Football is sometimes seen as a uniquely American sport. When other parts of the country talk about football, they’re referring to the sport that we call soccer. That said, American football is rapidly becoming a worldwide sport, and as that happens, fantasy football will only get more popular.
When something gets really big, it becomes easier for people to step forward and claim expertise. If you’re a fantasy footballer, you’re going to have a lot of “experts” vying for your time and attention. But time is money, even in fantasy football. Here’s a guide to figuring out who you should listen to and who you should ignore.
Beware the bluster
The loudest voices are not always the most reliable. In fact, the opposite is often true. There are plenty of sports personalities who specialize in hot takes. In a nutshell, hot takes are slapped together as fast as possible — they’re almost always about getting noticed first and foremost. It’s not about being right so much as it’s about drawing attention to yourself.
For instance, let’s say Tom Brady has a bad game. That happens to every player, right? No need to panic. A sports personality interested in riling people up would say, “Tom Brady has always been overrated; avoid drafting him.” Now, you could make that argument if you really wanted to, but not off the basis of a single bad game.
Whoever says that is going for bluster over accuracy. They might be fun to listen to, but it’s like the sports equivalent of junk food: there’s no nutritional value there.
Aim for in-depth analysis
So if hot takes are junk food, how can you find a “balanced diet” in the world of fantasy football media? If possible, look for longer-form fantasy football information,. In other words, discard tweets or 30-second takes in favor of in-depth analysis. You can find that sort of analysis on a fantasy podcast, for instance. Listen to a few different podcasts and find one that suits your style and is easy to listen to while you’re driving to work, for instance.
Long-form fantasy football journalism can also be a worthy read on your lunch break. Here’s why podcasts and long articles are better: they can fully explain why a prospect is worth taking a chance on. They can also list why a player everyone wants might be riskier than he appears on the surface.
These experts aren’t just going to tell you “This is how it is.” If they’re any good, they’re going to list the “why” as well. You may not agree with their reasons, and if so, you can naturally disregard the advice. But at least you won’t have to wonder why a certain analyst is big on Dak Prescott and lukewarm on Carson Wentz.
Tune out the noise
This may sound contradictory, but at some point, you’re risking an information overload. Find one or two podcasts you like and listen to them regularly, but don’t spend every waking moment of your free time searching for new information.
If you only take in information and don’t take time to process it, then it’s going to be that much harder to make any decisions about your ideal fantasy football team. If you were looking up something about your health, you wouldn’t visit every single health website on the internet. You would look for a health information exchange, then make an appointment with a doctor.
Of course, researching fantasy football is a lot more fun than researching a persistent cough. But that’s no excuse to get bogged down in the details and lose sight of the bigger picture.