Bad Fantasy Football Advice – Languishing in the Preseason

For all the Fantasy Football players out there, each week throughout the NFL regular season I’ll be sharing some thoughts on the Fantasy Football landscape. Call it advice. Call it insight. Call it wisdom. Just don’t call it a comeback. (I’ve been here for years.) 


Before we get started, I also want to emphasize two important rules to live by when it comes to Fantasy Football discussion:

  • Managing your Fantasy Football team is YOUR responsibility. It’s not (fill in the so-called expert’s name here) fault if you took his/her advice and got a less-than-stellar outcome. It’s your team; manage it how you want and take ownership of that.
  • Nobody cares about your Fantasy Football team. Just remember this when you’re going on and on about having a really good (or bad) season. It’s good conversation for about the first 20 seconds; after that, people just nod politely or try to change the conversation to their own triumphs or woes in the land of Fantasy. This is a bit of Fantasy Vanity, but I’ve observed it time and time again. People care about their own Fantasy Football first, and they care about yours only if it has some bearing on theirs.

So, with that being said, here are a few important points to keep in mind before the season starts:

  1. Draft as late as possible. In case you haven’t heard, injuries happen in football, and not just to linemen and 4th string skill players. When Kelvin Benjamin of the Carolina Panthers went down with an ACL injury recently, there were surely some Fantasy Football players who had already drafted that were stuck scrambling to fill that void. There are no guarantees or absolutes, but better to draft late in the preseason to avoid having to deal with those types of scenarios; after the 3rd preseason game is a safer bet.
  1. Don’t autodraft. This is for those using leagues like Yahoo!, ESPN, etc. that feature an online draft. The best way to end up with players you don’t like and/or have difficulty trading is to let the computer pick for you. Even if you go through the effort of adjusting your pre-draft rankings or “do not draft list”, you’ll still feel better when making those clutch decisions in the late rounds of your draft if you’re the one making the selections.
  1. Don’t read too much into preseason games. It’s hard to judge preseason games because you have talent disparities across the board, with base defenses going against base offenses, and the field full of players who many not take the field much during the season, much less make the final roster, along with abnormal substitution patterns and personal groupings. I don’t read too much into how established skill players perform, however preseason is definitely good for assessing offensive and defensive line play.

(If an offensive line has trouble blocking in the preseason, there’s a good chance it will have problems in the regular season, thus affecting run blocking and pass protection. On the defensive side of the ball, if a front four is getting mauled at the point of attack in the preseason, chances are that unit will be unlikely to stop opposing running games.)

Well, that’s it for this week’s Bad Fantasy Football Advice. If you have any comments or questions, you can reach me here. If all goes well (or poorly), you’ll hear from me once the season gets started. In the meantime, good luck with your drafts!


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