Fantasy Football gets bigger and bigger every year. It is a great way to bring friends together in a competitive nature. The best thing about fantasy sports is that you do not necessarily have to watch or understand the sport very much at all, although it helps. Whether you have never played fantasy football before or you are a fantasy guru; here are a few basic fantasy football tips and guidelines to follow.

6 Basic Fantasy Football Tips

Understand that scoring format matters

There are so many different types of leagues out there, standard, PPR, ½ PPR, super flex, 2 QB…  and the list goes on. It is important to understand how your league works as far as how points are scored, how many lineups spots you have, as well as how many bench spots you have. I was in a league a few years ago that had two tight end starting spots, it really changes things. I strongly recommend having a good understanding of how what your exact league format is before you draft your team. If you don’t, you may find yourself in a bind early in the season because you should have drafted your team differently.

Draft Strategy

There a lot of different strategies when it comes to drafting your fantasy team, obviously, it all depends on how your specific league is formatted, but there are a few basic principles to follow. Just like in the true NFL draft, best player available should the front and foremost principle, but there are other things to keep in mind. It is important to draft running backs often and early in your draft. Top wide receivers are valuable, but it is much easier to find wide receivers to fit into your lineup than it is to find a decent running back to throw out there. I won a championship last year because of my running backs, most of my wide receivers, I picked up from the waiver wire.

Use the Waiver Wire

You do not win your league in the draft, you win your league on the waiver wire. This theory will prove to be true nearly 100% of the time. If you’re even a little familiar with football, you know that injuries happen all the time. As a fantasy owner, you need to be prepared for that. Football is the game of next man up, and that’s how it works in fantasy as well.

You must, I repeat MUST check the waiver wire every single week. There will always be someone that is worth picking up. There will always be someone in your lineup worth dropping. The goal is to constantly be improving your team with new, emerging players. It is also important to understand though, that sometimes if a guy had a monster week last week, that does not mean he will continue to score points for you. That is why I often will pick up someone off the waiver wire and keep them on my bench to see if they continue to perform.

Trading

There are a lot of different opinions when it comes to making a trade in fantasy football. There are people who always aggressively try to make trades; people who will not trade no matter what; and people ho are kind of in between. The tricky part of making a trade is to make it look like a fair trade, but with you still coming out on top. The most important question to ask yourself is, “am I getting the best player out of this trade?” Sometimes people will offer you multiple mediocre players for your stud, do not accept! Quality does not outweigh quality, and it never will. This is why I am very skeptical when making trades. If I do make one I prefer it to be on my terms.

Understand Matchups

A match-up means how a player compares to the opposition, on paper. When you are setting your starting lineup, it can sometimes be difficult deciding who to start and who to sit. Understanding what players have good match ups and what players have bad match ups will help you decide who is more likely to get you the most fantasy points. If you have a running back that is going up against a defense that is really good against the run, it may be smart to start somebody else. On the other hand, there are some players out there that a just match-up proof. You should start them no matter what.

HAVE FUN!

I will be the first to admit that fantasy football can be very frustrating at times. One must remember it is important that at the end of the day we are having fun. Trash talking with your friends, watching football together, it all can help grow a bond. Fantasy football is meant to bring people together. Although it is good to be competitive, having fun must always be your priority!