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Fantasy Files: Fundamentals Of A Successful Draft

Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Educating yourself on the proper way to participate in a fantasy draft raises your quality of life.

My grandmother once coined the phrase, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” I believe such a statement is relevant across many different areas, but I particularly believe it applies to fantasy sports. I intend to provide an outline for the successful way to run and participate in a fantasy draft. 

The Setup

Much like any legitimate sporting event, the draft must take place at a legitimate venue. No one is saying you have to rent out City Hall or Yankee stadium, but there are definitely certain criteria that must be met. First and foremost, the host must make sure, whatever the location, that there are enough seats and outlets to go around. No one is interested in playing musical chairs when it’s time for business; I get enough of that on the weekends.

Next is the food and drink. Keep in mind dominating a fantasy draft is exhausting work, and you’re going to want to keep hydrated and your stomach full. There is nothing quite as shameful or distracting as a growling belly when the spotlight is on you for your first round pick. Make sure the league delegates who brings what, and remind them. Tommy probably won’t forget the brewskis, but I would 100% recommend getting on Frank’s case about the buff-chick dip. Subtly offer to bring the chips, and give the appearance that you want to help. Use this opportunity to get the others’ guards down, all the while scheming your next move. 

The Lead-up

Similar to weddings and baby showers, there is a lot of hype leading up to a fantasy draft. In some ways, how one navigates through this period is more crucial to their success than the draft itself. I personally start the mind games immediately upon the conclusion of the previous season. This includes everything from false aliases and never ending smack talk, to wrongful leads about the players I intend to take. I think of it as a yearlong version of the Chardee MacDennis pregame ceremony.

If your league-mates don’t know you think you’re better than them, you’re doing something wrong. It is important to put your rival GMs in a mindset where they will constantly second-guess themselves, as well as let you get in their head. I recommend a recipe of unrelenting verbal harassment, show tunes and uncomfortably intimate eye contact. I consider it a success when my fantasy persona blends with my real life. If a “friend” starts to doubt whether I like them anymore, now I know what they’re going to be thinking about when I snag Derrick Favors for $4 (auction). Misdirection is key. If I talk about how badly I want Brandon Jennings this season, trust me I don’t actually want him… or do I?

The Draft

It’s like Christmas morning mixed with a lot of judgment day and a splash of the rebirth of Christ. Doves will fly, and choirs will sing. At this point, you should have done all of the research you will need. Make sure you have everything pulled up or printed out; precious time cannot be wasted once the dance starts. Keep in mind not everything can be planned or anticipated. Some schmuck is bound to pay $90 for Kevin Durant. You also wouldn’t be the first to confuse the Black Mamba with the Red Mamba.

Keep your composure, and don’t let any real emotion show. Don’t stop talking smack, but maintain a poker face. Every pick is important. If the players you wanted have been taken, stash someone as a trade chip. I would never keep a David West or Tim Duncan, but others certainly would. Keep in mind that drafts take a long time. You’re going to want to have your secretary hold your calls. Nothing is more important than the draft; not the birth of your first-born, nothing.

Post Draft

Trades, trades, trades. Once you’ve assembled your squad, do not hesitate to make roster moves. Trades are necessary to upgrade your team or fix a team morale problem. If J.R. Smith is causing trouble in the locker room, believe me, he’s out of there.

Fantasy seasons come and go at the blink of an eye. It is important not to waste or take for granted the amazing things in this world we live in. With that in mind, merry fantasy, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Edited by Emily Berman, Jazmyn Brown.

SQuiz
In the 2014 NFL season, what QB registered the most points?
Created 8/10/15
  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Andrew Luck
  3. Russell Wilson
  4. Tom Brady
In the 2014 NFL season, what WR registered the most points?
Created 8/10/15
  1. Dez Bryant
  2. Antonio Brown
  3. Odell Beckham Jr.
  4. Demaryius Thomas

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