As the football season is upon us and you’re getting your cheat sheets ready, Fantasy in Five is here to give you a few tips of advice. So let’s not budge or flinch and get right into it.
1. Don’t draft a Carolina Panthers running back- Kind of a bold way to start my article, but I’m positive this is something you should consider.
Let’s take a look at their running backs first. The Panthers have DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert as their three backs. Comparing their stats, all of them with combined stats don’t even hold a candle to just Arian Foster.
Since there will be numerous backs, touchdowns for each, along with yards and carries, will decrease. Plus, having Cam Newton run at the goal line won’t help their weekly points.
Williams, Stewart and Tolbert are a solid backup option for your team. They won’t put up big numbers individually, but there will be a time where one of them has a 20-point week. That is something I can’t predict, but none of these guys deserve a starting nod for you.
2. Wait for a quarterback in the later rounds- While you might want to take Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady with that first pick, it could be used on something more reasonable. Quarterbacks simply aren’t as valuable as a running back or wide receiver believe it or not.
The elites aren’t as far off from an average quarterback. For example, while Rodgers was a consistent 20-point option week in and out, Tim Tebow during the second half of the season was just as consistent. Billy Beane is licking his chops because of the depth at this position entering the season. Plus, the average between the worst and best quarterback last year was only six points.
My statement watered down is that Andrew Luck can be as solid for a starter as Tom Brady as long as your team is consistent. It’s all about a system of supply and demand. While your other rivals decide to waste a pick on an elite quarterback, choose a wide receiver or running back.
3. Go big or go home- We all know the cliche story of a player coming into the league with tremendous upside, only to become a bust. The beauty of this in fantasy football is that you can take the risk while not losing one step.
Take it from me. I took an unproven Arian Foster straight from waivers while drafting Frank Gore in the higher rounds around 2010. That same year, Foster broke out while Gore was a bust. I really didn’t lose much production and I ended up winning the league regardless.
You should be risking it for the biscuit. One person I’d take that upside risk on is Demaryius Thomas. While he’s a bust or star, you can just get rid of him or trade him and pick up someone who’s having a silent good season off waivers. Don’t be afraid to go for the home run, because that’s the difference between a winner and a loser.
4. Kickers and defenses don’t need to be drafted- Ever have that one guy who picks the Steelers’ defense around the fifth round? Or someone that selects Sebastian Janikowski early since the Raiders kick field goals like Real Madrid takes shots? Don’t budge or flinch.
While the kicker and defense spots can be hit or miss, they’re not worth high selections. The average points-per-week a defense can have is around five or six. Same goes for the kicker. Why waste this for a pick that can be a potential sleeper in the same area? Not worth it in my opinion.
Winners in fantasy football are usually patient. Sit back for a kicker or defense. Who cares if you get a mid-level defense or kicker. As long as you draft players with potential, that’ll matter the most in the playoffs.
5. Believe in the Madden curse- This one might sound silly, but being a superstitious person like myself, it’s only logical. I won’t draft Calvin Johnson for any of my teams, and you should do the same.
I’m going to recap the last five years for players on the Madden cover. We all know what happened to Peyton Hillis. Drew Brees had his most interceptions when he was on the cover. Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald were injured for most of the 2009 season and didn’t produce in the fantasy department. Brett Favre played injured with the New York Jets and it showed in the numbers. And Vince Young has been on two teams since his Madden NFL 2008 cover appearance with terrible numbers.
The Madden curse goes back as far as 2001, but I’m not going to go into too much detail. While I could be wrong (which I hope), I’d avoid Calvin Johnson this year. It might not be him, but maybe Matthew Stafford could get hurt because of the curse. Just take my warning when he’s available.