Ask 2012's Most Accurate Fantasy Football Guy How to Improve Your DraftS

Hi! My name is Micah James, but you might know me as the Fantasy Football MagicMan. In 2012, I defeated 60 other experts in the Fantasy Trade Sports Association’s Accuracy Rankings Challenge. What I am most proud about is that I finished inside of the Top 9 for each of the four positions (QB #3, RB #1, WR #9, and TE #2) — something that has never before been done in the history of the contest.

I’m looking forward to answering some of your fantasy football questions during today’s chat, but in case I can’t get to everyone, here are three quick things you need to know before your next draft:

1. Know your league’s scoring system and roster requirements. I can’t emphasize how important this first rule is. Peyton Manning scored 324.4 points in 2012 in leagues that awarded four points per passing TD and one point per 25 passing yards. Change that to six points per passing TD and one point per 20 passing yards and he would have scored 445.1 points. Yes, a measly two points per TD and 20% more points per passing yard can make a big difference. You have to know the rules you’re playing under.

2. 2012 doesn’t define the trend. Last year, we saw three rookie RBs crack the Top 10 in almost all league formats: Doug Martin and Alfred Morris both finished inside the Top 5 and Trent Richardson rounded out the bunch. In the past 12 years, three rookie RBs have never finished together in the Top 10. In fact, only eight rookie RBs have made the Top 10 in their first NFL season. Eight! I’m not suggesting you avoid this season’s rookie RBs, just draft them with realistic expectations compared to last year.

3. Please wait to draft your Kicker and your Defense. The likelihood of predicting a Top 5 Kicker and/or Defense is lower than most other positions. The trend since 2001 has been if a defense finishes inside of the Top 5 for a given season, that defense has only about a 20% chance of repeating as a Top 5 squad the following year. And even if you do hit on the best at the position — they won’t outscore the 10th-best performer by nearly enough points to make the pick worthwhile. Use your 9th- through 12th-round picks to take skill players — you may very well find this year’s Victor Cruz or Alfred Morris.

Good luck this fantasy season! Please follow me on Twitter (@FFMagicMan), look for my fantasy football podcast called “The Magic Formula” on iTunes, and ask me all your most pressing questions about the upcoming season right now in the conversation below — I promise it will help you become a better owner.

Deadspin's Better State of Living Conversation Series is brought to you with the assistance of State Farm®, who's always got you covered with tips and help that get you to a better State. Today, Fantasy Football MagicMan Micah James has taken a break from being one of the most accurate fantasy experts out there, to help you prepare your lineup in the discussion section below.