With the NFL season approaching, it's time to sign up for Fantasy Football League Manager on TSN.ca. Then, it's time to research, prepare and get ready to build your team to win bragging rights in your own league.
Anyone that enters the contest will also have the opportunity, via draw, to win a Football Getaway Experience, which includes flight, hotel, spending money and tickets for your choice of an NFL regular-season game.
Start with rankings, projections, injury reports and articles in the Fantasy News section of TSN.ca so that you have a good idea what to expect for the 2013 NFL season, paying attention to rookies, sleepers, position battles and more.
There is not merely one way to build a winning team, so it's important to maximize value. Given the nature of the sport, and the injuries that occur throughout the season, it's important to build depth on your fantasy roster, so that you have a viable alternative at the ready when one of your starters is hurt or, at the very least, on a bye week.
For years, running back has been the one position on which to focus and, while there has been some variance in recent seasons, it remains the safest way to build a team. 16 backs rushed for at least 1,000 yards last season (23 averaged at least 60 rushing yards per game), and 13 had at least eight rushing touchdowns, so getting two runners in the early rounds isn't a bad way to go.
Of course, even that approach comes with the caveat that running backs get injured -- something about carrying the ball and being the target of 11 angry men -- but with most leagues employing at least a couple of starters at RB and then potentially a flex position or two, securing the services of running backs that are clearly number one on their team's depth chart is a safe play.
The appeal of quality runners stands in contrast to a league that is becoming increasingly focused on passing. Scarcity means value, though, so while there are more productive options at quarterback and the receiver spots, the top running backs hold their value.
Part of the reason that there isn't such urgency to go for a quarterback early is that a dozen quarterbacks threw for at least 3,900 yards last season and the quarterback ranked 13th in passing yardage, Cam Newton, also had more than 700 rushing yards. With a dozen quarterbacks throwing at least 25 touchdowns, that pretty much assures a productive starter for most leagues, especially considering that most leagues require only one starting quarterback.
That doesn't mean settling for any quarterback, because Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are better bets than the 10th or 12th quarterbacks picked, but if you end up with Tony Romo, Andrew Luck or Eli Manning, there shouldn't be major regrets.
As NFL teams throw the ball more frequently, there is a wider net to cast over wide receivers that could contribute to your fantasy squad. 32 wide receivers averaged at least 60 receiving yards per game last season, while 25 scored at least seven touchdowns. Again, there's obviously more appeal at the top end, where Calvin Johnson is a difference-maker and Brandon Marshall, Andre Johnson and Dez Bryant could all be top-tier producers, but there was value to be found from lesser-knowns like Cecil Shorts and T.Y. Hilton too and there will be young receivers that emerge this season as well. Get one or two proven guys and then secure depth at the position.
Tight end is an interesting proposition, since Jimmy Graham is at the head of a thinning class. Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez are reliably productive too, but what about Rob Gronkowski? Under normal circumstances, he would challenge Graham for the top spot at the position, but after an offseason of surgeries, Gronkowski presents a risk. Then, there is a large group of similarly-productive options. Like the quarterback position, it's better to get one of the best but, if that doesn't happen, you're not necessarily going to regret having the 10th-best tight end.
Kickers and defences are late-round concerns. There is too much variability in their production to invest early selections, no matter how good you think the Niners defence is going to be or how many times you think Stephen Gostkowski will boot it through the uprights.
The bottom line, though, is that a little preparation can make your team better come draft (or auction) day and TSN's Fantasy Football League Manager will be there every step of the way to help you enjoy the 2013 season. Click here to sign up and start building your team today!