Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran, fantasy football mistakes are bound to be committed by all sorts of fantasy owners. Often, the owner doesn’t even realize what he is doing is wrong.
In order to help make sure your fantasy team doesn’t suck, below is a list of some of the most commonly committed fantasy football mistakes. Topics include: league and operational, roster management, preparation, and draft and auction.
- Playing in a league with too many owners
You may get lucky and be one of the only teams in the history of fantasy football to never make a single roster move, but it’s not likely. And when it comes time to pick up a player from the waiver wire, you’ll be shocked at the bums on the street if your league has too many owners taking up too many roster spots. (What is the best number of teams for fantasy football?)
- Playing in a league with a shyster (or two)
You may have all the will power in the world to spot a shyster and ignore his chicanery, but he’ll surely dupe one of your more gullible league owners and tilt the competitive balance away from you.
- Playing in a league with children
If you want to participate in a league ripe with fantasy football mistakes, invite children to play. If not, keep them out. Allowing naïve and ignorant children to play in your league might benefit your team if you’re a shyster, but if you’re too honest to take advantage of them, someone else will and cause your team harm in the process. In general, don’t ever play fantasy football with children.
- Not collecting intel on league opponents
Know thy enemy! Talk to them. Find out who they like and dislike. Gauge their interest in various players. Beware the smoke screens that intelligent owners will give off, but do your best to know your opponents’ tendencies, especially in the draft process. And perhaps most importantly, learn from the fantasy football mistakes that they make.
- Employing too many obscure scoring rules
I’m a fan of the Keep It Simple, Stupid method of scoring. The more rules you throw into a fantasy league, the more convoluted it gets and the less likely you’ll be able to draft a team that takes advantage of all the different ways of scoring.
- Leaving too much to luck in scoring system
Similar to the obscure rules mistake, playing in a league whose rules leave too much to luck and don’t allow you to use your skills and knowledge in drafting a winner is a recipe for disaster.
- Not conducting an offline draft
There are two schools of thought here. Those in favor of online drafts like the speed and convenience. On the other hand, I don’t like being rushed and I like being actively involved in what’s going on. Thus, offline drafts are the best way to avoid fantasy football mistakes.
- Short time limit for draft picks
What the hell is the rush? Why do you have to schedule a 1:00 tee time? Why are you trying to go out on that hot date after the draft? There shouldn’t be any need to have short timers on draft picks because that causes too many fantasy football mistakes. Enjoy the single best day of the fantasy football calendar.
- Worrying too much about matchups
If you’re deciding between two very similarly skilled players, go ahead and start the one with the better matchup. But if you bench one of your studs in lieu of a bum facing an easy opponent, don’t be surprised if your stud goes off for 3 TDs and a boatload of yards.
- Don’t be gullible
If you’re easily persuadable or influenced, your team will suck. Period. Stand your ground and fact check everything you hear.
- Don’t make any emotional, irrational moves
I know it’s awfully easy to want to jump ship, send a message, or generally shake up your roster when you start the season 0-3. It’s frustrating. But if those three games were close and your team has loads of talent, don’t go trading away valuable assets for next to nothing out of desperation. The worst thing I’ve heard from owners in these situations is, “I’ve gotta do something!”
- Don’t give up early
Don’t compound your fantasy football mistakes by throwing in the towel early. Too many owners give up and stop trying to improve their roster when they get off to poor starts. It hurts the integrity of the league and of course will ensure your team sucks.
- Being complacent with success
You jump out to a 3-0 record and have scored the most points in the league. Lean back, put your feet up, and pat yourself on the back, right? Heck no. Get out there on the waiver wire and continue to find ways to improve.
- Being the scorned ex-girlfriend
I know how you feel. We’ve all been there. It happened to me with Todd Gurley in 2016. You waste a high pick on a player and he ruins your season. But you can’t completely ignore a player just because you got burned in the past.
