You're supposed to learn something every year, right? In fantasy football, I try to evaluate the previous season and see what I've learned from it. I can probably use some of it going forward, and some of it is just interesting to see how right (or wrong) I was. Here's what I learned this past season:

I learned that, for all the talk about parity, the NFL is a still a league of dynasties. From Pittsburgh in the 70s, to San Fransisco in the 80s, to Dallas in the 90s, to New England for the better part of two decades, to Kansas City today. There always seems to be a team that dominates for a period of time. Congratulations to Mahomes, Reid and KC (again).

I learned that there are always people who think what they're seeing is scripted. But if the Super Bowl ever was created by writers, they couldn't have done much better than what we just saw. I had my reservations last week, but that last half hour was pretty amazing.

I learned that Tom Brady can't stay away from the Super Bowl. If he's not on the field, he's in a bunch of commercials. How long before he's announcing the game as part of a broadcast team?

I learned that you can't win with the halftime show. No matter the year, a lot of people love the performance, and a lot of people hate it. When was the last halftime show that everybody loved unanimously? Prince? Unless you have a new album coming out, best not to accept that offer.

I learned that I was absolutely right about the Giants and Chargers. Going into the season, I thought the Giants were a team to avoid, and the Chargers were a team whose coach should be sending out resumes. Looking back, I was right. The Giants looked flat all year long, and the Chargers' playoff meltdown against the Jaguars was just the first of many red flags for Brandon Staley. I think things are looking up in Los Angeles, but I have no idea what the Giants are going to do to become competitive again.

I learned that I was absolutely wrong about the Lions. So very, very wrong. I thought they won games last year when they didn't matter, but they wouldn't maintain that energy over the course of a season. In reality, they were building something special. Not upset to be wrong about this one, though. Good for them and their fans.

I learned that I was right about CeeDee Lamb, again. Each year I take him in redraft leagues (usually earlier than recommended) and he keeps paying dividends. I probably won't get the chance next year, though.

I learned that I was wrong about Cam Akers. It's appropriate he ended up in Minnesota, because I was wrong about Alexander Mattison, too. Every year there are value running backs to be found. I just have trouble finding them sometimes.

I learned I need to take my own advice about knowing the rules in each league you join. I talk about it frequently, and I wish it had sunk in. In this case, I was all set to pick up Puka Nacua on the waiver wire early in the year. Instead, it went to a team with a better record. How was that possible?

Well, in that league you can "hold" your waiver priority until you use it. And since I use my roster as a turnstyle, I'm always last in the pecking order. If I had paid better attention to the rules, I might have been more careful about who I dropped and picked up. Know the nuances of each league, folks.

Speaking about knowing league rules, I learned that many NFL players don't know how overtime works. Some San Francisco players admitted they weren't sure how the overtime rules worked, while Kansas City players had been practicing for just that scenario. So why did the 49ers choose to receive, knowing both teams were guaranteed at least one opportunity to possess the ball, even if a touchdown was scored? The answer is: Maybe they didn't know, and there's no excuse for it.

I learned that fantasy teams are being evaluated throughout the season, and not just by their own managers. In one league, we're moving on from a manager because of their lack of activity. I don't care if someone wins every game or loses every game. Be active. Don't leave injured or bye-week players in your lineup. I don't care if it's your 10th-favorite league, because it might be someone else's main league. Do your job, or don't play.

I learned that running backs are even less valuable than I thought. Dalvin Cook has done exactly nothing since Minnesota cut him, the Buccaneers have won their division the past two years despite ranking dead last in rushing, and only a dozen players eclipsed 1000 yards on the ground in 2023, despite playing a 17-game season. That's not even 60 yards a game. It's a passing league for the foreseeable future, and in fantasy, the notion of going RB-RB with your first two picks seems quaint today. Remember when that was the standard strategy?

I used to ignore quarterbacks until later in the draft. Now I take that philosophy with running backs. As long as I stay away from guys like Akers and Mattison, it should work out in the long run.

Speaking of quarterbacks, I learned that different formats can make an old game feel new again. I played in a 2QB league for the first time this season, and it was a lot of fun. I don't think it was just that particular adjustment as much as having to look at the draft differently, and changing my priorities throughout the year. If you feel like your fantasy experience is in a rut, try something different. Maybe 2QB, maybe IDP, maybe an auction or dynasty. There are many ways to play this game. Try a new one or two.

Finally, I learned that guys like Andy Reid and Travis Kelce could retire, but they keep going, partially because they genuinely like what they do. I feel the same way. I've been writing this column for nearly 25 years, and it's still fun. I like the comments, the compliments and even the criticisms. I like discussing issues that go beyond who to start each week. I like delving into topics that can make the fantasy experience better. I like being reminded when I'm wrong or I miss something. And I like appreciating the fantasy game while it evolves, along with the real one.

So let's run it back in the summertime. In the meanwhile, take a break, watch some hockey, and spend some Sundays with the folks who call themselves your family. See you in July!

What did you learn this past season? What did you think about the game on Sunday? What was your favorite halftime show of all time? Share your thoughts below.