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It's Time To Prepare For Fantasy Football!

I know that it’s the middle of June.  I know that you’re deep into your Fantasy Baseball season, trying to scratch out a few more points in stolen bases or saves.   I know you have things to do outside that don’t involve poring over a computer screen.  I know all this. 

As it turns out, I don’t care! 

It’s time to start getting ready for fantasy football!  That’s right; prepare to “get the band back together” right now so you have enough time to be ready for the season.  You don’t want to have to rush through your league setup, it’s too much fun for that.  If you’re thinking “Calm down football-nerd, we have plenty of time”, here’s a brief checklist of things you need to do before the first kickoff:

League Members – Are all your league members from last season coming back to play again this year?  Are you sure? What about that guy-your-friend-knows? The one with the complete Jesse Jane filmography?  Is HE coming back? How about your friend with the new baby?  How does his wife feel about him spending hours on the computer when she is up all the time with the baby?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.  You’d better ask. 

League Website – Which website do you use to run your league?  Do some (or all) of the owners hate ESPN?  (If not, why?!)  Are you ready to move up to the flexibility of Sportsline?  Or are some people complaining about cost and you want to see if you can use Yahoo for free?  This decision usually involves money, which only makes it more complicated.

League Rules – In my money league, the annual “league rule proposal” period is one of the best parts of fantasy football.  Every season there are owners who see a “problem” with the league (almost always directly related to something that “happened” to them the previous year) and who insist on a rule change to “fix the problem”.   Should your league add a bonus for TDs over 50 yards?  Should you start two quarterbacks?   If a team loses their starting RB, should they get first choice on his backup?  Don’t laugh, all of these things have come up in my league.  It takes a long time to process, argue and vote on all that craziness.

Draft Date – This is often the biggest problem.  When my friends and I started our league, the only obstacles to a Saturday afternoon full of drafting were “I was going to play golf” and “I’ll probably be wicked hungover”.  We could schedule the event with about two weeks’ notice.  Now we have to deal with everything from “I’m having surgery” to “I have to take the girls to Princesses on Ice”.  Planning to have everybody get together for a draft in-person takes the most time, but even getting everybody in front of the computer at the same time is a challenge. We now have to start planning in June for an August weekend – and then hope that nobody unexpectedly dies or gets married. Start early!  Right now in fact!