Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The first thing to look into when developing your fantasy football draft strategy is how the team lineups are setup, because in a lot of cases no two leagues are the same. Over the years I’ve played in all sorts of leagues that had lineups ranging from starting two quarterbacks, flex positions (running backs or wide receivers), individual defensive players and even a league where you started a punter. Alright I made that last one up, but the point is you need to know the positions you’re looking to fill before you start drafting players.
If I had to choose the most common setup for a league, it usually involves starting one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one kicker and one entire defensive unit. So let’s go through the importance of the positions one by one. FYI, this will be more of a general philosophy overview as I will get into specific players later on.
With quarterbacks there seems to be two schools of thought on when you should draft one. Some people believe in drafting an elite quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) early on while others will wait for the middle rounds to draft an under the radar quarterback (Josh Freeman) who could have a big year. It’s a tough call as far is which one is the better strategy because it all depends on what draft position you have and how the other players in the league are drafting.
Next, like the pretty girl in high school, running backs seem to get all of the attention come draft time. But it can be a tricky position to draft given the recent trend of teams leaning towards using a running back by committee approach. I suggest using your first round pick on one of the elite backs to help anchor your squad.
Then we have the wide receiver position. With teams utilizing more three wide receiver sets than ever before, I think this is the position that you can find the most value at late in a draft. Now don’t get me wrong, if you went running back in the first round and someone like Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald is there in the second round, don't be afraid to pull the trigger on that pick.
Finally we’ll wrap this up with the tight end, kicker and defense positions. There are only a handful of tight ends that are really worthy of an early pick and by early I mean fifth or sixth round, after that you might as well wait. You can also wait on selecting a defense until the last few rounds, and in my opinion you should always wait until the last round to draft a kicker.