Saturday, July 2, 2011

Are you Signing up for Fantasy Football?

It appears as if the NFL lockout is starting to come to an end as both sides are coming together often to try to work out an agreement. As the agreement is being worked out the major fantasy football sites, such as NFL.com and Yahoo! are asking fans to start signing up for the 2011 fantasy football season.

I have to admit, I was a little bit skeptical to sign up for fantasy teams when I first got those messages that said that you could start signing up. I wasn’t sure when the NFL would start it’s season due to the NFL Lockout but shortly after receiving initiations to sign up for a fantasy team, I saw that the NFL and the players were working hard to get to an agreement. So, I decided to sign up for one on NFL.com.

The experience of signing up on NFL.com was as easy as it always was but it was very hard to pick a date to draft. Not knowing when the lockout would be over has put a damper on knowing when exactly when a person should draft. We must keep in mind that after the lockout is over, there will most likely be a free agent period that will cause players to move from one team to another.

So does it make sense to draft until the lockout is over?

If you draft prior to the lockout ending and then one or more of the players that you drafted moves from one team to another you might be caught in a quandary. That player, a player that you thought would end up being a good prospect on his old team, could end up having a tough go of it on his new team.

So is it better to wait to sign up for a fantasy football team on these major fantasy football sites?

I did some looking around and didn’t see anything that stated that if the lockout would continue and the draft days would be missed that those draft days would be adjusted. I went into the NFL.com website and there was nothing there that talked about what would happen if the lockout went on past the draft date. Yahoo! didn’t say a word about the lockout either.

So if you are wary of having a draft before the lockout is over it’s best to wait until you have some certainty of when the season is going to start before scheduling your fantasy football draft. In the past I have written that you must use discretion when drafting during this lockout period because of the change that players are going to move around after the lockout is over. If you are wary of this then it’s best to draft as late as possible.

Personally, I set all my draft dates for late August, as I do every year, not only because of the lockout but because of the potential for injury to some players or the fact that players may end up getting cut or traded to another team. This helps to cut down on regrets that I might have later on in the season for drafting a player that may not even be playing football or might wind up in a bad situation. Perhaps this is good advice?

So what is the best scenario? If you can wait then it’s best to wait. If not then draft players at your own risk but expect some changes when football finally comes back around.

It’s so tempting to go out and sign up for a fantasy team right now and get all set up for the season. For most of us, we are football starved and anxious to get going with our fantasy leagues (believe me I am one who is always ready to draft as soon as I get that notice that sites are opening up to start signing up for teams) but you may want to exercise caution this offseason. This whole offseason as well the 2011 season could be one of the most difficult in fantasy football history.

So draft with caution but don’t be scared to have a fantasy football team this season. No matter what happens this offseason things are certain to get better.

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