then, to look at how a player performed in 15 games last season.

The kicker here is that even if your team makes the playoffs, how Adrian Peterson or Aaron Rodgers performs in week 17 will be of little use to you. But the experts are all going to sell you on how these guys will perform in 16 games because it may sound flashier.

For instance; take a look at the top five running backs from last season thru 17 weeks*:

Adrian Peterson- 2097 yards rushing, 12 rushing TDs; 217 yards receiving, 2 receiving TDs
Alfred Morris- 1613 yards rushing, 13 rushing TDs; 77 receiving yards
Marshawn Lynch- 1590 rushing yards, 11 rushing TDs; 196 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
Doug Martin- 1454 rushing yards, 11 rushing TDs; 472 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
Arian Foster- 1424 rushing yards, 15 rushing TDs; 217 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs

But lets look at each individuals production thru week 16 of the 2012 season:

Adrian Peterson- 1898 yards rushing, 9 rushing TDs; 215 yards receiving, 0 receiving TDs
Alfred Morris- 1413 yards rushing,  8 rushing TDs; 55 yards receiving
Marshawn Lynch- 1490 yards rushing, 11 TDs; 182 yards receiving
Doug Martin- 1312 yards rushing, 10 rushing TDs; 454 yards receiving, 1 TD
Arian Foster- 1328 yards rushing, 14 rushing TDs; 194 yards receiving, 2 TD

The difference between the two sets of numbers may seem insignificant until one takes a second glance. When parsed down to 15 games, not only does Marshawn Lynch have more rushing yards than Alfred Morris, but he also has more than three times the receiving yards. So the point here is that while it is useful to look at the expert projections, it might be a wise idea to break them down into 15 game chunks. Because unless you play in a league that goes all 17 weeks of the NFL season, that is the most you're going to get from your stars.

2. When following fantasy football, it pays to follow current events. 

 You're thinking of drafting Aaron Hernandez because Gronk is out, right? What about Riley Cooper, the Eagles veteran receiver is second on the depth chart now that Jeremy Maclin is out for the season. If you're not living under a rock you know neither of these guys will likely be playing to start the season. Yet you would be surprised how many people still will draft these guys.

3. And in addition to reading expert analysis, it pays to watch preseason football. Seriously.

So I've been in a few fantasy football leagues, and I've picked up a few players based on their performance in the preseason. The first time was in 2010 after watching an unheralded Peyton Hillis bumrush the St. Louis Rams. After Hillis went undrafted and no one claimed him off waivers in week one, I took a flyer on him in week 2. He ended up a top 10 fantasy running back and one of my leading scorers.

A year later I was watching the New Orleans Saints play the Oakland Raiders in the preseason when I noticed Drew Brees favoring a young player named Jimmy Graham. I waited until the 10th round to draft him, which still could have been high, but considering he outscored many No. 1 wide receivers that season I would say he was worth the pick.

4. It helps to know your leagues rules. Seriously.

I have been playing fantasy football for 8 years now, and a commissioner for 3, and it never amazes me how someone will fall victim to not knowing their leagues rules. It could be something simple as how many roster spots your team has, or something more complex like whether you're in a PPR (point per reception league). Point is you won't win your league if you don't know the rules. Before you even draft you should know them. This may not be a pearl of wisdom that you couldn't find elsewhere, but it just makes good sense.

5. The only Cleveland Brown worth drafting is Trent Richardson, and even then you might want to wait. 

Look, I'll admit I am one of the biggest Browns fans in this great nation of ours. And since I've started playing fantasy football, I've dreamed of the day I would win my league with three or four Browns players on my team.

Okay, I just picked myself up off the floor from laughing after that statement. No one has ever said that in their life, ever. Sure I hope Browns players do well enough I can pick them up from waivers. And I also hope I will win PowerBall some day. As a rule, however, no good can come from drafting a Browns player. Unless it is Richardson, and he is your second running back.

6. Quarterback is the most overvalued position in fantasy football.

Remember last year, when everyone was on the 'Aaron Rodgers should be your No. 1 pick in this pass-friendly NFL?'  Well, I don't know where he finished in fantasy scoring, but I do know the guy who won my league last year did not have him as a starting qb. As a matter of fact, I think last year's league champ didn't draft a QB until the fourth round or later.

Point is, in a 10 team league, you're probably going to be able to get a decent quarterback as a mid round selection.

7. Tight end might be the most underrated position in fantasy football.

There was a time when it didn't matter where you drafted a tight end, as long as you had a least one starter on your roster. Then along came Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and others, changing the whole dynamic. Now a top-tier tight end can be even more productive for you than a No. 2 wide receiver.

And with all that has happened to Patriot tight ends this off season, don't be surprised if someone snags Jimmy Graham before round 3. Might want to start your mock draft with the TE at the top of your list.

8. There is more expert analysis for you out there than just Yahoo! and ESPN.

In case you didn't know, I also write for a website,, whose sister solely on NFL Fantasy football. Now some of the site is premium content--meaning you have to sign up for a subscription--but even the free stuff has some great analysis.

Another good website I have run into is called NFLVR (NFL Virtual Reality- and because it has a disclaimer, I also am going to repeat it has no official affiliation with the NFL.) The site moderator--Austin Jordan, appears to be quite knowledgeable, and is eager to provide projections upon request. All you have to do is send a tweet to @NFLVR if you have a question about a specific player.

9. When trying to win in fantasy football, please leave your hatred of the rivalries at the door. Thanks

It makes me laugh when someone says I won't draft so and so because he plays for the Steelers, or I can't draft Peyton Manning because he plays for my division rival. So? Look, these guys are going to play well regardless of how your team does, so why not ride them to a little extra cash (and a championship) in the process?

10. Have fun, and don't take it too seriously--after all it is just fantasy football, and when its over its over.

A great point, and a lesson I could learn as well.  So your best friend beat you in fantasy football. Life goes on. As Browns fans know all too well, 'there's always next year.'

* Stats courtesy of

No comments:

Post a Comment