As a purist, I can't help but get a little defensive when one of my favorite nerdy hobbies has been infiltrated by a new group of fans as phony as the Red Sox bandwagon. I'm bitter, but with the mainstream appeal of fantasy sports, at least I'll be able to find out if Heidi will like ever forgive Spencer for totally trading running backs with LC. Plus, fantasy football is still a legitimate hobby and I will need something to occupy my spare 38 hours/week at work.
I am, and always have been dominant - you can check the trophy case. Unfortunately for you, in this article, I can't pass on my superior judgement, foresight & knowledge that has distinguished myself as a champion. In order to not look like a total chump, here are four thoughts to keep in mind as you approach draft day - the first 3 are absolute musts, and the fourth is an observation on the evolution of the game (fantasy and gridiron alike).
- KNOW THE RULES. You have to understand the scoring settings of your league. Do throwing TD's count as 6 or 4? Do you get points per reception? Do you have individual defensive players, and if so, do you get points per tackle? Come on, you gotta know this stuff.
- Default pre-rankings are typically solid. Don't be afraid to use the default draft order as a template for your draft rankings. After all, Yahoo! and ESPN's rationale for ranking Ochocinco 45th is probably more reasonable than mine - which is: he has cool shoes, drives a chromed out black semi (pictured right), and he says funny things. Child please.
- Check the injury report. Easy. You just don't want to be that guy that drafts LenDale White too early.
- TE's matter now. Back in the day, one team would get Tony Gonzalez, and everybody else would be stuck with some buster that catches 3 passes for 18 yards every week at the tight end position. A complete waste. Those days are gone and there are a handful of solid scoring options at TE, as the position evolves from eligible-downfield-lineman to additional-receiver. You want these guys on your team.
So while you are studying your cheat sheets, and debating if you would take Mojo or Ray Rice if you landed that #3 pick, don't lose sight of these tips.
Also: you want Adrian Peterson (RB - Min) not Adrian Peterson (RB - Sea), and you want Zach Miller (TE - Oak) not Zach Miller (TE - Jac), any WR named Steve Smith should do just fine, but please steer clear of anyone, TE or QB, named Alex Smith.