Fantasy Football: Five Draft Rules To Live By

Paul Augustin, Jr.Senior Analyst IJuly 23, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 4:   Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC Wild Card playoff game on January 4,2009 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

I'm not here to give you a mock draft or a ranking of the best fantasy players. I'm here to give you a few simple rules to live by when trying to make smart fantasy football draft decisions.


Rule No. 1: The Homer Rule

You can't let your love for your team and your hatred for your rivals cloud your judgment.

If you are a rabid 49ers fan, don't get overly excited about Michael Crabtree and reach for him in the first few rounds. He'll be there in the second half of the draft.

At the same time, don't undervalue T.J. Houshmandzadeh because he plays for division rival Seattle.


Rule No. 2: The 2008 New Orleans Saints Rule

Just because the New Orleans Saints may lead the league in yardage and points again, don't draft all of their players.

Drew Brees, Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and Jeremy Shockey can't all have a great fantasy game the same week (except for week one against the Lions).

Like a good stock portfolio, you want to be diverse. Try not to have more than two starters from the same team.


Rule No. 3: The Santonio Holmes Rule

Avoid overvaluing players because they had a good postseason.

Everyone remembers Holmes' fantastic Super Bowl performance, but don't forget that fantasy football is a regular season game.

Holmes did not have a single 100-yard game and only scored 10 or more points in three games in 2008.

As long as Hines Ward is still in the Steel City, Holmes will be the number two receiver.


Rule No. 4: The DeAngelo Williams Rule

Avoid chasing players that had incredible touchdown totals the previous year.

Williams combined for 20 touchdowns (18 rushing, two receiving) for the Panthers in 2008.

Don't expect that to happen again in 2009.

I took a look at the handful of players who had a least 20 touchdowns in one season. All of them except Emmitt Smith had a significant decline in production the following season.

All-time great Jerry Rice saw his touchdown total drop from 23 in 1987 to just 10 in 1988.

Running backs Shaun Alexander, LaDainian Tomlinson, and John Riggins all saw their totals drop significantly the following year after having at least 20 total touchdowns.

This is not to say that Williams won't be productive in 2009. Just don't expect him to be Emmitt Smith.

Rule No. 5: The Neil Rackers Rule

A kicker's accuracy from year to year is wildly unpredictable.

I know that a lot of people went after Arizona's Neil Rackers after he made an NFL-record 40 out of 42 attempts in 2005.

Rackers made just 28 field goals and hit on just 75 percent the following season.

Kickers are a dime a dozen.