Fantasy Football: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Rounder?

Jim CantrellSenior Analyst IJuly 30, 2008

I'm forever blowing bubbles.

I'm not talking about those soapy spheres so popular at backyard parties or in low budget music videos (which I realize for some of you are basically the same thing).

No, I'm talking about those players in fantasy football drafts who are considered to be "on the bubble". The ones that tend to fall somewhere between rounds six and ten because they are not coveted enough to be taken with one of the top 50 picks, but are not obscure enough to make John Clayton drool all over himself like a schnauzer gnawing on a ham bone, either.

Often overlooked, these picks can be the difference between a good season and a bad season, and in many cases will determine whether you enjoy the thrill of victory, or the agony of DeShaun Foster.

So without further ado, and with the full expectation that writing this article will count towards my court imposed community service hours, I give you, "How Not to Screw Up Your Fantasy Football Draft in the Middle Rounds and Wind Up Crying in Your Car on the Way Home Like You Always Do".

(Keep in mind that these rules only apply to rounds six through ten of a 15 round draft.)


Rule No. 1—Do not pick any player in the middle rounds whose name is usually followed by the phrase, "sets up for the field goal."

Rule No. 2—If any players in your top 50 sneak past the fifth round, draft them, regardless of position. If you wind up with four tight ends, it's because your cheat sheet sucks.

Rule No. 3—Never draft a player just to get a reaction from the other owners in your league. Do you want to be remembered as the guy who got into the playoffs with dull but solid players, or the hammerhead who took Tim Hightower in the eighth round?

Rule No. 4—Avoid free agents, no matter how familiar a brand name they have. They are without a team for a reason. If you want "sexy", turn on Desperate Housewives.

Rule No. 5—Don't reach for a handcuff if there are viable NFL starters still on the board. If another owner wants to waste a seventh rounder drafting Ladell Betts as a handcuff to your Clinton Portis, let him. You can always gouge out his eyes with your car keys later.

Rule No. 6—If you plan to draft another owner's handcuff in round seven, wear protective goggles.

Rule No. 7—Don't suddenly give up on your cheat sheet and "go with your gut". You've just spent the last hour eating hot wings and pizza. Your gut is not very reliable.

Rule No. 8—Treat bye weeks as tie-breakers, not deal-breakers. Think like a general manager, not a temp agency.


Although I can't guarantee that following these "bubble rules" will make your fantasy football draft successful, there is one thing I can guarantee:

You will have someone else to blame if your team really "blows".