Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: 5 Tips to Guide You to a Fantasy Title

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2011

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: 5 Tips to Guide You to a Fantasy Title

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    With fantasy football season knocking on our virtual doors, the time for winning your fantasy draft with the right strategy is upon us.

    Obtaining a fantasy football trophy is a big deal for groups of friends, and the holder of the trophy also holds bragging rights until the next champion is crowned.

    That’s a big source of conversation for friends.

    So if you want to win your fantasy league and hold court on your friends, it will be essential for you to follow these rules of thumb.

    This list is comprised of tips to keep you from dwelling the basement, and keep your friends from seeing anything but the backend of your fantasy tank. Good luck and enjoy!

5. Red Zone Tight Ends

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    While many experts will tell you to go super early for a tight end to get optimal performance from the position, you can get value anywhere you take a tight end.

    Early in the draft, you can go for players like Jermichael Finley or Jason Witten and be rewarded, but don't fret if you miss out.

    If you fall out of the top tier of tight ends, the key will be finding the kind of tight ends that are receivers and big-time red zone targets. Look for players like Jimmy Graham from New Orleans or Marcedes Lewis from Jacksonville who will be touchdown machines.

4. Grab a Quarterback Early

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    This rule goes double for leagues that offer six points for passing touchdowns, but also for every league that offers the quarterback position.

    I hear many experts say that it is a smart choice to wait off on drafting a quarterback, but compare the numbers of Drew Brees and some of the middle-round players and you will see just how valuable they are.

    If you want a shot to win in your league, you need to go early for a quarterback or regret it for the rest of the season.

3. Defense and Kicker Can Wait

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    When I see someone taking the Pittsburgh Steelers defense in the seventh round of a fantasy draft, my first notion is to spear them into the draft board.

    Once the rage subsides, I thank that person for wasting such a high pick on a position when the top-10 defenses are very close when it comes to weekly point output.

    The same goes for kickers.

    If you want to win your league, draft depth in the middle rounds and wait until the last few rounds to pick your defense and kicker, it’ll work out better in the long run.

2. Ignore Most Rookie Hype

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    While you can’t ignore all of the rookie hype, it is essential to your playoff success that you avoid most rookies on draft day. If there is one that is a great pick or you are in a dynasty league, these risks make more sense, but the general rule of thumb is go with experience.

    Especially with the shortened offseason, rookies haven’t had a great opportunity to get acclimated to their teams, and the risk may not pay off.

    This year, people will be clamoring for Mark Ingram from the Saints or A.J. Green from Cincinnati, but you’d be better off waiting a few rounds and grabbing a player like Julio Jones from Atlanta.

1. Take Chances!

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    The name of the game is taking educated risks and hoping that they pay off, that’s why it’s a gamble.

    In the mid-to-late rounds of a draft, instead of selecting a wide receiver on the down side of his career like Carolina’s Steve Smith, go for a receiver like Plaxico Burress who has major upside.

    You will never win your fantasy league if you play the draft conservative, and you will never find the hidden gems like Arian Foster without taking the risk.

    Trust me, if you want to find success in your fantasy league, roll the dice. As long as you have done your research, you will be in the driver’s seat. Good luck!

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