The Key To Winning Fantasy Football

Fantasy football is easy. Very easy. Simply start players that outperform your opponents'. But, how can you be so sure who will perform? Research. Research. Research. Do not like research, eh? That's why the internet is so darn great! Websites will do the work for you, and all you have to do is check them…

Fantasy football is easy. Very easy. Simply start players that outperform your opponents'. But, how can you be so sure who will perform?

Research.

Research.

Research.

Do not like research, eh? That's why the internet is so darn great! Websites will do the work for you, and all you have to do is check them weekly. The key topics you should check:

Cheat sheets: Have one of these handy when drafting, so you know the top players at each position. Make sure it is up-to-date so you do not draft a player who is injured for the season.

Strategic articles: Doing a little reading might be the key to your next victory. If you learn about a sleeper, picking him up in your league can be the move of the year.

Weekly picks: Know what teams have tough matchups, and who you should start or sit based on those matchups. Do not get stuck starting players who are in for a bad week.

Forum: Conversing with other fantasy football enthusiasts can give you some hints and tips that other members of your league are not hearing. Use everything you read to your advantage.

It's that simple. Knowing a little bit more than your opponent is usually all you need. As they say, “Keep it simple, stupid.”

Fantasy Football Information: Grab a Jones and Run to a Fantasy Football Title

Here's fantasy football information that may provide a strategy few people will consider. Use this simple rule on fantasy football draft day, and you're sure to be in the play hunt: get yourself a Jones. In most fantasy football leagues, running backs are the most valuable players. A running back that catches a lot of…

Here's fantasy football information that may provide a strategy few people will consider. Use this simple rule on fantasy football draft day, and you're sure to be in the play hunt: get yourself a Jones.

In most fantasy football leagues, running backs are the most valuable players. A running back that catches a lot of passes and runs for a lot of yards and scores plenty of touchdowns can be the cornerstone of your fantasy football championship run. Now, if you are sufficient enough to select very early in your fantasy football draft, you'll probably go after one of the thoroughbreds – Priest Holmes, Shaun Alexander, or Domanick Davis. If you pick later in the round, though, near the bottom, you'll want to seriously consider a second-year back by the name of Jones. In fact, you can consider two.

Both Kevin Jones of the Detroit Lions and the Cowboys' Julius Jones promise to have super years in 2005. Consider their stellar rookie seasons – years that made many fantasy football owners smile, especially late in the year. Kevin Jones started slow, before racing to 1,133 yards and five touchdowns. He had an eye-popping 4.7 yards per carry average. He also cites 28 balls for 180 yards and another score. Jones will be better this season. As his quarterback continues to mature, and his receivers get healthy, defenses will have to prepare for a complete offensive package, leaving Kevin to romp freely. Kevin Jones is worth a late first-round pick in any performance scoring league. If your fantasy football league uses the basic scoring method, you may want to wait until the second round, but do not wait much longer.

As Dallas works out its QB problems, Julius Jones should also improve, which is scary for National Football League defenses and your opponents, should you nab Julius in your fantasy football draft. Now, your fantasy football information gurus may not be high on Julius Jones, because of his size (5-9, 205), but do not let this deter you from grabbing this guy in the late first round. After an injury-plagued beginning to his rookie season, Jones finished the season with 819 rushing yards and seven TDs. All of this came in just seven starts. Imagine doubling these numbers and adding them to your fantasy football squad! For you performance people, Jones had individual efforts of 150, 198 and 149 yards. Give this guy a healthy season as the 'Pokes starter, and the sky's the limit.

So forget any fantasy football book, magazine or expert that is not high on the Jones. Halfway through your fantasy football season, your opponents will be trying to keep up with the Jones, and you'll be riding their numbers to a fantasy football title.

