2013 Fantasy Football: Conducting a Draft Strategy

Matt Schreiber@@schreiberstakeAnalyst IIIAugust 9, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 05:  Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans runs the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Reliant Stadium on January 5, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With the 2013 NFL regular season less than a month away from kickoff, fantasy football enthusiasts are eager to draft their players, hoist their league's championship prize and talk smack to fellow league competitors.

In order to achieve your goal, it is vital that you put together a consistent draft strategy and stick to it throughout the draft. In a perfect world, you get the first pick and every player you want on your team falls into your lap in your pre-specified draft position. Unfortunately, the world we live in isn't so perfect.

Anyone who is experienced with fantasy football is well aware of the scarcity of productive running backs, which is why you take the best back available with your first-round pick.

While guys like Calvin Johnson, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees sound like very attractive first-round options, you don't take them unless you have a pick falling between 10 through 12. It is tough to grasp because quarterbacks always take over the top-five fantasy performers points-wise at the season's end.

Your second-round pick should be a top-tier wide receiver, unless Jimmy Graham or one of the top 12 running backs is still left on the board. Guys like Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones and Demaryius Thomas are perfect guys to shoot for in the second round.

Tight ends are going to be a struggle to come by this year, considering there are really only 12 solid options available. Rob Gronkowski has been the best tight end over the last few years, but he is injured and there isn't really a timetable for his return.

Graham is obviously the best available, and if you don't get a chance to draft him or Jason Witten, you shouldn't be thinking about selecting a tight end until you have taken your two starting running backs and your two starting receivers. The options below Graham and Witten all have an equal chance of putting up the same numbers.

Unless you love Rodgers, Brees or Peyton Manning, you shouldn't even be thinking quarterback until round four. If you miss out on either of those guys, you have a great chance of drafting Matt Ryan, Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton, or Tom Brady at this point. Just know that in a 12-team league, there are 10 quarterbacks out there behind Rodgers and Brees that have an equal chance of putting up the similar numbers. Quarterback should not be a stressor for you.

Top 12 Quarterbacks:

  1. Drew Brees
  2. Aaron Rodgers
  3. Peyton Manning
  4. Cam Newton
  5. Matt Ryan
  6. Tom Brady
  7. Colin Kaepernick
  8. Russell Wilson
  9. Robert Griffin III
  10. Andrew Luck
  11. Matthew Stafford
  12. Tony Romo

Top 20 Running Backs:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. Arian Foster
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Doug Martin
  5. Trent Richardson
  6. LeSean McCoy
  7. Marshawn Lynch
  8. Ray Rice
  9. C.J. Spiller
  10. Steven Jackson
  11. Stevan Ridley
  12. Alfred Morris
  13. Matt Forte
  14. Maurice Jones-Drew
  15. Chris Johnson
  16. Lamar Miller
  17. David Wilson
  18. Frank Gore
  19. Darren McFadden
  20. Le'Veon Bell

Top 30 Wide Receivers:

  1. Calvin Johnson
  2. Demaryius Thomas
  3. Brandon Marshall
  4. Dez Bryant
  5. Larry Fitzgerald
  6. AJ Green
  7. Julio Jones
  8. Randall Cobb
  9. Vincent Jackson
  10. Andre Johnson
  11. Reggie Wayne
  12. Roddy White
  13. Victor Cruz
  14. Wes Welker
  15. Eric Decker
  16. Mike Wallace
  17. Antonio Brown
  18. Danny Amendola
  19. Hakeem Nicks
  20. Torrey Smith
  21. Dwayne Bowe
  22. Tavon Austin
  23. Steve Smith
  24. DeAndre Hopkins
  25. Marques Colston
  26. Pierre Garcon
  27. DeSean Jackson
  28. Stevie Johnson
  29. Greg Jennings
  30. Cecil Shorts III

Top 12 Tight Ends:

  1. Jimmy Graham
  2. Jason Witten
  3. Kyle Rudolph
  4. Vernon Davis
  5. Tony Gonzalez
  6. Antonio Gates
  7. Owen Daniels
  8. Jared Cook
  9. Jermichael Finley
  10. Rob Gronkowski
  11. Brandon Myers
  12. Martellus Bennett

Once these guys are removed from the board, which, if my math is correct, will happen by the seventh round in 12-team leagues, your sneaky gut will have to start taking shots at sleepers. 

Some guys that could be sleepers are rookie running backs Giovani Bernard and Montee Ball and second-year back Daryl Richardson. I like wide receivers James Jones, Kenny Britt and Vincent Brown. As far as tight ends go, I like Jermichael Finley to perform well for Green Bay with the absence of Greg Jennings and Donald Driver to go along with Cleveland's Jordan Cameron.

Here is my 15-round draft strategy that has helped me win my league three of the last four seasons:

  1. RB1
  2. WR1
  3. RB2/WR2 (best available)
  4. QB1/RB2/WR2 (best available)
  5. QB1/RB2/WR2 (best available)
  6. TE1
  7. Flex Player (RB/WR/TE)
  8. Sleeper RB or WR
  9. Team Defense/Special Teams
  10. Sleeper RB or WR
  11. Sleeper RB or WR
  12. QB2 (backup)
  13. TE2 (backup)
  14. Kicker
  15. Sleeper of any position


    One Player on Each Team Set to Disappoint in 2018

    NFL logo

    One Player on Each Team Set to Disappoint in 2018

    Doug Farrar
    via Bleacher Report

    LAC Scout Was Why Lamar Didn't Run 40

    NFL logo

    LAC Scout Was Why Lamar Didn't Run 40

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    Brett Favre Looking to End Youth Tackle Football

    NFL logo

    Brett Favre Looking to End Youth Tackle Football

    Green Bay Packers
    via Green Bay Packers

    Which Rookie QB Faces the Most Pressure?

    NFL logo

    Which Rookie QB Faces the Most Pressure?

    Brent Sobleski
    via Bleacher Report