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10 Ways To Win Your Fantasy Football Draft That Has Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Players You Pick

CareyHope. Getty Images.

Blogger's Note: I searched Fantasy Football in our graphic archives and this was the first picture that appeared

With the air getting chillier and all of us watching godawful preseason games played by guys that won't even sniff an XFL roster, it means the fantasy football draft season is coming up. Which is why I have prepared a quick list how to win your draft.

Obviously I am not giving out advice on how to actually pick in your draft because if I knew the answer to that before the season started, I would be richer than Portnoy and living on a tropical island I bought with my gambling money. But I will give you some advice of how to make your league's draft as good as it can be, which means you and all your league mates that you love/hate with all your heart can walk away with a W before the Football Gods start handing out L's by the dozens in only the most heartbreaking fashion.

I also realize that most of these tips are no-brainers to people that have been in good leagues for years. But for anybody starting a new league, listen to what my old ass has to say.

1. Do A Live Draft

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Look, I know how hard it is to get a group of 10 or more people together, especially as you get older and get anchors that weigh down your entire life responsibilities like kids (sidenote: Please don't do a league with less than 10 people in it since every team gets way too stacked and people in other leagues will look at you like someone playing Madden on Rookie). But I'm pretty sure the first fantasy league was set up for bunch of friends to escape their wife and kids for a bit to hang with the fellas.

:Thinks about it for a second:

Okay, whoever created fantasy sports definitely didn't have a wife nor the requisite sex to have kids. Nonetheless, the highlight of everybody's fantasy season is the fantasy draft. Actually the league winner would probably say the championship is the highlight, but at leaast 90% of the league will end up hating that person by the end of the year, so we'll stick with the draft being the highlight.

Just because modern technology has made it possible for us to draft our team using a computer or even a phone doesn't mean we should do it. If you could have sex with your phone, would you do it?

:Thinks about it for a second:

Actually don't answer that. But as someone that has done his fair share of live and online drafts, I am going to say live draft are 99999999999999999 times more entertaining with a bar over the final 9. The counter timing down may fluster your pal. But seeing his face in person as the entire draft starts yelling at him to draft someone even though he has no clue who to pick is one of life's simple pleasures.

If having a live draft with your entire league is flat out impossible because of where everyone lives and/or the schedules everyone has, people that live close to each other that are available should still set up some sort of hangout together so they can talk shit and engage in debauchery together while drafting from the computers the rest of the league drafts in silence from home.

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2. Get Someone To Put The Stickers On Your Draft Board

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I guess you can include "Buy a draft board" as part of this list since writing names on a piece of poster board is poor people shit. But once you buy said draft board with color coded stickers so you know which positions are getting drafted, find someone to put the stickers on it for you to give the league a little whiff of prominence even if you are just a collection of 12 below average humans at best. 

The walk up to the draft board before you put up a pick, especially if you aren't 100% sure who you are going to take, is one of the most nerve wracking things a person can go through and I say that as someone that has gotten married, had kids, and walked into the office with an angry Dave Portnoy. So I hate getting rid of everyone turning into a pile of nerves. But announcing your picks makes it easier for everyone to know who was actually taken as the entire league slowly slips into different levels of inebriation from a wide array of substances.

As for who should put the stickers on the board, you can have a buddy that isn't in the league do it, make the manager that came in last place the season before the league's official sticker bitch, or hire a local lady of the night to help out while wearing a referee outfit. As long as the job is done by someone, it's a W for everyone involved.

3. Be Smart With Your Food And Drink Order 

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Speaking of the substances, you should treat yourself and get your favorite alcoholic drink. Preferably if they are one of the dozens of sponsors here at Barstool. Look good, feel good, play good are all extremely true and you can't feel good unless you are responsibly drinking your (insert sponsored brand here). 

That goes for food too, which is why you need to order it beforehand. Because if you don't, you are just going to buy some pizza and wings from the spot that can get it to you quickest. You shouldn't subject yourself to a 2.1 meal on the Balls Scale when doing something that will determine your happiness for then next 4 months (if not year). Do the right thing, collect $10 or $20 a head and get some good food from a good spot.

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Speaking of wings, I couldn't be more out on wings as a draft food. I know chicken wings and football go together like, ummmm, chicken wings and football. But they are a goddamn mess during a time when you are flipping through papers, outdated magazines, and potentially a computer. Save the wings for Sundays when your fantasy team is actually playing and letting you down.

4. Take Breaks. Plenty Of Them.

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As I said earlier, Draft Day is the best day of the fantasy football season. Nobody has lost a game or a player to injury and our dumb human brains forget just how awful our rosters will look once the NFL season gets it hooks into our teams. So cherish every second you are spending with pals and don't rush it at all, whether it's starting a flip cup series every two rounds or a smoke break every two rounds. There is no reason to rush Christmas Day if you don't have to.

