Fantasy 101: The Technique That Will Bring You "Tiers" of Joy by Season's End

Evan PettyCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2008

Every year, as the fantasy football season nears closer, thousands of rankings are created, theories are derived, and sleepers are deemed. You decide what "expert's" rankings you like the best, and many of us draft solely based upon that.

Not often, however, is the most effective technique for drafting available. This very simple technique that I am speaking of is the "tier system."

I am not going to go into a lot of detail here, so the basic idea is to rank each position and then to form tiers. A tier is an echelon, or just the spot where the next-best player is clearly less valuable than the other.

The idea of creating tiers is to give yourself an advantage over your opponent in as many positions as possible (this strategy is specifically for head-to-head leagues, and is not as important in total point leagues).  

This requires you to look at each position individually and break down which player will give you the best advantage against your opponent week in and week out.

A lot depends on your league's scoring, but my general rule of thumb is to take the player from the best tier (ex: take a No. 1 tier QB over a No. 2 tier RB or WR). I recommend to not be so mechanical in this thought, but it is a good general guideline. So, here are my top three tiers for QB, RB, and WR (based on standard scoring).



Tier 1: Tom Brady

Tier 2: Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Drew Brees

Tier 3: Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, Derek Anderson



Tier 1: LaDanian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson

Tier 2: Brian Westbrook, Joseph Addai, Steven Jackson,

Tier 3: Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Marion Barber, Marshawn Lynch, Larry Johnson, Ryan Grant



Tier 1: Randy Moss, Terrell Owens

Tier 2: Reggie Wayne, Braylon Edwards, Larry Fitzgerald, Marques Colston, T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Andre Johnson

Tier 3: Calvin Johnson, Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall, Plaxico Burress, Torry Holt, Anquan Boldin