Fantasy Football Draft Strategies


General Douglas MacArthur said it best, “I have returned.” For my ceremonial re-reemergence article, I thought it would be best to discuss what is on all of our minds: the fantasy football season!

Previously, I have written about drafting for victory, but I would like to add the experience I have gained in two defeated, albeit playoff ending, seasons.

Going into any fantasy football draft it is vital that you have a draft board and a draft plan, which are in fact two very different things.

A draft board is a player ranking system, where you assign round grades to current NFL players. Everyone’s draft board can be very different, as it extremely subjective and personal ritual that every fantasy GM should undertake. Creating a draft board allows you to gain an in-depth understanding of draft-worthy players and what rounds they can be had in.

Source: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The best method of creating a draft board is use or ESPN, Rotoworld, Bleacher Report, etc. rankings as a base line. Do not merely copy the rankings, as this will NOT give you an edge. For example, if you want Allen Robinson and you know the experts give him a 15th round draft grade then take him in the 14th. Too simple? No, actually this is a gut call, as you need to decide how much you really want Allen Robinson to “over draft” him by a round. I am a big proponent that you cannot over draft a player you MUST have, but do not be surprised if you earn a few jokes at your expense by doing this.

Remember this: DO NOT DO THIS FOR THE WHOLE DRAFT! Over drafting your whole roster equals defeat, ridicule and shame!

Finally, be aware of the snake in the snake draft, i.e. how many spots until your next pick, as this will influence if you want to jump on a player a round early or not.

Source: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Rank the top 150 players as a whole and than rank each position, as having a position-by-position break down will help you when the panic sets in half way through the draft when you have realized you forgot to draft a whole position. Combining a top 150 and a general ranking will help in the late stages of the draft.

Now you have a your players ranked and even have done a round by round break down, great you are ready to draft.

Not so fast!

Remember you should have an overall draft strategy on how you are going to draft. An example being, are you going to go heavy on running backs in the early rounds and grab wide receivers in the mid rounds, etc. Having a plan will force you to be aware of the players you can get in the later rounds.

Source: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

If you are planning on going RB heavy in the first three rounds and get your WR in the mid rounds, the Bryants, Thomases, and Cobbs WILL NOT be there, so be prepared. Be aware that you can get a Golden Tate, a Mo Sanu,  in those mid rounds, players that can still bring you strong production. Remember, the snake draft effect, as twenty picks is a LONG time to wait for a position of need.

Drafting your fantasy team is a rush, it is what keeps me coming back each year, so I say have fun with it. These are some of the tips and tricks I have learned after many years of fantasy drafts, choose to follow them if you will, choose not to at your own risk. Remember, do not commit the cardinal sin of many fantasy drafts: do not drink and draft.

Next: Ace Sanders was just cut, who could be next?

More from Black and Teal