5 Fantasy Football Myths You Must Know Before You Draft
For every piece of good fantasy advice available on the web, there’s at least one bad one. And while evaluations of players will reveal themselves as wrong or right over the course of the season, errors in draft philosophy and roster management could put your fantasy squad at a disadvantage before the season even begins.
Here’s a look at some of the popular unproven or false beliefs in fantasy football.
Myth: You Have to Draft 'Sleepers'
A significant amount of pre-draft articles, lists and guides feature write-ups on sleeper picks. A sleeper is generally a late-round or low-cost pick that has the potential for increased fantasy value in the coming season.
This year, players like Jonathan Baldwin, Randall Cobb, Jacob Tamme and Mikel Leshoure have all been touted as sleepers.
But the truth is that many players who will make a strong fantasy impact for the first time will not come from the late rounds; they’ll come from the waiver wire as the season progresses. Last year, players like Victor Cruz and DeMarco Murray (who were, for the most part, undrafted) had some of the greatest impacts of the fantasy season.
There’s nothing wrong with drafting and stashing a high-potential player, but making sleepers the focus of your draft preparation could mean missing out on stability and flexibility with your roster.
Myth: Drafting Players with the Same Bye Week Is Bad
To a certain extent, this is good advice. But the problem is that fantasy owners take it too far and end up selecting less talented and lower-rated players simply because they don’t want to have two running backs or wide receivers with the same bye week.
Don’t overemphasize one week's production and cost yourself a superior player (or players) for the other 16.
Most fantasy leagues have enough bench spots to fill in for multiple players with the same bye week. Playing two (or even three) players that would normally be on your bench for one week could be the consequence for ignoring bye weeks, but it’s worth it in order to have a better overall roster.
Myth: You Should Exclusively Draft RBs in Rounds 1 and 2
This myth has been pretty much debunked, as owners have been successful drafting a top QB in one of the first two rounds the past few years. This year, though, some fantasy owners may not draft a RB in Round 1 or 2.
In fact, five of the current Top 10 players in ADP for ESPN are non-RBs, and that extends to 12 of the Top 20 as non-RBs. A broken collarbone for Chargers RB Ryan Mathews and minor knee surgery for Cleveland’s Trent Richardson have pushed them out of the top 20.
Of course, if an owner decides to go QB/WR or QB/TE in the first two rounds this year, the next two picks should be spent securing running backs.
Myth: You Should Handcuff Your Stud RB
Drafting a handcuff is playing for the worst-case scenario—an injury to your early-round feature back. What you really end up doing is handcuffing yourself and reducing the total potential value of your fantasy roster. Two roster spots are tied to the production of one player. The spot taken by the handcuff would be better used for a share-time player or even a handcuff for a running back on another fantasy squad.
Myth: When Stuck, Draft the Player from the Better Team
The first problem with this myth is that there is much uncertainty when it comes to all but a few offenses in the NFL. Fantasy owners can be sure that a few dynamic offenses will continue to produce a lot of points (like the Patriots and Packers), but of little else.
Even still, the No. 1 and No. 2 options on teams who aren’t expected to do well in the coming season can be better value picks than lower options on a more prolific offense. While Brandon Lloyd will play for the high-powered Patriots in 2012, he could be the third or fourth option in that passing attack. Lloyd’s ADP (50.2) is currently higher than Percy Harvin’s (56.1), who is the no-doubt-about-it No. 1 receiver for the Vikings.
Harvin will be consistently targeted throughout the season and be given the opportunity to produce at high level on a weekly basis. The same can't be said for Lloyd.
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