Fantasy Football Drafting Basics
A normal league drafts for the following positions: QB, RB, WR, TE, D/ST, and K. Before your league's draft, there are a few essential basics to cover in order to be prepared to draft a championship fantasy squad.
#1 Do Your Homework
The bottom line to being a successful fantasy owner is doing your homework before draft day. A majority of the homework is reading about each player, checking out experts' mock drafts to get an idea of where certain players are going, studying the NFL schedule, evaluating sleeper candidates, and choosing a draft strategy.
#2 Know Your League Inside and Out
From the characters in your league to the scoring system, you need to know them both in order to dominate your league. Your league's scoring system will have a huge influence on your draft. If your league's scoring awards six points for rushing touchdowns, while only four for passing and receiving touchdowns, then you should place more emphasis on drafting running backs instead quarterbacks and receivers. Also pay attention to bonuses. If your league uses them, try to select players with potential to fulfill them. Knowing your league mates will also have a huge impact on your draft strategy. If you know one of your buddies is a Cincinnati Bengals homer who shows up to the draft wearing his Ocho Cinco jersey, its obvious who he's going to target in the second round. Knowing other owners' favorite teams and players will tell you who you can let slide another round and who you will have to reach for if you want them. Also pay attention to which magazines and guides other owners are using, that way you know which sleepers they will be targeting.
#3 Pick a Draft Strategy
Picking a strategy has a tremendous impact on the emphasis you will place on each position on draft day. While there are many strategies, these are three basic ones that will help you dominate your league this fall.
Strategy #1 RB Heavy
This strategy is one of the simplest to follow and is one of the most effective strategies you can employ. RB Heavy involves taking a running back as often as possible during your draft. The reason this strategy is effective is because running backs are the premier fantasy performers and now that you're stocked with a plethora of talent at the position, you have the depth to be able to trade with other owners searching the wavier wire for RB's in order to upgrade the other positions on your roster. The positive of having a surplus of talented running backs far outweighs the negative aspect of avoiding all other positions, making this one of the most recommended strategies in Fantasy Football.
Strategy #2 Best Player Available
The name says it all about this strategy; basically, take the best available player on the board at your pick. The most appealing aspect of this strategy is that you have a quality starter at each position on your roster and haven't punted any positions. The downside to this strategy is that it is very general and has no real strategy involved at all.
Strategy #3 Position Scarcity
This strategy is a personal favorite that I have employed in the past. This strategy focuses on drafting a premier stud at positions other than running back early in the draft. For example, last year my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks were WR Steve Smith, TE Antonio Gates, and QB Carson Palmer. This strategy is centered on sleeper candidates at the running back position, since you will be avoiding a majority of the tier one running backs. Last year I struck gold on my sleeper picks Frank Gore (5th round) and Maurice Jones-Drew (15th round). Many Championships are won in the later rounds; if you can identify breakout players and value later in the draft, then you can make up for not having stud running backs with this strategy and own premier studs at the other positions on your roster.
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