Your friends are always trying to get ahead and get the latest research. We all know the guy who creates a spreadsheet and spends hours, if not years tweaking his formula. Every fantasy league has the master guru that has read every magazine and every website. Some of your friends have spent hundreds on books and website subscriptions to try and improve their fantasy game. Then you have the guy that pays a service fee (usually in the thousands) for someone to manage his fantasy profile and take him to the promise land.
While all of these techniques may work, there is one technique that very few people use. The greatest fantasy football technique of all time is seldom used. If you learn to use this technique, you will be miles ahead of the competition.
It's real simple: Watch preseason football!
That's it. No magic, no underhanded cheats or tricks. Just plain and simple. Watch the players, play in games prior to the official start of the season.
There are plenty of examples of this, but if you watched the 2005 season, you would have thought that San Francisco was an awful team. Alex Smith was among the worst quarterbacks and they had a non-existent run game. In 2006, Alex Smith had a much improved year, and Frank Gore was among the top 5 running backs. Huge disparity. No one drafted Frank Gore or Alex Smith or thought much of San Francisco's offense. However, if you would have watched preseason leading up to the 2006 season, you would have noticed a greatly improved Alex Smith and a superior Frank Gore. Norv Turner really took them to the next level. You would have also seen that Steve Smith and Jake Delhomme were not the same combo that they were back in 2005. You would have known that Palmer likes to target TJ Housh more often than Chad J. There are countless examples.
Watching preseason football is a requirement for anyone who takes fantasy football seriously. Not only will you get a fairly realistic preview of what the season has to hold, but you will pick up on the finer details. You will see which offenses look improved, and which players are poised to have big seasons.
How many of the guys in your leagues watch preseason? Or even have access to it? Think about it. Of course, you will need access to NFL Network to see approximately 50 of the games, but with NFL Sunday Ticket from Direct TV you can watch almost all of them. And all you really need to watch is the first quarter of each game, since that's when most of the starters play.
It's the one thing you can do to get ahead and stay ahead of your competition that actually pays off. If you don't have time to watch the games, you can always read our "Preseason Nuggets" series wherein we try to summarize the preseasn highlights. It's the next best thing.