2012 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Round-by-Round Analysis

James Hatfield Correspondent IIIMay 30, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 15:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens shakes hands with  Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans following the Ravens 20-13 win during the AFC Divisional playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

It’s time to start prepping yourself for the strategy you will take into your draft.

I am going to write this article under the assumption that you are in a league that has 12 teams and starts one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one flex, a kicker and a defense.


Round 1

If you draw pick No.1 or No. 2, then I would recommend taking a top-tier running back (Ray Rice or Arian Foster).  The No. 1 pick is debatable, but if you grab Ray Rice or Arian Foster, you will be fine.

If you draw pick No. 3 through No. 12, then I would recommend going for a top quarterback like Aaron Rodgers—having one of the best quarterbacks in football will give you reliable, solid production every week.  Most sites would have you draw a top wide receiver or running back with picks five through 12, but let’s play it super safe here.

Many people will disagree with taking a QB so high with the sheer number of talented QBs available for 2012.  If you fall into this category, then roll with a RB in the first round.  LeSean McCoy, MJD, DeMarco Murray and Steven Jackson are all safe picks here.


Round 2

Round 2 is a wide receiver or running back round. I would go after the top running back or wide receiver on my draft guide.  This would most likely be a player like Roddy White or Ryan Matthews.  If you had the top running back in Round 1 then grab a top QB here.

Do you want to gamble in Round 2?  Well, if you are feeling "froggy," then how about a Jimmy Graham pick here—he is a beast—or Rob Gronkowski?  I usually don't advocate for a TE this early, but these two are game-changers.



Round 3

It’s running back or wide receiver time again, and there should be a crop available in Round 3 that get the job done.  I just did an expert draft and took Dwayne Bowe in Round 3.  Just take the best available running back or wide receiver according to your draft guide in Round 3.

If Graham or Gronkowski are hanging around in Round 3 then you must grab them here.


Round 4

At this point, you need to continue to round out your team with either a running back or wide receiver, so your team should have one or two receivers and one or two backs, a quarterback and then one other back or receiver after Round 4.  Take the best available at this point.


Round 5


A couple years ago, I would have told you Round 5 is the best round to get your quarterback, and it’s still a very good round if you don’t buy the “get a QB early” that I am preaching.  

So if you haven’t drafted your quarterback yet, then do it right now.  Otherwise it’s another wide receiver or running back that you are looking for.


Round 6

I would grab another top receiver at this point. Michael Crabtree (looking so solid) and Antonio Brown should all be available.


So now you have a team like Aaron Rodgers, Roddy White, Dwayne Bowe, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Antonio Brown and Marshawn Lynch, which I would argue is a great core group of players.

The only area that would look a little weak is RB, but you would trade out Aaron Rodgers for a Chris Johnson and a BenJarvus Green-Ellis for an Eli Manning.

It really depends on the type of team you want.  I personally will lean toward the stronger QB, but I see no problem with leaning toward a strong RB.


Round 7


I would go after a tight end at this point (if you didn't go after Gronk or Graham), if a top tight end is available (Fred Davis is a nice target). Otherwise, I would snag a running back here.  

So if an OK tight end is there and a solid back is there, then go running back and snag the tight end in Round 8.  Let’s assume you get your tight end here, and I would bet you could get a player like Fred Davis or Vernon Davis.


Round 8

If you got a tight end in Round 7, then it’s time to get your backup running back here.  There will be many options, so get the best available at this point, according to your draft guide.


Round 9

It’s backup quarterback time, and I wouldn’t wait too long for a backup, as you need to be ready for the bye week. So don’t draft a quarterback with same bye week as your starter. Make sure you mark down the bye weeks in your draft guide.



Round 10 and Beyond


Do not draft a kicker until the last round, as there is not enough range in scoring among kickers to warrant a pick other than the last pick of your draft.  

Don’t wait too much longer for your main defense, but make sure you are able to snag some sleepers in the later rounds.  See my other articles for solid sleepers who are available.


Last Point of Drafting in 2012

Invest time in research, reading and supporting your favorite sites.  There are many sites out there that work very hard to give you solid (free) content all year, and your support helps the site to grow.  Word of mouth, rating their articles, comments on articles and purchasing something from the site (my site sells a draft guide) help.

I would absolutely recommend you have some sort of draft guide when you go into your draft, as it will make a world of difference.

Check out my site at HattyWaiverWireGuru.com

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