Who Should I Start? 60 Things to Consider When Selecting Your Fantasy Football Team's Starters.

If you hem and haw when deciding who to start if presented with a few attractive options, then go over this checklist to help you make your final choice. Remember, you want to reduce risk as much as you can.

  1. Is the game indoors or outdoors?
  2. Home or away?
  3. High powered offense or conservative offense?
  4. Run or pass-oriented game plan?
  5. Scrambling abilty.  Can the QB tack on a few extra points by gaining yards on the ground?
  6. Is there a propensity to throw INTs? This is especially important if your league levies a large INT penalty.
  7. In yardage heavy leagues or those with a bonus for big plays, take a look at the yards per completion.
  8. Look at the quality of the QB's receivers.
  9. Does the QB's team have a strong enough run game to keep defenses honest?
  10. Extreme weather.  Very high winds can put a big dent in the passing game.
  11. Injury prone or returning from injury?
  12. Is your QB skating on thin ice and liable to be benched?  Then stay away.
  13. Are they playing hot or struggling?
  14. Strength of the pass defense your QB is facing.
  15. Strength of the offensive line.
  16. Number of sacks taken.
  17. Does your QB have a short week to prepare because of Monday Night Football or Thursday Night Football? 
  18. Is your QB coming off a bye week that provided more prep time? 
  19. Is your QB old or young?  Experienced or inexperienced?
  20. Is your QB accurate? 
Running Backs
  1. Is the RB also active in the passing game? This is especially important in PPR leagues.
  2. Do they have fumbling problems? 
  3. Number of carries per game.  You obviously want a higher number of carries so there are more opportunities to accumulate stats.
  4. Health of their offensive line.
  5. Health of the opponent's defense.
  6. Ability of WRs to block downfield.
  7. Home or away?
  8. Extreme weather
  9. Indoors/outdoors
  10. Turf/natural grass
  11. Is the offense run or pass-oriented?
  12. In the red zone, does the team tend to run or pass?
  13. Does your RB get the goal line carries or cede that role to another RB?
  14. Does your RB's team have a passing game that commands at least some respect so that the opposing defense cannot stack the line of scrimmage?
  15. If the league awards kick return yardage, does your RB return kicks?
  16. Does your RB have a short week to prepare and recover from the last game because of Monday Night Football or Thursday Night Football? 
  17. Has your RB had an extra week to rest?
  18. Is your RB playing hot or struggling recently? Could they be benched during the game?
  19. Injury prone or returning from injury?
  20. The quality of their team's defense.  A poor defense puts teams in a hole that they have to pass their way out of, so the run game is abandoned.  
 Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
  1. Targets -- this one is huge.  The more targets, the more opportunities for your player to do something and accumulate gaudy stats.
  2. Number of receptions for the season and per game.
  3. Yards per catch are important, especially in yardage heavy leagues or those that award bonuses for big plays.
  4. Do they occasionally get rushing yardage?
  5. If your league awards points for returning kicks, does your WR or TE return kickoffs and/or punts?
  6. Does the QB turn the ball over a lot and kill drives, ala Jake Delhomme, vintage 2009?
  7. Does your WR or TE have fumblitis?
  8. Where in the pecking order does your WR/TE fall in terms of targets on their team?  Are they a primary, secondary, or tertiary target?
  9. Does your WR or TE get a lot of looks in the Red Zone?
  10. Extreme weather
  11. Indoors/outdoors
  12. Turf/natural grass
  13. Home or away?
  14. Good rapport with QB?
  15. Is the offense pass or run oriented?
  16. How strong is the opposition's pass defense?
  17. The quality of their team's defense.  A poor defense puts teams in a hole that they have to pass their way out of; too rotten of a defense could be a bane though if the team's time of possession is hindered too greatly, though.  
  18. Is there a lot of garbage time passing to pad the stats?
  19. Injury prone or returning from injury? 
  20. Does your TE have to stay on the line and block?

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