By By Kyle Nelson

By Kyle Nelson

In my childhood, the most depressing day of the year was the day after Christmas. All the presents had been opened. All the anticipation was gone. I have a similar feeling after my fantasy football draft.

But just as your mom would tell you that everything would be all right, that you would be able to play with your toys for the next couple months, The Commish is here to tell you the same thing. Football season has arrived.

Draft over: Now what?

Now that the draft is over, you can start focusing on homework, once again, since you won’t have to occupy that precious brain space with things like remembering to handcuff Fred Taylor with Greg Jones (who is now out for the season with an ACL tear, by the way). But don’t get carried away with the schoolwork. If you want to win your league, that is. If getting into medical school is more important, then perhaps you’re reading the wrong literature. We all have our priorities.

Through the wire

Some of the most important work during the fantasy football season is done in the days leading up to opening weekend. Way too many players are dropped before they even play a regular season game. If this happens in your league, be ready to pounce. One man’s junk is another man’s sleeper. Nothing is better than reminding your friend why he’s in last place by thanking him for the preseason gift. So make sure you check your fantasy league homepage as often as you check WebCT.


There you were, looking over your league’s draft results, congratulating yourself on a team well drafted. You thought you had your QB position locked up when you drafted Brett Favre to back up Peyton Manning. Until you noticed that they both have week-six byes. It’s never too early to start thinking about bye weeks, so you might as well get started. You don’t necessarily have to drop Favre. But either start looking for a third QB or else start thinking about a trade.

Speaking of which?

Trading players in fantasy football is like becoming the master of your domain (token “Seinfeld” reference). We all may aspire for it at one time or another, but very few are actually successful. The greatest difficulty is convincing other teams why they need the player you’re offering them. After all, you’re the one trying to get rid of the player. That would be like a car salesman trying to sell you his own car. If it’s so great, why doesn’t he drive it?

Preseason eyes

Each team plays four preseason games. A lot of good information can be attained by scouring these box scores. For instance, Carson Palmer and Daunte Culpepper seem to be recovering nicely from their knee injuries. But trusting these box scores can backfire. If you get too carried away, you might wake up one morning and discover that you dropped Clinton Portis to pick up the preseason leading rusher, Cedric Cobbs. Not a good move.

Patience really is a virtue

If Plaxico Burress only has three receptions for 12 yards in the season opener, don’t drop him. You drafted him in the fourth round for a reason. As difficult as it is, try to avoid dropping underachieving players for the first several weeks of the season. With new coaches, schemes, stadiums or teammates, it often takes time for everything to come together. Make sure you consider where you drafted someone before you give up on him.

Savor the moment

I wasn’t kidding when I said football season has arrived. You’ve anticipated this time of year since the day after Ben Roethlisberger held up the Lombardi Trophy. Enjoy the next five months, because they’ll be over way too soon, just like last year.