A SIGN is a solemn event
It’s a celebration of the new NFL season, so treat it like a holiday. Celebrate last year’s champion with an award ceremony. Give them an engraved trophy. Print t-shirts with your team logo. Announce new team names. Vote for changes to league rules. Give last season’s worst team “The Hammer Award,” an actual hammer nailed to a piece of wood. Celebrate the good times, let’s go.
WEAR APPROPRIATE CLOTHING
I’m not talking about a jacket and tie. It’s the NFL Fantasy Draft, so wear your NFL gear. If you have a Josh Allen jersey, put it on. If you have a cheese head, put it on. If you’re coming to the draft straight from work, grab your new commander’s hat and wear it.
Competent drafting requires a healthy brain. How you feed that brain is up to you. My son Billy brings a whole Jersey Mikes No. on tap. 6 (roast beef and provolone), washed down with a bottle of ice cold beer. After such a meal, he is a recognizable wizard, making the team in the playoffs two years in a row.
Go to FantasyGuru.com and download our fantasy football NFL season rankings. Adjusted for PPR or Non-PPR, the roster can be adjusted by levels, positions, teams, byes, and even consensus ADP. You won’t find a more accurate and user-friendly program on the Internet.
What did the forgetful skydiver say when he jumped out of the plane? “Oh, the chute!” Don’t be that guy. Don’t forget to bring a pen. On second thought, grab TWO pens.
THE BEST CELLARS
I’ve been drafty in loud bars, which is expensive and distracting. He visited drafts in yards, repelled gnats and mosquitoes. I’ve been on drafty decks where the lighting was so bad I used my phone flashlight to see my cheat sheets. Give me a damp, well-lit basement, a coffee table with a TV tray and a large conduit board taped to a cement block next to a glossy white 1956 refrigerator. Now that’s what I call a fantasy football draft.
TWO MINUTE DRILL
Your draft should be invigorating, not a cure for insomnia. Some leagues allow five minutes for a draft pick. At that rate, a league of twelve teams would pick 15 hours. Keep your draft short and sweet. Everyone had six months to decide who to take into the army. Two minutes is enough time.
LIVE AND PERSONAL
Attending the draft with your league buddies is always a lot of fun. Friendly face-to-face banter between rival franchises creates memories to last a lifetime. I still remember the night the first-time owner of the AC Heartbreakers drafted Vincent Alexander, a replacement player in the 1987 strike season who was out of football. After scolding him for ten minutes, we had no mercy and made him hold the pick.
AVOID TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES
For better or worse, leagues are no longer a group of local friends from work or the neighborhood. My leagues have owners from New Jersey to Maryland to Chicago. Whether you’re using Zoom, Google Meet, or live drafts on your league’s website, everything requires a computer connection. Make sure yours is installed and ready. No one likes to wait for Herschel from Los Angeles to try to connect to their Wi-Fi after the draft starts.
DO NOT USE PAYPAL OR VENMO
This is not an urban myth. Matthew Berry even tweeted about it last year. Using PayPal or Venmo for Fantasy League is against their company’s terms of service. They can freeze your account and sometimes take your funds if you get caught. Cash is king.
DRUGS FOR QUARANTINE
COVID is still a threat. No one knows how he will bounce back this fall. Adding two roster spots or allowing players infected with COVID to sit on the bench until they are healthy will reduce the game day roster shortage.
DO NOT TAKE YOUR CHILD
My twin brother Clark brought his young son to the draft many years ago. The guy kept shouting 16 rounds. Clark was holding a baby bottle in one hand and a beer bottle in the other. Distracted, exasperated league owners suffered through what should have been the best four hours of the NFL season. I’m pretty sure Clark won the league that year. Tricky, right?
A LOC IS BORN EVERY MINUTE
When a fellow owner asks for my opinion on a project, do what I do; LIE TO THEIR FACE. “What do I think about Joe Burrow in the next round? Are you out of your mind? I’d go with Peyton Manning as your next pick. I know he’s retired, but I just read on this new popular Fantasy blog that Manning is signing with Seattle for his big comeback. Then in the next round, make sure to grab Gene Smith. He will be Manning’s backup.”
SAT DOWN ON STEPHONICS
You made 1,000 mock drafts over the summer. Each time, Stefon Diggs was available in the second round. But on draft day, another owner grabs it before you draft. Don’t panic. Don’t scatter your cheat sheets around the room. Go to the next selection. Also, you should have known better – the owner who took Diggs calls his team Stephon the Gas.
RULES ARE NOT MEANT TO BE BREAKED
No adjustments to league rules are allowed after the draft begins. You can’t make things up as you go. If you have problems, put them away for next year.
Next week: Bold predictions for 2022
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This season I am teaming up with FantasyGuru.com, the ultimate source for seasonal, DFS (daily fantasy sports) and sports betting tips. Look for the Fantasy Billboard each week in the Daily News and in a separate column on FantasyGuru.com. Check it out!