Fantasy football draft season is finally here, and we’ve got you prepared with the essential tips to help you dominate your league.
By now, you’ve signed up for your league, picked out the perfect team name and are pumped for the start of the season. Now is the time to prepare for the most important day of the year: Draft Day. If you want to DO:MORE and take down the competition, you’re going to need an awesome fantasy football draft strategy to get you there. Here are the key pieces of advice to build the perfect team.
Check out these essential fantasy football draft tips.
If you want to be a champion, make sure you come prepared. Stay up to date on team news, position rankings lists and average draft positions. Understand your scoring system – don’t get caught off guard by an unusual twist. Online or offline, come to the draft with pens, paper, cheat sheets, a blank roster grid, a Wi-Fi connection and open browser for player research ready to go.
Don’t sweat your draft position
Many people fret when they first see their draft position – don’t be one of them. Standard “snake” drafts mean the positions are reversed in each round. Even if you land the last pick in the first round, you get to follow up with another stud right away. Be strategic, understand how many players will be drafted between your picks and work the draft to your advantage.
Take less risks early
Once your draft has begun, it’s time to pick the studs that will be the top pillars of your fantasy team. Now isn’t the time to play around, so go for the superstars who you know will produce big numbers for your team. Avoid red flags like injury risk, unproven talent or questionable playing time. Save those for emergency picks and the later rounds.
Don’t overvalue QB’s
QB is the single most overvalued position in fantasy football. QBs are, without a doubt, an important piece to a title-winning team. The fact remains, however, that the performance gap between top QB’s and mid-tier QB’s is far less significant than the difference between an elite RB, WR or TE and their mid-tier counterparts. In most leagues, it doesn’t make sense to take a QB until at least the third round.
PPR League? Go heavy on receivers
If your league is a PPR, or points-per-reception, format, it is vital to go for players that rack up a ton of receptions. There is a lot of depth at WR in 2013, so look to acquire some key talent in the mid rounds of your draft. Don’t just look at the WR who catches a ton of passes, but also the RB and even the TE who sees plenty of looks tossed their way.
Take late round fliers
After Round 10, it’s time to fill your roster out with sleeper talent that might just hit the jackpot. Don’t stick to the mediocre regulars who churn out 50 yards and 3 receptions a game. Stash players that have the upside for a breakout season. Think about guys with wicked talent who might not be guaranteed playing time, overlooked players in a brand new offensive scheme, or the backup RB who never plays, but could turn into a top 10 talent if their starter goes down.
Get Your Insurance
Just like when investing in an expensive real-life purchase, it is vital to secure insurance for your top picks. This rule holds most true for RB’s, as a back-up can sometimes step-in and put up elite numbers in their absence. It is also valuable to secure your RB’s backup if he has an uncertain grip on the starter’s role.
Consider Streaming Defenses
At the end of the draft, a series of teams may take a “run” on defenses before you get to pick one, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a mediocre team defense for the year. Consider playing the match-ups on a weekly basis, playing different defenses every week based on how poor the offense is theyre facing. This gives you roster flexibility and, if played well, a surprisingly capable week-to-week strategy.
Kickers Go Last
Your kicker should be the last thing on your mind, so don’t draft a kicker until the last round. They all score relatively in the same range and their scoring patterns are tough to predict. Some kickers may never even get the opportunity to kick a field goal because their offense isn’t moving. Other times, they will only kick the less valuable extra point because their team keeps racking up touchdowns.
Have any other key fantasy football draft tips or strategy? Let us know in the comments below or @DegreeMen on Twitter.