So now that you’ve memorized your league’s rules and roster requirements, it’s time to gather intelligence.
One of my favorite historical figures is George Washington (tragically, I’m a bit of an American Revolution geek). Washington was not highly educated nor a great military commander in a strategical sense. But he surrounded himself with intelligent people, gathered all of their opinions, and applied his own knowledge, instincts and experience to make decisions.
Perhaps Washington was the father of fantasy drafters because that’s what it is all about. That’s probably why you’re reading this blog right now, to gather even more opinions in hope of gleaning even more information that can help you draft your team.
Applying that idea to your league, take the time to read the opinion of those fantasy “experts” as the large media outlets (who are not necessarily smarter but have access to more information), smaller fantasy sites and blogs (ahem) and even the non-fantasy experts (see your Uncle Joe, that guy in college who, for some reason, is a Raiders fan.), etc.
Include all these opinions into your train of though and then use your own judgment to decide which are right, which are wrong and which should be given more credence than others.
Part of becoming an self-proclaimed expert at anything is developing the ability to listen to a highly-regarded expert give his opinion and respond with “that’s bullshit” (NOTE: this is to be done mentally, NOT to their face, although I can’t imagine Eric Karabell being threatening if you did).
When you can read the opinion of a basketball (or fantasy basketball) “expert” and not treat it as gospel, you’re on the right path. Absorb information, filter it, and come to your own conclusions.
The longer you play, the lessons you learn will make these conclusions easier to deduce and streamline your ability to target players’ value.
Any preliminary research leads to our next, and most involved part, preparing for your draft…..