- Too much loyalty to “your guys”
Maybe you have a favorite player or two. Maybe you have a special fondness for a guy who has succeeded in the past. But if that guy isn’t cutting it anymore, don’t cling to him and allow him to drain your team.
- Not having an insurance policy
You had a successful draft by all accounts. Your team is projected to finish first place and score the most points. You get to Week 1 and your first-round pick tears his ACL. Now what? Not having a contingency plan will lead to ultimate suckage.
- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
Make sure you realize that there is a difference between tinkering and fixing. Tinkering — which you always should do — involves subtle upgrades to fringe players on your roster. If, however, you have studs that other owners are trying to poach from you, don’t ditch those studs if you’re winning.
- Waiting too long to upgrade
You don’t want to push the panic button too soon, but at the same time, you don’t want to wait until you’re 1-6 and likely out of the playoff race before trying to shake up your roster.
- Dropping a contributor for a streamer
Streaming fantasy football players certainly can be an effective strategy — especially with kickers and defenses — but don’t even think about dropping a solid contributor in favor of a one-week fill-in with a good matchup.
- Ignoring weather reports
It’s not just the sports channel you need to be watching each week. You need to pay attention to where your guys are playing and if there is heavy rain in the forecast, you might want to consider other options.
- Ignoring injury reports
Unless the injury is reported on game day within minutes of kickoff, you need to keep tabs on the injury reports and gameday inactives to ensure you don’t start a guy who is out for the week.
- Being a bad negotiator
You may not be good at negotiating a better price on your house, car or TV purchase, but you damn well better learn the art of trading with your fellow fantasy owners. If done properly, you can land an advantageous deal.
- Setting your lineup too early in the week
If you’re a casual fantasy football owner, chances are you’re not paying attention to what goes on during the week, so you set your lineup prior to Thursday night’s game and that’s it. But you could wind up missing information on your players that could hurt you by Sunday.
- Neglecting the waiver wire
One of the best ways to correct your fantasy football mistakes is to hit your league’s waiver wire. If you’re not making a claim on a player during a given week, it’s tempting to ignore what the rest of your owners are doing. But by ignoring the waiver wire, you’re going to miss the opportunity to scoop up who someone else cuts. One man’s trash is another’s treasure.
- Focusing on need vs. wants in free agency
When you’re looking to upgrade your team via free agency or the waiver wire, don’t just look at positions of need. You may think you’re stacked or set at a given position, but by ignoring that position, you might miss an even greater upgrade.
- Starting players on Thursday night
With few exceptions, starting players in Thursday night games is a recipe for losing. Obviously, don’t bench a Top 25 player. But beware the Thursday night offensive duds because Thursday nights are the black hole for scoring. Why? Because teams are coming off a short week. It’s difficult to get your bodies ready for a collision sport on short rest.
- Overvaluing the flash-in-the-pan weekly performers
How many times has a player or two (or twelve) gone undrafted, had a few big scoring weeks early, drawn a lot of raves from fantasy owners, and then done squat the rest of the season? Often. So don’t abandon contributors for those flashes in the pan.
- Stashing too many developmental players
If you’re in a dynasty league, stashing developmental players is part of a greater strategy. However, if you’re in a redraft league, stashing too many developmental players on your roster, hoping they soon produce, cuts down your depth and chances to succeed.
- Keeping more than one kicker or defense
Why anybody would ever draft or pick up more than one kicker or defense at a time is beyond me. Waste of space.
- Holding on to a kicker or defense in lieu of a skill player upgrade
I get it. You have the highest scoring kicker or defense in the league. You don’t want to get rid of him (or them) because of the ranking. So what? You’re going to pass on upgrading a skill position because you don’t want to cut a kicker or defense?
- Keeping an injured player on the roster for too long
How many owners wasted a roster spot on Adrian Peterson in 2016, hoping he’d return for their fantasy playoffs? Too many, likely. If a player is out for the majority of your fantasy regular season … just cut him.
