How to Win Your Fantasy Football League

You can win in fantasy football! Yes, you!

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL? How about watching your DREAM TEAM play? Fantasy football is a game of skill in which you can battle wits with friends and family. It offers an opportunity to learn more about players throughout the league and get a glimpse of the GM's job. So many people have asked how it all works—it is really not that hard. I put together a quick primer with tips to help you dominate your league.

Research & Trades

Spend time to get a sense of which teams and which players you think will be most successful this season. Make trades! So many people are afraid of them, but if you can be persuasive and leverage your league-mates needs, you may gain an advantage! Get creative in your trade offers.

Waiver Wire

Be vigilant of transaction news and work the waiver wire. You can add unclaimed players in exchange for someone already on your team. Watch the waiver wire for a player who unexpectedly starts playing well in Week 1 and may be on the verge of a breakout!

Draft Strategy

Draft strategy is key too. Even though quarterback is the most important position in real life, wait until later in the draft to grab one, as the position is so deep. The best way to start your draft is with running backs and wide receivers. These positions are the key to winning your league.

Sleepers

But the most important tip: identify sleepers. Sleepers are players who should outperform where they are being drafted. You can do your own research to find some sleepers for yourself, but here are three of my favorites for this year:

Tyler Lockett—He is the Seahawks WR1 with an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 5.04 (4th pick of 5th round) and is well worth the pick. I think he could be a top-10 WR this year. Last year he was the WR1 for four games while Doug Baldwin was out. Even as a WR2 for most of last season, Lockett finished as the 16th-ranked wide receiver. But now this year Doug Baldwin is gone, so Lockett will soak up targets. His real strength to fantasy owners is his ability to catch the ball in the end zone. Russell Wilson’s play-making ability and Tyler Lockett’s speed are what make the wideout my No. 1 fantasy football receiver this year.

Jameis Winston—Winston is the quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is currently being drafted around 10.03 (3rd pick of 10th round). He has all the tools to be a top quarterback in fantasy football. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are one of the best wide-receiver duos in the NFL. Along with them, Winston has top-five tight end O.J. Howard as an option. Coach Bruce Arians is an extremely aggressive and pass-heavy coach, who will require Winston to throw balls deep constantly. The long passing gains will outweigh Winston’s weakest point, interceptions. Do not be afraid to wait and rely on Jameis Winston as your starting quarterback!

Robby Anderson—Robby Anderson is the No. 1 wide receiver on the Jets with a current ADP of 6.11. He has shown great flashes in his young career, including finishing with two touchdowns and 236 receiving yards in his final two games of 2018. The offense has improved greatly, which will benefit Anderson’s production. Coach Adam Gase loves to throw the ball on the outside, doing this 1,172 times in his three years at Miami. If Anderson gets the majority of his targets as expected, he should greatly outperform expectations. Many of these throws on the wing will be deep and taken into the end zone due to Anderson’s speed. Robby Anderson is worth much more than worth the late sixth-round pick!

Now you have hot tips to help you win, but how does it all work?

Let’s Get Started

To begin, the League organizer will hold a draft where participants pick National Football League (NFL) players for their teams. There are usually 15-17 rounds in these drafts, and everyone needs to get enough quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, kickers, and defensive teams to fit whatever that particular league’s rules may be, along with backups to start as alternates when needed.

League Play

Each week, everyone sets their lineup before NFL games begin; the starting lineup will earn points based off their performance in the actual NFL games. Players earn points for yards, rushing yards, touchdowns, etc. They lose points for fumbles, interceptions, and other mishaps. In some formats, teams go head-to-head with other teams, and the one with the most points wins! Not happy with a team’s performance? Trades can take place throughout the season in order to try to improve. Toward the end of the NFL season, there is a fantasy football playoff for the final winner to take it all.

Test your football IQ and your knack for stats by giving fantasy football a try. Good luck!

Photo credit: Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

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