5 Fantasy Football Draft Tips

Fantasy KnuckleheadsCorrespondent IAugust 27, 2010

HOUSTON - AUGUST 28: Houston Texans cheerleaders perform in the fourth quarter during a football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on August 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Here are five tips to help you with your fantasy football draft. You likely won’t pick up on these until after a couple years of fantasy football. No one in your draft will tell you and your draft will suffer because of it.

  1. Cheat Sheet: If you don’t have a cheat sheet you’ll likely have a horrible draft. Your cheat sheet needs to include projected points based on your leagues scoring system, average draft position, scarcity calculations for each player (so you know if you can wait before taking another RB etc), fantasy strength of schedule and bye weeks. Of course we have one for you here.
  2. Don’t play Russian Roulette at the QB position: If you’re league is QB friendly, meaning they score more points than RB’s overall then you should take that top 5 QB if the top five RBs are already gone, here’s why. Lets say you get one of the Top 5 QB’s in the draft versus the guys who got the 11th or 12th, history tells us you just netted yourself 100(ish) more fantasy points than the guy that drafted the 11th or 12th fantasy QB. Also the top five QB’s are more consistent, which makes them a very low risk pick worth paying for. That fact of the matter is there will be a handful of RB and WR that will emerge from mid to late round draft slots which could produce top ten numbers. The Russian Roulette list of break out candidates at quarterbacks is to long, try to get a TOP 5 QB just like a TOP 5 RB. Now there is a caveat, if your league is letting QB’s slip and you feel you can get a TOP 5 WR etc and still net a TOP 5 QB then go for it. It’s all about what is happening in your draft. The point is don’t play Russian Roulette at the QB position. You want one of the TOP ranked quarterbacks, they’re more reliable and predictable year after year.
  3. Hoarding Running Backs: We all have tried to stock pie running backs during the draft, which means we have wasted countless picks on running backs that most likely will not start on your team. Get your primary backs early and get your sleeper late then move on. The simple fact is a couple running backs will emerge in the first four weeks and you need to be a waiver wire hawk and get them, end of story.
  4. Kicker: Taking a note from “The Fifth Down” blog “You should always be the last team to take a kicker. You want an accurate kicker with a good distance leg, in an offense that might have trouble finishing drives. An extra bonus is a late bye week so that you don’t have to drop your starter for a backup kicker until later in the season. Janikowski fits every criteria on that list, and he, like Miller, should benefit from a rejuvenated Raiders offense. If Janikowski gets sniped from you before the last round, take Matt Bryant, the newly anointed starter in Atlanta.”
  5. Analyze last years data: If this is your second (or more) year drafting within the same league then by all means review last years data. Look for things like:
  • Are position runs common? Which position(s)? Have a sleeper list built for this position (and the others just in case) because we humans are creatures of habit, a run will happen again guaranteed. Every year a TE run takes place in my 18 team league, never fails.
  • Did your fantasy league draft RB sooner than WR or QB, what positions got hit the fastest? This data helps you make logical decisions when you’re on the clock trying to decide between a RB or WR.
  • Observe the value picks that made it to the mid to late rounds. Know this value existed the year before and be ready to identify it this year.