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2015 Fantasy Football Strategy: Tips & Tricks to Win your League Before it Starts

RotoExperts Staff August 17, 2015 9:20AM EDT

2015 Fantasy Football Strategy: Tips & Tricks to Win your League Before it Starts

You’ll have plenty of time to sift through strategy, rankings, sleepers and busts lists from thousands of sources, but honestly, they’ll all reveal essentially the same information. Don’t waste the effort. Stick with a core group of analysts you trust, I recommend me (although, that’s likely NOT the optimal strategy), mix and match the players you like and BOOM, you’ve figured out how you want to approach you Fantasy Football draft.

More accurately, drafts. Who are we kidding here?

Draft Ranks: Top 300 | RB | WR | QB | TE | Top 300:  1-15 | 16-25 | 26-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 61-70 | Initial Ranks: RB | WR | QB | TE
Week 1 RANKS: RB | WR | QB | TE/DST | Week 1 DraftKings Picks: All Positions | RB | WR | QB | TE | DST | Full Preview
DFS NFL Strategy: Tournament | Cash Game | Bankroll Management | Beginner Guide | Scripting | Stacking |  Full Strategy Playlist
Pat Mayo Hour: Video | Audio | Facebook | Twitter | E-Mail | Full DFS Coverage (Every Sport): Daily Roto

So, what can I impart to you, future winner of your league? Well, I’m not going to sell you on an undervalued asset like Justin Forsett or a colossal bust like Matt Forte; no, I want to talk about reconnaissance, the covert research –  the most important factor in winning any Fantasy league – FANTASY ESPIONAGE!!! Instead of misappropriating your time looking at that 1001st analyst’s rankings, use those extra minutes mastering the rules and draft software while running surveillance on your competition. It’s all the fun of being Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, without fear of getting the chair. Although, with today’s power issues, I doubt the chair is still regarded as a viable form of capital punishment.

How do you go about this? For starters, do you draft in-person or online? If your draft is through the interwebs, mess around and familiarize yourself with the nuances of the draft software (ie. where everything is, how to quickly look at the other teams, the queue, etc). Then comes the important part: Make note of that site’s default rankings. In a pinch, most Fantasy players become slaves to the default rankings. Pressed for time, they’ll take the highest ranked player remaining at their position of need. Get a sense of where the players you like fall in those default rankings. Let’s say you love Jordan Matthews (because, who doesn’t?) and, by average draft position, you think you can get him in the at the end of third round or early in the fourth. That’s a terrific plan; understanding ADPs and where players are being taken is the proper way to mold a draft blueprint. However, it’s important to find out where he’s ranked in the draft software, if your player appears abnormally high on the list, in comparison to other places or third party ADP listings, you’ll have to reach to get him. Without being cognizant of that before the draft, you’re likely to miss out.

Now that you have full grasp of the draft software, shift focus to your competition. If you’re in a league with friends, or merely those you’re familiar with, learn where they get their information. If you know that three of your leaguemates religiously adhere to ESPN’s rankings, two use Yahoo! and the others (un)wisely use Pat Mayo, go research each set of rankings and figure out where your target players are listed. If you can find out who the rest of your league is listening to, you’ll know which players they’re going to take and, most importantly, when they’re likely to grab them. When you can pinpoint exactly who they’re going to select, you’ll know the perfect moment to reach on a player and when you can wait a few rounds to extract as much value of possible.

Knowledge is power; but it’s a bitch when it’s used against you. Learn the ins and out of the draft system, master it and research your competition; doing that is far more essential to emerging victorious than any 15th round sleeper. Unless that 15th round sleeper was Odell Beckham Jr., last year. Then just do that again.

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