We’ve been waiting with baited breath, and the season is finally here! It’s time to brush off your game plan and choose your fantasy football league. We might not be on the field, but fans of the game know that drafting your team in the living room takes a deft strategy, a steady hand, and an extensive knowledge of the sport. Whether you’re an old pro or new to the scene, the game can still surprise you and there’s always more to learn. Here are a few of the most important rules to live by when it comes to fantasy football.


Don’t Panic!

It’s still early in the season, and it won’t do you any good to wallow in early disappointments. The real secret to playing well is that fantasy football isn’t about the upside. It’s about consistency. A good week can put you ahead and give you that addicting taste of victory, but remember that you’re in it for the long haul. You need players that you can count on to deliver week after week, not just in one blaze of glory, and final victories are usually won with solid stats spread out evenly across the weekly matchups.


Get Specific

You know the rules, or you wouldn’t be playing. But rulebooks vary widely across different leagues, and those little details can have a huge impact on your chances. Do you have a flex spot? Does your league play with points per reception? How many wide receivers and quarterbacks come in each week? Know the game inside out, and get up close and familiar with your league’s specific guidelines so you can play to your strengths properly.


Steady Does It

It’s almost never worth it to take a big gamble in the early rounds. As the old saying goes, you’re not going to win with your first three picks, but you might lose with them. Stay strong and steady as the season begins with reliable players who have maintained a good record and proven themselves year after year, preferably while protecting yourself from anyone with a history of severe injury. Often your powerhouse players with huge numbers in recent seasons only are best brought into play in the later rounds.


Have Fun!

The most important rule on the books. Never forget that fantasy football is supposed to be fun. When it comes down to it and you’re choosing between two players with simple stats, always go with the one you most want to root for. Don’t put too much money on the game if you know it will only cause you stress all season, and don’t sign up for more than you actually have time for. Remember why you’re really here — watching football and getting involved in some fantastic games.


Good luck, and get ready for a great season! Check out these tips for more drafting strategy.