Why It's Not Early to Start Preparing for Fantasy Football

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As the offseason heats up and the NFL Combine is on its way, there is no better time to start researching for your fantasy league. 


For those of us who love fantasy football, and are slightly (or overly) obsessed with our teams, we don’t need an excuse to try to relate football news to fantasy football.  But for more casual and newer fantasy fans let this be your breakout season.  


The Rookie Impact: 




Downtown Rams is your home for draft coverage, which means its your home for fantasy research! 


For me, rookies play a major role in my fantasy draft strategies.  Everyone knows the big names and has to have the internal debate of “when is it to high to draft Barkley.”  For some owners, they’ll take a chance in the 1st or 2nd round.  For others, they won’t feel comfortable until round 4.  Some owners will refuse to use a top pick on an unproven rookie and will cross that player off his board. 


The real challenge is in which rookies to target in the mid and later rounds of the draft.  During this part of the draft you’re filling your depth and fringe starters.  The Rams’ very own Connor Kupp is a great example of a rookie that should’ve been targeted last season.  In PPR leagues Kupp had an ADP in the 11th round.  At this position he was on the board with players like Ted Ginn Jr., Mike Wallace, and Kevin White.  Having done your research, and knowing that Kupp’s ability and situation, he was certainly worth the risk as a depth player. Not only did Kupp outscore all of those players in fantasy, there was almost zero risk.  If fantasy owners want to be successful they MUST work the waiver wire.  In order to do that, players need to be cut.  If a later round risk like Kupp ends up not panning out, he could easily be cut to pick up a much needed waiver addition.  


For us dynasty owners, we know how important rookies are and that now it the time to start researching them.   As many owners saw, Connor Kupp skyrocketed into the first round of many league’s rookie drafts.  Players that took this risk were well rewarded with a player who looks like he’ll impact your fantasy roster for the next decade.  Other steals include the Saints’ Alvin Kamara, who many smart owners choose over players like Corey Davis, Joe Mixon, and Samaje Perine, who were often ranked ahead of Kamara. 


The Free Agency Impact




When players are on the move – it could change everything.  Your job, as a fantasy owners, is to figure out how that player will fit, and if he’s worth the risk. 


Last season Alshon Jeffery and Terrelle Pryor were two prime examples of the dilemma presented with free agents.  Jeffery found a new home in Philadelphia and Pryor in Washington D.C.  While both these players ended up being drafted as top 20 WRs, only one had a real fantasy impact.  While both were being considered at the same draft position, there was a clear correct decision.  There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding which free agents you want to draft.  Depending on the position these factors can change, but they typically certain around: relationship with QB/how the QB is likely to use the; how they fit their new scheme; their knowledge of that new scheme; and how the rest of the players on the team are used in that system.  


This also works in reverse.  Noting that Pryor had a bad season last year, you may want to keep him in the back of your mind as a flyer in the later rounds.  While Pryor is not the best example of this due to the fact that he may have a new team, often times free agents need at least an entire season, and second offseason, to fully understand their role and fit into the system in a way they can truly impact a team.  However, players like Pryor, who don’t work out at their new home, can often find life in a different system.  This could be compared to how DeMarco Murray had a bad season in Philadelphia, before re-entering our hearts and minds in Tennessee. If you like where Pryor ends up this off-season, and have a late round pick, he may be worth the risk!  His upside could be end up being a solid starter for you, while his risk is low, since he’s likely to be a late round pick.  



Downtown Rams is here to help you win your league!  Because the only thing nicer than a Super Bowl for our Rams, is a Super Bowl PLUS a fantasy championship. 


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