Fantasy Football Drafting Basics
Tight Ends: Gates or Wait
Let's face it, the only Tight End that significantly impacts fantasy football is San Diego's Antonio Gates. Gates has been dominant over the last several years and I would recommend drafting him early if you want to have a dependable stud at the position that you can rely on every week of the season; the only problem being that you may have to overpay a little more than you would like to get him. If you pass on Antonio Gates, don't even bother focusing on drafting a Tight End. Tight Ends are very inconsistent and aren't worth wasting a pick on (even in the middle rounds of your league's draft). My advice is to wait until late in the draft to take a Tight End --such as Seattle's Marcus Pollard, Jacksonville's Marcedes Lewis, or Arizona's Leonard Pope. Don't get caught up in the tight end rush, wait until late in the draft to take one (unless you have your heart set on Antonio Gates).
Defenses: Make or Break Your Squad
Last season the Baltimore Ravens D/ST and Chicago Bears D/ST dominated and will be worth stretching for in the middle rounds rather than that extra QB or WR. The key to drafting a defense is knowing when to draft one. Don't feel pressured to take a defense once the run on them begins. Wait and select the players that other owners are foolishly passing over. If you don't draft a premier defense, then try to find a quality defense in the later rounds that has potential to become great such as Dallas, Arizona, Carolina, or San Francisco. If you have drafted one of the premier defenses and you're in a league with a large bench, don't forget to draft a defense in the final round that can fill in on your stud's bye week. For example, if you draft Baltimore's D/ST, then make sure you take the Carolina Panthers D/ST to fill in Week 8.
Kickers: Simply Don't Waste the Pick
Last year I ended my season with Tennessee Titans Kicker Rob Bironas starting on my championship squad. Was anybody even considering drafting Bironas heading into the 2006 season? Rob Bironas just proves the point that drafting a kicker is not worth wasting the pick (especially if it's before the final round). Kickers generally don't have a huge impact on fantasy football; because the difference between the #1 kicker in fantasy football last season (Jeff Wilkins) and the #20 kicker (Olindo Mare) was just 45 points. My advice on drafting a kicker is to wait until the final round and try to find a kicker who plays for a team that struggles in the red zone--such as the New York Jets, San Francisco, Cleveland, or Tennessee.
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