How to Be a Good Fantasy Football Manager

by Joe Bond
how to be a good fantasy football manager

When you play Fantasy Football you think you just need to show up to the draft, pick your players and set a lineup. Well as Lee Corso says, “Not so fast my friend!” If you want to be a good Fantasy Football manager there is so much more you need to do.

If you’re asking yourself, why do I need to do more than that? Well, I’ll tell you. If you go above and beyond just the basics of being a manager you will help make your league more enjoyable for everybody and more competitive. You will also make the life of your league commissioner so much easier. Trust me when I say this, your commissioner will love you for it.

Before you get to managing the team, you need to draft a team. Make sure you draft the best team possible. To help with that, mock draft as often as possible using the Fantasy Pros Mock Draft tool.

How to Be a Good Fantasy Football Manager

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Be Responsive

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Absolutely the No. 1 thing you can do as a manager is to be responsive. As you will see throughout this article, this is a theme with most of the to-do items, so it is fitting I start with it.

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Even though you will see this be a theme in the draft, it is a stand-alone item because you need to respond to the league commissioner when they send emails. I know as a commish myself, one of the most irritating things is sending out an email, asking for a response, then getting nothing from several managers.

Most of the time your commissioner is not asking for much. My advice. Take the five minutes max it takes to do whatever they are asking you to do and do it as soon as you get the email. If not, you’ll likely forget, requiring the commissioner to track you down to get an answer.

Set Your Lineup

Another responsive issue.

I get it, we all are busy. Work, school, family... Netflix, it all gets in the way of Fantasy Football. However, even if you are not going to be the most active manager out there at the very least set your lineup each week.

There is more to this. You need to make sure you set a lineup with healthy/active players each week. So yes, you may need to make a move or two if your team has multiple bye week or injured players and you can’t put a full team together that week.

Now, why should you care?

Even if your team is bad, anything can happen any week in Fantasy Football. It is not fair to the other teams in the league for you to give a team a freebie week later in the season just because you have checked out. You could directly affect the teams that make the playoffs or the playoff seeds.

Pay Your League Fees

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This one really should be easy, but sadly it is not.

Simply put, pay your league fees and pay them on time. Once again that means to be, say it with me... responsive.

On-time means before your league draft. Do not make your commissioner chase you all season to get your league fee.

It is not fair to your league-mates if you don’t pay. It has happened to me. I finish in the money, but I’m short-changed because somebody did not pay their league fees.

If this happens, not only do you lose the respect of your league-mates, you should expect to be kicked out of the league.


Trading might not be for you. However, it does not mean you will not be offered trades. So, there is still a lot that you need to know.

This could honestly be an article by itself, but I will summarize it all up here.

Respond to Trades

There it is again, that magic phrase, be responsive.

When somebody offers a trade, it is annoying to not get a response at all. Even if you do not want to accept the trade, just reject it. It would also be nice if you could give some feedback as to why you don’t want to accept the trade, but at the very least respond and in a timely manner.

Offering Good Trades

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Offering trades is actually a skill that over the years I realized a lot of managers do not have.

If you want your trades to be accepted you need to offer a good trade. What is a good trade? It is one where both teams gain something.

I know the ultimate goal for you is to “win” the trade and improve your team, but you have to think about the other team too when you offer trades.

There is no reason why they are going to give you a top-10 player for two guys you just picked up off the waiver wire.

The best advice I can give you is this:

  1. First, you need to recognize the position you are trying to improve.
  2. You then need to figure out what you are willing and able to give up.
  3. Next, find the team that is strong at the position you need and target a player.
  4. In addition to No. 3, that same team needs to be weak at the position you are willing to trade.
  5. Look at the actual players you are giving up and trying to acquire. Ask yourself would you actually accept this trade? If the answer is a slam dunk no, then really think before offering it. You don’t want to insult the other manager by offering an uneven trade. That can leave a bad taste in their mouth and they could refuse to trade with you no matter what.


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Whatever you do, do not collude with another team. If you are not familiar with collusion let’s have Merriam-Webster give us a definition.

“Secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose”.

In Fantasy Football an example of collusion is when two teams agree to a trade that heavily favors one team over the other. This usually derives from a team who is not going to make the playoffs and they trade with a team that is in the running.

Another example is "Hey I'll trade you X player, then at the end of the season give him back to you so you can keep him for next season". Not cool, not cool at all.

Do not, I repeat, do not agree or try to swing trades like this. You may have friends in the league who you want to see do well, but it is not OK on any level.

Enjoy the League

In the end, Fantasy Football is supposed to be fun. Don't let a loss ruin your weekend.

Remember you can do everything right, but in the end, you don't control what happens on the field. So once you set your lineup, relax and enjoy the show.

Visit the F6P Fantasy Football section for more off-season and dynasty content.

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