...use cheat sheets to prepare for your draft. Whether you make your own, use the ones here at About Football, or a combination of both, you need some kind of a plan on draft day. Drafting by the seat of your pants is not usually a formula for success in fantasy football.
build around your running backs. Generally, running backs are the most important position in fantasy football with the potential to put the most fantasy points on your scoreboard, so the best are usually the first players off the board.
make sure you know the basics of fantasy football, the rules of the league, and system of scoring thoroughly before drafting your team. Different systems could lead you to draft differently.
pay attention to bye weeks when drafting your backups. It doesnt make much sense to draft a backup quarterback who has the same bye week as your starter, now does it?
pay attention to the teams a player will face come playoff time. The object of the game is to win your league, not just make the playoffs, so to gain an edge on your opponents when the fantasy playoffs roll around generally the last few weeks of the NFLs regular season it's important to know who they face and could be the deciding factor on draft day. Drafting a running back or quarterback who is facing notoriously weak defenses during those fantasy playoff weeks could give your team a huge advantage in the playoffs.
upgrade your starters when the opportunity arises. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but some players feel it is important to keep quality depth. However, in my opinion, any time you have the opportunity to improve the quality of your starting squad, its worth giving up the depth that will only help you during bye weeks and injury situations.
get lineup and trade advice from others not in your league. It always helps to get a second or third opinion before you pull the trigger on a trade or decide who to insert into your lineup. Again., About Football has a special folder set up on the forum for doing just that.
forget to update your lineup every week. One of the worst things you can do is to forget to update your lineup for the upcoming week. You could have an injured player in your lineup, or suppose your starting quarterback is on a bye week. Being short just one player can cost you a game, and that one loss could be the difference between making or missing the playoffs.
share your list of sleepers with other owners before the draft. If you want to be able to grab your sleepers at a time when they are a great bargain, dont share your thoughts on who the rising stars at the various positions are.
draft your sleepers too early. Theyre called sleepers for a reason. Make a projection of where you think you can reasonably expect to get them in the draft, and stick to it.
take strength of schedule into consideration when drafting a player. With the level of parity in the NFL, what looks to be a tough schedule at the beginning of the season often ends up not being the case, so don't knock yourself out trying to determine who has the favorable matchups.
trade star players while they are in a slump or off to a slow start. If you panic and start trading away players who are under-performing, you are not likely to get good value in return.
open trade negotiations with your best offer. As with any type of negotiation, you never start by making your best offer. Leave yourself some room to negotiate, and who knows, maybe youll get lucky and have to give up less than you expected. If you start with your best offer, youll never know how cheaply you might have picked up a particular player.
abandon your team under any circumstances. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest sins you can commit when it comes to fantasy football. Dont be a poor loser and abandon your team simply because they arent living up to your expectations. By not continually keeping your best squad on the field every week, you can adversely affect the playoff race by giving one of the teams in contention an easy victory.