BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 07: A Barcelona youth player works on his laptop as another takes a nap inside La Masia at the Camp Nou stadium on April 7, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. La Masia is the heart of the Barcelona's youth system and a residence for young players that had to leave their home behind to train at FC Barcelona in both a sporting and intelectual way. Coach Josep Guardiola and players such as Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta have lived at La Masia to become the stars of today's game. Because of the succes the name La Masia is now simply used to refer to the Barcelona youth players. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
P.P.R.? D.R.A.F.T.? T.R.A.D.E.? How are you supposed to keep track of all these dang fantasy football acronyms? Fantasy leagues can be confusing, so here's a guide that will totally not be helpful at all.
Having finished second in a six-team league last season, I am a fantasy football expert. The most obvious advice I can offer you is to just look at who scored the most points last season (kickers) and draft every single one of them first, but as a fantasy football expert on the Internet, it is my duty to overload you with tons of extra advice that you do not need. Here is some of that.
How to choose a fantasy football league
The most important thing to remember is to join a league full of over-friendly pushovers. That way, if you win, you win, but if you don't, nobody's ever going to call you on not paying your dues.
If the commissioner does confront you about not having paid up, one of the following excuses ought to work:
- I need to order new checks from the bank. I ran out of the old ones because I made them into a papier-mache anarchy symbol. It was for art.
- I left the check in my Tuesday KangaRoos. Yes, I know it's Tuesday, but my footwear schedule is staggered. My Monday Asics are in the cleaners. I sneezed into them because I ran out of tissues. I don't want to talk about this anymore.
- You're just a hypothetical commissioner used as an example in my article about fantasy football. What would you even do with money?
How many NFL blogs are there? Probably a dozen! There's no way you can be expected to read everything out there. Instead, when it's your turn to draft, throw yourself into a massive fit and start Googling as quickly as possible.
Don't click on any of the links! There's no time! Simply assess the value of this player based on whatever text you happen to see on the results page.
Avoid players who suck
Here's a tip: Google "[player name] sucks" and see what you come up with. This will allow you to bypass all the polite losers on "established" fantasy sites and go straight to the voice of the common people.
Let's use Ray Rice as an example. I'm boycotting Google because their Pac-Man game was too hard, so I'm not going to actually Google "ray rice sucks," but you'll probably end up reading things like these:
Ray Rice Suck's My Brother New Him IN HIGH SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE ATE LUNchables pizza;
Your an idiot. Ray Rice is overated. Emmitt Smith = GOAT. He coudnt carry Emmitts jock thru a 1 foot long hallway.
Ray Rice is a Freemason. He's has built a underground lair where him and the guys in Chiddy Bang worship the Devil evrey fortnight. MID TO LATE ROUNDS ONLY
You now know not to draft Ray Rice, thanks to information you'd never get from all those so-called "experts." Here's a tip to get you started: Raiders long-snapper Jon Condo returns only one result for, "jon condo sucks." Draft him first and work your way down.
"You dang hunk o' junk!" You're bound to hear that at just about any draft. Time and again, folks have trouble with their computers just when it's time to draft.
Luckily, many draft websites feature chat rooms, and fellow players are often willing to help you navigate the information superhighway.
How to rationalize
The thing you have to remember is this: pretty much every NFL player is pretty good. The key to drafting a team you're satisfied with is to rationalize your decisions.
Let's take Ryan Mathews as an example. Suppose you drafted Mathews in the first round. Most fantasy experts would be hesitant to make such a move, for the following reasons:
- While his talent is not in question, his health is. Mathews sustained a broken clavicle in the preseason, and is liable to miss some time.
- Even before this season, Mathews has sustained a number of injuries that have kept him off the field.
- If you're going RB first, a first-round pick is better spent on one of the established elite backs, such as Ray Rice or LeSean McCoy.
Don't let all that get you down. Simply answer those concerns with your own hopes/feelings:
- It's mostly just luck who does good and who does bad.
- The Chargers have a great offensive line this year. (DO NOT LOOK THIS UP)
- NFL players wear so many pads and stuff that doctors could probably just take out their clavicles and they wouldn't even notice.
- Athletes are pretty tough. Like in the Flu Game.
- The Chargers have a real good spread offense and/or West Coast offense.
- I read that Antonio Gates is older than he was last year. The passing game old and crusty. Run-first offense.
- Any given Sunday.
The waiver wire
Eventually, some of your waive players may suffer an injury or present character issues (fumbling the ball) that will keep them out of action. Think of this as an opportunity, though, to find players to replace them who are even waiver. If you choose wisely, you may end up with the waivest team in the league.
Thankfully, most fantasy football sites feature a staff of analysts who will add news and notes to player pages. Be sure to check these pages regularly for the latest updates. You'll be surfing the waives in no time!
Glossary of terms
And finally, I'll leave you with some terms you're sure to hear at any fantasy football draft:
Injured reserve: an injury that has been aged for at least eight years.
Keeper league: A league where you keep all of your things, such as your furniture, home, car, clothing, and personal keepsakes. Many fantasy football leagues are keeper leagues.
PPR: A term that your friends made up as an inside joke to try to make you feel stupid. If your friend tries to tell you that PPR is real, know that everyone else in your league is secretly making fun of you. Your eyes may well up with tears, but try not to blubber until you get home or find a suitable bathroom, closet, or soundproof bucket.
Sleeper: A player who is currently asleep. He will likely get out of bed in time to play football, but it's hard to know for certain since football players are so spoiled and lazy.
Snake draft: I know what it is, but it is impossible to explain.