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Do Not Be the Team Who… (10 Tips & Tricks to Make You a Better Fantasy Football Player)

Whether you are new to Fantasy Football or a seasoned veteran, you can always improve your league etiquette. @JoeBeldner guides you to becoming a more complete Fantasy Football player.

League etiquette is an essential element in Fantasy Football, which often gets overlooked. My ultimate goal in this article is to make you not only a better and more strategic player but also a more likable one. We all have that one team in our league that the rest of the league cannot stand. By the end of this quick read, we will make sure that this team is not yours. The only reason why your leaguemates should dislike your team is that they are tired of seeing you win every year.

1.) Do not be the team who starts players on TNF (Thursday Night Football) that you would not start on Sundays.

I wanted to kick this article off with a not-so-obvious tip, which I continue to struggle with every season. If you claim to not struggle with this one, you are lying to yourself. All week, you have patiently waited for your new matchup to begin, and finally, it is an hour before kickoff on Thursday night, and you are tilting hard. Suddenly, the WR warming your bench all season begins to look eerily similar to Cooper Kupp. The FOMO (fear of missing out) becomes too overwhelming to ignore, and you fully indulge in throwing them into your starting lineup. Fast forward a few hours later, and you are lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, questioning why you are the way you are. We have all been that guy. Next season, we vow never to let this happen again.

2.) Do not be the team who forgets to take their TNF players out of their FLEX spots.

This is incredibly obvious and repetitive advice that, year after year, teams either forget or choose to ignore. You are creating a disadvantage by placing your TNF players in your FLEX spots. This creates an inability to maximize your roster flexibility. Forgetting to do this has become utterly unacceptable during the era of COVID-19. To avoid this mistake, ensure your positional players are in their positional slots before kickoff. Again, this is an extremely obvious tip, but one that can cost you a week’s win.

3.) Do not be the team who never checks their trade inbox.

This tip comes from a guy who can be clinically diagnosed with trade addiction. Maximizing the art of the trade can be the deciding factor in winning or losing championships. Nothing is more frustrating than a team with a desirable player on their roster but rarely checks their trade inbox. Rejection is one thing. Never knowing the answer to a trade request is a whole different level of disappointment.

4.) Do not be the team who makes trades to make trades.

We are back to my crippling habit of trade addiction. With that said, I never make a trade just to make a trade. It is easy to get carried away in trade-frenzy during the season. More often than not, it is better to appreciate the players you currently have on your roster rather than deal them off without a specific goal. Mastering the art of the trade can be prosperous, but you have to ultimately improve your team with the move. I have seen many powerful teams fall to trade addiction and miss out on some terrific players they could have utilized with added patience.

5.) Do not be the team who gives up on their season after falling out of playoff contention.

I lied on the last tip; this is quite possibly the most frustrating thing in Fantasy Football. Even if you fall out of playoff contention, you must still set your starting lineups and at least attempt to win your matchups for the remainder of the season. Although you may not care if you win or lose, every matchup matters in the grand scheme of the Fantasy Football season. By throwing away a week, you could be costing another team a playoff spot. Adding a punishment to the last place team can help raise the motivation of the league’s bottom half.

6.) Do not be the team who takes part in collusion.

The most forbidden word in all of Fantasy Football is “collusion.” Even typing the word out gives me the heebie-jeebies. Collusion occurs when one team makes move(s) to benefit another team in the league without improving their own position. Rumor has it that if you participate in this forbidden act, you will slowly begin to grow scales and slither. The most popular forms of collusion include one-sided trades and the dropping of players so that another team can pick them up. Do not be a snake, and do not collude.

7.) Do not be the team who overvalues a player just because you roster them in other leagues.

I am far too guilty of continuously falling down this rabbit hole. If you are an avid Fantasy Football player, odds are you participate in multiple leagues throughout the year. This can vary between redraft, dynasty, best ball, and DFS. Stacking up on the same players in multiple leagues is extremely tempting. First, if you select a player to your roster, you believe in their talent and potential. Next, Sundays are less stressful when you can root for the same players to succeed. The pitfall to this strategy is when you overlook more talented players to achieve this strategy.

It is also essential to differentiate your redraft mind from that of dynasty. That WR you have stashed away on the end of your dynasty bench has no business being on your redraft roster. It is easy to lose sight of realistic expectations for the players on your team. We all want those fifth-round RBs and WRs to have a breakout season, but odds are, they will amount to minimal production.

8.) Do not be the team who overlooks more talented players to draft players from your favorite teams. (Do not be the team who overlooks talented players because you despise them on a personal level).

I will be honest; as a Jets fan, I have rarely run into this problem. I actually avoid drafting players from my favorite team at all costs. There is no room for personal bias in Fantasy Football. I drafted Tom Brady as my QB1 in every one of my redraft leagues last season because of his unbelievable draft value. Other than having the utmost respect for the GOAT, I absolutely despise him. Getting past these personal feelings and focusing on my talent and value, TB12 led me to a couple of championship trophies.

9.) Do not be the team who overreacts to Week 1.

You spent all offseason studying and preparing to draft the perfect team. Draft day comes around, and you cannot believe how much value you are adding to your roster. Finally, Week 1 arrives, and your team lays a massive fart. DO NOT OVERREACT! Panic selling is one of the worst practices that managers can do. Additionally, it is imperative not to overpay when an unheralded player goes off in the season’s first week. Maintain a balanced mind, focus on the future, and remember that slow and steady wins the race.

10.) Do not be the team who takes this beautiful game too seriously.

This was a tough tip to write out and not completely contradict myself. I am far too guilty of taking my Fantasy Football teams too seriously. When I lose a matchup, it usually ruins my week. Winning is the ultimate goal in this beautiful game, but Fantasy Football leads to so many other areas of fun and joy. For my home league, it has served as a staple in keeping our relationships close as we grow older and farther apart (both mentally and physically). This has become invaluable to me as we have all moved out of our childhood homes and are nearing the age of starting our own families. Fantasy Football is about traditions, friendships, loser punishments, weekly rituals, friendly trash-talk, and making every Sunday a blast throughout the season.

Final Thoughts:

As we near the kickoff of a new season, I hope that some of these tips and tricks will help you become a better and more balanced Fantasy Football player. My ultimate goal is to help you all win championships, but in doing so, I hope you can enjoy the little things throughout the season and be the best league mate in your potential. Be the team who thinks outside the box, is not afraid to take risks, and has as much fun as possible during the season. Be the team who lifts their league mates and is an integral part of making your league an amazing thing to be a part of.

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