Fantasy Football Draft Strategy 2013: How to Create a Championship Team

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 2, 2013

Aug 9, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks on during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field.  The Cardinals won 17-0.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody has his or her own opinion as to what comprises a championship fantasy football team.

Many people don't know what they're talking about.

There are several time-tested strategies that have generally been beneficial to fantasy owners throughout the years. Some prefer to challenge these strategies, which is fine because it will only distance you further from such folks.

Here are several strategies that are widely used to construct an awesome fantasy football team. Follow these strategies with zest and fervor and don't be surprised if you soar this season.

Good luck (although luck won't be needed for those reading this).

*Strategy based on a 12-team standard league


Don't Draft a Quarterback in the First Round

Unless you are in a league that has more than 12 teams, have the last pick in the first round and everybody selects a running back or a receiver before your turn, you should not draft a quarterback first.

I don't care if you love Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. Don't do it.


Of the 12 top scorers in fantasy football last season, 11 were quarterbacks (some guy named Adrian Peterson ranked seventh). 

My point? 

There are plenty of quarterbacks who can put up big numbers for you on a consistent basis, especially these days. There may be a slight drop-off from players like Rodgers and Brees, but not big enough of a drop-off to go into a draft saying, "I have to get Rodgers!"

Your best bet is going RB-RB, RB-WR or WR-RB in the first two rounds. 

Don't try to be a rebel here. People will only laugh at you when you are in last place at the end of your fantasy football season. And you aren't that cool when people laugh at you.


Take What Your Draft Gives You

"Take what life gives you."

Hopefully, you've heard this expression before.

Because it translates to fantasy football, too. As in, take what your fantasy football draft gives you.

For example, you shouldn't go into a draft saying you will draft, say, a running back in the first round no matter what.

Why? Well, let's say you have the final pick in the first round and everybody has drafted a running back. Why not take what the draft gives you and grab a top receiver like the Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson? You aren't going to nab a top running back at No. 12 overall, anyway. So, you won't have a great running back tandem, but you will make up for it in other areas.

If you simply took the 12th-best running back, you wouldn't get as much value there. You can counterattack in fantasy drafts. Don't let people bully you into taking a player you aren't excited about.


Bargains Are Just as Important as Stars

If you find a guy who defies expectations and becomes a reliable second or third receiver, you have done a mighty good job. Because now you likely have more depth and production than others have. 

There are always the hot names every year in fantasy football. But the lesser names that could help you gain distance from the rest of the league are rarely glorified.

That's a mistake.

I can't tell you how many fantasy drafts I have won because I found hidden gems in the later rounds, watching gleefully as some guy named Doug Martin carved up defenses and my opponents' hopes and dreams.

Any player who can give you a few more points each week is vitally important, whether he is Adrian Peterson or Kenbrell Thompkins (that's a hint!).


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