I have never used a magazine. I use free internet sources only. Of course, I'm about in the same boat as you...four years, one win, three seconds and a third.
As you probably know, teams tend to change quite a bit from the draft to the fantasy playoffs. While a draft guide might help you find one guy that may help you (but may also be targeted by others since it's in a magazine), I don't know how helpful they would be in the long haul. Winning a title takes a good team at the end of the year and luck. If you're getting "in the money" by yourself, I'd say you probably know what you're doing but are just coming up short because of either a bad decision for a starter in the playoffs or going up against a team that has hotter players.
I'm not trying to badmouth the mags, but from your message it seems that you already know what you're doing. The magazines don't cost a terribly large sum of money, so you could do it to try it out if you so desire.
I think this place gives as much info and analysis than most magazines would anyway...
The One, the Only, the Incomparable Mercer Boy. My My YouTube.
If you know/follow football, then no reason to pay for info. EVER!! I say this because they're are plenty of people that play fantasy football, but really dont know much about the game or players. If this is you, then yes you may need to invest in sometime of info. Although if you know how to use the internet there is plenty of free info to be found. This site imparticular. I get the sportsline info because my league uses this site to host our games, but the info provided is no better or worse then any otther info, free or paid for, that I've seen. As soon as anysite starts charging, ie. espn.com, fantasyfootballasylum.com, I move on! Will do the same if this site ever starts charging. I've listen to radio shows, read the internet, and read fantasy articles that sometimes show up in the newspaper. You know what? These people are every bit as right and wrong as I've been. I'm sure many others which use this site and KNOW football can probably same that they've had the same experiences. Trust theses so called "experts" that claim that their info is for "entertainment purposes only". They're speaking the truth!
One last thing in regards to the draft magazines. I've thumbed through a few that my opponents have brought to the draft party. These things are a complete waste of money! They're usually rediculously outdated. One still had Ricky Williams as a top ten draft pick. This is the best example I can think of, but there were others! Listing players as playing for the team that they were on last year, but not this year. I had to keep from laughing that these guys were actually putting their teams faith in these things. Needless to say of 3 teams that each had a different mag, none of them made the playoffs and 2 of them were the 2 worst teams in the league!
I can understand buying a $5 fantasy football magazine at your local general store, but I'm not going to pay $20 for fantasy info off the internet. Plus, if you have a draft that's not on the computer that knowledge is quite pointless anyway. For my drafts I use free media sources.
I rebute. thehuddle.com has proven to be a great reference for me. I don't use it for my college information (I follow college sports far more than NFL, so there really isn't a need.). However, for in-season information, some pay sites do a great job of finding nobodys that will be somebodys. (I successfully drafted Randy Moss and Anquan Boldin and completed post-draft trades that sent me Curtis Martin, Isaac Bruce and Drew Brees for Matt Hassellbeck, Kevan Barlow.) Trust me, these guys do their research.
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Finished up my 3rd year of fantasy football. Have had enough success without magazines and pay sites. I think if you are a football fan, you easily have an opportunity to do well without the paid help.