- Treating fantasy magazines like the Bible
When I first started playing fantasy football, the Internet was a toddler, struggling to find its footing. So buying fantasy magazines and reading them cover to cover was the norm. Today, print is aging and magazine information becomes outdated instantly. The second you pull it off the shelf, it becomes old news.
- Not doing your homework
Is it impossible for a fantasy owner to win his league without studying? No. But it’s highly unlikely, even for the smartest among them. You need to read news, rank players, and form a strategy. Put in the effort if you want to succeed. So, study a cheat cheat, review a mock draft, and get yourself prepared.
- Not knowing league’s scoring rules
Why would you draft a receiving back in a non-PPR league? Or, why would you place high emphasis on wide receivers in non-PPR leagues? What sense does it make to ignore quarterbacks in 6-point passing touchdown leagues? Know your league’s scoring rules and draft accordingly.
- Showing up to the draft — or becoming — drunk
Yeah, it’s fun. Pound a few drinks with the guys, swap some stories, share some laughs. But all you’re really doing is toasting to your own failure and to the success of a sober owner.
- Being a homer
I’ve heard countless owners say they draft players from their favorite teams because it’s extra fun to root for them on Sunday. Okay, if that’s your prerogative, you better hope you favorite team is a Super Bowl contender with high-scoring players. Relish the opportunity to play fantasy football against homers; but don’t be one yourself.
- Holding a “cram session” before the draft
Have you ever seen a fellow owner show up at the draft with a Barnes & Noble bag and a receipt stuck inside a crisp new magazine like a bookmark? Yeah, I have. And that owner is ill-prepared and likely to struggle. Make sure you study well in advance of draft day.
- Being late to the draft
Showing up late to your league’s draft is one surefire way to commit all sorts of fantasy football mistakes. Similar to the cram session, showing up late to the draft ensures that you are rushed and in a tizzy and are not fully focused on the task at hand.
- Looking too far ahead
I know it’s tempting to look forward to your league’s fantasy playoffs when preparing your draft strategy and circling guys with easy matchups, but isn’t that a little presumptuous? You’ve got to get to the playoffs first, so don’t pass up on better talent.
- Assuming success validates your strategy
I’ve had success in fantasy football not because I’ve stuck to one script in these past 25 years but because my strategies and awareness have evolved as the game has. Don’t rest on your laurels and assume since you struck gold one year, your strategy is flawless.
- Using someone else’s info exclusively
As much as I’d like to say you can get all your fantasy football needs met at FantasyOwner.com, I’d advise you to research as much as possible from a variety of sources in order to formulate your own opinions on players.
- Valuing opportunity more than talent
Who doesn’t like a player who was drafted high in the first round of the NFL draft and looks like he’s the clear-cut starter of his team? But if that player isn’t as talented and he plays for a lousy NFL team, suddenly his opportunity looks far less intriguing.
- Not making a sleeper list
You need to have a sleeper list. Period. There are guys who add great value late in the draft because your fellow owners are sleeping on them. And if you don’t have those names handy, you’re going to forget about them and kick yourself later.
- Not ranking players
Is there anything more common sense than this? Print out a list of rankings, or save them in a spreadsheet and make your own changes to them.
- Ignoring offseason player movement
Yay! You drafted a guy who has been moderately successful the past several years with a great quarterback throwing to him. Except, he signed a free agent deal with a terrible team and you didn’t know it. And now he sucks. And so does your team.
- Not paying attention to depth charts
You should have a constant state of attention on all 32 NFL depth charts so you know who is in contention to get playing time on whatever team. Don’t show up to a draft without knowing all 32 NFL depth charts. No, I’m not suggesting that you memorize them all. But you need a basic familiarity with them, and then you can bring printouts of each team’s depth chart to your draft day. It doesn’t help you to draft what you consider a sleeper if he’s actually fifth on the depth chart and on the fringe of being cut.
