The 9½ Things I Know about Fantasy Football: Drafting Advice For Girls
By: Holly Schnicke
Yo, it’s your girl Holly. I took an extended break from sports after intense NBA and NHL finals overload. And I would rather pluck every individual eyelash than watch a baseball game (unless it’s from one of the MANY rooftop bars at the Rockies Stadium).
The Olympics were obviously amazing and six-year-old Holly is really disappointed in current Holly for quitting gymnastics, but football is right around the corner and it is time to get BACK.IN.THE.GAME.
And by that, I mean the Fantasy Football game. All avid Fantasy Football gurus should probably stop reading now. For the 3 remaining PUP List readers who barely know what Fantasy Football is, I’M GLAD YOU ARE HERE. I’m here to share with you the (very) minimal FF advice and tips that I have.
It is important to note here that all of the advice that I got, I received from my baby sister who has and always will destroy me in all things sports-related. (Thanks Meg, even though you are probably chirppin’ on Twitter as you read this.) That said, I went undefeated* last year so I at least KINDA know what I am talking about
So here we go.
- You draft a defense NOT a defensive player
I have been playing Fantasy Football for 8 years now and EVERY year I try to draft a defensive player. I KNOW the rule, but you can’t blame a girl for at least trying. This year I went for Von Miller (MVP) and then Luke Kuechly (my dream man and Cinci’s Wonder Boi. Luke, if by the grace of John Madden you are reading this, I still cheered for you in the Super Bowl against my beloved Peyton. I think we can get through that together. Call me.).
My only defense here is that they are both some of the best players in the league and seemingly wonderful humans. Maybe next year I’ll figure this one out.
- Draft RB and WR first
You need baller Running Backs and Wide Receivers, because they are the most fun to watch and they score all (most) your points (I say with 87% confidence). Focus on these guys for the first few rounds of the draft because they are going to go fast. I picked by players I recognized and then by teams I liked, but if you want to add some science and facts to you draft room strategy, try this.
- QB’s can wait
- Apparently, there are enough badass quarterbacks in the league, that you can wait to draft them until a little later. And you will want two. Go for an impressive veteran and then and up and coming star. And yeah, that seems right.
(Matt Ryan has Julio AND Mo Sanu now)
- Kickers count
- Kickers everywhere, I want to apologize in advance. But, I always forget about you. Your only job is to get the ball between the goal posts and I usually refill my drink when you hit the field. The only one I can name is “The Viking Kicker Who Really Blew It”. But you need a kicker, so make sure you grab one of those dudes later in the draft.
(This still physically hurts to watch.)
- When in doubt, look for a low ADP (Average Draft Position)
After a few rounds, I quickly stop recognizing athlete’s names (aka all the best, most popular players were already drafted). So when in doubt, look at the Average Draft Position to help determine if they are good pick. You want this to be low, like golf. Which is counter-intuitive to everything I know about sports and life and didn’t know this until the third round of this year’s draft. (Only a little bitter…)
- Don’t draft someone who is hurt or suspended
This feels super obvious, but the draft room pressure can cloud your judgment. Pay attention to the little red icons, and investigate further before taking a leap of faith.
- Pay attention to Bye weeks
AKA don’t draft too many people from the same team. That could mean bad news for your fantasy team if half of your team is taking a break for a week.
7.5 Don’t forget to set your lineup
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. If you take away one thing, this is IT. Football isn’t just on Sundays, ladies (and gentleman). The first game starts on Thursday and that week of #sports end on the following Monday. So set that lineup early on Thursdays.
Playoffs Note: Definitely don’t forget to set your lineup after coming off a Bye Week (if you are lucky). I learned that the painfully hard way and lost my league’s championship that way. And I may never live it down.
8. Find a trusted football advisor
Though this may be VERY surprising, I don’t know everything about football. I know, I am as disappointed in myself as you are. Find yourself a trust source of football knowledge when it comes to draft strategy and potential trade options. Beware of seemingly helpful friends in your league who are convincingly try to “help” you. Looking at you, Michael.
- Don’t draft with your heart
Don’t draft the entire Bengals team, even though you really, really want to and KNOW this is their year. Or, idk do. Sometimes you gotta follow your heart. #whodey
If you follow these simple tips, I can’t necessarily promise that you will win, but you will definitely have fun. Fantasy Football gives you a reason to care about teams other than your home team and quickly ups your football IQ.
If you are looking for legitimate Fantasy Football tips from real experts, just google it.
Or when in doubt, auto-draft.
May the odds be ever in your favor.
*in regular season. Only to lose in the second round of playoffs because I forgot to set my lineup….