Grady fantasy football players await the season’s kickoff

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Grady fantasy football players await the season’s kickoff

Junior Quinn Cowden researches players in preparation for the season.

Junior Quinn Cowden researches players in preparation for the season.

Junior Quinn Cowden researches players in preparation for the season.

Junior Quinn Cowden researches players in preparation for the season.

Jack Rafferty

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By Jack Rafferty and Henry Smalley

The NFL season kicks off on Sept. 8, but fantasy football preparations are already well underway.

Fantasy football is a game that leads to fierce competition and intense moments.  Friends and families create leagues and play each other to see who can pick the team with the best stats on a weekly basis.  It is a dramatic game that can be played for money, fun, or even punishments for the loser at the end of the year.

Soon, the NFL season will begin, and the most exciting time of the fantasy football season for many players is just around the corner: draft day.  Players attempt to build the strongest possible lineup with either a snake draft, in which players alternate picks until rosters are full or picking players to fill out their roster, or in an auction draft, in which imaginary money is spent on players to fill the roster while not exceeding a budget.

“I’m already looking up stats in my free time to decide which players to pick and which to dump,”  junior Quinn Cowden said.  “I have high hopes this year and I plan on winning it all with skill and a little finesse.”

The draft is the foundation to a successful season.  The early rounds are the time to pick stars, which are usually more clear-cut picks.  However, the late rounds are usually the ones that end up deciding the winner at the end of the season.  It is impossible to fill out an entire roster with well-known stars, so it is crucial to  make your later picks count by landing players who perform better than expected.

“David Johnson was a late-round sleeper who’s 40-point game against the Eagles helped me massively,”  junior Zach Hubert said.

“I picked up Devonta Freeman last year pretty late even though he was supposed to be a backup,” Grady Graduate Alex Lepik said. “He ended up being the reason I won the championship.”

David Johnson and Devonta Freeman are two perfect examples of players who were picked almost exclusively late, if at all, and ended the year among  top performers in their position of running back.  Obviously, this type of breakout happening to a player on your team requires a significant amount of luck, but that is what fantasy football is all about picking players with potential and hoping for the best.

Staying active in leagues helps maintain success as the season progresses. Being busy on the waiver wire and the trade boards helps keep teams up to date with which players are the hottest in the NFL. The players who can do this the best are the most likely to make the postseason come playoff time.

“I like to bug people with my trade offers because I know the more trade offers I send, the more trades I can get in my favor. Even if the trades are not fair at all, I’ll still send them,” sophomore McCray Kelly said. “I am also constantly adding and dropping players on the off chance I get lucky with a breakout player.”

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