With the qualifiers completed and the Olympic teams announced, our athlete list will be coming out very soon. That means you can start drafting! New to Fantasy Olympian or just need a refresher? Here are some tips on taking home the gold in your league!
DON'T get fooled by NBC into thinking the only athletes that matter are on Team USA. To be sure, we've got some great athletes who will deliver memorable performances, but they won't be the only ones. In the Winter Olympics, the highest scoring athletes usually come from other countries.
DO pay attention to events you do not usually watch. Biathlon and cross-country skiing do not normally get slots in primetime, but the top few athletes on our big board will all be from those events.
DON'T be fooled into drafting a one-event athlete or team too early. Let's say you are CERTAIN that the Canadian hockey team is winning gold this year. Great -- that's three points. You're going to need a lot more than that to win your league. So you are much better off grabbing athletes in the early rounds who do multiple events. Even if Team Canada isn't waiting for you in a later round, there will still be plenty of "sure things" (or at least strong contenders) available.
DO your homework. We do our best to keep our list up-to-date, but inevitably, someone will get injured leading up to the Olympics, relay teams will be altered, or someone doing multiple events will change how many they are participating in to maximize medal chances. The last thing you want to do is waste a high draft pick on an athlete that ended up not even making the trip!
DON'T just draft someone because he or she is from your hometown. To be clear, any athletes who have made it to the Olympics have already proven themselves to be world-class competitors, so this is not a knock against them. But if you want to WIN, you need medalists, not just fun stories. And the reality is that the vast majority of athletes at the Olympics will not come home with medals. So choose wisely.
That being said...
DO have fun! Every year, there are surprises at the Olympics -- athletes who come out of nowhere to win a medal and shock the world. Maybe it's the athlete from your hometown. Maybe it's someone with a cool backstory. Maybe it's someone with a name you like. Whatever it is, don't be afraid to follow your gut. You might just get the steal of the draft in a later round!