- Not recognizing offensive line strength
Offensive line strength plays a much bigger role in fantasy football success than many fantasy owners realize. An average football player can be a great fantasy player behind a strong NFL offensive line. Or a great player can suck behind a terrible offensive line.
- Failing to distinguish between real and fantasy football
Fantasy football mistakes are frequently made when the line between fantasy and reality is blurred. A lot of newbies will see a player’s name on their cheat sheets and instantly recognize that player as a stud, not realizing that the player is a good NFL prospect but only a so-so fantasy producer.
- Putting too much emphasis on mean over median
What does that even mean, Poindexter? Math 101: The “mean” is the average of all numbers. The “median” is the middle number of a sequence. So, if a player has 5 carries for 100 yards, the “mean” is 20. But what if that player had carries of 0, 1, 2, 5, and 92 yards? The “median” or “middle” number there is 2. That’s awful. If not for that 92-yard broken play, this guy is terrible.
- Falling for smoke screens
I encourage you to gather as much intel and information as possible, but beware of smoke screens. A smoke screen is when a coach (or fellow fantasy owner) puts out deliberately false information to try to deceive you. Weed that stuff out with cross references.
- Forgetting ages of players
It’s easy for fantasy owners to see a player they recognize because he’s had a history of success. But what if that player’s history reads like a chronology or obituary because you didn’t realize he’s 36 and entering his 14th season in the league?
- Ignoring healthy games played
Or, to put it another way, taking too many chances on injury-prone players. Sooner or later, that injury-prone player is going to suffer a big injury that will cost him too many games and will hurt your team in the long run.
- Place too much emphasis on preseason
We actually had a fantasy draft while watching a preseason game in the background one year. And I kid you not, an owner drafted a third-string player because he was tearing up the competition. Yikes. That player got the boot on final cutdown day and that fantasy owner wasted a draft pick.
- Sharing too much information
You don’t have to guard your fantasy materials like the CIA, but just keep your mouth shut about sleepers, strategies, and other information you discovered while studying for your draft.
- Not keeping up with player news
Know your players inside and out by tracking them in the news. We’ve all played in a league with a guy (or maybe it was you?) who drafted a player he didn’t realize suffered an injury, fell into legal trouble, was cut by his team, had gone AWOL, or maybe was abducted by aliens and was MIA. Just pay attention.
- No flexible draft strategy
I love to tell the story about the owner who came to a draft one time with a single piece of paper with his draft strategy written on it. Just a few picks in, he demonstratively crumpled up the paper and threw it across the room because his “strategy” was ruined. You must be able to adapt your draft strategy on the fly.
- Not having players lined up in a queue
If you’re drafting online – or even if you are drafting live – you should always line up a few players to draft when your pick comes around because you don’t want to be caught with your pants down, scrambling to find a player.
- Drafting for balance over value
Always – repeat: always – draft the best available player. If you pass up on a fourth or fifth solid receiver because you’re worried that you only have one decent running back, you’ll kick yourself later.
- Drafting for need over value
Similar to the balance issue, if you find that you need to fill a certain position, that doesn’t mean you need to pass up on a talented player from another position right then and there. Wait until the next pick or until the value matches the round. No matter your needs, always draft the best available player.
- Passing on better value for arbitrary set of rules
Are you sensing a theme here with these last three fantasy football mistakes? Don’t pass on value. If you’ve heard a “rule” about drafting two stud running backs early but you find better value in receivers, draft those damn receivers.
- Chasing last year’s breakout players
One of the worst fantasy football mistakes an owner can make is to only take the previous year’s results into consideration. For instance, owners who selected Cam Newton the year after his 2015 MVP season were probably pretty sorry they did so, ignoring his first four seasons in the league.
- “Slotting” positions in certain rounds
“Slotting” is so stupid. Don’t let anybody tell you that you “need” to take a running back in this round or a receiver in that round. Ignore the advice that you “must” take a quarterback by this round or a tight end by that round. The only “slot” that should be in effect is the kicker in the last round.
