Digging into my first real day as an new FFL player, I spent some time exploring the App our League is based in. We are using the official NFL Fantasy App. It’s the kind of App that seems simple, but is deceptively frustrating when trying to navigate around to even look at your other leaguers. After a few angry taps almost broke my screen, I opted out and signed in through my computer where everything was well presented and easy to find. I hope once the games get going the App integrates itself easier into my style of play. What style is that? I have no idea as I’ve never ever played fantasy football before and I’m hard pressed to remember a time when I’ve even sat through an entire football game… EVER. But it is my love of competition and statistics that has brought me to this point, a fully engaged FFL competitor. I may have low intelligence on the sports, but I believe my love of math will carry me across the finish line.
In this Chapter, I’ll cover the importance of team names, positions, and my pre-draft research- easily these are the most important choices you will make all season; these decision involve cunning, manipulation, creativity, and above all an agility to change everything at the drop of a hat.
Once I signed up, the first challenge was to pick a name for my team. I considered “Onslaught” as a X-men ref, but settled on a play off my own name, “Picked Last For FFL” for a couple reasons. First, it lets people who might not know me too well, know exactly who I am, and I want that level of intimidation when they go up against me. Second, I wasn’t paying attention when I first signed in and didn’t realize you can’t change it right way. So, Rookie Mistake. That one is on me and it’s good to get these out early, ya know. I’m more prepared now and at some point in the futue, I’ll need to figure out if that’s permanent.
The other team names are all solid; references to The Office, Marvel comics, Star Trek, and some solid self-deprecation humor permeate the list and hint at attitudes of the “owners” behind these digital teams. I’m gonna crack these guys like green eggs over ham.
The big thing I noticed on the site is the users are called “owners.” This may be a cool Football thing, but I don’t like it. I prefer we were called “players” or “competitors” or even “combatants”. “Owners” doesn’t convey the sense of competition that I feel for and against my fellow Leaguers.
Before I could do much else, I noticed that our draft was only 5 hours away and I clicked into research mode. Thankfully, I found that there are a TON of websites dedicated to analyzing players for FFL purposes. After playing around a bit, I settled on https://www.fantasypros.com/nfl/rankings/consensus-cheatsheets.php
Mainly because their interface was solid and I could easily export their charts into an excel doc of my own devising. I also dug into the scoring mechanism for FFL. It’s all very RPG-esk, you get points for completing tasks and lose points for screwing up tasks. Various players in different positions get varying points for doing their jobs. I’ll get into the scoring on a later date, right now, let’s look at the positions I’ll need to draft
The Quarter Back is like your main character, he’s going to be out in front doing most of the heavy lifting, but this also means he will take a lot of damage, they are usually the first to get knocked out, so make sure you have your player 2 character lined up.
Running Backs are like the Flash in the justice league- he will have more opportunities to get hits in due to his speed, but his hits don’t count as much so you need him to get a lot in to be effective.
Wide Receivers are your tanks, they aren’t going to score often, but, hopefully, will score consistently enough to rack up some solid damage.
Kickers are like your long distance shooters or Magic users. They are reliable at a distance and good for a few points here and there, but won’t carry the team or be too reliable in a big fight.
Tight Ends are Battlemages, able to play both Defense and offence. They are great to have but these guys seem to tire out and/or get hurt. They’re risky calls, but can pay off in spades or drag your scoring down.
Now we get to the Defensive positions, there are a few positions and teams here, but the scoring for them, both in terms of points and opportunities to get points, seems relatively the same so I’m lumping them together. Defensive Players, Defensive Linemen, Defensive Back, and Linebackers are like your pawns, you get a few of them, but they aren’t who you are really working with to win the day.
Armed with this knowledge, I put together my list of the top 10 of each category according to a few sites and will simply check or scratch them off my list as the draft moves forward. I also did a quick health check to make sure everyone I’m looking at isn’t already hurt or just recovering.
I felt confident, but I leave nothing to chance and signed up for some mock drafts before the bid moment to practice. I’ll get into all that next time.