Fantasy Football 2015: Top 5 tips for a great season


Oct 26, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; The NFL logo is painted on the field at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

With the Fantasy Football 2015 season just around the corner, it truly is taking over offices, friend circles, families and almost every other conceivable social group out there. Trash talk is slowly cranking to level 100 as annual leagues and their participants reunite for the next few months of pain-staking roster adjustments and countless hours glued to the television with various second, third, maybe 10th devices scanning the stat lines almost religiously.

For veterans and newcomers, there are a few basic steps to insure you’ll have a great fantasy season. Whether you’re just doing it for fun or competing for a few hundred (thousands, millions?) bucks, it’s essential to get the fundamentals down before diving into football fantasy land.

Now that you’re in full fantasy mode, dig in to these top 5 tips to be successful in your fantasy league.

Next: 5. Understand Scoring

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

5. Understand Scoring

Before anything else, make sure you have a complete understanding of the scoring scheme for your fantasy league. If you’re a vet and join the same league every year with the same scoring, then you’re fine. But sometimes, like in my league, the powers that be (the bearded dude who organizes and sends witty and pretty entertaining emails) might decide to change things up.

Standard leagues are the most common, where a touchdown nets you six, a point for every 10 receiving or rushing yards, points based on length of field goal and so on. Pay close attention to the bonuses that your league manager decides to implement. If you’re getting extra points for WR’s over a certain amount of yards or QB’s passing over a pre-determined amount of yards, these points can make or break you from week to week. Make sure you fully understand these schemes and adjust your roster accordingly.

PPR (points-per-reception) are point frenzies. Each catch is worth a point, making your draft selection and roster adjustment strategy completely different. Sure, touchdowns are worth six, but if you’ve got a receiver in a PPR league racking up receptions without necessarily scoring often, he might be your best option. You’ll also have to think about your RB strategy here as well. You won’t want to invest too much in a runner like Chris Ivory who may be a bargain pick but gives you practically nothing in receiving stats. A RB who fills the receiving portion of the stats sheet gives you a better chance at racking up the points.

Should PPR Scoring Change the Way You Value Positions in Fantasy Football?

— numberFire NFL (@numberFire_NFL) August 18, 2015

Next: 4. Do Plenty Of Research

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

4. Do Plenty Of Research

If there is anything to learn about getting into a fantasy league is to make sure you do a lot of research. There is no shortage of fantasy football literature, stat sheets, player profiles and much more out there. I highly recommend not just doing the usual fantasy internet browsing but also pick up various copies of magazines on the topic out there. You’ll want an array of cheat sheets and no two are created equal. Head to your local Barnes & Noble or any other store with a good selection of sports magazines to help make your selection. Actually, just pick them all up if you’re really serious about making strides. If the cover says includes the words “fantasy football” then it’s for you.

You’ll want to pay attention to publications and websites that break down a player, clearly indicates his health status, analyzes his team/backups, what his ADP is and when his bye week is. Stay away from overbearing charts that look like they belong on the floor of the stock exchange or too much text crammed into small spaces trying to convey too much information. You want your research focused on what the player has provided most recently, if he’s in position to make a similar, better or worse contribution and of course, if he’s a reliable and healthy player.

Remember that one player can make or break you from week to week and its usually not the bonafide star you drafted. It’s the under the radar guys who you want to be in the know about. You’re a fantasy general manager, treat it that way. And for the love of the game of football, please don’t draft with your heart. Just because the guy is on your hometown team and is great, doesn’t mean he deserves a roster spot on your fantasy league. This is a sure fire way to lose, week to week.

Next: 3. Do Mock Drafts

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

3. Do Mock Drafts

Don’t go into draft day completely unaware of what’s coming at you. Do yourself a favor and do a mock draft not once, not twice, but at every possible draft position in your league. If you have 10 teams in your league, that’s 10 mock drafts if you want to be ready for anything coming your way.

Let’s be honest here, you’re not only doing this for pure fun but to also win. It’s a great feeling to earn the bragging rights and most importantly, win that jackpot. You’ll have to put in the time to make sure you’re aware of every situation. Stay on top of the ADP for each player you have your eye on and check out ADP reviews.

Pay attention to not only what players you want, but what’s trending out there. Are receivers being taken at a high rate in the 3rd round? When are the QB’s going to start flying off the board? If you have any set of scenarios in mind, they’re going to change drastically if you get caught on the wrong side of a trend. Be prepared to not only alter your pick based on draft position, but also line up alternatives based on possible trends at particular positions.

Next: 2. Setup Your Fantasy Central Office

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

2. Setup Your Fantasy Central Office

This doesn’t have to be a physical space, but if you can manage a special place for all things fantasy, that is the ideal situation to spend lots of time in. Remember, fantasy football is an everyday thing that requires a lot of research, shuffling rosters and finding hidden gems across your team on a weekly basis.

Make sure you’re set up on your desktop, laptop and/or mobile device with your league app, notifications for fantasy updates, a hub for box scores for games you’ll need to be monitoring, and so on. Sounds obvious right? Remember, if you don’t know which players are rising or falling on your roster, how else will you be successful?

Nothing is worse than being behind on the latest and even though it’s impossible to assess every update as it happens, plenty of people will be slow to the punch. This can be understanding who is on the waiver wire, who has a player worth trading for, who is injured and more. With so many ways to receive this information and the countless preferences available to you, don’t be the last one in the know and update yourself constantly. Optimize your fantasy news hub immediately and effectively according to your lifestyle and schedule.

Next: 1. Add More Knowledge To Your Arsenal

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. Add More Knowledge To Your Arsenal

The possibilities and scenarios are endless. I can’t cover them all here and what I have covered are some bare bones basics. Fantasy football is a monster and can only be slayed with 10x the amount of tools that Batman can hold on his trusty bat belt. With that being said, you must keep adding to your arsenal of fantasy football knowledge.

Keep up-to-date with Fansided Fantasy Football articles and the various NFL pages on the site that will include fantasy football player profiles to help you analyze your potential selections. Thinking of drafting Brandon Marshall? The Jet Press has you covered as this site will also have continuous fantasy updates on players from the Jets and in general on a weekly basis.

Remember, and it can’t be stressed enough, go anywhere and everywhere for fantasy news, tips, cheat sheets and more. I have to shout out for it’s comprehensive guide on navigating the fantasy football world. Create a Twitter account that only follows the NFL, fantasy, experts and any other related profiles. Sign up for a Gmail account dedicated to fantasy and set alerts for your potential draft choices and any other alerts you might deem helpful.

Put in the time, follow these top 5 tips and trust me you’ll have a great fantasy football season.

Next: Fantasy Football 2015: Top 10 wide receivers

More from The Jet Press