From time to time, I will be posting my Fantasy Football Manifesto. Rules I’ve lived by that have brought much success in my Fantasy Football life.

Pre-Season
Don’t be “that” guy.

Don’t pick a lame team name
Think about your team name as if you were naming a bar or a painting. Simple, descriptive, clever, possibly abstract.
If your team name has anything to do with body functions; you’re lame. Exception: using “fart” in combination with “old”; Ann Arbor Old Farts is acceptable, if you’re old. The 7 words you can’t say on TV are out too. Stay classy.

Your team name should reflect yourself and how you structure your squad. RB Army is good if you’re going with a ground attack. Wheeler Dealers, if you do a lot of trades and hit the waiver wire. If you have a keeper league you can go with something there; Peyton’s Squeaky Clean Image, Brady’s Hot Wife, One More Year Out of LT. Think about your regional attributes. Places like Roundtable HQ in Detroit are full of possibilities; Jailed Detroit Mayors, Don’t Cross 8 Mile, Oakland County Rich Snobs. Lines from movies are good to; Pirate Hookers, Pager Friendly, Going Streaking. Exception: Never use Mean Machine; it’s played therefore its lame.

Here are some more good ones I’ve seen over the years; Digital Uganda, OJ Did It, Legends of Kung Fu, Tight Ends (female owner), Goodell’s Future Felons, Brady’s Wingmen. Don’t seal these, that’s lame. Come up with your own thing.

If you’re still stuck check out Fantasy Football Toolbox and/or Fantasy Team Names

Have Your S*!t Together
Good advice for life in general. In Fantasy Football this means showing up for the draft on time, knowing who when down for a season ending injury before draft day and paying league dues on time.

What to Do On Draft Day

Don’t draft until after Week 3 of the Pre-Season
Actually the later the better. We’re all excited to get the fantasy season going, but give yourself some time to see how depth charts shape up and see what injuries develop. Best draft I ever did started at 9am the Sunday of the first game.

Draft Kickers From Good Teams
Sounds simple enough and some would argue that the words typed above should be all the brain power you need to devote to this position. Au contraire. When building a squad, build around starters and consistent role players. Being able to depend on consistent points is one of the keys to success in fantasy football. If researched correctly, the kicker is the ultimate role player and will contribute consistent points all season.

Of the top twelve kickers in 2008, ten were on teams with .500 or above records. In 2007, it was nine out of twelve; in 2006 it was eight of the top eleven teams. Be the first or second owner to take a kicker and make sure he's from a no-doubt good team. In the long run, a good kicker is worth more than a fifth WR or back-up TE.

And while you’re at it, don't just take one kicker, take two. There’s nothing worse than having to pick up a kicker mid-season to cover the bye week, especially if your league limits transactions or worse if you have to pay per transaction. Save that cash and those transactions for hot rookies and injury replacements. Starting the season with two kickers allows you to use one over the other if one if the associated teams go south or if there’s a huge match-up disparity. Also, you take a quality guy off the market for the other owners who wait until the final rounds of the draft to select one.

Watch Your Bye-Weeks
Don’t just make sure that you’re not picking three RBs that are off at the same time. Be strategic. Good example for 2009; you draft Payton Manning. He’s on the bye Week 6. You might want to take Matt Hasselbeck. Not a bad back-up QB option as it is and he’s home Week 6 against Arizona, the 22nd rated pass defense last season.

There Are No Sleepers
Figure there are about 200 NFL skill position players, 32 kickers and 32 defenses you can chose from on any given week. Have you googled “Fantasy Football”? There must be 1,000,000 web sites out there covering this stuff. Then there’s all the TV networks, magazines, talk radio. Fantasy Football is like a small high school, everybody knows everybody and everybody is all up in everybody’s business.

The Day of the Workhorse Back is Over
We know that. The league went from 13 300 carry rushers in 2003 to just six each in 2007 and 2008. So now what do you do?

1) Get one of the six guys that will get the ball 300 times.
Turner, Peterson, Portis, Forte, Grant got 300+ carries last year. Figure that Slaton and S Jackson could join that club this year. Who’s the only dude to get 300 carries in 2007 & 2008, Clinton Portis.
2) Get guys that figure to get consistent receiving yards.

Build your team around consistant RB performances, dudes that will get 80-100 total yards most Sundays. RBs touchdowns will come and are real tought to predict season to season.

Platoon Your (Good) Defenses
The Steelers and Ravens D’s are usually a good choice but start your defenses according to weekly match-ups. Don’t be afraid of the waiver wire. The Ravens are at New England Week 4, you probably don’t want any part of that so look at Houston (vs Oakland) or San Francisco (vs St Louis). Both D’s should be available late in the draft.

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Own Opinion
Again, generally good advice for life in general. Nobody really knows anything about fantasy football. Last year Sports Illustrated had Joseph Addai as their pre-season #5 RB, Michael Turner was #20, DeAngelo Williams was #38.

If you’ve got a feeling on someday, go for it, you know just as much as people that run blogs and write for magazines.