Fantasy Football: How to Approach Week One

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit – USA TODAY Sports

This is one of the hardest parts about fantasy football: the transition from the offseason to the regular season.  By now, most fantasy teams should have been drafted, and people are setting their lineups as you read this.  I am going to help with the transition into the regular season, and hopefully help you win your league by putting some of your worries to rest.

Normally I post an article every Friday, but I decided that this was important enough to post on opening night as a helpful reminder to all fantasy players.  Owners have been asking so many questions about week one that it already feels like we are in mid-season form.  Do not woe fantasy football players, I am here to help you in week one on how to approach the beginning of the season and get into the right mindset.

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Make a depth chart for your team 

Don’t worry about weekly matchups or which defenses a team plays that week of the season.  Look at your team and focus on which players have the potential to score the most points on a weekly basis.  You should then use this information to make a depth chart.  It may seem trivial, but it is a valuable tool to have when managing your team. It’s something I do in every league, and I hang them up in my office and adjust them every couple of weeks.  It’s my first point of reference when I decide which players to start players every week.

Don’t start playing matchups 

It is week one of the regular season. You got out of your draft picking Aaron Rodgers in the third round, but you feel like you need to sit him against the Seahawks defense. You then decide to play Geno Smith against the Raiders, but the odds of Smith outscoring Rodgers are very minimal.  It may seem crazy, but it is a strategy I have seen some owners employ.  Why would you bench any player for some scrub just because some projections and stats say the matchup is more favorable?   Let me make this simple for you: you drafted these players in your first four rounds for a reason. Don’t overthink it.

The best way to approach this is to start players without focusing on their individual matchup. Don’t worry if you have Andrew Luck playing Broncos defense.  Start both of them if they give you the best chance to win.  Don’t get cute; start your studs unless it is a bye week.

Do not start Thursday night players in the flex

All you are doing is hurting your team when you do this. Injuries can happen at any time, and the last thing you want is to limit your options for Sunday and Monday games. Starting a Thursday night player in the flex handcuffs your roster for the rest of the week.  If you leave that flex open, then you can adjust your lineup if a player is out on gameday.

Trust your gut

Tinkering with lineups is the worst thing an owner can do. There is nothing worse than sitting a guy 15 minutes from kickoff, and then watch him drop a 30 burger on your bench. Sometimes you may strike gold, but most of the time you end up hurting your team. Just leave your lineup alone, and enjoy some football

Do not get ahead of yourself

Basically every week is a season in itself in fantasy football. You should worry about the week in front of you once Wednesday comes. Looking a week ahead for your waiver wire is always a good strategy, but you need to focus on the week at hand. Owners that focus too far in advance into the season usually end up screwing themselves over when making lineup decisions.

Have fun 

This is YOUR team. You put in the work to draft these players, and you have the final decision on whom to start every week. Value your own rankings above all else because you know your team the best.  Once you start to doubt yourself, that’s when your team implodes because you second-guess every decision.  It will make your fantasy season much more enjoyable.

Good luck in week one along with the rest of the season. It’s great to have football back.


You can reach me on Twitter with any thoughts, questions, concerns, or just want to talk fantasy sports. 


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