- Overvaluing rookie hype
Rookies are all the rage. They receive among the most press attention because they’re the fresh new toy that Santa Claus left under the tree and everybody can’t wait to see what it can do. But rookies far more often than not are overvalued by fantasy owners. Receivers even more so than running backs.
- Repeating fantasy football mistakes of past drafts
Those who fail to learn from their mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them, or so says some wise man. The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting a different result. Learn, grow, and adapt your strategies!
- Taking too many floor guys and not enough ceiling ones
Also referred to as making “safe picks”. But, it’s far better to take a guy with a high ceiling (meaning, he has the potential to do really well but is a risk) than to take a floor guy (someone who will produce at least minimal expected results but doesn’t have great potential) if you want to swing for the fences and a fantasy championship.
- Going into your draft raw
If you have not done any mock drafts – particularly from your draft slot if you know it ahead of time – prior to your actual fantasy draft, you are going to experience unexpected results. Run through tests with a mock draft simulator so you can experience what might occur on draft day.
- Not having a crisis/procedure manual
At work, we call it a crisis manual … which outlines what to do when a crisis of any kind occurs. In fantasy, call it a procedure manual and make sure you have procedures to follow if things do not go your way on the day of your draft or auction … and they won’t, trust me.
- Using popularity to draft players
Name recognition can be a fantasy owner’s worst enemy. Face it, if you’re looking at two players on your cheat sheet and one of them is more popular and has greater name recognition than the other, you’re going to take that one even if the other guy has greater potential.
- Not paying attention to how fellow owners are drafting
You’re not just responsible for paying attention to 15 draft picks (or however many rounds your league picks). No, you’re responsible for paying attention to all 200-some picks. Meaning: every single pick your league makes. Track every pick so you know which positions your fellow owners will need so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. For instance, if most other owners have taken their starting quarterbacks before you, then you should hold off on taking yours because no one is going to take your guy for many rounds.
- Overvaluing the quarterback
Quarterback might be the most important position in all of sports, but it’s certainly not that for fantasy. There is so much depth at the position that it is a federal crime to take one too early. Even if you see an intriguing option available (think Patrick Mahomes the year after he exploded for 50 touchdown passes), I suggest you let someone else reach for him.
- Drafting defense too early
Defenses fluctuate from season to season and are interchangeable, so it’s not imperative to draft one early. You can even stream them throughout the season if you want.
- Drafting a kicker before final round
Of all the fantasy football mistakes you can make, drafting a kicker before the final round is one of the worst. Kickers are a dime a dozen. They all score relatively close to each other so you don’t get any kind of serious statistical advantage by trying to draft the “best” one. Don’t draft a kicker until the last round … if at all, or I’ll come over to your house and bop you on the head. No charge.
- Texting/talking during draft
I’m not saying your draft room has to be a library. I want you to chat, trade jabs, and have a good time. But keep it short and simple. The minute you start engaging in talk about the time you got wasted in Vegas and blew all your money at the craps table, you lose focus on the draft and all sorts of problems occur.
- Playing ping-pong during the draft
You can insert any activity you want here, but I used ping-pong because it happened one year in our league. If you’re doing anything else besides following along with the draft, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Make sure every owner pays attention during the draft to limit frustration.
- Fall victim to the runs
And by “runs”, I’m not talking about making an urgent dash to the bathroom after eating some bad wings. I’m talking about when several players from a single position of need go before your draft pick. Don’t draft an inferior player because a string of players at his position were drafted before him. If several players are being selected from only one position, that means several other positions are being neglected and have value there.
- Making a panic pick based on time
Panic picks are avoidable, but they confront you an awful lot. One of the worst forms of panic picks are when your league has a time limit on draft picks and you are running out of time and pick someone out of desperation.
