The fall of 1996 was a good time for me. I was in shape, beginning my first year of college and had a full head of thick, dark-brown hair. That was also the year I joined my very first fantasy football league.

Fast forward 15 years and I’m no longer skinny, college is a distant memory and “full head of thick dark-brown hair” applies to me as much as “a courteous, thoughtful and kind individual.” I’ve also transformed from a fantasy football rookie to a grizzled veteran.

In all honesty, it’s embarrassing how much of my life I’ve devoted to scrolling though free agent pools, cursing Tom Brady and rooting for a team to lose one yard so my kicker can attempt a 40-yard (as opposed to 39-yard) field goal. In fact, if some scientist put a pie chart together that measures the stuff I think about in a full year, fantasy football would rank somewhere between Kristen Chenoweth singing in a pink bikini and Travis Meyer’s mustache.

Because I’m a self-described fantasy football expert, I decided to list a few fantasy football draft pointers. If you’re new to fantasy football, take these to the bank. If you’ve played fantasy football for years and think I’m nuts, well, I hope your first-round pick breaks a leg.

Never draft a wide receiver in the first round. Let’s compare fantasy football to the stock market. Running backs are the blue chips and the anchor of your portfolio. Quarterbacks are the mid-sized growth stock – a little more risk but more growth potential for your team. Wide receivers are the penny stocks of fantasy football. There are tons of them out there and it’s hard to determine which one will make or break you.

Since that’s the case, stay conservative in the early rounds of your draft and stock your team with running backs and a good quarterback. In the later rounds, take some flyers on high-risk, high-reward wide receivers. If it you get the right one, you may be on the fast track to your league championship.

Draft with your mind, not with your heart. Sam Bradford is your favorite player, so you decide to draft him. That’s not necessarily a bad decision, but it is if you draft him way too early. For example, one year I was in a league where a guy selected the Seattle Seahawks defense in the third round because they were his favorite team. Safe to say, none of us were surprised when we learned three years later that the dude was a cross-dresser.

Only draft one kicker, and do it in the final round. In fantasy football, kickers are like a pawn. They are abundant and all look the same. Sure, every now and then one may turn into a pivotal piece, but that’s out of your control.

It’s better to draft a good player on a good team than a great player on bad team. Unless that player is Adrian Peterson.

Don’t get drunk during your draft. I may have made this mistake once or twice. Trust me, it doesn’t end well.

To see Patrick get medieval on fantasy football, visit

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