Fantasy Football Information: Winslow Could be a True Super Sleeper in 2005 Fantasy Football Draft

The Cleveland Browns, on former boss Butch Davis' watch, traded a second round draft pick last season, just so they could move up one spot in the first round of the National Football League draft in order to select Miami tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr . Davis and the entire organization took some heat for…

The Cleveland Browns, on former boss Butch Davis' watch, traded a second round draft pick last season, just so they could move up one spot in the first round of the National Football League draft in order to select Miami tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr . Davis and the entire organization took some heat for the move, which did not improve its standing when Winslow went down with a season-ending injury in week two, with a whopping five catches, 50 yards and no touchdowns.

You might think this makes Winslow very difficult to evaluate, when weeding through fantasy football information for your fantasy football draft in 2005. How does one measure the potential of a player who played in only two games and hauled in a minuscule five passes? Although it's not an exact science, the answer is fairly simple. Treat Winslow sort of like a promising rookie, but keep in mind that he had a full season of rehab for his injury, as well as a full year of adapting to the National Football League. Also, in terms of Winslow, it's important to note the arrival of a new coaching staff, one that will certainly find ways to involve the talented tight end.

Finally, what few observers and fantasy football experts will notice is Winslow's amazing athletic ability and raw talent. This guy may be the LeBron James of the gridiron. At 6-4 and 250 pounds, Winslow runs like most tailbacks, jumps like a world class hurdler, and is as strong as most linebackers. In just one short preseason and two regular season football games, Clevelanders saw thrilling ability from Winslow, as he
dodged, sidestepped and often ran over would-be tacklers. Plus, he has a certain confidence that most young players lack, due due to his great genes. He is, after all, the son of a hall of fame tight end.

Is Winslow an unknown and a risk? Yes. Is he worth a middle-round pick in your fantasy football draft? Probably, depending on how strong you are overall. If you have a good draft, heading into the fifth or sixth round, do not hesitate. Winslow could have an Antonio Gates-type season. He's this good, and you might just wind up with your fantasy football draft's Super Sleeper.

Fantasy Football Information: Don’t Expect Moss to Have T.O. Type Year with Raiders

Here is some fantasy football information that the fantasy football books and magazines will likely disagree with. If you're a quality fantasy football competitor, though, you know you have to rely on many sources to get your fantasy football information. Bank on this: Randy Moss will not experience the wild success that Terrell Owens had,…

Here is some fantasy football information that the fantasy football books and magazines will likely disagree with. If you're a quality fantasy football competitor, though, you know you have to rely on many sources to get your fantasy football information. Bank on this: Randy Moss will not experience the wild success that Terrell Owens had, when the latter changed teams last season. In fact, look for a drop-off in Moss' numbers this coming fantasy football season.

Now, do not get me wrong. Moss has been truly remarkable in his career, and I believe he is one of the best wide outs in the National Football League, even if he often likes to run his mouth more than his pass routes. If healthy, he's probably good for 85 catches and 10 touchdowns. These are good numbers; they are not typical Randy Moss numbers. Fantasy football owners have come to expect far more from Moss, and many will believe that the change of teams will not hurt his fantasy football production. Some will even believe his numbers will increase. Do not get caught in this fantasy football information myth.

Here are a few reasons that Moss will not enjoy the same success Owens had in either the National Football League or in your fantasy football league. First, and foremost, Moss is leaving a star quarterback and going to a team with an average quarterback. It's hard to ignore the fact that Culpepper will no longer be the one tossing the football in Moss' direction. Instead, he'll likely have Kerry Collins, a journeyman with a sketchy football resume. Second, although Moss will move next to a more experienced receiver in Jerry Porter, he's leaving better receivers in Nate Burleson and Marcus Robinson. Finally, The Vikings' better offensive line provides more time for deep quarterback drops, which enabled Moss to run the deep routes he made a living on. He will not have this luxury in Oakland, and it will show up in his fantasy football stats.

So, while all of the other fantasy football books and magazines and so-called experts are pushing Moss for a high first-round pick, bank on the safest fantasy football information available – the information that says Moss is a risky pick. There will be much better players at the 1 through 10 spots, where Moss will go in most leagues. Get one of them, and you'll go far, while one of your opponents will whine all year, watching Moss talk more and score less.

