Fantasy football is here to stay

Eric Smith is a senior mass media major. Reach him at [email protected].

Eric Smith

Ah, you can feel it in the air. It’s like Christmas in August. As the weather cools and the summer makes its final hurrahs, fall approaches and so does one of the greatest pastimes of the 21st century. What is this wonderful institution? Fantasy football.

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when team owners prepare for another plentiful season of football in what plans to be 15 of the greatest weeks of the year. Sure baseball is still going on-and don’t get me wrong, I love the game-but football just has that pull that is unmatched. It’s like that temptation that shopping malls give customers when they fill the place with Christmas decorations three months beforehand. Plus the Royals are looking to next year, and the evil empire franchises of the Yankees and Red Sox are preparing for yet another playoff run. Nothing new.

Yes, football season is here. And like a holiday which has been marked on the calendar for months, fantasy junkies gather to do their fantasy draft. For sports fans, the fantasy draft is at the top of the list of favorite things to do. It’s right up there with filling out a bracket for March Madness.

And much like a bracket, having a good draft can team make or break your fantasy season. As an avid fantasy football participant, I love reading advice whenever I can get it. So, here are some tips to help you along the way both during and after your draft, or drafts, for those die-hards who can’t do just one league.

• While auto picking your draft might be convenient and occasionally randomly give you a good team, the draft is something not to skip. It’s like picking your brackets based on the mascots. It’s best to prepare ahead of time and then make sure you make your draft date.

• On draft day, if you get a chance to do a live draft, take it. They are always the most fun as you get everyone together for the kickoff party to start the season off right. But for those who draft online, make sure to get on at least 10 minutes before hand. Because while technology is nice, it doesn’t always work and the last thing you want is your first pick going to fate.

• During the draft, make sure to watch the bye weeks of your picks as you go along. It’s really easy to forget to look with all the other information listed about the players. Because drafting a great team and then finding out five of your players have the same bye week is a nightmare you could do without.

• Once you’ve drafted, check the waiver wire or free agent listing as well as the transactions made by the team owners as much as you can. (At least once a week.)

By doing this you are bound to find hidden gems others have missed as well as just find useful pickups that others might not have realized the true value of. Backups, especially in the running back and wide receiver positions, will make their name known as the season goes on.

Fantasy football time is here. And the NFL season kicks off in nearly two weeks. Are you ready?