Fantasy Football: A Winning Draft Strategy Pt. 2

Taylor RummelSenior Analyst IJune 29, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 28:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints drops back to pass during the game against the Carolina Panthers on December 28, 2008 at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

On my very first article posted to Bleacher Report, I wrote the first part of this piece.  However, I have since learned leaps and bounds about players and their respective values [in fantasy drafts], both by participating in countless mock drafts and by reading fine articles on this site about player assessments and positional outlooks.

In this article, I am going to highlight the draft strategy that I would be using if my draft were today (based on a 12-team draft).


First Round

You must draft a running back in this round.  This year, there are more running-back-by committees than ever, which means that the top tier of running backs is dangerously thin.  After Brandon Jacobs, it can be argued that there are no more safe backs to be had in the entire draft.  Plus, the other positions can be had later.


Second Round

Here is where people try to get a little cute with their drafts, and I have to say that I am one of those people.

While old-school fantasy football veterans will advocate taking another back here, I say nay to that notion.  On Fantasy Football Calculator's ADP, five out of the 12 picks in the second round belong to wide receivers.  This shows that almost half of all the owners in the draft will select their first receiver to complement their running back.

I'm not advising you to do that, either. 

Instead, what I am doing is drafting either quarterback Drew Brees or Tom Brady.

Last season, seven of the top ten fantasy scorers at the end of the season were quarterbacks.  Did you know that Jay Cutler outperformed running back Adrian Peterson last year?  I didn't. Take advantage of this lack of knowledge and grab a top QB early.


Third Round

You're probably thinking that I am going to draft a receiver here, seeing as though I don't have one. 


I am picking another running back.  It seems like the third-round backs are actually provide more bang for the buck than second-rounders this year.  Since few running backs are being picked in the second round, a big horde of them are slipping to the third.

In any event, grabbing a top-20 back in the third round is never a bad thing.  The position usually has the most injuries, so stocking up early is a very smart thing.


Fourth Round

Here is where I'll be taking my first receiver.


I don't know why, but I don't like picking a receiver at this point.

According to Fantasy Football Calculator, high-upside backs like Marshawn Lynch, Reggie Bush, Knowshon Moreno, and Darren McFadden are all going in this round, and all have within them the potential of being a top-ten back come season's end. So, pick another back.


Fifth Round

I'll be grabbing my tight end here, hopefully, if either Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates are available.

These top-tier TEs are projected to score higher than the wideouts still available, so why take the lesser player?


Sixth Round

You can breathe now. Finally, after five rounds of wide-receiver deprivation, I am grabbing my first.

Antonio Bryant, Lee Evans, Eddie Royal, Bernard Berrian, and Santana Moss are all going in this round, and they all have immense upside.

The reason why I have chosen to wait this long before grabbing a receiver is because I feel that there is not much difference between a top-10 receiver and a top-30 receiver

In contrast, there is a bigger difference between a top-10 running back, tight end, and quarterback versus their respective top-30 counterparts.

Plus, is it just me, or do wide receivers tend strain their hamstrings?  Boys and girls, it's just not worth grabbing a wide receiver early.  Great value can be had now (and later) for this position.



Right now we have a top-two quarterback, three top-30 running backs, a top-three tight end, and a top-30 receiver.


Seventh Round

I'll be grabbing another receiver, seeing as though I only have one.

Lance Moore, Hines Ward, Michael Crabtree, Donnie Avery, and Torry Holt are all going here on average, and they all represent a fine No. 2 wide receiver value.

Except for maybe Crabtree, being a rookie, every wide receiver just mentioned has the potential to crack 1,000 receiving yards and six to 10 touchdowns; and isn't that what you are getting from wide receivers in the third and fourth rounds?


Eighth Round

One more receiver will be mine after this round, as to finish off the position for my team.

Jerricho Cotchery (potentially my favorite sleeper this year), Steve Breaston, Laveranues Coles, Kevin Walter, and Devin Hester are the wideouts that are going in this round, and like the players from the previous two rounds, they provide great value relative to where they are being drafted.


Ninth Round

I'll take my backup QB here in case Brady pulls, well, another Brady.

Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Cassel, and Kyle Orton will all be available, and they will be fine in a position on the bench.

Orton and Cassel both have potential this year to produce solid numbers, and if they do, could make trading either Brees or Brady a possibility.


Tenth Round

People may think this stupid, but since I have all of my starting positions locked up, I'll snag a top defense here.

I remember going up against teams last year and dreading it when their team's defense put up 15 points in my face while my crummy waiver-wire defense failed to achieve five.


So there you have it, my fantasy football draft plan as of today:  June 29. 

Hope you guys enjoyed it.






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