Fantasy Football Information: On Draft Day, Don’t Forget the Curry

Fantasy football books, magazines and other experts will likely forget a key ingredient in their recipe for building a fantasy football champion next season. That ingredient is Curry, Ronald Curry, a next-year wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders. Now, Curry posted some noteworthy fantasy football numbers a year ago, but they were not the kind…

Fantasy football books, magazines and other experts will likely forget a key ingredient in their recipe for building a fantasy football champion next season. That ingredient is Curry, Ronald Curry, a next-year wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders. Now, Curry posted some noteworthy fantasy football numbers a year ago, but they were not the kind of numbers that make the average fantasy football player race to select him in the top three rounds of their fantasy drafts. This may be a critical oversight.

Curry might have jumped off fantasy football information sheets, if it were not for the arrival of Randy Moss to the Raider fold. With Moss as the obvious new number one, and Jerry Porter having just inked a new deal with Oakland, it seems there may not be enough footballs for Curry to even match last year's decent stats. Do not let the aforementioned information fool you, as it will the poorly prepared competitors in your fantasy football league.

Curry is a seasoned 25 years old but has only two full years in the National Football League, as he appeared in only one game in his rookie season. Most wide receivers learn how to handle NFL defenses in their third seasons. The great Marvin Harrison did not begin to put up big catch and yardage numbers until his fourth season. Now, Ronald Curry may not post the kind of fantasy football numbers of Harrison or Moss, but he is almost guaranteed to improve on last year's impressive performance.

Remember, Curry played in only 12 games last year. He caught 50 balls for 679 yards and six TDs. He averaged roughly six catches and over 80 yards in his final four games. Also, Moss and Porter will most likely draw the coverage, so Curry will find his openings. He will rarely see double teams, while Moss will see plenty. When the Raiders reach the Red Zone, defenses will watch Moss, and Curry will be able to use his good size to outmuscle linebackers and safeties.

So, there is a very good chance that Curry will improve in every category. If healthy, expect 8-11 TDs, 65-75 catches and 800-plus yards – tremendous fantasy football statistics for a guy who will likely be your second or third third receiver.

So, add the Curry to your draft-day recipe, and you should taste the playoffs a few months later.

Fantasy Football Information: Moss Exit Makes Burleson a Star

Here's fantasy football information that fantasy football nuts should print or write down immediately. Do not worry about the Vikings suffering on offense, due to the loss of Randy Moss. In fact, you can outfox your opponents, because of the Moss trade. You see, most fantasy football people will still value Moss to the point…

Here's fantasy football information that fantasy football nuts should print or write down immediately. Do not worry about the Vikings suffering on offense, due to the loss of Randy Moss. In fact, you can outfox your opponents, because of the Moss trade. You see, most fantasy football people will still value Moss to the point of spending a high pick on him, which may or may not work out, with Moss being a raider. What most fantasy football owners will also do, which will be a deadly error, is de-value other Vikings, because of the loss of Moss.

So, the fantasy football information that most of the fantasy football books will likely overlook is to place a very high rating on Nate Burleson and Marcus Robinson. Watch the running back situation, too, because head coach Mike Tice says the Vikings will emphasize the run next season. Of course, Daunte Culpepper will continue to be a fantasy football stud.

Burleson, though, will be the true steal of your draft. Burleson is entering his third season, when many wide receivers begin to figure out NFL defenses. He went from 29 catches his rookie year to 68 in 2004. His yardage more than doubled from 455 to 1006. Best of all, especially if you're in a basic scoring fantasy football league, Burleson found the end zone 10 times, while playing second fiddle to Moss and Robinson for most of the season.

Consider that Burleson did not become the number one receiver until about week ten, and his value increases even more, as it is clear that he'll be the new number one, with the departure of Moss. Fantasy football players can expect 80-plus catches, 1,200-plus yards and 10-14 touchdowns. Note, the fact that Burleson returns punts increases his chance to reach pay dirt.

