4:35 pm, August 28th, 2012
NFL kickoff is only eight days away, meaning you’ll soon be drafting your fantasy football team. Make no mistake: Who you pick to be on your pretend football team will be the most important set of decisions you make this year.
To help you choose wisely, we’re presenting you with a list of Dos and Don’ts for how to approach your fantasy draft. We’ve previously gone into some of the nuts and bolts of which under-the-radar
players to pick, which players to avoid, and what to keep in mind if you’re new to the fantasy game. But how do you put yourself in the optimal condition to make those smart picks? Follow our tips below, and you’ll be an expertly-honed draftin’ machine.
1.Do Have A Plan...
Having a basic strategy (If an elite quarterback is available in the first round I'm taking him, then focusing on running backs) is important, so find the best way to feel confident in yours. I like to do a ton of mock drafts before my actual draft, so I can see different scenarios and whatnot. Plus, there is no better way to spend an evening than getting drunk, listening to music, and mock drafting. You will feel relaxed, prepared, and it's like a dress rehearsal for Christmas. Why wouldn't you do it?
2....But Seriously, Screw Your Plan
The easiest way to freak out during a fantasy football draft is to follow your strategy too closely. Usually, this manifests itself when a player you want is taken right before your pick, and you panic and make a bad pick simply to fill a need at that position. Don't do this. You almost always want to take the best player on the board. There's a reason Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford were taken too early this year: People saw elite quarterbacks go early (Rodgers, Brees, and Brady), and made a panic pick. It's funner (and more beneficial) to just say "screw it," and take the best running back available.
3.Be A Little Drunk...
This is perhaps the greatest night of your year. School, work, wives, girlfriends, parents, family, loans, bills: All of these everyday stressors melt away in the warm glow of your fantasy draft's online chat window. You are free for the next 16 rounds of fake football, so you might as well get a little bit drunk. For this year's draft, I recommend
Modelo (cheap, tasty, efficient), but go with your gut. It's draft night. It's your night. So get a little drunk.
4....But Do Not Be Very Drunk
If you're hammered by the time your draft starts, you will make bad picks. This is science. Although a bit of a buzz will lower your inhibitions and allow you to make riskier moves with higher reward potential (this year, that means taking Darren McFadden in the late first round), being too drunk could lead to catastrophic occurrences. You don't want Shonn Greene on your team, do you? Keep it buttoned up, yo.
5.Have Information At Your Disposal...
Rankings. Printouts. Smartphone Apps. Everyone has their own little way to feel like they have control over a semi-uncontrollable situation, so make sure yours is firmly employed. Pick rankings from
ESPN, Yahoo!, or CBS -- these are a necessity if you're drafting in an old school, non-online setting (think the dudes in Knocked Up).
6....But Do Not Open 100 Tabs
Too much information is overwhelming, and is a sure sign you didn't do enough mock drafts prior to your actual draft. Shame on you for having an actual life. If you go on the clock, panic, and all of the sudden are Googling "Ryan Mathews injjrrry updte" like some sort of crazy person, you will make a bad pick. If you're really in a bind, simply take a deep breath and go with your gut.
7.Have A Delicious Meal...
Cheesesteaks. Subs. Chili. These are all time-honored football dishes that you should have in close proximity to you immediately before (and possibly during) your draft. Again, you want to get the most out of your fake football pickin', since the rest of your year is pretty much downhill from here. So go ahead, be a fattie.
8....But Do Not Eat Chicken Wings
There is one time-honored football dish, though, that is simply not acceptable during a fantasy draft. And that is chicken wings. Chicken wings are just way too messy to have while you're clicking on players and flipping through papers, and you'll be spending too much time dipping your wings in delicious blue cheese sauce and wiping off your disgusting fingers to have the leftover brain power necessary to dominate your draft. Trust me: If you attempt to eat wings during a draft, your brain is trying to compute too many awesome things at once, and you might panic and crap your pants or something. Meaning, by the time the draft is over, you'll be a sweaty mess covered in hot sauce. Who crapped his pants. And has a bad fantasy team.
Don't be that dude.