Kick-off for Fantasy Football!

It’s that time again!  Yes, it’s time for me to enter the annual ritual called the NFL Fantasy Football season once again. 

For the past eight years, I have been participating in a Yahoo! Sports league with a group of interesting personalities.  I used to work with a couple of them, while the rest of the group is constituted of former college classmates (or their children) of my former boss. 

My team name is based on my home state and my former career in the natural gas business. 

“SwampGas”  Get it?  

Ol’ Swampy was victorious in his first year in the league back in 2011.  Though an avid sports fan, I knew nearly zero about the strategy involved in drafting players, making cuts/additions, and the weekly thinking which most fantasy players seem to possess.

In a nutshell, I probably won because I was lucky and oblivious to outthinking myself. 

I’ve theorized that fantasy football owners’ decisions seem to mirror their investing choices.  Some like to buy and sell frequently, while others tend to think long and hard before making strategic changes to their roster. 

When the dust settles on the season, you’re more likely to be affected by pure luck than your glorious decision making during the draft and player choices during the regular season.

If you’ve never played in one of these fantasy leagues (ours is simply for fun – no money involved – just pride), here are a few of SwampSwami’s suggestions to enjoy your Fantasy Football Season:

  1. Team name – make sure that you’re happy with the sound of your name.  You’ve going to live with that name for the entire fantasy football season!
  2. Research players and teams – I annually fork-over nearly $10 at my local drugstore for a Fantasy Football magazine.  With your annual purchase, you are afforded the chance to learn how other “experts” see the upcoming season and give you advice about making your draft picks.  Sadly, their advice is usually no better than your own.  Trust your gut.
  3. Determining a draft strategy – For example, my personal strategy is to (for the most part) select the best offensive players from the NFL teams which score the most points every year.  Hence, I will likely stockpile a lot of players from the Saints, Steelers, Chiefs, Chargers, Falcons, and Rams.  I might grab the best player from a mid-level team, and I normally stay away from the losers (you know who you are!). 
  4. Do – pick players from teams which you personally like.  In my case, I am a Saints fan, so I’ll generally have one or more players from New Orleans on my roster.
  5. Don’t – pick players from teams which you personally despise.  In my case, I avoid Dallas Cowboys players like the plague.  I just can’t make myself root for most players on “America’s Team”.
  6. Don’t waste picks on a kicker or defense until your last two picks –  Last year, I picked a different defense every week to play against one of the league’s lowest scoring offenses (who usually correspond to having the lousiest records).  It was a lot of fun to do this, but it probably wasn’t much different from leaving the same team in every week.
  7. Injuries happen –  Be ready to find new players once one or more of your drafted players go down.
  8. Week 1 and 2 – Be on the look-out for rookies who are making an impact.  Grab them early and dump a bench warmer in the same position.  This can pay dividends down the stretch!
  9. Set-up your fantasy team for a great finish to the season – In a nutshell, you won’t win the league unless your team gets “hot” during the final four or five games of the season. 
  10. Have fun – no matter what!  Sometimes, your team will perform well and other times, not so great.  That’s the nature of the game, so don’t despair if your team stinks.  Even a lousy team can be a spoiler down the stretch and beat one of the playoff bound teams, too!   

I will draft my 2019 Fantasy Football squad tonight and provide you with the results. 

Come and play along with me this football season as we make our weekly decisions together and head toward victory (I hope)!