Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fantasy Football and Some Tips From Freedumb So That You Can Make Some Money

THANK YOU FOOTBALL GODS! The season is upon us! I love football. Pro more so than college. And by the way, I'm not talking about soccer, the other football. Rather, I'm talking about NFL football. Football is going to start hitting high gear in a few months, and there's no other sport like it. Especially when it comes to making money! So many ways to place friendly wagers, but by far fantasy football is the most addicting and exciting form of "fantasy" sports. The sport just fits well...scoring, the amount and frequency of games, the technicalities. It's not too confusing like fantasy baseball can be, and it's not overwhelming due to the number of games like fantasy baseball or basketball. I'm in a league for almost 8 years with a group of friends. It's great fun. Being in a group with your friends makes fantasy even better. I don't think I would've kept in touch with many of them without football. Okay enough of that, on to the good stuff!

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How does fantasy football work? Fantasy football leagues are generally 8, 10 or 12 team leagues. Where each team composed of various football players from different skill areas. Each team should be owned by different owners, otherwise it could make for some cheating. These teams then compete throughout the football regular season, usually a fantasy football season is 14-15 weeks long, ending a couple weeks before the end of the regular football season. This is mainly because the end of the season is bad for fantasy football players as many teams will bench players or adjust the normal play times based on whether that game is important or not. For example, if a team is 14-1, and already locked the division's top spot in the playoffs, then why risk injury? Thus they bench their star players early. This is bad for fantasy football teams. I'll explain why later. What are skill areas and how does the scoring work? Each week you face another owner. Each owner manages a team of fantasy football players. The number of players varies according to league rules. For example, league ABC consists of 8 fantasy football players. The players are broken down like this: 1 Quarterback, 2 Running backs, 2 Wide Receivers, 1 Tight End, 1 Kicker, and 1 Team Defense = 8 players. These 8 players get points, and the sum of the points equals your team points. Whichever team in the head-to-head competition that has the higher point total wins for that week. Scoring varies according to league rules as well. One simple example would be, 6 pts for each touchdown (passing, rushing, or receiving), 1 point for each 10 yards rushed or caught, etc. Okay, so how do I get my team? Do I just get to pick players? Sort of. Just like real football, there's usually a draft. However, there are also variations here, like a auction system draft. Most drafts, though, are typically setup as "rounds," where each round consists of each owner picking one pick. The order of this draft is pre-determined, and the position you have can greatly affect your team. For example: Round 1 1 pick: Owner A 2 pick: Owner B 3 pick: Owner C 4 pick: Owner D 5 pick: Owner E 6 pick: Owner F 7 pick: Owner G 8 pick: Owner H Round 1 9 pick: Owner H 10 pick: Owner G 11 pick: Owner F 12 pick: Owner E 13 pick: Owner D 14 pick: Owner C 15 pick: Owner B 16 pick: Owner A Notice how the draft order "snakes." This is a typical draft system. So now you are ready to get started! Okay, maybe not, but hey I'm not done keep reading. First off, start by checking out a few of the "free" fantasy football sites, like Yahoo! Sports Fantasy. Just sign up and join up a random league. It's a great way to learn and meet people. Of course use Google! Some sites to check out: My tips: - Get a couple magazines. The Fantasy Football Index is a must for any fantasy football player. So get this at least. Buy it online to avoid sales tax and get free shipping. The second magazine is not a must have, but I like the Pro Forecast and Pro Football Weekly. Which one to get is your decision. I don't think it makes much sense to get more than 2 magazines though. Keep in mind by the 4th week in the regular season, most of information is outdated anyway. You'll be using it as a reference and for info on backup players and team schedules. - Your draft strategy should be based upon:
    --Scoring system. This could change the value of a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, etc. --Number of teams in your league. If you have a large league, than running backs become much more valuable! Keep in mind each team usually has one primary running back while there are two primary wide receivers. --How many really good players are there in each skill area? If you have a dedicated Tight End position, then consider that there are only 3 or 4 really good tight ends. The rest are, well, blah. This makes those 3 or 4 players much more valuable. But don't overvalue them either! Nothing makes me giggle more than a tight end being taken in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft. --What's the drop off in quality between players? For example, the difference between quarterbacks are usually fairly small with a few exceptions like Peyton Manning in 2004-2005, but then the rest of the quarterbacks are all almost the same. --Know you draft position! The first pick is great, but keep in mind that you have no more picks for quite awhile! "Bookends" or the last pick in the first round also has benefits since you get two picks in a row. --Remember, you can always trade. If a valuable player is sitting there, but you don't need them, you may be able to score two players for that one, so it may be worthwhile to draft that player anyway. But don't lose site of the possibility that a trade may not work out. --Think about the offense. A high scoring offense will add value to offensive players. Also, a running offense means runnings backs are good bets on that team. A passing offense means quarterbacks and wide receivers are good bets. --Think about the team's schedule and division. A weak division is usually a good thing for a strong team, thus a good thing for fantasy players. --Consider a player that was good the last last season, but flopped. They made be picked up later, but give you a high return.
- Don't overanalyze. - Never sit a stud. In other words, even if Shaun Alexander has two bad games in a row, you don't bench him for Thomas Jones. -There are more tips, but I don't want to give away all my insider knowledge. :P If you want to join a BIG league fantasy football league, then check this out, WCOFF--we're talking $1495.00 per team! No kidding. But if you win it all, you get $200,000.00. Not bad. There are tons of other ways to place wagers and make money with football, like the grid or playing 10 number blocks. Or a friendly work pool where each person gets one team which is randomly selected. The person who's team has the best record at the end of the season wins. Just make sure you have tie breaker rules, like head to head record, most points scored in a season, etc. Unless you are okay with multiple teams winning. Well, stayed tuned for some tips for the regular season. Just 2 more months! Mark your calendars, September 7th is the official beginning of the regular season! I even considered starting up another blog, but I don't plan on posting that many articles on football. I may just create a new series here.

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