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Fantasy Football Tips: Know Before You Draft
Dennis D. Cruz

Are you new to fantasy football? Joining a league and not sure what to expect or how to prepare for draft day? Over the next few weeks, I will help you with the basics and a few advanced tips to help boost your confidence and knowledge for the big day. In the series we will cover topics including; vocabulary, rankings, joining a league, commissioner duties/responsibilities, drafting edict and more.

To give you a little background on myself, I have been playing fantasy football for over 20 seasons now. In that time, I have been a commissioner in two leagues, won a total of seven championships and have appeared on many podcasts, radio shows and my tweets have even been posted on NFL Network.

There are less than ten weeks remaining until the start of the NFL season and that means even less time until your draft. So, today’s lesson will be in vocabulary. You do not want to be caught off guard with some language that will be thrown around the draft room. Here are a few words and phrases that are frequently used.

PPR: Points Per Reception. This is the most commonly used format in today’s leagues. The player can be rewarded one full point per reception or half point per reception (depending on how your league is set up). If your league is a PPR then you will most likely see a wave of wide receivers and tight ends taken early on in the draft.

Standard: Prior to PPR formats the word “Standard” meant that all leagues were non-PPR and were just scored off yardage, touchdowns and turnovers. Be mindful of what league you are joining. Running backs are usually the first off the draft board in this format.

Dynasty League: For the more advanced players out there. The commitment is real with this. Dynasty leagues are usually three to five seasons long and each person will draft 25-30 players. So please be patient, draft for the long haul on this one. To be successful at this league, you must find a balance of youth and experience. If you want to win early on you may be targeting a veteran instead of a rookie.

Snake Draft: Snake Draft means the order in which you draft. Most leagues are between 10-14 people. For example, if you are in a 12-person league, the first person with the top pick will draft first then go in numeric order the rest of the way. However, if you are in the 12 spot, you will draft 12 and 13. In other words, if you have the last pick in the first round, you are rewarded the first pick in the second round. This could be a big advantage if played right.

FAAB: Free agent acquisition budget. This is your budget that you are given at the beginning of the draft to help you out throughout the season when you want to hit the waiver wire. The amount you are given is typically $100-$200 per season.

Waiver Wire: After the week is done (following the Monday Night Football game), the scores will be posted to your app and you can see how you did. On Tuesday morning you can hit the waiver wire and see what players are still out to replace any injuries you have or if you feel like a player is dead-weight and can be disposed of.

Stack: A stack is when you draft players from the same team. An example of this is drafting quarterback Joe Burrow and pairing him with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (both play for the Bengals). Be cautious when doing this. It is very tempting to do this however, be aware of bye weeks. When a player(s) is on their bye week and you own a large share of a certain offense, it can come back and hurt you for that week that they do not play. Also draft with your head and not with your heart. I have learned the hard way that drafting players from your favorite team can be a trap. As a Cowboys fan I have done my fair share of drafting members of ‘America’s Team’ and passing on the best player available.

Flex: A flex position can be any of the following - running back, wide receiver or tight end. This is one of the most overlooked positions when setting your lineup each week. I usually put a running back in my flex spot (even in PPR format) because they can rack up both rushing yards and receiving yards.


Next time, I will advise commissioners on how to balance their responsibilities as well as having fun in their leagues.