Today is the first big day for NFL contests, and with it, some awesome prizes. If you are like me, and have been waiting for this over the last 4 months, its literally a religious holiday. Most people who play Huddle struggle with the contests at first, and I wanted to make sure vets and rookies alike had an inside track. Here are some very basic understandings of where the nuances lie, as well as a few changes for this year.
The Importance of Red Zone
If you dont have NFL Red Zone, what are you living in? The dark ages? It is insanely fun to watch, first of all, and second of all, is hugely important for Huddle on Sundays. Because of the importance around having the right cards in your lineup at the right time, Red Zone clues you into when those things happen in real time. As you will see, one of the big changes we saw on Thursday night is lag time, and this channel has become all but the most important tool of the day. There are twitter accounts that list all the touchdowns as they happen too, so if you dont have access to the show, follow one of those accounts.
Speaking of lag time, this looks to be one of the big changes over last year. It used to be you had 4-6 plays before scoring would hit the feed and it gave you time to switch out guys. I was seeing plays hit the feed within seconds of play completion on Thursday, but it may have been the scoring glitch as it was, and could be different today. Either way, Topps Digital mentioned publicly they were looking to change the scoring providers for this year, and it *SEEMS* like this has been correct. That means, when you see a TD or big play happen, switch fast.
Players to Use for Best Scoring
This early on in the season, it can be hard to have a lot of stuff to play unless you have been ripping packs like a maniac. On long plays or touchdowns, I have one rule and one rule only for unlimited switch contests – ALWAYS PLAY THE GUY WHO CAUGHT OR RAN THE BALL THERE FIRST. This is even the case for boosted QBs over less boosted WRs. Just play all the receivers first, hit save (lag is short!), then put in all the QBs to fill the gaps. If you dont have enough of either, playing the defensive player who made the stop can work too. If you have a lot of experience, this becomes second nature, but I promise you, to save time and score big, just play the receivers who make the catch.
In contests that are limited switches allowed, this is where QBs make their money. The only time Im moving out QBs to burn valuable plays is on longer TDs, as the cost of switching out guys and burning plays can be huge. I havent seen fantasy contests yet, but if they come back, just play defensive guys who get a ton of tackles and QBs. Period.
Staying Ahead of the Thu/Sun/Mon Night Curve
Every team has a Thursday night game, so that’s not as big a factor in chasing down the bigger boosts. When it comes to Sunday and Monday night, thats where some teams have the advantage around nationally televised games. These games usually have dedicated contests, and if you can stock up a few weeks ahead of schedule, you will reap the rewards. Teams like Dallas and New England will have a lot of these types of games, as will Green Bay, New York and Pittsburgh. I use my cards from teams like the Browns and Jaguars to add in as throw aways to get cards from these few teams. With dedicated contests, these cards will put you in a spot to score larger to hit prizes for the leaderboard spots, which will get you sigs and relics across the board.
The Importance of Boosts
GO boosts and perma boosts are part of Huddle culture and will always be a focus in an app that has such high participation in the contest side per capita. There will be an escalation of boost level through the whole season, so please do not expect that pink will be the last boosts we see. By the time the season is over, we will end up seeing at least 10-15x by the playoffs and 40x-50x by the Super Bowl. Keep that in mind as you are trading, I would probably stay away from hoarding pinks, unless you can get them for cheap. Im not trading limited inserts to get them, as I know they will be made obsolete by higher levels eventually.
Choose Your Battles
With lag what it looks to be, you need to be sure to choose the right contests to make the biggest splash. As we see, there are premium prizes for premium contests, and if they continue to look as cool as they do, I would expect them to be quite valuable. I have yet to see a contest that costs more than a daily bonus, so that would suggest they want to make these quite accessible.
Last year’s contests in Huddle were a blast – especially as the playoffs got going. Make sure to get involved at some point to figure out how to play. Last year, there were physical prizes awarded at the end of the year, and it helps to have the goods to compete.
Celebrate people! Here we go!