When I started playing fantasy football years ago, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t have the luxury of searching Google.com or EzineArticles.com for articles on how to get good at it because no one was playing it yet. To this day it is difficult to find legitimate material that can seriously improve your results and there are literally millions of people enjoying this fun game. For someone who has never drafted, this article will help you sound like an expert. For someone who has selected a hundred teams, I will still try to teach you something. If you are new to fantasy football or a 10 season veteran, the fantasy football draft preparation method I use will help! I’m going to cover the routine I use to prepare each season that has helped me achieve tons of top 3 results and lots of seasonal gains. Here’s what I think is the best way to prepare for your fantasy football draft in 2013:
Prepare your cheat sheet! – If you are going to write your fantasy football team, you must have your cheat sheet ready. This is going to be one sheet of paper, or maybe 5 sheets of paper, with each player, who is available to be selected, ranked in their particular position. If you are searching the internet for a set of ratings, look for at least 2 unrelated sources to use. Nobody really has the best set of rankings, so having several will help you get an idea of where the players are. I like to find 3 sets of rankings and develop my own ranking list, but this is not necessary for writing a great team.
Watch out for injuries and free agents! – This could be included in your cheat sheets, it could review and highlight players who, at the time of their draft, are injured or have not yet signed in the NFL. I like to make a list of currently injured and unsigned players, and then modify the list until draft time. If any of my default picks (I’ll get to this in a moment) are on the injured / unsigned list, I absolutely don’t pick that player. For the best results, please try to update your injury and free agency list up to the time of your recruitment. If you’re serious enough, you’ll even be checking player status among your selections!
Know the configuration of your league! – This is a simple idea that hurts a lot of people on draft day. Determine what your league settings are so you can write accordingly. Make sure you know if you are writing for points per reception (PPR), how many players for each position and how many teams are in your league. It’s also good to know in advance if there will be point bonuses, such as an additional 5 points for wide receivers who manage to get 100 yards in a game. Knowing these kinds of things can help you differentiate yourself when it comes to preparing for your 2013 draft.
Mock drafts – Draft drills are the best way to prepare for fantasy football in 2013, and probably every two years as long as there are programmers to provide us with the writing programs. I suggest you do a minimum 2 mock drafts, start to finish, for each type of league you’ll join. I know it sounds confusing, but I’ll develop it. Let’s say you intend to join a point per reception (PPR) fantasy league that houses 12 teams. For that league, you must participate in at least 2 mock drafts prior to writing. This will help you understand where particular players are selected. Doing multiple drafts will show you multiple results to compare. Now if you also intend to join a 10-team standard scoring league, you need to do 2 mock drafts with that default system as well. What does it matter if there are 12 teams, 8 teams, or 14 teams in a mock draft? The number of teams in each league should determine your selection strategy. If you only have to wait 7 picks to pick a broker (RB), you can probably wait. However, if you have 28 picks to make (snake-style draft) and need an RB, you should pick one now, as a good RB might be gone by the time it’s your turn.
Investigation, investigation, investigation! – “But you already told me about the reference sheets, the mock drafts and knowing the configuration, isn’t that enough? research? “That easy, lazy answer is yes. Those things alone can set you apart. Websites like Yahoo.com, NFL.com, CBS.com, and ESPN.com have great free research tools that warranty to help you not only have great preparation, an exceptional draft, but also to score fantastic points every season. These free tools help you do things like analyze mock drafts. Yes, the websites save everything you do in these drafts and organize the results for us, FREE! The analysis tool shows you which position the players are averaging. For example, last year, the Yahoo.com analytics tool showed us that Ray Rice was being picked 1.1 overall (first round, first pick) on average by everyone in the world. Pretty cool, huh?
Pick your picks before you can pick them!– When preparing for your fantasy football draft in 2013, have a general idea of who you are picking before you start drafting, I can’t stress this enough. Check what you must have with your injury / unsigned list, and once you’ve done this, give yourself some thought. Hear what people in your leagues are saying. It’s a good guess that Vikings fans will pick Adrian Peterson first overall (not saying I wouldn’t), and if you don’t pick No. 1 overall, you may be able to rule Peterson off. Another tactic I like to try sometimes is to talk about the players I don’t want to make them seem more desirable to other fantasy league owners. “Man, did you see how many TD’s Jamaal Charles had last year?”
With these 6 steps to prepare for your 2013 fantasy football draft, remember that the more work you put into being great, the better your chances of success. Using research, analysis, and trending tools throughout the season will help you stay on top of your game.. And as I always say, these steps were put in place to help you get better at preparing for your fantasy football draft, it doesn’t mean the same concepts can’t be applied to other fantasy games.