Challenge yourself in fantasy with these tips
July 28, 2015 3:06 AM
by Alan Berg
If you are looking for a fantasy league and want to battle with the best players in the world, look for the Do’s and avoid the Do Not’s.
Play in an auction league: No draft system compares. You want Andrew Luck? Well, it’s gonna take a lot of your cap space/auction money pal.
There are many ways of approaching the draft strategically. The two biggest – when to nominate players and should you spend money early or spend money late.
The guys who know the most about NFL players tend to win the most games in the fantasy leagues I am in because of auction draft style. That’s the bottom line.
Use Points Per Reception (PPR) scoring: In the infancy of fantasy football back in the late 1990s, I used to win leagues with a star QB, star wide receivers and two fullbacks that scored touchdowns.
A quality fantasy scoring system has to use PPR. Darren Sproles is a huge part of the offenses he played for in San Diego, New Orleans and Philadelphia. It’s ridiculous for him to be a non-factor in fantasy leagues; he moves the ball down the field. Guys that move the chains consistently should be rewarded in your fantasy league.
Know your league rules: Make sure you take advantage of any scoring that makes players better. For instance, Sproles is a WAY different player in a PPR league while a running back like Washington’s Alfred Morris’ stock is much higher in non-PPR.
Keep an eye on weird scoring rules or maybe too many points for return yards. I once played in a league that rewarded one point for 10 return yards. Silly when back in 2007 Joshua Cribbs was outscoring Larry Fitzgerald. I won that league with my two kick-returning WRs. So, yeah, don’t play in leagues like that.
Understand the owners in your league: The best leagues are ones that keep the same crew year-in-year out. Your league should have a Jerry Jones, a Robert Kraft and an Al Davis. Every fantasy league needs an Al Davis, a guy who makes questionable decisions and overpays for guys each year. The point is, get to know the other owners, find out who you think they are high on and drive up the price.
Take who you want: This doesn’t mean take a QB in the first round if you think Jameis Winston will have an amazing rookie season, but have an idea of who is worth reaching on (extra auction dollars to spend to make sure you get your guy, or take him two or three rounds early).
It always burns more if you go with your gut, take the guy and he fails, than to watch him blow up for your rival on his way to championship.
Avoid playing in 10 and 12-team leagues: At least not seriously, regardless of what the masses want to tell you, like Matthew Berry from my article two weeks ago. These leagues are even more about luck than skill.
Playing the matchups game with Pro Bowlers on your bench is stupid and not a good representation of being a GM. Actually play in a league that requires you to know who the best No. 3-4 WR’s in the NFL are.
Another example is finding that TE who could be a steal later in the year. If he beats out the veteran tight end, that move could be the last piece to your championship puzzle. That’s true NFL fantasy skill.
Overpay for last year’s breakouts: Every year someone is riding on top of the hype train; make sure you don’t bypass bargains in auctions or reach too high on a guy who fell into a good situation. I am looking at you, Odell Beckham. Beckham was at the top of my board until he got injured in minicamps.
We ended up with Kelvin Benjamin who had a solid rookie year as well. However it was Beckham down the stretch that changed the landscape of our league. The guy who took him won the championship. Beckham could still be a boss, but his price will be high.
DraftKings Sports Bar! If you have been living under a rock, DraftKings is everywhere these days. Stadiums, racetracks, you name it, their logo is probably attached to something on TV. Now they are opening the first DraftKings Fantasy Sports Bar and Entertainment Lounge inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The bar consists of smart TVs, Toshiba Virtuoso screens (huge touchscreens), Surface tablets and iMacs. It is scheduled to open in September 2015.
Alan Berg has 10-plus years of experience at Las Vegas sports books and prior to moving to Las Vegas covered sports for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter: @vegasberserker. Contact him at AlanBerg@GamingToday.com.