Fantasy Football: How to not finish last in your league

Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions, Ameer Abdullah (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Part Two | Actually Drafting

1. You don’t need backups

Every year, startable players go undrafted at every position. They will be available on the waiver wire mid-season when you need a quarterback/tight end/kicker/defense because of bye weeks, and they will be only marginally less productive, if at all, than a backup taking up valuable bench space.

Load up on the players who are more likely to be injured or have poor waiver wire options, namely running backs and wide receivers, especially if they’re further up on the depth chart. Only take a second tight end if they’re good enough to constantly be in consideration for a flex play.

Bonus tip: don’t worry about bye weeks. It doesn’t make a difference.

2. Don’t take a kicker or defense until the last two rounds

The difference between the top kicker and the 12th kicker is not enough to justify taking the best kicker even one round before the last round. You might get an extra point every week (maybe), but come week 14 you’re more likely to need a decent backup receiver than you are an elite kicker because the waiver wire will not be helpful at that point. Same goes for defenses, which are particularly volatile.

3. Don’t talk trash

The other players in your league might be your opponents, but they are still people. So when someone drafts Alex Smith and is getting razzed for it, you can respond by saying something like “I’m sure Alex Smith is a very nice person and is a very good teammate. He also looks like a rugged Ryan Gosling, which I think is neat.” The person drafting Smith will remember your kind words and might even be more likely to trade with you later in the season when all of your running backs are injured because they will be.

The universe is cruel. Your only defense is kindness.