The Ten Commandments Of Fantasy Football Champions

Fantasy Football: NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: Bud Light and David Koechner introduce Bud Light Fantasy Football League at Chelsea Broadcast Center on September 5, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images for Bud Light)
Fantasy Football: NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: Bud Light and David Koechner introduce Bud Light Fantasy Football League at Chelsea Broadcast Center on September 5, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images for Bud Light) /

The Ten Commandments Of Fantasy Football Champions

Start your studs, check injury reports, and pay attention to the weather. These are three fairly mainstream rules for fantasy football on a weekly basis.

However, some of the more important factors to winning a league championship aren’t always as public. Fear not, fantasy football faithful; we have your back. Let’s take a look at ten rules for dominating your friends that might not be broadcast on the bottom ticker every week:

#1: You must know your league, and its participants.

Ever feel panic set in once your buddies start making picks because they’re completely illogical? Don’t worry, we all have. This is precisely the reason you want to know what you’re getting into before you get into it. Fantasy football experts can give you all the rankings in the world, but what happens when your best friend from Minneapolis takes Stefon Diggs with the first overall pick? Anarchy happens, if you aren’t ready for it.

If you’re constantly the league’s top dog in terms of knowledge, feel free to assume some value will fall to you late in drafts. On the flip side, if you play in a league full of diehard fantasy football experts; they may reach for guys you expect to be available a few rounds later. Don’t be a slave to ADP.

It’s equally important to know the scoring system you’ll be using and which platform you’re drafting from. Mainstream sites like ESPN and Yahoo have completely different rankings come draft day. A lot of your league-mates won’t even notice someone ten spots down the list if they didn’t do enough prep. Use this to your advantage.

#2: Mock, Mock, Then Mock Again. 

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With the exception of AI’s legendary viewpoint, all of the best athletes in history understood the importance of practice. If you take fantasy football seriously, then you need to take your practice seriously. Mock drafting is the single most important tool when it comes to understanding redraft leagues and how they will function.

Going through mocks from various draft positions is a great idea during the offseason, but can often get confusing. Annoy your commissioner to determine an order as soon as possible so you can mock from that spot. Get a read on which players will be available when, and what type of team you can expect to walk away with.

#3: You will honor thy draft strategy, but prepare for surprises.  

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If you go into a draft with a plan to execute the perfect Zero RB strategy, look for someone like OBJ or Nuk Hopkins in the first round.

The idea seems simple enough, but it should also seem simple enough that if David Johnson falls to you at pick #10, it’s time to throw that strategy very far out the window.

You could still turn this scenario into a Zero RB hybrid with a workhorse running back to build upon. Strategy is crucial for draft success, but it’s equally as crucial to have an alarm in your head that tells you to pivot.

#4: You will respect the coach, and value their scheme. 

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One of the most criminally underrated aspects of fantasy football is coaching. People who aren’t well versed in offensive schemes don’t realize how much a single change at coordinator or head coach can revamp an offense. It’s easy to look back and see how much Kyle Shanahan meant to the Falcons offense, or Sean McVay to the Rams. It’s important to identify the impact of these changes before week one, so you can take advantage of them.

These moves effected both real and fantasy football alike. Todd Gurley lit the world on fire, while Julio Jones limped out of the spotlight all together. As a matter of fact, the entire Falcons offense took two steps back while the Rams turned into New England 2.0.

Keep these things in mind when you’re projecting players in Chicago, Seattle, and Detroit this year.

#5: Remember that volume reigns supreme.

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A stat that matters: There were 24 receivers last season with 100+ targets. Of those 24, all but one finished as a WR2 or better in PPR formats.

A second stat that matters: The last time a player finished as an RB2 or better without 150 touches was Darren Sproles in 2012.

This shouldn’t come as a shock to many, but it should always be in the back of your mind when drafting. Receivers low on the depth chart very rarely breakout, and targets are the best indicator of fantasy football success. Chase volume, and you’ll likely find the studs. It also means you shouldn’t panic on a receiver who is being heavily targeted but hasn’t come through just yet.

Speaking of which….

 #6: You shall buy low, and sell high. 

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When a player breaks out, their value is established. When their value is established, the cost goes up. It’s a simple economic concept that works on Wall Street the same way it works in fantasy football. The key is to find the stock before it explodes. You do this by identifying players that owners are frustrated with, but who still have the volume on their side.

In other words: Don’t try and date the movie star surrounded by fans, seek out the up and coming independent film maker who will appreciate your loyalty when they make it big.

#7: You must not overreact to a single week. 

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Through week 3 of last season Ty Montgomery, Chris Thompson, and Tarik Cohen were among the top ten backs in fantasy football. Production can change on a week to week basis, but that doesn’t mean you treat each week as if it’s the norm. Know the difference between a one game wonder and a genuine breakout, and STAY CALM.

Trust your research. And of course….ours too.

#8: You Will Never Throw In The Towel 

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The difference between a playoff matchup and your season ending is often just a couple of points. Whether you start off 4-0 or 0-4, ALWAYS keep playing, trading, and trying. Literally anything can happen, so don’t cave in early and trade high level assets or stop combing the waiver wire. You will regret it later on.

#9: You shall know the matchups

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Keeping an eye on cornerback and linebacker matchups are the key to determining what type of week your team might have. If a defensive matchup looks great on paper, it can be a bit deceiving. Check the matchup your running back has against the run, and your receiving core against the pass.

The Jags had one of the most dominate defenses we’ve seen in a long time last season. They were far and away the best group against the pass, but actually ranked 21st against the run. The overall defensive ranking doesn’t always paint the correct picture for an individual match up.

#10: You will never take the game too seriously.  

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As much as we analyze every aspect of the sport to help you win, it’s pointless if you don’t have fun doing it. Remember it’s a game, and shouldn’t control your life.

As a matter of fact, I should go outside.

Next: 2018 Dynasty Sleepers at Wide Receiver

Stay tuned to Fantasy CPR for all the latest Fantasy Football Dynasty previews as we get you set for the 2018 NFL season!