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Fantasy Billboard: Here are tips to follow for draft day

THE DRAFT IS A GALA EVENT

It is a celebration of the new NFL season, so treat it like one. Acknowledge last year’s champion with an awards ceremony. Give them an engraved trophy. Print up T-shirts with their team logo. Announce new team names. Vote on league rule changes. Present last season’s worst team with “The Hammer Award,” an actual hammer nailed to a piece of wood. Celebrate good times, come on.

WEAR APPROPRIATE ATTIRE

I’m not talking a jacket and tie. This is an NFL fantasy draft, so wear NFL gear. If you have a Josh Allen jersey, wear it. If you have a foam cheese head, wear it. If you’re coming to the draft straight from work, grab your new Commanders hat and wear it.

FUEL UP

Expert drafting requires healthy brain function. How you fuel that brain is up to you. My son Billy brings a whole Jersey Mikes No. 6 (roast beef and provolone) to his draft, washed down with a bottle of ice-cold root beer. He is a cognitive wizard after a meal like that, drafting a playoff team two years in a row.

BRING CHEAT SHEETS

Go to FantasyGuru.com and download our NFL Season Fantasy Football Rankings. Adjustable to PPR or Non-PPR, the list can be adjusted by tiers, positions, teams, byes and even consensus ADP. You won’t find a more accurate or user-friendly program on the web.

THE WRITE STUFF

What did the forgetful skydiver say when he jumped out of the plane? “Aw chute!” Don’t be that guy. Remember to bring a pen. On second thought, bring TWO pens.

BASEMENTS ARE BEST

I’ve been to drafts in loud bars, which gets expensive and distracting. I’ve been to drafts in backyards, swatting away gnats and mosquitos. I’ve been to drafts on decks where the lighting is so poor I used my phone flashlight to see my cheat sheets. Give me a damp, well-lit basement, a TV tray table, and a big draft board duct taped to cement block next to a glossy white refrigerator from 1956. Now that’s what I call a Fantasy Football Draft.

TWO-MINUTE DRILL

Your draft should be lively, not a cure for insomnia. Some leagues allow five minutes per draft pick. At that rate, a twelve-team league would pick for 15 hours. Make your draft short and sweet. Everyone has had six months to decide who they want to draft. Two minutes is plenty of time.

LIVE AND IN PERSON

Attending a draft with your fellow league members is always great fun. The friendly face-to-face banter of competing franchises makes memories that last a lifetime. I can still remember the night the rookie owner of the AC Heartbreakers drafted Vincent Alexander, a replacement player from the 1987 strike season who was out of football. After haranguing him for ten minutes, we took no mercy and made him keep 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 use Zoom, Google Meet, or live drafting on your league website, all require a computer connection. Make sure yours is set and ready. Nobody likes waiting for Herschel from L.A. trying to get his WiFi going after the draft started.

DO NOT USE PAYPAL OR VENMO

This is not an urban myth. Matthew Berry even tweeted this out last year. Using PayPal or Venmo for Fantasy leagues is against their company terms of service. They can freeze your account and sometimes take your funds if you get caught. Cash is king.

CURE FOR THE QUARANTINED

COVID is still a menace. No one knows how it will roar back this fall. Adding two roster spots or allowing COVID infected players to be placed on IR until healthy will curtail lineup shortages on game day.

DON’T BRING YOUR BABY

My twin brother Clark brought his infant son to a draft years ago. The kid shrieked non-stop for 16 rounds. Clark had a baby bottle in one hand and a beer bottle in the other. The distracted, annoyed 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. Devious, right?

A SUCKER IS BORN EVERY MINUTE

When a fellow owner asks my opinion at the draft, do what I do; LIE TO THEIR FACE. “What do I think of Joe Burrow in the next round? Are you crazy? I would be all over Peyton Manning with your next pick. I know he’s retired, but I just read on this new hot Fantasy blog that Manning is signing with Seattle for his big comeback. Then in the next round, be sure to grab Geno Smith. He will be Manning’s backup.”

HOOKED ON STEPHONICS

You did 1,000 mock drafts during the summer. Every time, Stephon Diggs was available in the second round. But on draft day, another owner snags him just before you pick. Don’t panic. Don’t throw your cheat sheets across the room. Move on to your next choice. Plus, you should have known better — the owner who took Diggs calls his team Stephon the Gas.

RULES ARE NOT MEANT TO BE BROKEN

No adjustments to any league rules should be allowed after the draft starts. You can’t make stuff up as you go along. If issues arise, table them for next year.

Next week: 2022 Bold Predictions


This season I am teaming up with FantasyGuru.com, the finest source for Seasonal, DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) and Sports Gaming advice. Look for Fantasy Billboard every week in the Daily News and a separate column at FantasyGuru.com. Check it out!

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Source: Berkshire mont

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