With the 2014 NFL preseason slate just getting underway Sunday night, fantasy football lovers are drooling over their potential drafts.
Whether fantasy owners are new to the game, or tyrants of the trade, a lot can be learned from Rich Keefe, host of "The Sports Hub Fantasy Football Show" on 98.5 "The Sports Hub," who has teamed up with the Boston Center for Adult Education to teach a fantasy football class this Saturday.
Keefe, 30, will throw back some beers with his pupils during a three-hour cram session that will help them build a squad powerful enough to dominate any league, from draft day to championship game.
“I’ll be interested to see whether it’s people who have never played before, or some who just want to get more information on it. I’m prepared for whatever," said Keefe, who has won his league five times.
The class, called Studs & Sleepers: Drafting the Perfect Fantasy Football Team, will focus on the basic strategies of drafting, Keefe's favorite sleepers and player rankings, and how to work the waiver wire.
Keefe is just the guy for the job; he's been playing fantasy football for 20 years.
"I remember co-owning a team with my father because it was when the internet first came out. Things have changed. Now you just log in, before you had to type out the names of the players and the teams."
Keefe said he plans to do a general overview of the game and will answer specific questions, but he also plans to give some tips.
One pearl of wisdom, according to Keefe, is to be as active as possible in the league.
"A lot of times the teams that end up doing poorly may fail because [their owners] haven’t paid enough attention to it," said Keefe. "If you just read up on it once a week and stay somewhat focused, you can update your roster and do well."
Regardless of gender or experience level, Keefe insists his Studs & Sleepers pupils shouldn't hold back on quenching thirst for fantasy football knowledge.
"It is very simple, I mean so many people play nowadays," he said. "This class is a way you can ask the questions you’d feel embarrassed asking your friends.”
A Metro reporter goes out of her element
Last week my editor challenged me to step far out of my comfort zone, and into the end zone if you will, by writing a story on fantasy football. The assignment felt less like a fantasy and more like a nightmare because my absolute favorite things about football season are the wings, beer and hot men. Beyond that, I’m usually at a loss. But apparently, that shouldn’t keep me from being a femme fatale of fantasy football.
Newbies like myself can rejoice, because it turns out that three hours is plenty of time for a fantasy football cram session. It took Keefe no more than 15 minutes to fill me in on sleepers [under-the-radar players], rankings [categorizing players by positions] and waiver wires [undrafted players, free agents].
And it's not just a boy's club anymore. Keefe said that while it's mostly men who play, there are more and more women joining the fun.
"When I'm hosting the show, the majority of callers are men, but we take plenty of women callers. I don’t think it’s rare at all to find all women leagues now," said Keefe.
He also taught me that if you're into gambling it can pay out pretty well [sign me up], and that with a little focus I could even earn my own trophy, a plaque, and high fives from my co-workers.
At the end of it all, investing some time into a fantasy football league might just add to my roster of things I'm awesome at. So watch out owners; this season, I may just be your worst fantasy.
Studs & Sleepers will be held Saturday Aug. 9 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Boston Center for Adult Education.
Visit www.bcae.org to register.
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