Once again we have reached that wonderful time of the year where all of our normal responsibilities take a back seat to prepping for the upcoming fantasy season. The Dobber site is in full swing with daily additions to the information conglomeration on the site, and the disappointments of last year are all but erased from our minds.
Additionally, September is the only time that we are all tied for first place in our pools, and while last year’s winners are fairly confident in their strategies, last year’s losers are revamping their approach. I considered writing an article that would add to the piles of information already on the site, but then reconsidered, and decided to write a little preseason guide that will help everyone equally, regardless of last year’s results. I now give you my own special twist on the “preseason guide”, with Burnsy’s Top 10 Preseason Tips. Enjoy.
10) Get your boss involved in your fantasy pool. Regardless of how much you hate him, or how much of a dink he may be, getting your boss into your pool will pay huge dividends in regards to slacking at work in order to tend to draft prep. This also allows you to have a few Fantasy magazines in the crapper at work and is an easy way to get your boss off topic during those boring meetings.
9) Under no circumstances let a female into your pool. Never. Never ever. They are not like us and will wind up screwing everything up. Plus, when they end up winning the damn thing and then tell you they picked guys based on their uniform colors or how cute they are, it will only make your level of disgust skyrocket. Case in point… My wife joined my NFL pool last year in which we pick the winners each week. She beat me by 13 points and then told me she picked all her games based on what she liked better in regards to the team names. If the Dolphins were playing the Bears, she would take the Dolphins. However if the Bears were playing the Buccaneers, she would always choose the cute little bears over the big mean pirates. Bottom line is no chicks in pools ever, unless it involves water and bikinis.
8) Buy a box of 10 pens. Put 2 in each bathroom in your house. Put two beside your bed. Put two in your car. Put two by the TV. In order, these are the places where you will get your brightest ideas or thoughts for the upcoming season and having a pen handy to jot it down is imperative. There is nothing worse than realizing you had forgotten an important discovery only after somebody else drafts the guy in question at your draft.
7) Get your wife and kids out of the house during your draft. No matter how much they promise to be quiet and leave you alone, it will not happen. Send them to a movie or to the mall …. Pay whatever it costs to get them the hell out of there. I believe there is a direct inverse relation between the distractions during the draft and your eventual final placing come April. Some things we can’t control … fortunately getting rid of our dependents for a few hours isn’t one of them.
6) During your draft, there will be a couple of occasions when you draft a player and somebody in your pool hollers out obscenities because they were planning on that same guy with their next pick. When this happens, by all means talk a little trash, and then make a note of who freaked out. This info can be very valuable when trying to improve your team through trading. We all have guys we are convinced about prior to the season and it is a good time to trade these players when their value is over-inflated due to somebody having a personal interest in them.
5) Don’t put too much importance on getting a high draft pick. Consider a serpentine draft with 12 teams. The team with first pick will not pick again until 24th pick, while the team who drafts 10th will also draft 14th. Many times the guys you can get at 10 and 14 will be more valuable then the guys you get at 1 and 24. There are certain times this isn’t true, but do your homework before trading up for a higher pick.
4) If you have a few guys who you are really getting a good gut feeling about, make sure you get them in the draft. It is my experience that my gut feelings treat me well most of the time, plus it really sucks to watch a guy you projected higher than everyone else have a monster year for another member of your pool.
3) Draft a team you like. Fantasy pools are meant to be fun and having a team full of players you can’t stand watching makes for an unmemorable year, even if you do win the pool. On the flip side, try not to draft all of your favorite players if it means finishing dead last. We have a guy who drafts all Habs every year and he never finishes higher than 10th. In fact it seems the only team he regularly beats is the one owned by my buddy who drafts all Maple Leafs. Boo-Yah.
2) Stay active all season. You owe it to the teams in contention to do so, and not enough importance is put on how much a few guys ignoring their lineups in March can skew the standings, especially in rotisserie pools. Our league has a rule where there is a minimum games played per position requirement. For every roster spot on our team, we must have at least 75 games played. Anyone who does not meet this requirement immediately drops to last in the draft order the following year, regardless of where they place in the current year. This has kept even the worst teams active all year as they often rely on a top pick to help improve their squad the next year.
1) Be your own expert. By all means read as much as you can and do your homework, but when draft day arrives, make sure to follow your instincts. As a so called “expert”, I can only give you my best guesses and ideas in general. However, your draft may take a surprise twist and it is important you react to this with your own knowledge. Have confidence in the fact that you have done your preparation, and use what we have told you to come up with your own strategies.
That’s my time for this week folks. Checks back next Monday when I go over the Expert’s Draft and provide some valuable insight from each of our experts as to why they made some of their decisions.