Jaime is all fired up for fantasy football season and she's got some advice for first-timers and veterans alike.
In anticipation of my upcoming Fantasy Football season, I’ve decided to give you all a look inside one of the most genius and diabolical fantasy football minds on the planet. A mind so devilishly clever when it comes to draft picks and waiver wires and sleepers it simply cannot be contained on the weekly score sheets. It is a mind made for Fantasy Football, and that mind is mine.
(Insert diabolical laughter.)
But seriously, I’m so excited for the upcoming season I just had to share some of my thoughts. So over the next two weeks you’ll be getting a draft preview with some of my top picks at each position and even my super-secret sleeper picks. This week we’re gonna be focused on our air attack — our QBs, wide receivers and tight ends — but first, some handy advice for first timers.
Fantasy Football Rule Number One: Last year’s stats don’t always equal this year’s stats. I know Rob Gronkowski blew everyone away with his rookie season, but he will not replicate those numbers. Not a chance. In order to get an accurate picture you need to look back at a few years’ worth of numbers and find trends; if you can’t do that because the player is a rookie or whatever, proceed with caution.
Fantasy Football Rule Number Two: You can wait on a QB. If you’re a first timer, your impulse might be to jump on a QB, but the smart move is to wait and firm up your running backs first. The RB pool thins out pretty quickly in terms of talent; you don’t want to find yourself in the third round without at least one.
Fantasy Football Rule Number Three: Use your last two picks on your kicker and your defense. Honestly, there is no point jumping the gun to get the game’s best kicker or last year’s best D. Kickers’ points are largely based on how good the offense is, not how good the kicker is, and the best strategy with defenses is to switch ’em up based on their opponents. There is always a pretty good defense playing a crappy offense on the waiver wire.
Okay. Now for my picks. Keep in mind that these would be in a perfect world. I’m not delusional enough to think I would get the cream of the crop from top to bottom.
Sometimes there are exceptions to rules. I know I said don’t base all your picks on last year’s stats, but you really have to look no further for Aaron Rodgers. He’s been a fantasy God for the past few seasons, and a lot of people will have him going first overall, breaking not one but two Fantasy Football rules.
Sleeper QB: This is probably pretty obvious but I’ve got Andrew Luck. Sure, it’s a completely different game between college and the pros — you are after all playing against grown-ass men — but I think Luck will be pretty good this season, even if it’s only because he’ll be playing from behind a lot, and that means he’ll be throwing a lot.
I’ve got Megatron and Larry Fitzgerald. Megatron because, well, he’s Megatron, and Larry Fitzgerald because I think he’s still got a lot of fantasy points left in him. He has been trending down in the last two years, most notably after Kurt Warner went from the field to the booth, but I had him last season and I’m gonna try and get him again.
Sleeper WR: Don’t laugh: Brandon LaFell. He was overshadowed last year with Cam Newton and Steve Smith making all the big plays, but the biggest one of the season, actually, the biggest one in Panthers history, was a 91-yard TD by none other than Brandon LaFell. He averaged 17 yards a catch last year too, and with Steve Smith cooling off considerably at the end of the season I think we’ll see more of Mr. LaFell this year.
I know everyone’s screaming “GRONK!” But I’m going with Jimmy Graham. With Robert Meachem gone, Graham will see even more passes from Drew Brees and that means more TDs, more yards, more everything.
Sleeper TE: Call me crazy, but I’m going with Kyle Rudolph. He and Christian Ponder seemed to develop a good rapport last season, and the Vikings are going to look to play a shorter game. I think he’s a great late-round pick.
Don’t forget to check out Jaime on Twitter to find out how you can play in her fantasy football league this season.