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  • Writer's pictureAaron Clanton


Most of the articles that are published regarding fantasy football assume that the reader has general knowledge of the game. While that usually is a fair assumption, there is an audience out there that haven’t played fantasy football before and thus have little to no knowledge of the game. While I won't be able to explain all of fantasy football and its little intricacies in this article, I would like to spend a little time giving some advice to assist the fantasy football beginners out there thinking about getting involved in this amazing game.

The first and most important piece of advice is to familiarize yourself with fantasy football vocabulary. If someone says that a PPR dominant wide receiver can have high WR 1 upside in a pass heavy offense, most people who have played fantasy football before will know what that means. Those who aren’t familiar, however, may not understand exactly what a PPR league is, what a WR 1 is or even what a pass heavy offense is fully and would therefore struggle to understand the necessary context surrounding the statement. Like any other game or activity, fantasy football has its own special verbiage and acronyms that make understanding the game easier. Because of this, I always recommend that new players look up fantasy football specific terms so they aren’t left behind when reading articles or listening to podcasts. In order to succeed, you first have to gain a basic understanding of what is being discussed. For example, if one was studying to be a lawyer, they would first need to understand the jargon that is being used. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make any sense at all. While understanding fantasy football vocabulary isn’t nearly as difficult as learning legalese, the sentiment is still the same and serves as the basic building block to understanding the game as a whole. Remember folks, fundamentals are the key to success in any field.

My next recommendation is to take in as much information as possible on the subject. Read every article you can and listen to as many podcasts as your ears can tolerate. It might seem obvious, but the best way to gain knowledge on a subject is to listen to or read the work of experts in that field. Yes, I know that fantasy can be slightly more difficult in terms of figuring out who is an expert on the subject, but the great thing is you get to choose those you find trustworthy and those you don’t. Over the years, I have listened to numerous podcasts and read many articles on countless websites in order to improve my knowledge on the subject with there being many I’ve found helpful and many that weren’t so much. The wonderful thing is though, it can be a real benefit to occasionally read an article you disagree with in order to see someone else’s view on a topic. No one in this business is perfect or has all the answers, but you can use the opinions and advice of others to form your own arguments and go from there.

My final piece of advice may seem a little corny, but I truly believe it to be helpful. No matter how good or poorly you perform in fantasy football, the only way to get better is to keep playing. If you win your league the first year you play and decide that’s it for you, then you may just not like fantasy football and that’s fine. It is just a game after all. On the other hand, if you finish in last place in embarrassing fashion, don’t quit. I have played fantasy football for over 15 years now, likely close to 50 individual leagues, and have won less than 10 times. While I have a few “main” leagues that mean more to me than others, I have only won those leagues 3 times with those all being in the last two years. This isn’t something that you pick up and are immediately good at nor are you going to win every league you’re in. If someone tells you otherwise, they are either lying or they’ve manipulated their league in some way. You can still have so much fun by setting attainable goals for yourself at the beginning of each season and see whether or not you reached them by the end. For instance, every year I make it my goal to reach the playoffs with each of my teams. This is a bit of a lofty goal especially for someone just starting, but it is something that drives me to be better. Once I get to that point in the season, I can proceed confidently regardless of what may come later. If you make it your goal to win every league you’re in, your season is likely to end in disappointment. The main idea is to get better every year by building upon the current fantasy football knowledge you have while also having fun with it. Don’t try so hard or set yourself up to where it won’t be enjoyable as a result.

There you have it; my advice for fantasy football beginners. Those of you who don’t need this advice, take this as a reminder to try and help those around you who don’t have the obsession that makes you mock draft in early March. Try and help the beginners in your league or even try and get a friend who has never played before to try it out. Fantasy football isn’t an exclusive activity for experts and enthusiasts; it can be an activity for those who are curious and just need a helping hand to get started. You never know who might be interested and is just too nervous to do it alone. Thanks for reading, learn the subject, have fun, be an olive branch and most importantly stay dreamin!

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