How to win championships in fantasy football
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7 tips to go from being the cleveland browns to the philadelphia eagles of your fantasy league

The competition is steep this year.

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Fantasy football is one of the largest micro-industries in the United States today, and millions of football fans partake in the activity every year. It can be through a group from work, friends from back home or even people you have never met that live halfway across the country.

One thing remains the same though: everyone wants to win.

Bragging rights are some of the best rights, and winning a fantasy football league can equal having those for an entire year. For some people that may seem like an impossible task, but fret not. As a multiple winner across different leagues, here are some tips that can get you from laughing stock to league champion.

1. Figure out how your league works

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This seems a "duh" thing to do but finding out how your league calculates scores and how it is set up is really important. Different leagues score differently than others so finding out how you can earn the most points can automatically set you up for more draft success than others.

For example, if the league is a PPR league (Points Per Reception) then running backs that catch more passes than others and wide receivers become much more valuable then they were before.

2. Set up a personal draft board

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Before your league starts the draft, do some research and make a personal draft board with players that you would want to have. This will help avoid panic picking when you're on the clock.

My general rule is aim for players that are consistent and usually never injured. Some players are fantastic talents but they cannot stay on the field. If they cannot play a game, they cannot help you win a game.

3. Dominate draft day

"Draft Day"

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You got your list now, its time to do everything for real. Drafts never work out the way you would like them to, so be prepared to have a few backup picks just in case. There are a few rules to follow when it comes to picking players.

First, do not take a kicker or defense early, as you will be sacrificing key position players to get them. Having the best kicker but missing out on a top-ten wide receiver will get you nowhere.

Second, do not feel pressured to take the highest overall player. Stick to your list unless the player is obviously falling way past what they are worth. This happens almost in every league so keep an eye out for that.

Third, unless you get one of the top three quarterbacks early, do not draft one early. There are plenty of great quarterbacks in the field compared to running backs or wide receivers so focus on them in the early rounds unless you can get an Aaron Rodgers or someone of that caliber.

Fourth, watch bye weeks. Drafting a backup position player that has the same bye week as your starter will do you absolutely no good.

Fifth and finally, come into the draft knowing who you want at Tight End. This is the hardest position to fill through free agency and having one of the better tight ends can win you a fantasy title if you can weave one of the elite players at the position into your team.

4. Set your lineups and watch injuries

"The League"

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Once the season starts, you will not believe how many times people have lost games just because they forget to check their lineup. Stay up-to-date on your players and injuries to make sure you have a full lineup of healthy players. Sometimes your best player will get hurt. I had Aaron Rodgers in a league last year and he missed basically the entire second half of the season. That is where the next tip comes in handy.

5. Free agent pickups win championships

Alvin Kamara

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Whether you like it or not, injuries will happen. Picking up a suitable replacement on the free agent market is crucial to keep winning games.

Also, every year there is a breakout player that someone picks up in free agency and ends up carrying them to a fantasy championship. Last year, rookie running back Alvin Kamara was a big reason for many titles, and he was almost never drafted. Watch that waver wire correctly and your odds of winning increase tenfold.

6. Do not feel pressured to trade with someone

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A lot of times, people will try to rip you off in trades if they find out you are newer to the game. Never feel pressured to make a trade. I've won leagues without making a single trade the entire year. That being said, if you feel the trade is fair and can benefit you, go for it.

7. Dominate your league

Nick Foles after the Super Bowl win over the Patriots

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While these tips will not guarantee you a championship, they will put you well on your way to beating whomever decides to stand in your way. Smart drafting and micromanaging your team efficiently will get you that Lombardi Trophy, Golden Toliet Seat, or whatever your league does for the winner.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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