General Strategy

Matchups – As is the case in any fantasy sport, matchups are going to be very important if not the most important factor. Football is such a team oriented game, that you need to look at how teams matchup with each other, as well as individuals. For example, last year, you wouldn’t want to pick a QB or a WR against the Seahawks at all as they only allowed 186 yards per game and only allowed 17 TD’s all year. Even if it is Aaron Rodgers or Odell Beckham, odds are they aren’t going to hit their value. Then, for individual matchups say you have a WR going against the Arizona Cardinals. They were 29th in football with 4,152 yards allowed so they are a prime matchup to pick guys against. However they have Patrick Peterson who will be on the #1 guy most likely, so if you have the Packers against them, Randall Cobb may be a better play than Jordy Nelson even as a #2. The same goes for any position, you want to make sure that you are getting the most value for your players, and there are a ton of statistics that you can look at to make sure that you are picking the right guys.

Blowout Factor – It doesn’t happen as often as say in basketball, but it is still very important to look at when building a team. The first thing you need to do is look at the Vegas line and see how they are viewing the game because they often have a good idea of how a game will play out. Anything over 10+ points in my opinion is a game that you need to be very weary of. Sure if the Broncos are beating the Jaguars 35-0 after the 3rd quarter somebody had to score all of those points. The thing is though, you are only going maximizing 75% of the game with them and are in the long run, losing out on valuable points. In football, the plays are limited to begin with, with teams only running 64 or so plays per game. In that scenario you are losing out on 16 plays and even if it is midway through the 4th you are losing out on 8-10 plays per game. The top offenses other the Packers are towards the top of the list, and that is where you find the most valuable players. Common sense says the more plays you run, the more chance to get points, and will get more points with all of those chances.

Weather – Just like baseball, and unlike basketball, weather is a huge factor for football. Since they play from the end of summer, through the winter, you have to deal with the hot and cold weather, snow and rain, and all types of wind that may pop up. Now the usual beneficiaries of weather happen to be team defenses and running backs as teams won’t pass the ball much at all. This is something that some people don’t take 5 seconds to look at, and ends up costing them. I mean again it might seem like common sense, but if there are 25 MPH winds in a game, why would you risk taking a QB when you know the throws are going to be much more difficult. Always take the time to check the weather before forming a team because you could easily have players losing value because they aren’t getting touches with the bad weather.

Injuries – Football is again like baseball where the injury report comes out well before game time. The active/inactive list is usually due 1.5 hours before game time so you know if a guy will be playing or not. Now how much he plays could in doubt which is why it’s important to keep tabs on guys throughout the week to see if they have been practicing and how they are holding up. Even if a guy is active, but didn’t practice on Thursday (last day of practice for the week), he is at risk for not playing much to begin with or having his injury pop up during the game and sideline him to. It’s also a good idea if guys are hurt as usual to target their replacements, or guys who are below them on the pecking order. I like examples so a great example was when Roddy White was hurt last year, Harry Douglas got a big bump in production because he became the #2 receiver, and saw a lot more targets than he normally would. On the other side, say Joe Haden is out for the Cleveland Browns. They may have had the 8th best passing defense at 225 yards per game, but if Haden goes down that is likely to change. The #2 corner will be guarding the #1 receiver and #3 will be guarding the #2 receiver which is obviously ideal for the offense. Also the weather plays a big factor for kickers as picking guys in any rainy or snowy conditions or places with a lot of wind is not advised. This is often what Sunday mornings is about, and with so many people on Twitter now, it’s not too hard to figure out injury news.

Tournament (GPP) vs. Cash Game (50/50’s & H2H) Players – This might seem a little vague, but it is something that needs to be looked at when forming a team. For cash games you are going to want to pick players who have high floors and are consistent week to week for the most part. It doesn’t matter if it’s a popular player because you are just aiming to beat half the field and it it’s not a big deal if he’s highly owned. In a tournament, you are trying to target guys who aren’t going to be highly owned unless it’s a must play guy. The reasoning is because tournaments are more risky to begin with and you have to beat 80% of the people. Also in tournaments you are looking to win and not min cash. The way to win is to pick guys that aren’t highly owned and do really well. This usually means going against the most popular matchups on the day. Sometimes there is that must play guy, and that’s fine, but fill around him with less popular guys. The goal is to have a guy owned at under 5% do really well because then than cuts down the number of people you are competing against. That is only for tournament plays because the low owned guys are not picked for a reason as they are super streaky. This generally leads to spending more evenly for Cash Games and spending big and lower for tournaments.

Stacking vs. Not stacking – Stacking in football I think is a little risky and should be used only in GPP fashion. Stacking in football is where you pick the WR’s and or TE with the QB you are taking. Baseball and basketball are much more individual sports not to say there isn’t teamwork but A WR totally depends on the QB to get him the ball and the QB needs the WR open to get him the ball. Now this can pay huge dividends if say Peyton Manning has 4 TD’s and you have Demaryious and Emmanuel Sanders and they caught 3 of the touchdowns then you’re golden. For cash games though, you’re putting too many eggs into one basket and if the QB stinks then you’re basically done for the week. This is a risky strategy, but under the right circumstances could pay off for somebody in a big tournament.

How many teams to play? – Now this is going to be dependent on your bankroll (check out the bankroll management article if you ever want to learn more about that), and how much time you are willing to put in. Normally you want to have 1 cash game team as your favorite, and then have multiple entries/teams into tournaments. Now for starters than could be say 5 1 dollar teams instead of 1 team in a tournament.

Sure, you might get lucky with the one team and get a huge cash, but you’re odds are obviously better if you have more teams with more players covered. A lot of people target a certain number of players at each position like 3 QB’s they like and 5-6 RB’s and they will intertwine them in their teams so that they have a lot of the combinations covered that they like. As you get more money you can start to enter more teams into tournaments or move up in stakes, but this seems to be a strategy of many of the pros. Cash games though, a lot of people have 1 or maybe 2 teams because you’re hoping that your team will either make it in all of them, or it likely won’t make it in all of them where in a tournament you could have 4 teams not make it but have one team make up for the other 4.
Positions and where to spend on

By yanam49

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