Win Your League With This Fantasy Football Advice

Jason Upton, Sports Editor

The football season is underway, and fantasy owners could not be more excited. Whether it’s the pre-season draft, blockbuster trades, tough lineup choices, or key waiver pickups, you’ll need plenty of help to aid you as you start your path to dominating your league. While stats and rankings will get you along fine, these tips will separate you from your competition and propel you to that sweet championship trophy.


1 – Don’t Hesitate to Make a Pickup

This is the part of the season where breakout players start showing up and make owners wonder whether they’re worth a place on their roster. For example, in Week One, former fantasy stud Adrian Peterson had a huge game with his new team the Washington Redskins. In PPR scoring, he put up 22 points on a strong Cardinals defense. Was he worth a pickup? You have to take into account who you would have to drop and how that would affect your team’s overall talent. In addition, make sure you don’t have too many running backs or too many receivers. In the end, you have to accept that every waiver pickup is a huge chance, and most likely a toss-up. Playing it safe won’t get you to the championship. By the way, AP scored 8 in Week 2 and is still puzzling everyone.


2 – Know How to Trade

The key to trading is keeping your target interested. Don’t lead off your trade talks with your best offer. Give them a reasonable one that won’t insult them, but something that you can improve on. Nothing will end a trade talk faster than an insulting offer. Once they predictably deny your first offer, you can give them some room to work. Know beforehand what the max value you’re willing to offer is and keep building up to it. When you’re at a point where you have to give them that offer, make it seem like that’s stretching your idea of fair. Give them time to answer, and never ever be pushy with it. Common courtesy is the most underrated part of trading.


3 – Be Confident With Your Start/Sit Choices

Every fantasy owner knows the worst feeling is losing a match-up they could have won by starting a different player. You have to find the sweet spot between putting some careful thought and research into the decision, and not overthinking it too much. For some extra help, check out rankings done by fantasy experts and heavily consider each player’s defensive match-ups. Any running back is serviceable when they’re playing a defense like the Colts or Raiders. At the end of the day, just be confident with your choices. Set your lineup by utilizing the players that would leave you with the most regret had you sat them.


4 – Keep Up To Date

Watching games and staying updated on injuries often goes overlooked. If you want proof, check out Denver’s Phillip Lindsay. He started the season off of everyone’s radar, not even one of the top three running backs on Denver’s depth chart. While everyone was looking at the Devontae Booker-Royce Freeman competition for carries, Lindsay snuck in 102 total yards and a touchdown. Most were skeptical of his performance, but Lindsay confirmed his legitimacy in Week Two against Oakland where he took 14 carries for 107 yards as Denver’s clear lead back. By Week Three, he was taken in 79% percent of ESPN leagues. Watching his Week One performance prompted some to add him, but everyone noticed him after his second game. The point is, be the first one to notice a breakout game. See who’s been getting the most carries or targets for their team, check their efficiency, and snag them. Similarly, when a star player is injured (or holds out), make it your priority to pick up their backup. This is essentially any Steelers running back (2015-16 DeAngelo Williams and 2018 James Connor), as the Steelers have a dynamic offensive line that will make any lead back stand out.


Keep in mind, while all this is very helpful and puts you at an advantage, it can only do so much. Fantasy football contains a lot of chance, some would argue a majority of the game is luck. No one can predict what star will be sidelined by an injury or every breakout player. Still, you can minimize the unknowns in this game by following these tips and being knowledgeable of how to manage your team. All that said, good luck this season.