I usually sim the first 2 to 3 quarters of my game, then jump in and call the plays for the rest.
For me, it generally results in 2-3 extra wins per season. Most likely because I can utilize particular players and styles when needed. I find this the only way to really utilze tight ends and feature WR/RB's the way I want too.
I look at the opposing teams statistical breakdown and player skills as part of my scouting approach. Takes about 5 minutes to review per game, if that.