Sports writers give fantasy football success tips

by Sports Editor Mike Ezekiel and Staff Writer Kadin Pounders

Here are 10 tips from our sports writers on how to win a fantasy league and avoid a bad tattoo.

Mike’s Tips:

•Know the league rules:

Not every league will have standard rules. If a league focuses more on QB stats, draft a QB early. If defenses are scored high, you may want to jump on an elite D/ST as quickly as possible. Check the rules before draft time.

•Mock drafts:

Every draft is different. Anyone might jump on a player earlier than expected. Develop strategies from mock drafts and apply them to the real draft. If someone is taken early in most mock drafts, chances are they could be stolen in your draft. Be prepared.

•Have a “Plan B”:

The worst feeling in the world is when someone takes a target pick. Before this occurs, have a second player in mind to pick. Do not make that “panic pick” because the clock nearly ran out. This usually results in “the bust of the year.”

•“High Risk-High Reward” picks late:

The worst thing anyone can do is draft a rookie in the early rounds. When considering drafting Winston or Mariota, do it after an established QB is on the roster. I’d rather not have them at all than to pick them early. Either of the two could be the next Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf.

•Have a cool team name:

Part of the competition in fantasy leagues is to have the best team name. “Team (insert last name here)” should not be an option. If winning is the goal, do it in style! I’m thinking “Golden Tate Bridge” or “Forgetting Brandon Marshall.”

Kadin’s Tips:

•Research:

Some of the best fantasy players each year are players that nobody has heard of until they ball out and score three touchdowns week one. It is always a good idea to take a few hours (or days or weeks) to research team depth charts.

•Productivity over popularity:

Tom Brady may be the most popular quarterback in the NFL but in fantasy football, he is not a good first pick. When drafting, do not just pick the players with household names. Sure, most of them will score a lot of points, but remember, a fantasy team is not paying their bills.

•Wait on running backs:

The NFL is a running back by committee league in 2015. The days of the one running back system are pretty much over. Nearly every team will split carries among two or three players. If Le’Veon Bell, Marshawn Lynch or Eddie Lacy are available early, grab them. Otherwise, it is OK to wait.

•Check the waiver wire:

The waiver wire is the fantasy league’s free agent market. All of the undrafted and no-name players are here, as well as the surprise standouts. Waiver transactions separate good fantasy teams from the great ones and waiver wire moves could be the difference between a championship and a bad tattoo.

•Trades are like a box of chocolates:

You never know what you are going to get. Do not be afraid to buy and sell hot players. Productivity for most players ranges from week to week. Do not be scared to make a deal if you need depth at a certain position.