By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
Football season can’t come any faster for me. As I sit at the kitchen table sipping a Starbucks coffee, the compelling urge to turn on the television to watch a football game is overwhelming.
So I scroll through my email and spot the invitation for our yearly Our Turf Football Fantasy Football league. The excitement is breathtaking and I start putting together a strategy as to how I will draft my players.
But our league has a smart tradition: we don’t draft until preseason is over. This way we know who is out due to injury and we have a chance to start the season with fresh healthy players.
The ladies at OTFB are very serious about our FF league and the players we choose fuel our competitive drive. We are always respectful and encouraging to one another but have no problem pitting a prime player in the right spot to win.
For years we have played a standard league, and it works for us. Several of us play for fun, while others play to win. But patience is key in fantasy football.
For myself, I have a chart with players that I want to start with and players on my bench. Last year I had running back LeVeon Bell, only for him to sit out the season, so I immediately jumped on the RB James Conner wagon in hopes that he would be a spitfire. I was not disappointed.
My secret to getting the elite “benchwarmers” is watching preseason games. Preseason games can be a love/hate type of relationship, but for me, it molds my fantasy football drafts. So let me share with you what I do to prepare for a fun season.
- Make a mock draft. Every league allows you to make a mock draft. This is a no-brainer. There are lots of fantasy football websites that allow you to make mock drafts and see which ones have the highest value. Use these websites to your advantage!
- Make a spreadsheet. Each position should have 10 players/position. I include the kicker and quarterbacks because you want to make sure you have the best available on draft day.
- Pick key positions first. This is where people panic. They rush for the QB or even defense and forget to grab the key players that are going to give you the most points. Always start off with a running back, because he is going to be your workhorse and then wide receiver in the first two rounds. You don’t want to get pitted against a team that has Saquon Barkley as their starting RB and all you have is Tevin Coleman. Not a knock on Coleman but these are two different species of players.
- Watch preseason games. We all know who the starters are but things happen and it is always good to know who can carry a team if the inevitable injury happens. The Denver Broncos had put their hopes on Royce Freeman as their starting RB. At first, he looked great but in the shadows waiting was UFA Philip Lindsay. An unfortunate injury sat out Freeman and helped Lindsay emerge a first year Pro Bowler. He carried me up to the final FF championship until he injured his wrist. That injury cost me the crown. But what a ride! Watching preseason games gives you potential players to bench. If they shine in preseason they will end up on a 53-man roster or practice squad. But at least you know who they are.
- Lastly, don’t be afraid to hit the waiver wire. The waiver wire is like a get out of jail card. If you have an injured player or one who does not pan out in points, you can get someone off the waiver wire and bolster your lineup! I did this a lot and it always kept my team fresh. Know the strength of the team you are playing against and pick up a player that will complement the match-up and not out of sheer desperation.
There are so many other pointers I could give, but I still have to play these ladies starting in September. If you have any questions on players to take during the season, hit me up on Twitter and I will give you a few names to choose from.
Talk Fantasy with Wanda on Twitter @WandaW63