So you’re doing your research, downloading and printing cheat sheets, telling everyone you know about this new league you just joined when they ask you, “Is it PPR or standard scoring?” “WHAT?! I thought I just needed to print this 9 page cheat sheet off of ESPN and come up with a clever name! There’s more to this??” Yes, there is much, much more, though a clever name is a good start.
Again DON’T PANIC most of this information we’re going to go over can be found on your leagues home page. There should be a link to this page in an introductory email that you received. Also your Commissioner can answer any questions that you have. Your Commissioner is the ipso facto Commander in Chief for your league. Every Commissioner I’ve ever met has been far from shy about their position, so this person should be easy to identify.
First you need to know what type of roster is appropriate for your league. Standard Leagues require you to have 1 QB, 2 RB’s, 2 WR’s, 1 TE, 1 Kicker, 1 Defense, and 1 Flex position (that can be occupied by a RB or WR). However, there are 2 quarterback leagues, leagues that you can use a tight end as a flex player, and leagues that allow you to draft defensive players (or IDP’s) This has a direct impact on how you draft. For example, if you are in a league that requires you to have 2 quarterbacks it’s perfectly acceptable to draft up to 3 quarterbacks, but if you are in a standard league where only 1 quarterback is required, drafting 3 quarterbacks is not advisable. So make sure you know what your roster will require before you sit down to draft.
Another thing to consider is scoring. Even standard leagues sometimes have slight variations in how many points are scored per action. Another scoring type that is very popular is PPR scoring, which credits Points Per Reception. How your league players are scored will affect their value. Luckily, many websites will take this into account and you can find customized player rankings, but it’s important to keep this in mind when preparing for your draft.
Knowing how many people are in your league is important, and not just so you can keep track of all the teams you’ve ground into dust with your fantasy prowess. The amount of people directly influence how many quality players will be chosen, and the amount of teams that will make the playoffs.
Understanding all these things will help you get the most out of your draft, but the key to success is practice. But how do you practice sitting in a room fighting over who gets to draft Peyton Manning? Let me introduce you to your new best friend, the Mock Draft. Mock Draft, Mock Draft, Mock Draft; I hear repeating things three times helps with retention. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the process of drafting, along with what round players are being drafted. It’s also helpful to try drafting on different webpages, as player rankings will change from site to site.
So tighten those gladiator sandals and get to stepping! These drafts aren’t going to prepare for themselves! (Boys the gladiator sandals are optional, the stepping is not)