Every year Matthew Berry opens the Fantasy Football season with an article containing 100 fantasy football facts. In recent years, Berry has made a consistent (and some might say redundant) effort to remind you that he can use the “facts” in both directions on almost any player (yes even Tim Tebow) and make them look appealing. He ends his repetitive intro by emphasizing that offers up fact-based opinions like everyone else. And while I am in agreement with Matthew Berry on this point, as well as the point that we can make the facts bend towards our opinions, it doesn’t mean all opinions, or facts, are equal. The best fantasy football players are capable of seeing MANY facts for and against players. They are able to determine not only which facts matter more, in terms of prediction methods, but which facts don’t matter at all. We don’t have all the time in the world to spend on fantasy sports, and it is possible to be good and not spend a ton of time, just as its possible to spend a lot of time reading about fantasy sports and be bad. Normally, spending more time means better results, but if you are inefficient then that isn’t always the case. My goal here is to help players become experts in the shortest amount of time. Tim Ferriss is a huge proponent of both the Pareto principle and Parkinson’s law. I will get into this in another blog post, but the basic message is efficiency, the greatest return in the least amount of input; The 4-Hour Fantasy Expert.
At the ground level this sounds very simple. There is a reason that Daily Fantasy Sports has seen professional players rise to the tops and the money, in some cases so often that the sites had to make rule changes. These players are able to understand the rules of the game, and manage their lineup with maximum efficiency, sometimes this means having hundreds of lineups for one tournament, sometimes this means having 30 entries with the same lineup. In order to rise to the top of the Fantasy Football world, be it daily or season long leagues, you have to be able to adjust for value. Understanding value is the single most important part of fantasy sports. There are two types of value analysis to find success in Fantasy Sports. The first is valuing the player pool. This is more difficult and goes back to Berry’s fact based opinions. This is tough to do, as some are better than others. However, this is LESS IMPORTANT on draft day than the second area of understanding value. The second area is understanding your league. This is more important to your success, where you could have a toss up between two or three guys on your draft board, understanding your league settings, and players, will help you both determine the best of those three guys to pick, and give you an edge on your opponents.
Yes, this starts as basic as the difference between PPR and standard leagues, 6-pt QB TDs vs. 4-pt, and so on. But it also includes starting positions, bench positions, draft style, keepers, trading rules, and much more. I am happy to discuss your specific league settings but I do also hope to address the more common types of leagues in future articles. So this fantasy season I will be presenting you with advice with roots in value. I will use facts to support my opinions, and I will analyze all types of drafting strategies in all types of league settings to find any and all edges. The next few articles will be pre-season guys to keep an eye on, busts/sleepers alike. After a few articles I will release a top 300 rankings, but for now you don’t need to know who I rank number 1, you need to know how to attack your draft as a whole. I hope to be very active in the comments so feel free to leave your questions, or email them to email@example.com. I look forward to the season and hope to remain active and helpful to the Fantasy Sports world…