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Stampede Blue 2019 Fantasy Football Sign-ups/Advice

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NFL: JUN 11 Indianapolis Colts Minicamp Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Well hello there, Stampede Blue and Colts Nation! We hope you had a wonderful 4th of July and if you aren’t in the United States, we hope you are having a great week!

TL:DR IN BOLD FOR THOSE IN A HURRY

My name is Jared and hopefully by now, you’ve seen my mug in video form for the last two years doing post game analysis. Last season, I took over the free friendly fantasy football leagues and I’ll be doing that again this season. If you’re interested in joining a free fantasy football league with all the other Stampede Blue/Colts fans, simply let me know in the comments (and make sure I can find your e-mail address somewhere on your profile or simply post it as a comment if you dare).

SIGN UP FOR A FREE FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE BY COMMENTING BELOW!

I have no personal interest in doing fantasy leagues anywhere else other than ESPN. I don’t get paid by them, but after years and years of fantasy football, I just don’t believe Yahoo! and CBS Sports are on their level. If some of you refuse to draft on ESPN, I will create a league for that group of people and accommodate them the best that I can. I believe we used Yahoo! and CBS Sports for the fan leagues last year and frankly, imagine trying to commission ~20 fantasy football leagues from three different apps/websites. Help me help you.

LET’S USE A SINGLE APP TO PLAY FANTASY FOOTBALL.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can talk about the ideal day(s)/night(s) to draft. In my humble opinion, there is no sense in drafting any fantasy football league until after Week 2 of the preseason ends. In Weeks 1 & 2 of the preseason, starters see the field and injuries occur that can easily mangle a league. However, from Week 3 on, starters are generally cheer-leading for those still competing for roster spots. If you want to look at your calendars, Week 3 starts on Thursday, August 22nd and the 2019 regular season opener is on Thursday, September 5th. That’s a 15-day window where leagues can safely draft and minimize the ultimate bummer, a highly-coveted player tears an Achilles or an ACL. I’m not saying I won’t draft before that day, so think of this more as a guideline than a rule.

YOUR DRAFT SHOULD FIRE DURING/AFTER WEEK 3 OF THE PRESEASON.

As far as the best fantasy football scoring format, again my experience has led me to the point where I prefer what’s called Half-point Per Reception scoring. Basically, the way most leagues started were simply standard scoring and over time (leading to RB heavy teams steamrolling everyone), leagues eventually switched to Point Per Reception rules (WR/TE heavy teams steamrolled everyone). I feel as though Standard scoring leads to boring leagues (too low scoring), PPR leads to too many ties and I felt as though Half-point Per Reception is the best (and most enjoyable) way to score a fantasy league. Again, this is more of a guideline than a rule.

CHANGE THE SCORING OPTIONS FROM STANDARD TO PPR OR HALF PPR.

I know this sounds crazy, but I would suggest doing practice drafts before your actual draft just so you get an idea of the “rhythm of the draft”. There are timers and you will autopick if you stumble or lose yourself in another string of comments on Reddit. You generally want to have a single focus on your draft unless you’re doing it for fun and don’t care. I’m pretty sure if that’s you, you didn’t get this far anyway.

PRACTICE YOUR LEAGUE’S DRAFT FORMAT BEFORE THE DRAFT

One of the biggest signs of what I’d call a “weak player” is showing up to a draft unprepared and/or empty-handed. I know that you want to play fantasy football and I know you don’t have time, but please, Google “2019 NFL Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets” and pick one from someone whose name you recognize. Either print that out, save it or bookmark the page. You don’t even need to comb through it, you just need to make sure the scoring format from your sheet matches your league’s scoring format.

Lastly, I want to share a couple links of articles I read/use nearly every year, starting with Matthew Berry’s “100 Facts for the 2019 fantasy football season” on ESPN. It’s helpful to read these articles so that you can understand how data and facts can be used/misused. Second, I know that we all have our sources for cheat sheets. My favorite is https://jayzheng.com/ff/#/draft-aid that piggybacks off http://www.borischen.co/ for its data. These sheets are based off the site and the site uses several sheets from all over plus gets its data from FantasyPros.com, making the sheet I use an aggregate (meaning I’m not using one person’s sheet to make decisions).

I’D LIKE REQUEST SPONSORS IN THE FORM OF PRIZES FOR FANTASY LEAGUE CHAMPIONS. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN SPONSORING A FREE FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE, STAMPEDE BLUE WILL HONOR YOUR BUSINESS IN THE LEAGUE TITLE AND YOU MAY PROVIDE A PRIZE ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR BUSINESS AS A REWARD FOR OUR LEAGUE CHAMPION. IN 2018, I HOSTED 20 LEAGUES TOTAL AND THE AVERAGE LEAGUE HAD 10 PLAYERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD! FEEL FREE TO SPREAD THE WORD!

As for actual fantasy advice, from here on out, I’ll post a weekly article detailing my fantasy football research, analysis, practice drafts and I’ll also keep you updated on available space in our free leagues!

Best of luck to you all and go Colts!