I have been very busy the last several months preparing for the 2018 fantasy football season. That included reading countless articles and doing tons of research. Starting in early June, I participated in a series of drafts, with the last one being last Sunday evening. As I enter my 34th season playing this game we all love, I have developed some firm theories and beliefs that I am sharing with you today.
Many of you may think of me as an “expert” and I sincerely and humbly appreciate that. However, in all honesty, I have made many mistakes over these 33 years. From them I have learned not only what to do better, but have also learned what not to do, the hard way.
Let me tell you, I have become better and better every season. Today I am offering you some help to give you an edge over the other owners in your league. This will be the covered in the 10 Commandments of Fantasy Football that I have compiled below:
- Thou shalt not trade studs in their prime. Even if you get a high draft pick, or package of picks, it rarely pays off. Years ago, in my dynasty league, I traded for the 1.02 pick and wound up with Bishop Sankey, clearly a stud. Not! The 1.01 pick that year was Carlos Hyde. That was a bad year for RBs. Last year and the year before I did a pretty much total overhaul. Since last season, I have made few trades, with none of significance. I feel confident that my team should be a contender this year.
- Thou shalt not try to fleece your fellow owners in trades. Making one-sided, self-serving trade offers usually has negative impacts on your opponents. It seems like an insult to their intelligence. That in turn angers them and makes any future trading unlikely. Ultimately, word of your arrogance spreads to the other owners and suddenly, trade wise, you are stranded on an isolated island all by yourself.
- Thou shalt not waste too much time listening to local call-in radio sports shows. I mean, come on. Who really gives a crap about how Football Joe from Kokomo cares about a team? Most of these shows are slanted to be so negative that you gain very little valuable knowledge. If you want to listen to quality sports shows, get Sirius XM and listen to the Fantasy Channel, ESPN or the NFL Network.
- Thou shalt not get complacent over the course of the season. Fantasy football has evolved over the years from a simple game of in which the team that got the most TDs, XPs and FGs won. It has grown to be a complicated game we play with countless variations available to us. You must work hard each and every week to field the best possible lineup and to have the best bench players that you can get. Ours is a game where we should always expect the unexpected. Mayhem is always waiting for us, just around the corner.
- Thou shalt use care in developing your lineup each and every week. Never just take things for granted. Follow the same devoted routine for every week’s lineup. If you need to, refer back to my recent lineup article. Just follow this link:
- Thou shalt setup and follow a weekly plan. With so many weekly activities occurring on a non-stop basis, those of us that play fantasy football must have a weekly plan and, just as importantly, we must consistently follow that plan. Follow this link for guidance on establishing your own personal preparation plan:
- Thou shalt never, ever fall totally in love with your drafted roster. Look at it as a rough draft, pun intended. LOL You should count on a revolving door effect each and every week. Plan to use the weekly waiver wire the very moment first-come, first served waivers begin. As they say, the early bird gets the worm. When it comes to getting the top free agents, do not hesitate. At any point in time, on an 18-player roster you have 4-5 players that you can replace and not even miss them. One strategy I like is to hoard the better players. There is no rule that says your bottom rung players have to be prospects or sleepers. If you have an extra starter quality player you don’t need, that is one less player for your opponents. Fantasy football is a game you want to dominate. It is not a good strategy to relinquish your edge, to give another owner a break. As the immortal Leo Durocher once said “nice guys finish last.”
- Thou shalt not get too bogged down in meaningless leagues. By this, I mean that joining leagues to play against people you do not know and have little knowledge of the game, really accomplishes little. Picture a Little League team with 11-year old’s playing a team of 8-year old’s. No contest, right? What joy and self-satisfaction do you really derive from easy wins? Seek out leagues with friends. If you are joining a league, remember the two reasons you play--$$$ and bragging rights. Taking easy money from newbies is no real fun and as for bragging rights? Don’t make a fool out of yourself.
- Thou shalt limit the number of leagues you play in. Playing in too many leagues means that you cannot devote enough time to any one team. You will tend to rush and just go through the motions. To win, you need to make a dedicated effort to manage every team you own to the best of your capability.
- Thou shalt remember why you play fantasy sports. Never forget that this is a game you not only enjoy, but you have fun doing it. See this as an opportunity to share an activity with your entire family. Fantasy football is a game that all members of a family can play. Involving spouses, children and other family members can be fun. It can also make our game more accepted within a family, rather than isolating us from angry family members who resent your need to tie up the TV three days a week.
Now we are ready for the season to begin. Next week I will shift my writing focus to free agent pickups and points relevant to each week’s games.
Ask the Experts
When my friend Andy Richardson invited me to provide material for his weekly Fantasy Index Thursday morning "Ask the Experts" column, I was thrilled and honored. Here is the August 30 article from our friends at Fantasy Index. Check out all our comments this week as we answer the question: “what advice would you give someone entering their draft?”
Only one week to go! Are you ready for some football? I sure am! All of us at and Big Guy Fantasy Sports are intent on helping you become the champions you want to be. With our poignant articles and being the home base for the consistency theory, a sound, mathematically-based alternative to ADP, we will be with you for the 2018 season in its entirety. What happens then? That my friends, is easy. We start over and do it all again in 2019!
Good luck! Have fun!