Fantasy Football Drafting Etiquette

Jun 18, 2009

Now that the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals are behind us, it is safe to start thinking about the NFL again.  If you are a fantasy football player, you may have never stopped following the league news.  The NFL has successfully made it a year-round league with the Free Agency, NFL Draft, OTAs, mini-camps, training camp, preseason, regular season, playoffs, Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, and start it all over again.

As your dig deeper into your fantasy football research for the 2009 season you’ll begin to formulate opinions on certain players.  You’ll rank players by position as well as overall draft value.  Sometimes you’ll go with your gut expecting a particular guy to develop or another player to see a sharp decline.  Other times you’ll have two players with identical values so you’ll turn to strength of schedule, bye week, or fantasy playoff schedule to separate the two.  Whether you are going with a feeling or you have a formulated matrix to quantify the players, I urge you to avoid a practice that is becoming increasingly popular.
The practice I’m talking about is making fun of other players selections.  Just because you don’t think the pick is a wise one doesn’t mean that you are right.  Every year there are players taken early that don’t pan out.  Last year LaDainian Tomlinson, Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Marion Barber III, Braylon Edwards, Marques Colston, Ryan Grant (to an extent), Jamal Lewis, Willis McGahee, Plaxico Burress, Chad Ochocinco, Torry Holt, Larry Johnson, Reggie Bush, Carson Palmer, and Darren McFadden failed to meet expectations.  The list goes on, but you catch my drift.  Unless you can see the future, don’t ridicule someone for taking a reach.  I understand that part of the fun is heckling your peers, but there is a line when the heckling becomes you peacocking to show how much  you know about fantasy football.  I urge you not to cross that line. 

Another practice that I would like to see go away is name dropping.  There are fantasy owners who will drop the names of available players just to gauge reactions.  Then the owner in question will make their decision based on that reaction.  Another problem comes up if it’s not even your turn.  There isn’t anything more frustrating than being a couple of picks away and somebody names the guy you’re targeting.  There is no telling whether or not that player would have slid to you, but it’s frustrating when someone takes him before your pick.  If it’s a recurring problem each year with a particular owner, I have no problem with either enforcing a rule in which case if you name someone, you get him as your pick if he’s available at your turn or eventually replacing that owner.  It’s a fine line because it’s fun to discuss players, but you don’t want create disharmony at the same time.

Finally, pay attention to the players being drafted.  I can excuse trying to select a drafted player a time or two, but if every other wrong the league is saying “he’s taken” to you, it gets frustrating.  Do yourself a favor and write down the picks and cross off the players as they are selected.  If these practices are followed, you’ll have a much smoother, successful fantasy football draft.

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