Nate Burleson is a true fantasy football thoroughbred. Most fantasy football owners will under this value fine young receiver, assuming he'll be available in rounds three or four or even later in smaller leagues. Armed with this powerful fantasy football information, you now know not to wait too long on Burleson. Grab him early, let others scoff at your selection, then sit back and ride his performance all the way to the Fantasy Bowl.

Fantasy Football Format – Go Basic or Go Home

My fantasy football league is approaching its 16th season. We have had 16 teams competing before, but now we are a 14-team league. Although the subject of performance points is bandied about at our league meetings virtually every year, we remain a basic scoring league – the only way to go for true fantasy football…

My fantasy football league is approaching its 16th season. We have had 16 teams competing before, but now we are a 14-team league. Although the subject of performance points is bandied about at our league meetings virtually every year, we remain a basic scoring league – the only way to go for true fantasy football fans.

Now, performance point system fans will say that there is so much more involved, making their games more exciting and more high-scoring. Ridiculous, I say.

You see, we believe that to truly make our fantasy football league seem like more than just fantasy, we need to mirror the National Football League in as many ways as possible. So, we have desidned our rules after the NFL, and we attempt to score our points in the same fashion as the NFL.

So, when a running back or a wide receiver scores a touchdown, we credit the team in our league with that player with six points. When a kicker kicks a field goal, we allow three points, and we give one for PATs. We also award two points for a ranked two-point conversion.

Our biggest difference is at the quarterback position. Although QBs can run for scores, approaching six points, we award three points for a TD pass. This is the largest departure from the mother league, the NFL.

This method of scoring allows for games that have very low scores, 9-6 is not entirely uncommon, but we have our fair share of high scores too. Fifty-seven points was the watershed mark in our league last season – a not entirely unrealistic number for a prolific NFL team. Again, we want to be like the NFL.

I've known guys who play in performance leagues that allow 10 points, if a QB passes for 400 yards. Their weekly scores are unrealistic, scores like 126-90. This is more like a lopsided college basketball game than a football game.

So, the bottom line is we want our games and our league to look like the NFL – the only way to go.

Fantasy Football Information: Is This The QB Era?

Fantasy football nuts need to answer this question: have we entered a new era in drafting players for our fantasy football teams? Is this the era of the quarterback? I think the answer is a resounding Yes. In the past 15 years of drafting fantasy football teams, I have never selected a quarterback in the…

Fantasy football nuts need to answer this question: have we entered a new era in drafting players for our fantasy football teams? Is this the era of the quarterback?

I think the answer is a resounding Yes.

In the past 15 years of drafting fantasy football teams, I have never selected a quarterback in the first round. In fact, I have always said that this is a fatal mistake. Moreover, in these 15 years, only one team in our league has selected a quarterback with his first pick and won the Fantasy Bowl.

So, the numbers would seem to back me up when I tell people taking a QB in round one is certain death to your fantasy football success. Now, my opinion is changing. Hey, in order to be successful year after year, you have to be flexible, especially in this risky game.

Consider this past season. Peyton Manning broke the single season record, with his 49 TD passes. If you score each pass as 3 points, this is a whooping 147 points, and this does not consider any additional points for TD runs or passing yards, if your league uses this method of scoring. Can anyone argument Manning's value as a top pick?

And what about Duante Culpepper and Donovan McNabb? Here are two more QBs, capable of 35 touchdown passes and another three to eight runs. If you play in a basic scoring league, your best running back or receiver will get you 15-20 TDs, good for 120 points at best. Compared to the 140 plus that one of these great QBs can amass, how can you pass on one of them, in favor of a Shaun Alexander or Priest Holmes?

Tough call? Maybe.