- Making a panic pick based on your player going before your pick
We’ve all been there before. You have one player circled on your cheat sheet and you can’t wait to draft him. This guy will be the difference-maker this year! But, oops! The team right before you drafted him, and now you’re left thumbing through your materials to find someone else instead. Always have a few players lined up in a queue for when your pick comes around. Because if you have your heart set on one player and that guy gets taken before you, it’s devastating and could cause you to panic and scramble for somebody new.
- Falling to peer pressure
Every league has them: the wise-ass (or two) who makes a snarky comment after every pick. “Yeah, he’ll be good … if he gets on the field.” … “Boy, that guy would have made a great pick … three rounds from now.” … “Man, he’s a good receiver … but he doesn’t have anybody to throw him the ball.” Do yourself a favor and walk up to that Mel Kiper Jr. wannabe and punch him in the nose. Or, if anybody is griping at you for taking too long to select someone, get up and grab a drink and a snack, take a dump, and then go smack that guy on the back of the head for giving you flak.
- Passing on player due to “too early” concerns
If you like a player, just take him. Obviously, there is a caveat to that theory: don’t take someone in Round 3 that has a Round 6 value. But if you’re on the clock and you feel that a guy you really want won’t be there by your next pick, don’t worry about round value at that point and just take him.
- Not caring about later rounds
The mid-to-late rounds are where fantasy championships are won, my friend. Okay, yes, you need solid studs at the top of the draft … but a lot of owners will have those. Too many unsuccessful owners don’t put as much thought and consideration into their later picks as they do the early ones, when it really should be the other way around. Don’t get lazy or fatigued as the draft wears on; drafting sleepers can win titles.
- Drafting good players on bad teams
There have been a lot of great NFL players throughout the history of fantasy football who have been lousy fantasy prospects and it largely has to do with the fact that they’re languishing on a team like the Browns or Bills or Jaguars. Avoid drafting good players on bad teams, let those guys slide a little longer than usual, pick them up later if available, but focus your attention on good offenses.
- Spending too much money early
If you’re in an auction, it might be tempting to get into the heat of the moment and bid a ton of money on some of the best prospects in the league. The problem with this is that you’re putting too much stock into that player carrying your team and you wind up with problems down the road. Be conservative early in the auction and let other owners price themselves out of great value later. (And there will be great value later.)
- Not being aggressive enough
On the flip side of the previous mistake, you might be too tempted to keep a balanced approach to your auction and wind up spending too little money and not getting any impact players. Worse yet, you wind up with so much available cash at the end of the auction and nothing to do with it.
- Overlooking backups
Everybody wants starting NFL players, obviously. If they don’t see the field, they don’t score points. But pay close attention to which backups in the league are role players who see a lot of reps on the field, as well as those who play behind injury-prone starters.
- Overvaluing committee running backs
Committee running backs are like our society’s pathetic culture of protecting children’s feelings in youth sports. You know, the “everybody’s a winner and gets a participation trophy” mentality. If everybody gets a share of the rock in a committee backfield, then nobody gets squat in terms of fantasy stats. Avoid these backs at all cost, or at least until late in the draft.
- Selecting wrong committee back
If you just have to have a committee back on your roster, make sure you select the one who gets touches and targets and not the one who is the “blocking back” or a decoy in any form.
- Pleasure over business
Fantasy football is supposed to be fun. Duh. But winning is fun. And yes, while I think there are people out there capable of taking fantasy football too seriously, if you don’t take it seriously enough, your team is most likely going to suck. Keep it to business first, pleasure second.
- Completing your starting lineup before drafting backups
Follow me here: conventional wisdom says starters are more important than backups because starters actually play more while reserves are only called upon when needed. So, newbie fantasy owners want to fill their starting lineup first. That’s wrong. You need to draft value, and if that means having six wide receivers and one running back, so be it. You can always trade later.
