Tips for Creating Your Ultimate Fantasy Football Team
Fantasy football can be as competitive and fun as playing the sport itself. There are millions of people around the world gearing up to build the best team for the upcoming NFL league season. It all begins on Thursday, Sept. 8 when the Rams host the Bills for the first game of the 2022-23 season.
Soon, every fantasy football owner is going to switch gears from offseason into GM mode and start scouting their top players to watch. Some find the preparation a year-round job. While there are multitudes of strategies for fantasy football success, seasoned owners of dynasty and one-season teams understand that success depends on more than just the draft.
Fantasy football draft parties are already beginning to appear on people’s schedules. Now is the time to start getting a head start on your team so you can show up ready to win the draft – and maybe even win the league!
Establish Your Plan Early
Playing in a league without a well-set plan is fine for casual players, but not for those more serious about winning. Things you should prioritize in your pre-draft strategy should include priority positions, understanding the points settings, understanding the roster rules, and of course, a list of the players you want the most.
Every league is different and knowing what statistics will earn you the most value can greatly affect the players you should be targeting. For instance, say you draft a top-tier quarterback like Patrick Mahomes with your first pick. After the draft you read the league point settings and realize that touchdown passes are only worth four fantasy points and passing yards are only worth half a fantasy point. You then read that receiving touchdowns are worth seven points and receiving yards are worth a full point, plus you get a point for every reception.
Knowing these point rules before the draft may have compelled you to draft a wide receiver like Devante Adams instead of Mahomes simply because the wide receiver position’s statistics are worth more fantasy points than quarterback statistics in this scenario.
Establishing your pre-draft strategy should factor in familiarizing yourself with all the key settings of your league. In addition, have a list of players you have prioritized, so you can refer to it when you are on the clock. Most applications like ESPN and Yahoo! allow you to set this up in your queue. If anything happens to your connection during the draft, the application will pull from your preset rankings in the queue.
Have Good Faith Trade Talks with Other Teams
Organic communication is key when it comes to fantasy football trades. It’s important to have stable connections in the league. Establish conversations – whether it’s a league full of strangers or friends since high school. Most apps have a chat feature included to hash out potential deals among owners.
Interact with the owners and don’t talk about trade-ups or future trades upfront. It may take time, but learning and studying other teams to understand their actual needs eventually pays off more than you might think. It’s a crucial step for making a trade that benefits both parties.
If the trade is unbalanced in your direction you may close the doors for communication with that team. Getting the best deal for yourself in good faith is always the most sustainable goal, rather than trying to take advantage of other owners.
If you want to trade up in the draft, this requires immediate and more direct communication. Focus on the value of the trade and try to get a deal in place before the clock begins. Some people prefer lower picks and some prefer the first overall. Some leagues allow trading your draft positions for other draft positions, and even picks and future picks for players.
Inquire about other teams’ strengths and weaknesses and what they generally think about their teams. This way, you set yourself up for some possible good deals down the road.
In most cases, great trades are trades that rebalance your team rather than produce overall upgrades. If a team is overstocked with top tier wide receivers and neglected to draft a starting quarterback position, trading one of your wide receivers in return for a legitimate quarterback could be the shrewd move to make. It might not be a flashy upgrade to a star but the new quarterback could be the missing piece to your team’s bigger puzzle. This way you still have great wide receiver depth and have an up to par quarterback position.
Going for a blockbuster trade (trading for a top five player, for example) is not unwise. It’s just a bit more heavy lifting and requires a dramatic team shift.
Stay Updated on Promotions, Demotions, and Injuries
Injuries can frustrate the efforts of even the best teams presenting a major headache for many fantasy football fans and owners. However, to avoid such incidents, always keep track of all the player’s progress and understand who is aiding to ensure it doesn’t affect your lineup.
So when your star quarterback or wide receiver goes down, be prompt but efficient on who will replace them next week.
Avoid Bye-Week Issues
In fantasy football, top owners will ensure they cover every loophole to optimize performance. This may include double-checking to make sure you won’t experience bye-week problems.
To avoid bye-week issues, when drafting, always check the future schedules. It’s usually one of the default statistics listed in a player’s profile (BYE). For example, make sure your starting quarterback and the backup don’t have the same bye-week, or else you will be stranded without a starting quarterback that week.
Have an Honest Assessment of your Team
One key principle of fantasy football (especially for beginners) is an honest assessment of your team. After a successful draft and party (perhaps a Las Vegas fantasy football draft party at Circa Sports or Stadium Swim®?), don’t rush to write your team into the league championship. Take time to review your roster and evaluate where the odds are against you.
Don’t fall into the trap of being too loyal to your favorite NFL teams. Sometimes, your fandom can disrupt your best interest as a fantasy football team owner because you’re too focused on drafting players from your favorite team.
Check your weak and strong positions. If you have overflowing strengths, use them to get other players to cover your weak points.
Always remember your success is bound to your strategy, research, and regular player monitoring. Also, include the mentioned fantasy football tips to spice up your NFL season.
More Tips for Fantasy Football Glory
Don’t miss out on opportunities to enhance your team. Consider these tips:
- In the first three rounds, consider drafting a game-changing running back or possibly two. This position becomes coveted and saturated as the season goes on due to injuries. This position is valuable because workhorse running backs are often focal points of offensive strategies.
- Draft handcuffs in the later rounds. These are backup players with tremendous upside in case your star players get injured. They are usually backups to star players and could step right in in case of an injury and become a fantasy star.
- There are only a few quarterbacks that deserve to be drafted in the first four rounds, unless the league roster settings are set to multiple starting quarterbacks. These quarterbacks include Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, and Kyler Murray.
- Drafting players from good teams is generally a smart strategy. Good teams tend to have great systems where many players get to reap the benefits of its success.
With these tips and reminders you are on your way to a fantasy football trophy. Make sure you plan your ultimate Las Vegas fantasy football draft party at Circa Las Vegas for an amazing event that you can turn into your yearly tradition.
And once the season starts, don’t forget to place your bets at Circa | Sports, the ultimate sportsbook in Las Vegas football betting. Head out to Circa Resort, Golden Gate, or the D in Downtown Las Vegas to place your bets in person and enjoy watching live sports with fellow NFL fans. Can’t make it into the sportsbook? Download the Circa | Sports app on iOS or Android to have your bookie right in your pocket and bet wherever you are in Vegas.
Whether in person or on the app, join Circa | Sports for the premier place to bet on football in Vegas.