Without you play for $ 30 million, like Wall Street's bunch, in my novel, The League, you can afford to gamble on this difficult decision. The men of the League have to get it right, or it may cost someone his life! Learn more about this fascinating, soon-to-be-released novel at http://www.sportsnovels.com

Fantasy Football Information: Fans May Have New Star

Fantasy Football Fans will want to remember the name Deion Branch. When preparing for your fantasy football drafts this summer, do not let the New England receiver slip too far in your ratings or in your round-by-round projections. He is a star in the making. Branch's 35 catches and four touchdowns in 2004 may make…

Fantasy Football Fans will want to remember the name Deion Branch. When preparing for your fantasy football drafts this summer, do not let the New England receiver slip too far in your ratings or in your round-by-round projections.

He is a star in the making.

Branch's 35 catches and four touchdowns in 2004 may make him barely visible on many people's radar screens. Others may look for him to slip into the lower rounds, because of these modest numbers. Do not make this mistake.

Only the most astute talent evaluators will remember that Branch missed seven games. Even they, however, will remember his stellar performance in the Super Bowl, which earned him MVP honors. He tied a Super Bowl record with 11 catches for 133 yards. More impressive were his circus-style catches.

Branch is small but quick, as evidenced by his 13-yard-per-catch career average. This was just his third year in the league, and he is certainly a star on the rise.

If you have 12-16 teams in your league, look to nab Branch in the seventh or eighth round. He will be a steal here, but if you wait longer, you may let an amazing sleeper get away. Branch is just the type of player that the men in my novel, The League, look to steal in their drafts.

Of course, he's also the type of player a madman trying to win $ 30 million looks to eliminate. Learn more about this intriguing novel at http://www.sportsnovels.com .

Fantasy Football Success: Three Basic Rules

You can search the Internet or the newsstands in June and July, and you'll find a wealth of information about fantasy football and fantasy football leagues. Most of it is statistics. Miles and miles of statistics. And most sites and magazines claim to offer more than all the others. What few offer, though, is sound…

You can search the Internet or the newsstands in June and July, and you'll find a wealth of information about fantasy football and fantasy football leagues. Most of it is statistics. Miles and miles of statistics. And most sites and magazines claim to offer more than all the others. What few offer, though, is sound advice on how to be successful every year. So, visit all the sites and magazines for your stats, but search no more for the secret to winning, because here it is.

I have played in extremely competitive fantasy football leagues for 15 years. I've missed the playoffs only twice, and I've been to three fantasy bowls. I will more games and scored more points than any other team in my league's history. Now, I'll give you my strategy, and it will not cost you a dime. Here is the three-step formula for winning in fantasy football year in and year out.

The first step is to draft for depth. It sounds easy enough, but many people in my league focus on getting their starters, and the rest of the draft is nothing more than throwing darts at names on a stat sheet. I've selected players beyond the seventh round (we have 14 rounds) who have led my team in scoring. I did not even have them targeted as starters; I just saw the potential, through all of the research I'd done. For example, take special notice of second and third-year wide receivers. They often go overlooked, because their numbers are not spectacular. Receivers take a year or two, before they adjust to the NFL. Chad Johnson is a great example. Also, watch for rookies who may explode late in the season, once they've gotten a system. Lee Evans was a star after week nine this past season.

Step two is to manage your team every week, down to the most minor details. If you've drawn for depth, you'll have lineup decisions every week, because you'll have a team full of players scoring points. Check their histories against weekly opponents (a vastly overlooked strategy by novices). Some players simply flourish against particular teams, just as some teams tend to score differently against certain defenses. This can definitely affect your weekly lineup decisions.

The third step is to watch the waiver wire and make two key trades. No matter how well you've drawn, near the end of the season, you'll need to make changes. It's time to trade away your depth for stars. Also, watch for available players to pick up – even if they may only help you for one week. I drafted both Domanick Davis and Chad Johnson last season. Later, I traded both, so I could acquire LaDanian Tomlinson. This simplified my weekly lineup decisions, while giving me a player who would score at least one TD every week.

If you stick to this simple formula, no matter what type of league you play in, you'll make the plays 85 to 90 percent of the time. That's not bad in any league.