Maximizing Your Fantasy Football Draft Strategy

Fantasy KnuckleheadsCorrespondent IAugust 30, 2011

Lots to think about before draft day...
Lots to think about before draft day...Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The biggest misconception in fantasy football is that running backs still hold all the cards when it comes to the draft. I remember when I first started getting into fantasy football, a majority of the magazines I would read would always tell me, “You must draft two running backs in the first three rounds to succeed.”

At the time, it was sound advice. Running backs like Priest Holmes and Marshall Faulk were getting a majority of the carries in their offenses and put up huge stats on a yearly basis.

My, how times have changed.

The days of a running back getting 25-plus carries a game are almost an afterthought because of coaches wanting to install a two-back system to keep both players fresh for an entire season. Teams have become more pass-happy as well.

With teams like the Falcons, Texans and Eagles relying more and more on their passing offense, wide receivers have seen their receptions, yardage and touchdown catches grow every year.

The same can be said with quarterbacks and their passing numbers. Never in a million years would you ever consider taking a quarterback in the top three of any draft for fear of losing out on a top-notch running back when it came back to your turn in the draft at the end of Round 2.

I got an email today from a customer who I have known for some time now. I won’t give up their name to protect the innocent, but what they told me made me cringe. After I read his first strategy going into his draft, I had to write an article so others won’t make the same mistake going into theirs.

I am thinking to go RB, RB, RB, WR/QB to start.

Had he stuck to this strategy before asking me for my opinion, he would have had a fairly solid group of running backs to choose from every week, but his other positions would have been hanging by the wayside. And then he would have been left hoping his low-tier skill players at all the other positions somehow panned out for the season.

Look, having a strategy before doing anything in life is always a must. But if you stubbornly stick to that strategy and not give yourself any leeway to make changes during the task, nine times out of 10, the ending is going to be disastrous.

So what do I tell him? Take what the draft gives you. I have found that going with the best player available will not only be beneficial in giving you the highest-scoring players possible, but it will also help you garner a stud at almost every position.

If you take a running back in the first round and there is another running back that slid to the second that has just as much value as a receiver or quarterback, more often than not it’s safe to draft him.

But if you look at your cheat sheets and see there is a wide receiver or two that are ranked higher than the next running back on your list, you’re better off taking the receiver because you know he is going to give you more points than, say, a running back who is in a timeshare.

You can take this a step further and draft based on position scarcity and player value to ensure you draft each position at just the right time in your draft.

Adjusting your initial strategy to counteract the changes that take place during the draft will ensure that you are getting the best player possible that fits your scoring system. If you don’t make changes that will make this possible, you might as well forget about winning that championship.

Key points to maximize your draft strategy: