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My 10 Keys to Fantasy Success
Posted by David Martorano at 3/31/2008 11:29:00 AM
View more posts by this author


1. Pre-Draft Preparation

This is pretty straightforward. Start preparing for your draft before anyone else. In addition, become more intense in your preparation than anyone else. Pre-Draft Preparation can vary from one fantasy player to the next. However, pre-draft preparation usually refers to reading and absorbing as much quality fantasy content as possible. It also includes ranking your players so that you will be ready on draft day. There is one form of pre-draft preparation that I believe is absolutely necessary to achieving fantasy success. It is my opinion that pre-draft preparation must include participation in as many mock drafts as possible. These mock drafts are invaluable because they give you a great idea of where players are being drafted and they allow you to execute and modify your draft strategy so that you will be confident and ready to dominate on draft day.

2. Game Plan For Your Draft

It is important that you have some idea of what you are trying to accomplish on draft day. Whether your game plan includes drafting closers late, targeting multi-category contributors in early rounds, or waiting until the later rounds to draft a first baseman, it is important to develop a strategy. A game plan will enable you to take notice of league categories and draft accordingly. This will prove to be an enormous advantage because many owners ignore categories when drafting their teams. This is an obvious mistake. A game plan will also allow you to act confidently and decisively during your league’s draft. This confidence and decisiveness is valuable on draft day because it will allow you to effectively deal with the unexpected.

3. Continuous Education

Throughout the season, you should make it your goal to remain better informed than anyone else in your league. Every day, you should be reading as much quality fantasy content as possible. Being better informed than your league mates will prove invaluable when it is time to talk trades with other owners. It will also allow you to make better decisions when it comes to dealing with free agents and deciding whether or not to drop one of your players and add a free agent.

4. Thoroughly Analyze Information

The fantasy community considers "indicators" when attempting to predict the future production of players. Some of these “indicators” include: Physical Skills, Physical Build, Track Record, Opportunity, Confidence, Psyche, etc. Fantasy players should evaluate any information that is relevant to a specific player and determine if that information has any relevance to any "indicator" of a players' future production.

Fantasy experience has led me to believe that information relating to a specific player should never be quickly disregarded as irrelevant. Upon a more thorough review, certain bits of seemingly irrelevant information can be extremely relevant to "indicators" of a player's future production.

5. Constant Team Evaluation

Fantasy players should constantly evaluate their teams with a goal of determining whether change is needed to achieve fantasy success. Once a fantasy player gets an accurate read on their team and determines that change is needed, they must trade and work the waiver wire in an effort to make the necessary change that will allow a fantasy player to achieve success. Because of the ever-changing nature of fantasy sports, a fantasy owner needs to be evaluating his team on a constant basis.

6. Be Extremely Active

Make as many sensible trades as possible. If you are the best fantasy owner in your league, you will end up making more good trades than bad. For every 10 trades that you make, 6-8 of these trades will end up working in your favor.

I also suggest that you add/drop frequently, especially during the early months of a fantasy season. The reason behind this suggestion is that you should always be comparing the best free agents to your worst players. If you have good reason to believe that a free agent is suddenly better than your worst player, drop your worst player and add that free agent. Add/Drop should be more frequently employed in the early months of a fantasy season because this is when the quality of the free agent pool is at it’s high point.

7. Seek Outside Help When Necessary

Every fantasy owner is forced to make a certain number of difficult decisions each fantasy season. Occasionally, a decision becomes so difficult that there is value to seeking outside help and gaining input from a knowledgeable and trusted source. This source can include: league members, fantasy experts, fantasy forums, publications, etc. I am not suggesting that a fantasy owner become dependant on outside help. I am only suggesting that a fantasy player seek outside help when that player becomes convinced that he cannot easily make an important decision on his own.

8. Be Strategic In Everything That You Do

This is extremely straightforward and seems obvious. However, not enough fantasy players pay adequate attention to their own fantasy behavior. Everything you do through the course of a fantasy season should be supported by valid reasons. If you are acting without valid reasons, there is a good chance that you could be making bad decisions, and bad decisions stand in the way of fantasy success.

9. Be Willing To Look At Yourself

It is inevitable that certain decisions you make will later prove to be wrong ones. It is important that you learn from your mistakes so that you can avoid repeating them. There are many fantasy owners who are completely unable or unwilling to criticize themselves and as a result, they learn nothing from their mistakes and repeat them unnecessarily. Unnecessary mistakes stand in the way of fantasy success.

10. Be Decisive

Trust your knowledge, analytical skills, experience and occasionally, your gut. In the end, you will make more good decisions than bad ones. Great fantasy players are never indecisive for fear of making a mistake. The worst that can happen is you will not benefit from a transaction in question. Valuable lessons can be learned from every fantasy mistake that you make and will make you a better fantasy player in the long run. Great fantasy players do not let potential opportunities go by because they are afraid of making a mistake and being criticized by their league mates. Every great fantasy owner can remember a bold decision they made that drew immediate criticism from other fantasy owners. And that owner can remember how great it felt to have the last laugh and to have those same owners later apologize for their earlier criticisms.

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