So I said it before and I'll say it again. Cherish every moment of freedom where your number 1 priority is to occasionally say the name of an NFL player around some of your favorite people in your life.

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To prove I practice what I preach, here is a break from the blog using gifs of Jenny from The League, who was a dream character on a great show.

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Okay, back to the blog.

5. Have Your Draft In The Beginning Of The Weekend Instead Of The End

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For 20 years now, my buddies and I have been drafting in Saratoga the weekend of Travers, which is the biggest race the track has all year. Back when we first started the league, we would plan the draft for Sunday so we had a full weekend to act like the savages all 20-somethings are with the draft acting as the closer to an awesome weekend. The only problem with that plan is that we all felt like absolute death on draft day. As the years went by and we got more washed, this would lead to people going right home after the draft or having to take it easy so they could drive back home at night.

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The idea of having the draft as the cherry on top to the weekend seems nice since you can talk shit about what may happen. But actually having your teams in hand, a completed draft board to stare at, and crack countless jokes about the shit that unfolded during draft day trumps anything else. Plus you won't learn to hate draft day because your body feels like it is decaying from the inside-out.

6. Do Your Draft As Close To The Season As Possible

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Now despite all I said about doing a draft live and in the beginning of the weekend, doing it as close to kickoff on that Opening Thursday Night is extremely important too because there is nothing worse than losing a star player to injury before the season starts. I guess you can make a case that the death of a loved one and nuclear war are both worse. But pulling into my driveway after the draft only to see JK Dobbins tore his ACL felt worse than either of those ever could.

Which is why I beg you to at least draft the last weekend of the NFL preseason. Sure there are going to be a few straggler games that can trip you up along with practice injuries, surprise suspensions, or even the occasional retirement (I still can't believe Andrew Luck retired on my ass mere hours after I drafted him). Plus those jerk families usually like to spend Labor Day together. But anybody that drafts before the last weekend of August is begging for even more heartache than this stupid game gives us every year without fail.

7. Talk Shit

I hope this one goes without saying but you should be looking for every advantage you can get when doing a fantasy draft and putting some doubt into your opponents head by talking shit is the easiest way to do it. Roast their picks, call out whatever site they are using to make said picks, tell them you read one of their guys got dinged up in practice that was taking place during the draft. All is fair in love and fantasy sports (and The Challenge).

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We also really need Portnoy to bring back And 1 shirts now that he owns Barstool again because seeing the mean shit on the back of those shirts was the best. In the meantime, the Barstool Store is 20% off today and tomorrow so hit it while it's hot.

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Time for another break!

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8. If There's A Tie At All Angles, Draft The Player You Want To Root For

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The only piece of advice I will give you for actual players is if there are two guys you want exactly the same, break the tie by picking the guy you like more or want to root for more. Believe it or not, fantasy football is supposed to be fun. We all know that is not the case once the carnage of the NFL season is unleashed on our souls. But in theory, it's supposed to be fun. 

So take the player you like more for whatever reason, whether it's because he plays for your team, did well for you the year before, or he just has a sweet name that is fun to say like Dwayne Bowe. Man, I miss Dwayne Bowe.

Yes it will hurt if the guy you liked less outperforms the guy you like more on someone else's roster. But it will hurt A BILLION times more if the guy you liked more outperforms the guy you liked less but is on someone else's roster. Like legitimate season if not life ruining stuff.

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9. If There's Still A Tie At All Angles, Draft The More Fun Guy

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Okay this is another piece of roster advice and pretty much is the same rule as drafting the guy you like. But if it's a tie at all angles, take the player that seems more fun to have than the other player. Again, it might work out and it might not. But having the fun player is always going to feel better than the safe player. Heroes get remembered but legends never die. They said that in The Sandlot, so you know it's true.

10. If You STILL Don't Know Who To Pick, Ask Chaps

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One thing people don't know about Chaps is that he loves helping out strangers with fantasy football lineup decisions. Hell, the main reason he moved to Chicago was to be closer to Steven Cheah when he films the Fantasy Factory podcast, which just had a new episode drop with former Brick Watch Supersales Benjamin "Mintzy" Mintz.

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So if after everything in this blog, you still don't know who to pick or how to not fuck up your fantasy football draft, simply tweet/X your question to @UncleChaps until he answers you.

Best of luck to everyone in their drafts unless you are in my league. Then I wish the literal worst things in life for your teams.

Now take us home Jennifer (and Shiva)!