Fantasy football returns

Zach Young, Courier Staff

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As the NFL season nears and most teams enter into their fourth, and final preseason, game it is now time to start talking football and specifically, fantasy football.

To the novices or beginners there are two main leagues in fantasy football- the Standard league and the Points-per-reception league. In the standard league a touchdown is worth six points for your team and the quarterback receives four points towards your teams overall score. Rather, in PPR leagues teams are rewarded for picking players in the draft that average high totals in receptions each year because each reception is a point, in addition to the points awarded for the yards and any potential scoring that comes from the play.

Though there is little variation between the two, the PPR league makes certain players much more enticing because they earn more receptions and therefore more points for their fantasy team owners. Be sure to check your leagues settings and what is included in your scoring, that way you can better plan your draft and pick certain players earlier or take a gamble and wait on that sleeper pick you’re eyeing. Up next is how to draft. No one can tell you in what order to draft which group of players, who to draft, or any of that. For example, last year Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams raked in 319.30 points for Yahoo fantasy owners in a standard league. That was a remarkable 62.70 more points than La’Veon Bell of the Pittsburg Stealers, who is arguable the best all-around running back in the NFL and some would go so far as to proclaim he may be the best player in the league.

Now, if you are lucky enough to be in the No. 1 overall draft position should you automatically jump, and draft Gurley again just purely based off his performance last season? Or do you draft another running back, or maybe even a different position player all together? The old adage still holds true, even today- draft a running back that can be your workhorse early on.

Resist the temptation to draft a quarterback early in the draft process, even if others in your league are jumping the gun and reaching for their quarterback. There are plenty of middle-tier quarterbacks who are steady performers year in and year out that you are better off spending those picks on running backs and wide receivers instead. In fact, according to an ESPN mock draft, quarterbacks really are typically being picked starting in the fourth round. In most mock drafts Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the first taken out of all available quarterbacks.

No season is won or lost in the first, second, or even third round of a draft. Instead, a team and season are made when the individual drafting does their research and finds those players that underperformed last season but are set for a breakout season, or rookies that could potentially come in mid-season and have an immediate impact. There are a few players to follow that, according to ESPN, are poised for a breakout season and should at least garner a look, or even a late-round selection, if you’re willing to take a gamble. If your draft doesn’t go quite as you had hoped, don’t fret; the waiver wire can be your best friend. Check back to The Edge to see how to play the waiver wire in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough to take you to the championship.

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