Fantasy football is believed to a billion dollar, recession proof industry. Each year, millions of people from all over the world join fantasy football leagues with the hopes of finding a hobby, keeping in touch with friends, or finding an excuse to do absolutely nothing for 17 Sundays a year.

Today, we’ll look at five different ways to help you not suck at it. These tips aren’t for the seasoned pros. They are for the casual fans who got suckered into joining a league at the office because it was one team short. These tips may not help you win your league, but I can assure you they’ll help you not finish last.

5. When Should I Draft A QB?

If you’re just starting to get into Fantasy Football, there’s a chance your wealth of player knowledge more or less ends at the quarterback position. This isn’t the worst thing. One year I ended up in a league where a guy drafted Terrell Owens, TWO YEARS after he had retired. Believe it or not, when it comes down to it, you’re probably not the biggest idiot in your league. This is good.

Now, when it comes to drafting a QB, there’s one key question you need to figure out: How many QBs can you start?

If you can start just one QB, then your option is very simple: You either draft Aaron Rodgers (GB) or Andrew Luck (IND) early, or you wait until the end. These two represent the highest of high tiers when it comes to QBs so you either take one of them, or you wait and you’re one of the last people to take a QB. After Rodgers and Luck, there’s a considerable gap and from 3-8 the QBs are more or less the same.

However, if you play in a two QB league, everyone’s value goes up. Meaning, Russell Wilson (SEA), who is generally considered to be the No. 3 QB in fantasy football, should probably end up going in the second round. Think of it like basic supply and demand. If more QBs can play, their value goes up. If you can only start one, they aren’t nearly as valuable as they appear.

4. The D

I’m talking about defense. Get your head outta the gutter.

I’m going to say this once: Do not draft a defense until the last 3 rounds. Do not reach and take the Seahawks’ defense in round 8 or 9 and pass up on a positional player (RB, WR, TE, etc.). Defense points fluctuate each week, as does their matchup.

Which DEF do you think will put up more points: Seahawks (on the road at Indianapolis) or Jets (at home vs. Browns)? The matchup and location favors the latter and believe it or not, the Jets DEF was going undrafted in nearly 50% of all drafts. The Jets also played the Browns in Week 1 and put up 14 points, good for 6th amongst all defenses. Play the matchups each week, use the waiver wire to find a DEF, and roll the dice that way. Over the course of the year, your streamed DEF will outscore the Seahawks DEF and you won’t have to waste an 8th round pick in the process.

3. The Hookup

I’m talking about quarterback to wide receiver. Get your head outta the gutter.

Nothing beats having a QB throw to a WR for a TD and you getting all the points for the score. Tony Romo throws a 40-yard TD pass to Dez Bryant, and you have both in your lineup, you’re high stepping all the way to a win. Additionally, the convenience of having most of your players on one team also requires you to keep up with fewer games. While enduring a severe hangover on Sunday morning, convenience my friends, is king.

In other words, if possible, try getting a QB/WR combo.

2. Just For Kicks

Do not take a kicker until the last two rounds.

I repeat, do not take a kicker until the last two rounds.

One more time. Do not take a kic…

Okay, you get the point. Kickers, week-to-week, are impossible to predict. However, one thing you can do to minimize risk is to use a kicker who plays in a dome. No wind, no rain, and no variables. Everything in a dome is perfect for a kicker, meaning the only reason he’s going to miss is if he sucks (see Walsh, Blair).

Don’t overthink the K position, but certainly find out where he’s playing before you commit to any lineup decisions.

1. Bye Weeks Suck

Yes, they do. But everyone has to deal with them so that makes them suck a little bit less, right?

If possible, here’s what I suggest doing for your bye weeks. If you draft your team and most of the guys are on the same team or have the same bye week, do not worry. In fact, it may even be a blessing in disguise.

Instead of having all of your top players missing random weeks because they’re on bye, if all your players have the same bye week, you’re only going to take one giant bullet and then remain more or less unscathed the rest of the way. Would you purposely throw a week to know that you were at full capacity for the other 16? That’s what you need to figure out. For some people, the idea of losing a week is repulsive. For others, they see the value of fielding their strongest lineup for 16 out of 17 weeks.

See which strategy is best for you, but when it comes to bye weeks, you have options.

There you have it —  five helpful tips to help you not suck at fantasy football. We’ll be back on a regular basis to give you updates on specific players and let you know how our streaming of defenses is going.

Until next time, here’s to many 1-yard TDs in your future.