How To Successfully Draft a Winning Fantasy Football Team

Football ManiaxsSenior Writer IAugust 3, 2010

Five mistakes to avoid on draft day and how to draft successfully instead:

1) Know the scoring system: Imagine playing Monopoly without knowing that you can only make $250 per hotel stop on Mediterranean versus $2,000 per hotel stop on Boardwalk.

Imagine playing Poker without knowing that an Ace was the high card, and imagine playing chess without knowing that you are trying to capture the King and not the Queen.

In order to succeed at any game, you have to know the rules. Fantasy Football is no different...

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2) Draft like an analyst, not a fan: You cannot draft your favorite players and expect to win, unless your favorite players also happen to be the best available player.

I played in a league with a Chicago Bears fan that drafted QB Jay Cutler as the first overall pick. He was excited to see Cutler sign with the Bears and thought he was going to have a great year. That, among other reasons, is why he finished 3-11 with the worst record in the league. When you are drafting players, you have to treat them like stocks...

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3) What is a sleeper and when to draft one: Too many people do not know what a sleeper is. Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart or Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles were no longer sleepers the moment they cracked the top 15 last year.

A sleeper is someone that did not start most weeks last year and has the potential to produce this year as a first-time starter or player that will see the field for the majority of the offensive play...

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4) Forget the past and look at the present: Here is a big statistic to consider when you draft this year. The last time a player repeated as the No. 1 overall fantasy-scoring player is Kansas City Chiefs RB Priest Holmes in 2002 and 2003.

Former San Diego Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson was the closest to repeating the feat, finishing first in scoring in 2006 and second in 2007. You cannot just look at how players finished last year and expect them to do the same next year...

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5) Flexibility Makes Fantasy Football Champions: Oftentimes a Fantasy Football Owner becomes too confined to a positional drafting strategy. This is probably the hardest concept to figure out when it comes to successful fantasy drafting.

“In the first round, I am going to take a running back, followed by another running back, followed by a receiver, quarterback and two more receivers.” 

This is the equivalent of taking a trip from Chicago to New York, picking a route, and even if a bridge is out and the road is closed, continuing down the predetermined path. It is great to have a plan, but the plan has to be adjusted as circumstances dictate...

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