The Record

Fantasy Football DECODED

Amir Moazami, Senior Columnist

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Ignore your buddy who thinks the season is over after the first week. Your fantasy football success isn’t contingent on a couple good weeks, the right draft strategy or even knowing a lot about football; it’s about rhythm — when to make the right trade, when to pick the sleeper in the draft.

You should understand that “you play to win the game”, former Jets Head Coach Herm Edwards said. Winning requires a willingness to shake things up when the season is on the wrong path. By the third or fourth week, it becomes apparent if you need to sit tight or bet big. If you are one of the few ones who has the luxury of a great draft, if not trade. Count on your trading partner overestimating one of your players or underestimating one of his. Count on high risk high reward guys to carry you, but also know there is no choice. You must change the course of your season. There is no alternative.

Pick solid low risk guys in the first few rounds of the draft. The season isn’t won or lost in picking the guys that everybody knows will be good. It’s won by taking a fifth rounder with a high risk, but also a high reward.

Another key in the draft, simple but crucial, is framing a strategy around choosing players at positions where quality is scarce. For example, this year there are plenty of good quarterbacks, but fewer exceptional running backs making it wise to prioritize taking a running back if possible. A good site that helps in indicating reliable players is Washington Post’s Fancy Stats. Play smart and win.

Now, the most important two rules of having a successful fantasy season:

1. Trash talk everybody in your league – if you don’t you might as well not play fantasy football. Just make sure to keep your team banner on ESPN appropriate.

2. The social contract of the league dictates that dead last place must be accordingly ridiculed. If you spot kids with bad haircuts or dyed hair understand they’re just fulfilling their sacred duty as a member of the league.

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Fantasy Football DECODED