Here’s how most guys approach fantasy football.
– Watch ESPN to see that what the “experts” say.
– Read endless blogs and copy / paste picks from stat nerds.
– Use their own big football brains and just wing it.
Nothing wrong with any of these techniques, as long as you don’t care about actually winning your fantasy league or making some DFS cash.
How many talking heads on the NFL Network do you think are truly fantasy football experts? Most of these guys are too busy working other gigs in addition to being on the League’s TV network to be high-level fantasy football gurus.
They are working radio jobs during the day or doing work for American Ninja Warrior. They aren’t crunching fantasy numbers six hours daily. No offense Matt ‘Money’ Smith. And I love your ANW announcing, Akbar Gbajabiamila. But I would listen to an out of work stock broker before I would take their advice on who I should draft on FanDuel or for my season long league.
As for the occasional hot blonde offering fantasy advice….I enjoy the visuals, but I don’t know how many fantasy leagues these ladies have won. Or if they’ve ever deposited one dollar on DraftKings.
As for blogs and fantasy stat websites, these are fine to use. Writers are more apt to be authentic fantasy experts than a talking head. However, every Tom, Ben, and Russell have access to the QB ratings that you’re reading on these sites.
How’s that supposed to help you separate yourself from the competition?
My one skill plan is coming. Be patient.
I really have no issue with guys just wingin’ it with their fantasy drafts. All of us think we are super smart when it comes to football. And wingin’ it is a stress-free approach to drafting a team.
If your team ends up as the cellar dweller, you can always make some excuses at the end of the season.
– DUI (Drafting Under the Influence)
– Refs blew calls in every one of your matchups.
Now, for the one skill you can hone in order to dominate your fantasy league.
Yes, this simple technique will help you in daily fantasy as well as a season long league.
You have to see the unseen.
That means you have to find value where others cannot. Most of us fantasy ballers can spot a sure thing. We know Aaron Rodgers racks up fantasy points faster than his bachelor brother generates hate mail from Cheeseheads.
But spotting the valuable running back that no one else wants and snatching him up, can put you miles ahead of your competition. Three weeks after a starter goes down and his backup is averaging 140 yards per game is too late.
You have to see the unseen gem from the moment he gets his first start. If the backup running back’s groupies triple before you take him on the waiver wire, then you have missed the boat.
I know it can be a dizzying experience to look at a spreadsheet full of football stats. But the only way to dig into data that is not seen by the average fantasy player is to really dig deep. Sure, it would be more fun to listen to Matthew Berry talk for an hour about sleepers and locks, but what will you really learn for yourself like that?
Just as Bill Belichick said about Tom Brady playing in a meaningless preseason game… “The only way to get better at football is to play football.”
Just going with Berry’s advice doesn’t make you a better fantasy player. It makes you lazy. Like a driver using GPS. You may get to where you’re going, but did you learn anything about navigation during the trip?
You may be asking yourself, “How can I get better at seeing what others miss?”
It takes practice. And yes, we’re talking the tedious type practice that AI despised.
You practice finding fantasy value by slowing down and noticing the details in everything around you. Not just things like Russell Wilson throwing more touchdowns after not posting pics of his lovely wife on Twitter for a few days.
Here’s some steps to getting better at seeing tiny details:
– Slow your pace a bit. You can’t notice the details when life is a blur.
– Stay in the moment. Pretend you’re Cam Newton (except for the Super Bowl), and pay attention to only what’s in front of you. Don’t try to set your fantasy lineup while your wife is nagging you about the messy garage. BTW, tell her you’ll get to it when you get good and damn ready.
– Just sit and look at a newspaper or print-off of the weekly NFL matchups in a quiet place. Use a pen and some paper to note some upsets you see coming. It’s OK to go old school with your fantasy mindset.
– There are lots of apps that can help you see the unseen. Get some puzzle apps or one that asks you to find the difference in two seemingly identical photos. These apps have nothing to do with fantasy scoring, but everything to do with paying attention to detail. Sharpen your attention to detail, and you will beat 90 percent of the fantasy players who only see the obvious.
– Look at your lineups from a different perspective. Don’t get hyped up over drafting guys who get a lot of media attention. Think of your team like a stock broker might. Look for consistency, while your competition looks for the guy who makes all the highlight reels each week.
There are lots of ways to level up as a fantasy football player. Feel free to watch ESPN or DraftKings TV for ten hours a week. Or create a spreadsheet that would confuse even Bill Gates. You can even pay for premium services like over at Fantasy Labs (awesome BTW).
But the one skill that anyone can hone is the ability to notice what others miss. It costs nothing to pay attention.
It only requires a commitment to look deeply into whatever activity you’re involved in. The harder you look, the more you will see.
Even when it comes to fantasy football.
That’s how you will get a step ahead of your fantasy competition. Most of you won’t bother trying this technique.
That’s cool. That fact just makes the skill even more valuable for those who are willing to look deeper into fantasy football and everything around them.