Junior expert on fantasy football describes the tricks of his trade

January 28, 2010 — by Girish Swaminath and Abhishek Venkataramana

For junior Tim Lycurgus, as recently as three years ago, playing fantasy football was merely a recreational and fun way to stay up to date with the NFL. However, over the years, Lycurgus has turned his simple recreational activity into a competitive hobby and has picked up many virtual trophies along the way.

“At first, I just used to play fantasy for fun and I would always lose to my friends,” said Lycurgus, “but then our leagues became more and more competitive and I started to do my research and I started winning.”

Lycurgus, who has won first place in five fantasy football leagues over the past three years, attributes his success in leagues to his well-planned drafting strategy.

“The order of the positions you draft is really important.” he said. “I draft running backs first instead of quarterbacks, unlike most people. Then, I stack the rest of my teams with wide receivers.”

Lycurgus knows that wide receivers can be the deciding factors in close fantasy match-ups.

“I really like using good wide receivers since there are three in a league and they can put up a significant amount of yards to get you a win in a close situation,” he said. “Usually, the team with the better wide receivers comes out on top.”

His favorite wide receiver to draft is New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.

“Welker runs about 80 to 90 yards and scores a lot,” said Lycurgus. “He’s a solid offensive player for a fantasy team because he is consistent and plays well against every team, so you can keep him in your lineup for every game.”

In addition to his drafting strategies, Lycurgus believes that his NFL knowledge helps him remain at the top of his leagues.

“I read articles on Yahoo! Fantasy Sports and analyze the weekly rankings, which also suggest players to drop and players to add,” said Lycurgus. “I am also a really big NFL fan, so I watch a lot of games and draft players who I see are doing well in games and putting up big numbers.”

Lycurgus’s biggest piece of advice to amateur fantasy players is to remain determined to win and to not give up.

“It’s really easy to give up on fantasy football because it’s challenging to win and when you lose your friends usually make fun of you for it,” he said, “but if you keep playing, you’ll eventually get better at it.”

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