Is there anything quite like the annual fantasy football draft?
The fantasy football draft is one of the most exciting days in many men's lives. It's a day when a guy (and ladies as well) can kick back with friends and enjoy a great time. Everyone in the league gathers at a friend's house, downs a good amount of beer and snacks, and makes fun of each other's picks all night long.
For some, the draft is merely a social event. The time with friends is no doubt cherished by all. But many who play fantasy football are out to win. It's a way for people to get that adrenaline rush that only competition can bring.
Here are five tips to keep in mind come draft day in order to ensure a quality team is drafted.
This point cannot be stressed enough. It is absolutely essential for owners to know their league's scoring system when selecting players.
A points-per-reception (PPR) league is vastly different than a standard scoring league where receptions are not awarded points.
Some players are much more valuable in PPR leagues than they are in standard leagues. Wes Welker and LeSean McCoy catch a lot of passes and are therefore ranked much higher than players such as Michael Turner and Dwayne Bowe, who do not rack up as many receptions.
Also, knowing how points are awarded for defenses is a good note to make.
I used to be in the habit of ignoring injury reports. It's easy to overlook offseason surgeries when you can see the incredible upside a player holds.
But I've been burned many times. Be wary of players who are constantly injured. Chances are that they will be injured again, and you will be left scrambling for backup options.
Make sure you know which players are nicked up in training camp and who had offseason knee surgeries. Don't make the mistake that many owners made last summer by selecting Sidney Rice too early.
Many owners get loose and relaxed in the latter rounds of the draft.
These rounds are possibly the most important. Valuable depth can be found in these rounds and successful owners should always find viable talent no matter what round it happens to be. Many sleepers are ripe for the picking in these rounds. Just ask those who selected Dwayne Bowe last year.
If you cannot find any players you like in these rounds, then you are not properly prepared.
Don't be the guy who takes the kicker off the board. It is a waste of a pick. The difference between the highest rated kicker and the tenth or twelfth rated kicker is minuscule over the course of a season.
Use that pick to build a solid bench and add depth. I would much rather take another sleeper than a kicker. Then, when setting your roster for Week 1, simply drop your least valuable player and add a kicker.
I like to take a player who may win the starting job in training camp. If he wins the job, you've found a diamond in the rough. If not, drop him and pick up a kicker. Simple, but effective.
Trusting your own gut feelings can be difficult at times. Stick to your draft strategy and plan. When there is a rush on defenses being selected, don't be afraid to go against the grain and take another running back.
If you have a good feeling about a player, take him. Don't be afraid to reach for a player. If you can get a player you really want, take him and don't think twice.
Trust yourself and the research you have done. It will pay off.