Knowledge is power.
I know this phrase is about as unoriginal and bland as another Scary Movie sequel (I’m sure #6 is coming eventually), but it’s true. Knowledge is power. It has helped nations conquer entire continents. It has made people extremely rich and extremely poor in the stock market. It has led to the rise and fall of presidents.
It has also helped you in your fantasy football league. But it’s not just knowledge about players, injuries and team matchups. You must be knowledgeable about how your opponent plays the game, as well as yourself, so that you can figure out how to attack and defend strengths and weaknesses.
Another, not quite overused, phrase is “…if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles” from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. With a breakdown of personalities found in fantasy football leagues, we will help you see your enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as warn you of your own. Why? Because it’s fun.
Forget the fantasy football experts. You crunch the numbers on every NFL player yourself all summer leading up to your draft, and compare stats throughout the season to figure out who to start and who to sit. Which running back has rushed for more yards when their team was way behind in the last three years? Who has thrown the fewest touchdowns when their team is ahead in the third quarter? What receiver can’t catch a ball in an outdoor stadium in November when it is 4:37pm EST? This is the type of information that fills your head nine months out of the year.
You are a stat cruncher.
While stat crunchers normally have a strong team on paper, their psyche is very fragile in fantasy football. If their receiver ends up with 3 points instead of the expected 27, a stat cruncher may have a total meltdown and drop that player due to the seasonal stats being so low after only one game. There is also the issue of how much time they spend on fantasy football research when it isn’t their full-time job.
You have all the best players in the league on your fantasy football team. You know this because they are all players from the football team that you root for. You traded Calvin Johnson for Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola because you didn’t have any Patriots at the receiver position. You’ve had Justin Blackmon stashed on your dynasty league for the past two years just because you’re a Jaguars fan.
You are a homer.
Unfortunately, your team probably isn’t perfect, even if you’re a fan of the Seattle Seahawks or Denver Broncos. One team can only have so many rushing attempts or passes. The name of the game is to spread it around the league to get major points. If you’re playing a homer and have their third-string quarterback, congratulations! You may pull off an awesome trade unless your league has trade voting.
When it comes to fantasy football, being right about a player no one else expects to make an impact is more important than having players that are expected to score big points. Antonio Brown? Called it last year, then passed him over for Marqise Lee this year. Johnny Manziel is prominently stashed on your bench, as well as the handcuffs to as many other running backs as your roster will allow. You will keep a rookie kicker on your bench during his bye week because you’re sure he’s going to break out next week.
You are a sleeper guru.
Sleeper gurus usually care less about winning and more about being right about a player that nobody else thought would go off. A sleeper guru can lose 25-107, but if 24 of those points came from that backup rookie receiver that you “had a feeling would blow up,” then in your eyes, you’ve won. Unfortunately, this usually doesn’t lead to winning many leagues.
You listen to fantasy football shows on the radio more than you listen to music. You will drop your entire team onto the waiver wire in order to pick up players that are hot for the week because the experts can’t possibly be wrong, can they? You have dropped and picked up Josh Gordon 10 times this past week alone. You may not even know much about football, but it doesn’t really matter. You’re in it to win it because winning is fun.
You are a rankings slave.
While the experts may be ultra-knowledgeable about fantasy football (they better be, they’re being paid for it), this is still your game, and your team, and you’re supposed to have fun with your decisions and game-plan. If you’re just following the advice some fantasy experts, you might as well just name your team after him and be done with it.
Your entire team is made up of players that get decent points, but never blow up. That’s okay. Flashy players are boom or bust. You want to know how many points you’ll get from a player, not how many they could get if they “go off.” You once traded away Aaron Rodgers for Alex Smith because Rodgers was up against a solid defense.
You are Mr./Mrs. Safety.
While playing it safe may seem like a good idea, sometimes you have to pull the trigger on the potential player blowing up. I remember last year when I picked up Alshon Jeffrey and had him on the bench when he posted a 40 point game. Safety lost me this season’s first game as I stared at Demaryius Thomas’ feed stand still all night.
Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.