We all have our favorite NFL teams. Whether you root for the Chiefs because you grew up in the western area of Missouri or anywhere in Kansas, the Ravens because you followed them out of Cleveland, the Dolphins because you grew up watching Dan Marino or the Patriots because you are a front running millennial. Somewhere deep inside all of us is that one team that we bleed for. For me that team is my hometown Chicago Bears. You could get me talking about to the Bears and my childhood to the point that you’d see tears in my eyes.

In fantasy football though we have to remain impartial. This is without a doubt the most difficult thing to do and hardest strategy in this magazine. What makes this so difficult is very often we don’t even realize that we being homers in so many of our fantasy decisions. Does the thought of rooting for Tony Romo make you sick twice a year when the Cowboys are playing your beloved Redskins? If you are Bears fan (like me), do you find yourself constantly fading Aaron Rodgers? Do you have any Tennessee Titans players on your team? Chances are you are a homer.

We can’t show favoritism toward one team or another in fantasy football. This is an understated yet incredibly important aspect of becoming a winning player. How can you be objective if you have such incredibly loyalty toward one (or more) NFL teams? The answer is you can’t.

So how can this fandom be overcome? The truth is that it can’t. But what you can do is to identify where your loyalties lie and counter them by knowingly staying away from them. That’s right, I am telling you to actively stay away from the players on your favorite team.

Why would I ask such a thing? Because I have seen it year after year where fantasy owners waste draft picks and free agent dollars on their hometown players. It’s not just that they are bidding on their hometown players, it’s that they’re overbidding on them. I am sick of getting the phone call from Bill in New York (no offense, Bill!) asking whether he should start Jace Amaro. Nobody outside of Amaro’s immediate family and die hard Jets fans who want him to succeed no matter what gives a damn about Amaro let alone would consider starting him.

This happens in drafts and in free agent waiver bidding as well. If you are in a live in person draft league, chances are you are all fans of the local team. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. But before the season starts, coaches and players are all saying the right things. Remember how much love Jay Gruden had for Robert Griffin III when he first came to town? Next thing you know, you are all playing a game of chess in just who will spend that early pick on RGIII. The “winner” in that scenario ultimately turns out to be the loser time and time again.  In waivers it is the same thing. Denard Robinson has a “breakout” game and next thing you know his waiver price tag soars into the 60-80% mark in leagues among big Jaguars fans.

You see, when you have such love for your team, your not thinking or acting rationally. You want your team and every player on that team to do so well that you trick yourself into believing they are better than they truly are.

That desire to see your team win will cause you to judge those players unfairly. This can be both positive and negative. There are times in which you think a player is far better than they are because he is on your team and there are times when you’ll cut bait on a disappointing player just because he let your team down.

I hold myself to this principle. I will not draft a Chicago Bears player until a minimum of one round after his appropriate ADP. Yes, even super talented players like Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White. I stay away from all backups on the team as well unless absolutely necessary. This way I am drafting with my head instead of my heart, which is the only way that the best fantasy football players do it.