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Schwamm Sez: Basics (2)

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For reference, previous Shwamm Sez posts can be found here:


Intro:  Introduction

Basics (1):  Know and Understand Your League's Scoring


For the next topic of discussion, let's dig into...


Know your opponents.


I think this is a grossly underestimated aspect of the game, both during the draft, and through the course of the season.  An opponent’s interests, tendencies, motivations, fears, etc. will impact the way they make decisions throughout, and if you can start to predict their actions/reactions, you are establishing an advantage.


Imagine you are in the middle of your draft, and it’s your turn to make a pick in the 6th round.  You have a player you covet, slotted in the 7th, who plays for the Seahawks.  However, you know that the guy picking 2 spots ahead of you is a huge Hawks fan, and he still has a need at that position.  Depending on how much you really covet that player, this might be one of the few occasions when a little reach might be in order.  But you need to have a pretty good sense of how your opponents are going to draft to ensure that you are able to maximize VALUE with each pick.


Likewise, imagine you are in the middle of the season, another owner has a player you want, and you are considering packaging a trade offer.  Knowing what might “grease the wheel” to allow you to get the deal done is important.


So… you are about to tell me that you are in a league where you’ve never met any of the other team owners.  While that makes things a little more challenging, it doesn’t mean you have to fly blind.  I’d recommend that you play detective, and look at all the clues at your disposal.  I used to keep a little “dossier” for each league, each season, each foe.


The way people name their fantasy team can sometimes give you an idea of team or player affinities.  The team icon they choose might also be a subtle indicator.  Some leagues keep a record of past seasons, and you can scan through to see if some owners consistently draft the same players, have trends in their draft order, or reach for certain positions, whatever.


If all else fails… smack talk can be one of the most useful methods to gather information.  Get in the fray early and often, and goad your opponents into sharing more about themselves than they intend.  Even if you aren’t successful at gleaning anything useful about your competitors, banter just makes fantasy football that much more fun, as long as it doesn’t get too personal, too rude, or aggressive.  Just remember that you can get away with much more when it’s done face to face.


While you busy yourself with trying to learn as much as possible about your opponents, try to also be deliberate about keeping information about yourself, your affinities, your tendencies, and your methods away from them.  The more you know and the less they know, the better.



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Hi Schwamm, finally caught up reading up on these, thanks for your efforts!


Thought I'd start off with replying on this one as its something I do think is undervalued in FF. If you actually know the people in your league I'm sure it can be very helpful but even playing randoms I've noticed you can pick up quite a lot from the smack talk say in the draft lobby. 


Like last year and the 'Skins fan preaching about RG3 until someone else reached, took him early, and then traded him to said 'Skins fan for a RB ransom. 

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