Some of the Best Fantasy Football Books Available
Fantasy Football Tips: 230 Ways to Win Through Player Rankings, Cheat Sheets and Better Drafting By Sam Hendricks
Sam Hendricks has written five fantasy football books and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Sam is a regular player of multiple high stakes leagues, including the World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF), the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC), National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and Fantasy Football World Championship (FFWC). He’s also a regular expert contributor on numerous fantasy magazines and websites. This book contains 230 great tips in 173 pages.
Overall this is a very solid book that provides great fantasy football advice for beginners, advanced players and experts alike. More than two-thirds of the fantasy football tips focus on draft strategy and advice. I wrote more than two full pages of notes that I felt were valuable and applicable to winning fantasy football leagues. I only found a few tips that I strongly disagreed with, one pertaining to his dislike for trading in leagues. Sam talks throughout the book about using a value based draft (VBD) strategy for ranking players across all positions. I couldn’t agree with this technique more. It’s a key to all draft success. He also notes the use of Vegas odds to improve tough start-sit lineup decisions.
The only negative of note is the continual reference to various high stakes leagues, such as FFPC, FFWC and NFFC, which are not leagues that most casual players participate in. Nonetheless, these references, did not detract from the great fantasy football information contained within.
Overall, I enjoyed this material a great deal and would recommend it for all fantasy football players. It’s also reasonably priced at Amazon.
Fantasy Football Basics by Sam Hendricks is a good book for novice fantasy football players. If you are just starting out in fantasy football, I recommend this resource. It provides practical FF strategies that work. For newbies, it’s a good place to start. However, for people who have been playing for several years, don’t waste your time. Advanced topics are excluded from this writing. As the subtitle notes, it’s a “how-to” guide for beginners. The book is 141 pages, written in easy to understand English, which covers basic rules, how to play, position definitions, who to start, player rankings, draft preparation and simple roster management. Sam also lists some fantastic resources, particularly websites, many of which are free.
Sam Hendricks is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and has finished in the top 20 of the Fantasy Football Players Championship twice. If this is your first year playing fantasy football, I recommend picking up a copy of this book from Amazon.
The Art of Being Commish by Mark Blount is an extremely well written book that all fantasy football commissioners are sure to enjoy. It’s loaded with great information on creating, managing, and maintaining a successful league. Some of the main topics include league rules, roster management, scoring systems, scheduling, trades, free agency and draft preparation.
Mark highlights multiple strategies for keeping your league fresh and exciting, which is the key to owner retention. He also lists several important ideas to help keep your league motivated.
Even after running my own successful league for 20 years, I look forward to implementing Mark’s key tips.
If you run a fantasy football league, you will definitely improve the owner experience by incorporating Mark’s innovative ideas. Paperback copies are available from Amazon.
Matthew Berry’s fantasy football book, Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who’s Lived It, is on back order on Amazon. It will be available in July 2014.
Here’s what one reader says about the book, “Matthew Berry combines an autobiographical narrative with many entertaining stories of the highs and lows that fantasy sports brings. If you play any fantasy, you’ll appreciate knowing you’re not alone, and if you live with someone who plays, this book will give you some insights into the depths of their passions. Berry’s story also left me liking him more, because he’s been incredibly fortunate in his life, and he’s quite happy to acknowledge it. This is no humble-brag – he’s almost as surprised by his successes as we are in reading about them, and he’s clearly very grateful for all of them. Easily one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in a while – if you care about fantasy, it’s a must-read.”
How to Think Like a Fantasy Football Winner By C.D. Carter with contributions from Travis Rowe is the most unique fantasy football writing that I’ve seen. I found the book and language style highly entertaining, refreshing and well-written. How to Think Like a Fantasy Football Winner delivers an in-depth psychological perspective on the game of fantasy football, often comparing the thought process to that of poker. Carter brings a perspective to the table unlike any other fantasy football book that I’ve read. I thoroughly enjoyed his writing style and the numerous anecdotes to highlight his points. His tennis story between his dad and Pete is an entertaining analogy to winning in fantasy football that kept me yearning for more.
Carter points out some strategic keys to winning in fantasy football, mainly through objective, non-emotional fact-based decision making. You won’t find any detailed “how to” examples on which players to draft or start, but rather academic theory applied to the game many of us love. His thought process strategies urge us to keep an open-mind, acknowledge that luck inevitably plays some role in fantasy football and that even the best poker hand sometimes loses. These are just a few of the many takeaways of benefit from this well-constructed piece of literature.
I highly recommend downloading a copy of Carter’s e-Book from Amazon for your Kindle. It’s worth much more than the low price of just $2.99 and can be read in just a sitting or two.
Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft by Jonathan Bales delivers as promised. If you’re a stats junkie like me, you’ll enjoy the numerous charts, graphs and statistical analysis provided by Jonathan Bales in this excellent fantasy football book. Bales backs up his draft strategies with hard hitting numbers that are difficult to refute. If you’re just looking for a lighthearted book for entertainment and prefer not to bog down in the numbers, then perhaps, this book is not the best selection for you. A better choice might be Matthew Berry’s book. But, if you prefer to use objective analytics to base fantasy decisions on, you’ll enjoy Fantasy Football for Smart People. Bales dives deep into his regression analysis, probability, predictability, risk, projections and volatility in order to formulate sound fantasy football draft decisions that can help you win your league.
“The key is not knowing which players to draft, but when to draft them” was a quote from the book that resonated with me. This quote is just one of many that caused me to pause and think about how I can tweak my own draft strategy for greater fantasy success.
I’ve read numerous articles around the topic of position scarcity, but Bales sums it up in a handful of easy to understand graphs. His regression analysis highlights the positions that provide the strongest consistency from year to year. This tip alone is well worth buying the book. Which factors are most critical to future success? How does running back workload affect future production? What age do players peak on average? It’s all in the book.
Overall, I enjoyed this fantasy football book and look forward to incorporating the many tips into my draft strategy this fall. Purchase a copy today from Amazon.com