Look, we know you love the Chiefs. You don’t have to prove your love by over drafting them.
It’s the best time of year. The cicadas are hissing, back-to-school sales are in full swing and fantasy football drafts are just around the corner. No matter how many years you’ve been playing fantasy sports, nothing is quite as exciting as sitting in a draft room waiting for your auction or draft to start.
Fantasy sports have revolutionized the way we watch sports and no sport has been impacted more by this than football. Nowadays there are dozens of ways to play fantasy: best ball, dynasty, auction, redraft, and DFS. If you’re like me you have to carve out time every Sunday Morning, Thursday, and Tuesday to manage all your teams. However, there is one concerning trend that I see every year that hurts fantasy teams and it’s overvaluing players on your favorite team…
I’ve been playing fantasy sports for 6 years now and have won 5 leagues. Clearly, however, I am not an expert though. Yes, there is a large amount of luck involved in fantasy sports but there is something to be said for always being good. You might not win every league you play in but if you’re never a bottom feeder that’s a good sign; your process is right – the results might just not pan out. Here are some of the best pieces of advice I can give you as a fantasy player and a Chiefs fan
1. Know your league
Whenever I took public speaking in college one of the first things we learned about was knowing your audience and setting before speaking. Is the event your speaking at casual or formal? What is the audience like? This rings true in fantasy sports as well. First off, you need to know the skill level of your opponents.
If you’re playing in a league with lots of inexperienced guys I’d recommend being super passive in the draft early and allow them to do all the reaching for players. Likewise, if you’re playing with experts you might want to be a bit more aggressive or target players you’re high on early. If it’s an auction I’d recommend throwing out players you know others love to get them to overbid early.
You also need to know if you’re drafting with a group of fans. If everyone is a Chiefs fan you can almost bet there will be over-drafting of players in the red and gold. Some of the players: Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce are correctly drafted early but there is still no reason to reach too early on them.
Mahomes is typically the consensus QB1 but they would put him as an early third-round pick. Not pick #2, which would not be uncommon in a Chiefs-loving draft. It can be even worse with secondary role players such as Mecole Hardman, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Byron Pringle, Jerrick Mckinnon or Darrel Williams. Don’t get caught drafting most of these players other than CEH and Mecole.
You should also know your league well when it comes to the rules and settings. Scoring can totally change how a league is played. Likewise, the waiver period is where most fantasy championships are won – if you’re not submitting bids on claims on players in the right time frame you can miss out on big players. You also need to know the time frame for trades to take place and if the league votes to approve them.
2. Consistency and Opportunity
When it comes to being a Chiefs fan we love to stream our guys on a week-to-week basis based on the match-up. This isn’t a bad process, but there’s no reason to take a better player out of your lineup for a match-up. Don’t get caught benching a steady RB because the Chiefs are playing the Titans and they have the 31st rushing defense and you know Darrel Williams is going to get a rushing TD.
The most important things when it comes to fantasy are consistency and opportunity. Fantasy is a game based on trying to predict the unpredictable and anything you can do to simplify that is best.
Take the Julio Jones trade as an example- Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley got a big boost in projections as Julio was traded to the Titans. AJ Brown’s volume went down some because his opportunity decreased. Sometimes the most valuable thing in fantasy is a guy with no competition. So what if he’s a wide receiver with a bad QB or on a bad team? If he catches 12 passes every week in garbage time every week it all scores the same.
We love to get caught up in flashy players who are draft darlings or are traded to a new team but sometimes what matter most is volume. Opportunity creates consistency. Yes, it’s always great to have a player who goes off for 30 points one game but if he scores 3 points the next 3 weeks it’s not helping you win on a weekly basis.
As fantasy football legend Matthew Berry says “start your studs”
3. Do your Homework but don’t go for Extra Credit
Look, fantasy can be all-consuming, and every year there’s always more and more websites and podcasts to consume the game. While it is great to go out and do your research you have to remember that most of those sources are making educated guesses just like you and I are. If you start digesting so much information from a wide variety of sources you’re going to end up not knowing what do… “This site LOVES David Montgomery this week, but this podcast said to bench him?” Don’t get so caught up in these conundrums that you end up making silly mistakes.
My advice is to pick a website and to stick with their rankings and projections exclusively. That way when they are right you can be right with them likewise when they are wrong. BUT it prevents you from missing out on all the good and getting just the bad from one website. Where you get your info is up to you. Obviously, I’d recommend well-established resources that have lots of data available to you. I high recommend PFF’s fantasy site which comes included in their entry-level membership. Mathew Berry always does a great job on ESPN and his “Rotopass” is a must-have if you are looking to win your league.
Lastly, do your homework but when it comes time on Sunday morning, don’t get persuaded by last-second “locks of the week.” At this point, you should know who you’re going with and why the only thing Sunday is about is injury status and games.
4. Be Fun – not Funny
Maybe your league is a bunch of players you’ve never met before or maybe they are fraternity brothers you’ve played with for years. Either way, there is a code of ethics that goes along with fantasy. More than anything be fun. If a person wants to talk trade with you be realistic and open, don’t just say “no.” Try sending a counteroffer or talk it out with them. Likewise, don’t send stupid trade offers that should not even be purposed. Make sure you get your lineups set even if your team is out of it and is super injured. Just because you don’t have a reason to play doesn’t mean your opponent doesn’t.
Lastly, make sure you enter a league you’re comfortable losing in. Don’t join a league where you can’t afford to lose the money staked. OR you can’t handle the punishments of eating pancakes for 24 hours straight at IHOP.
Most of all make sure your fantasy draft and season are fun and separate from your love for the Chiefs.