You have probably heard this phrase before, but did you ever think it would apply to Fantasy Football? Hey lets face it, you either came up short last year and vowed 2012 will be your year, or you are the reigning champion and now have a bull's-eye on your back. In either case, if you plan to show up strong at next year's draft you better know one thing....Champions are made in the offseason.
One of the best habits you can form would be to catalog what you learned from this season while it is still fresh in your mind. Although much will change before next year's draft, this part of your early preparation will prove quite valuable when the real crunch time approaches. In case you already started to forget (perhaps on purpose to mask the pain), Zeus and Thayse are here to help you remember. In this first chapter to becoming an offseason champion, we want to focus on who you can trust and who you can't -- based on mostly last year and in some cases the last few years of production and consistency.
Here is a list of questions most recently asked and our answers to help you prepare for next year's draft:
1. I have one of the first 4 picks of the draft, who can I trust the most to lead my team?
Your first round guys are your studs. They give you the big game to push you over the top in several weeks, and are money in the bank for consistent points. You must hit on these guys. My first 4 picks are as follows:
- Arian Foster -- The guy is a beast. He is the focal point of the Texans offense and should be the first pick in all fantasy drafts.
- LeSean McCoy -- Was a touchdown machine in 2011. Catches balls out of the backfield. Led the league in rushing for the majority of the season. McCoy is a fantasy all star.
- Aaron Rodgers -- You can argue that QBs should not be taken this high in fantasy, but with the numbers AROD puts up, no one should argue. He rarely turns the ball over, and gets you points on his feet as well.
- Ray Rice -- He is all around strong and will be a safe bet for fantasy owners. Talk about consistency, this guy has had 1,200-1,400 yards and 60-80 catches per year for the last 3 years. Expect the same going forward.
2. There are some big name players that will get grabbed early and not live up to the hype. Who should I shy away from even when all the analysts are screaming PICK HIM EARLY!
- Cam Newton -- 4,000 passing yards, 20+ touchdowns, 700 yards on the ground with 14 more tds, and a rookie of the year trophy. Sounds like a top pick in 2012's fantasy draft, wouldn't you say? How about no. Not to say he will disappoint in 2012, but the possibility of a sophomore decline is there -- given a full year of tape for better defensive schemes and his two best offensive weapons ( Steve Smith and Deangelo Williams) are hitting over the hill football ages. Comparable QBs in stats will go in the 4th-5th round. Do not drop a 1st or even 2nd round pick on the Michael Vick of 2012.
- Darren McFadden -- I know McFadden is a dynamic athlete,but those who have had to watch him sit on your bench--unable to cut and giving up hundreds of fantasy points-- know better. Our disclaimer: Don't pick him too early, as in 1st round. If you choose to draft this guy, make sure you go deep at RB.
- Marshawn Lynch -- He's got upside. 1,200 yards, scored a td in 11 straight games, including the only rushing TD against San Fran. Just realize that when you invest a high pick you want consistency and dependability. Lynch hasn't been that guy. He had a career year, but not knowing what Seattle's cards hold tread carefully and wait for him to become a value pick or let him go.
Stay tuned for future articles related to how you can become a champion this offseason!