AFTER THE DRAFT: ATTACKING THE SEASON
The dust has settled after another frantic draft season. We can all sit back and admire our newly acquired team, lament the players we missed and laugh at our league mates who went too early on a selection. You may be chatting with your friends about how you liked pick X or think a forward line’s strong, but the reality is this is where the champs separate themselves from the chumps.
If you listen to the podcast, you’ll know one of our most used lines is ‘you don’t win your league at the draft’, and it’s true. You can set yourself up or set yourself back, but it’s a long way to the top, baby. Throughout the season there will be busts, breakouts, role changes and, unfortunately, injuries. Keeping on top of who’s value is going up or down, who to waiver for and who to captain (if you play with captains) week-to-week can really set you up for premiership success. Likewise, the leagues who play with the settings of mid-season position changes need close monitoring. Taking a gamble and floating a trade for a player who could add defender, ruck or forward status could payoff big time, and in keeper leagues – making moves to either set up a crack at the flag or reload for next year are all crucial. So keep downloading the pod and checking out various resources to keep on top of developments. However there are a few things we can do right now to prepare.
- Evaluate your team. This is an obvious one, as you’ll look at your team with loving eyes, but look for cracks. Look at schedules – who starts with good matchups or bad? Are your players injured? Do they have bust potential? When are their byes? Am I stronger in one position than another? If we know areas we are weak, then we know where we should be trading or prioritising with waivers.
- Evaluate the other teams. You’ll be looking at them anyway, checking for strong teams and weak, but look at their position lines. See who matches up with your needs when considering sending trade offers. Most people like trading, but if you’re sending offers that make sense for their team, you’re more likely to get a dialogue going. We all like to #win a trade, but good trades benefit both teams.
- Stay low key. One thing that tends to happen when drafts are done and you inevitably start messaging your league mates or having a few beers with them, you’ll start talking about your league. And footy. And other people’s teams. As a result, when you’re talking, you want to sound smart. That’s what fantasy footy is – knowing more than everyone else. And it can lead to one-ups-manship. The only person who needs to know that one of your league mates is looking for a defender is you. The person who needs to know that you think David Mundy will add defender status is you. Maybe you’ve heard of an injury setback, or someone in your free agents pool is about to come back from injury. Be low key. That information is yours. Use it or leave it, but loose lips can sink (premier)ships.
- Your bye opponents. If you play byes, just be aware of your opponents and your structures. You may be massively favoured or a heavy underdog in some matchups. There might be moves you can make. Just be aware.
- The pool. Always, always examine the free agents/waiver pool post-draft. You never know who slipped through and looking at your structures, there may be better options or even a great lottery ticket pick for your bench. There’s always a couple who slip through and in hindsight, might suit your team better.
- Relax. If you have a partner, maybe do something special. A dinner date, movie or gift would say you care for them. And maybe let slip that over the next six months you may act strangely. You may get angry. You may cry in the shower. You may be found wandering the streets without pants at 3am. And all because Jake Spencer was named. Or Nick Vlastuin scaled up to 71 from 64 and you lost by 2. Fantasy footy does strange things. And if you don’t have a partner, now’s maybe not the time to start looking for one!