Beginners Luck

I’ve watched football for a few years and have become a borderline Seahawks fan, but I never jumped on the fantasy football bandwagon until this year, when I was approached by my brother and his friends about making a league. I now stand at 3–2-1 and am super into it.

Even with a not-so-great record, I’m enjoying it. However, being a beginner can be pretty difficult, especially if you have no idea what the FLEX position is. (Seriously, if you don’t know, please Google it. Otherwise there is no hope for you.)

First, make sure you aren’t starting players with bye weeks. The worst thing you can do is limit your potential points each week. Checking your lineup each week is always crucial, especially now that there are a lot of Thursday games being thrown into the mix.

The next step is to avoid playing injured players. The availability of injured players is described in a number of ways, including probable, doubtful, questionable and out. All of these words are pretty self-explanatory except questionable. I don’t even think the players know what questionable means. When one of your players (especially star players) says questionable, you should be a little worried. A lot of coaches like to fool around with the injury report, meaning you can’t necessarily trust the little red letter next to your player. If you aren’t sure, check other sources for more information.

Once everyone in your lineup is ready to go, how do you make those hard decisions about which running back to start? Or which receiver? My advice: Always start your stars, even if they are going up against a great defense. Benching your stars is never a good decision, especially when they come up with big numbers that week.

When deciding whom to play, don’t overthink it. If you don’t like your options, take a glance at the free agents. There are a ton of players who don’t belong to any team just sitting there, waiting to be picked up by someone looking for some points. Luckily, my fellow reporters—both of whom have more experience than I do—have put together some scouting reports for you.

Fantasy football is a lot of fun. It gives you a reason to watch football games that wouldn’t otherwise matter to you and talk trash with your friends about the results. Even if you’re a beginner, you could win your league if you do well enough. And isn’t that the ultimate goal? When you are league champion, what else do you need?