- Drafting handcuffs
One of the most common, yet least understood, fantasy football mistakes made are drafting handcuffs. Handcuffs are one of the biggest forms of wasted picks in fantasy football. The theory behind this is that you are going to intentionally select an inferior player – one who might never see the field and is only on your roster in the unpredictable chance an injury occurs to your starter – as an insurance policy. That’s stupid. Use your draft picks on guys who are actually slated to play. Stop worrying about “what ifs”.
- Using ADP as the rule instead of a guideline
I’ve had fantasy owners tell me in the past that the way they rank their fantasy football players is by gathering the ADP (average draft position) from various sources and ranking them that way. The only problem with this is that you’re relying on other owners to show you the way. Be the trendsetter, not the follower. ADP offers a good guideline but form your own rankings and opinions.
- Dwelling on bye weeks
Some of the most egregious fantasy football mistakes that owners commit is giving too much credence to bye weeks. “Pay attention to bye weeks,” says one fellow owner. …Why? “You have six guys who are off Week 9!” says another. …So? “You don’t have a quarterback in Week 5,” adds another. …Okay, so I’ll stream one or trade for one later. Don’t ever pass up a better player because of his bye week. Worrying too much about bye weeks is going to lead you to pass up on a better talent just so you have a guy for a one-week fill-in.
- “Winging” it
I know some of the smartest football people around who are terrible fantasy football owners because they rely too much on their NFL smarts and just try to “wing it” on draft day without any studying or preparation. Don’t make the same fantasy football mistakes that these guys do, no matter how intelligent you think you might be.
- Allowing someone to draft for you
Besides it not being any fun for you – you’re missing out on the most important day of the fantasy calendar – allowing someone to draft for you is bound to get you upset when you see one or two (or twelve) of the bums that they select for you. Seriously, that’s how schoolyard brawls begin.
- Allowing “auto-draft” to pick for you
Even worse than a friend drafting for you is the computer simulating a pick for you. Computers don’t have the same advanced strategy and forward thinking that you do. They’ll just as soon draft you a third tight end before your starting quarterback.
- Drafting too many sleepers
I love sleepers. I’ll take a few swings at them, knowing full well that they’re not all going to pan out. But if you take too many of them and they all wind up terrible, your roster is suddenly barren and you’re scrambling for help on the waiver wire.
- You let principle get in the way of production
A man who beats his wife is despicable in my book. So is a man who organizes a dog fighting ring. Or one who drinks and drives, cheats on his girlfriend, or commits any number of misdemeanors. None of these guys I’d want to associate with if I were running an NFL organization. But I’m a fantasy owner, and I want to win, and if they are playing on Sundays and producing at a high level, that’s good enough for me.
- You have too many Cleveland Browns
It’s the obligatory Cleveland Browns shot. Sorry to any of my readers who are Browns fans. Insert any bad team here. The point is, if they’re no good on the NFL field, they’re no good in your fantasy lineup.
- Drafting a blocking tight end
Do your research and read up on what role potential tight end targets will have because if they’re primarily blocking tight ends, they serve no fantasy purpose and have little value.
- Guys with not enough touches
Touches – either rushing attempts or receptions – are important for obvious reasons. A player can’t score points if he doesn’t touch the ball. So, it’s much better to draft a player who has many touches but few reps, than it is to select one with plenty of reps and little to no touches. In other words, what kind of game plan does his NFL team run? Does he factor into their offense?
- Guys with too few targets
On a side note to the “lack of touches” mistake, if you draft receivers who are mostly decoys and don’t have the ball thrown to them very often, they’re going to be busts on your team.
- Intentionally wasting a draft pick
I once played with an owner who used his last pick every year to draft the player with the funniest name (think: Carlester Crumpler). While it was good for a few laughs, it was incredibly stupid for multiple reasons: 1) he obviously drafted his kicker earlier in the draft, which is a tremendous waste; 2) he wasted an opportunity at a sleeper. Don’t waste a single draft pick. Ever. It’s one of the worst fantasy football mistakes you can make.