With training camp starting for the NFL, many of us loyal football fans are ready for the season. But, with that also comes fantasy football. Maybe you are the returning champion coming back to defend your crown and honor. Maybe you were the last place loser who had to suffer a terrible punishment and are now back for revenge. Maybe you are constantly in the middle and wondering why you even do this. Well today is a great day boys and girls.
Today I will be giving you the five do’s and the five don’ts of drafting for fantasy football. Some are simple, some are everyone’s crutch and some might make you wonder why. But I am telling you they come in handy when selecting your mighty roster of talent. I started doing fantasy football in college my freshman year and before that I mostly just watched my hometown team; The Pittsburgh Steelers. That all changed when I won the league my first ever year of doing it. Ever since then I have had some bumps in the road, but I have finished in the top four every single year in my main league that makes up roughly 12-14 individuals hungry for the crown.
Well without further ado, let’s get started!
Stay Up To Date With The News
This is a pretty simple one, but you would be surprised how many people don’t know about their players they want to select going into the season. Here is an example. Last year someone in my league whose name shall not be mentioned decided it was a good idea to take DeMarco Murray as his third round pick. That came back to bite him because as all of us know, Murray retired before the start of last season. Come prepared with the knowledge you have been acquiring and share with no one. This is a battlefield and giving away your strategy to pick could cost you down the road in your draft. This also includes the news with players who are in trouble whether it is with violating NFL policies or having trouble off the field. Just stay up to date with your info and follow this golden rule.
Don’t Draft A Defense Before The Last Two Rounds
Look I get it. Defense wins championships, but for the love of god please do not be that guy or girl in your league who decides taking a defense before the last two rounds then you are an idiot. There I said it. There are so many people who do this and it literally irritates me to my very core. Defenses are key in games, but they are so unpredictable every season. Two seasons ago the Jacksonville Jaguars were one of the top defenses roughly in the entire NFL. This past year they were a crapshoot of a mess and someone in my league picked them as his sixth round pick. It absolutely boggles my mind when this happens. Just please wait until the end because picking a defense early could take out a possible player you could have had in their place.
Running Backs Are A Priority
When it comes to drafting in my personal opinion getting running backs early helps you out immensely. Now this is more the line just telling you that when you start your draft and you have a pick in the upper tier such as picks one through five then take a running back. There are three key running backs to pick this year that will get you a bunch of points almost every week; Barkley, Kamara and McCaffrey. Most likely someone will reach for a wide receiver in this case and that is your time to strike with a running back. Half the time they will get you points in the running and receiving angle depending on the team that player is on. Getting a good running back core will help you along the way as they are hard to find later in the draft.
DON’T DRAFT A KICKER
This happens way too often and it pains me every time it happens. People will draft a kicker in their league and it needs to stop. Kickers aside from Stephen Gostkowski and Justin Tucker should not be drafted. Aside from the two listed above kickers are the most unreliable position in the game of football and it has been getting worse every single year. Please save this spot for a player that can do you some good and wait the week before and then get your kicker by dropping the one guy you didn’t have full confidence in.
Patience Is A Virtue
It is very important to be patient in your draft. If you are not patient during your draft you will make a mistake and it will come back to haunt you. Knowing when to draft your players is one of the best pieces of advice I can give you. Certain players fall into certain rounds. People reach constantly and most of the time it comes back to bite them. Sometimes when you reach you figure out why that particular player was taken based on the person who takes them. Maybe they just love that player or maybe they believe in the team he is on, but they will reach and mess up. Be patient with your picks.
Don’t Draft Your Quarterback Early
I have seen it time and time again. Quarterbacks are probably the most important position when it comes to football, but you honestly shouldn’t draft them early. Last year I drafted both of my quarterbacks in the tenth and eleventh rounds and I was happy with it even though one decided to tear his ACL and the other one couldn’t handle big pressure games, but that is beside the point. Here is the scenario; Someone decideds to take Mahomes, Brady or Rodgers in like the fifth round. As soon as that happens it puts the pressure on everyone else to take a quarterback right away. Do not fall for this. People in your league will do this and then watch the sweat start pouring from your face. Remain calm. There are plenty of quarterbacks to take in the upcoming draft. Keep your cool and wait it out.
Draft Players With Different Bye Weeks
Deciding who to draft is important. However, it is important to draft players with different bye weeks. You could draft an amazing squad of players, but if you are somehow in a tough spot down the road and all your best players are on the same bye week you are guaranteed to lose. This happens with players on the same team or strictly have the same bye week. A player in my league loves the Patriots which sickens me, but that is beside the point. On their bye week he lost because most of his players were on their bye week. This isn’t a big one because it most likely will happen. You will draft players with the same bye week, but do not overload it. Don’t draft like seven people with the same bye week. Make sure to draft players with different bye weeks.
Don’t Draft With Your Heart
We all have our favorite players and teams. However, you should not draft your favorite players. Here is an example. If you are a huge Cowboys fan you probably love Elliot, Prescott, Cooper, etc. You’ll probably want to draft them. Avoid this at all costs. You will reach for players you care for and have known for their entire life. However, just because you wear that player’s jersey every Sunday doesn’t mean you should reach for that player. Be smart and draft with your mind not your heart.
Know Your Score System When You Draft
One of the biggest things to do in your draft is know your scoring system. Whether it is Standard, PPR (Points Per Reception), Half PPR, etc. You need to know how your scoring works in order to decide how you draft. When dealing with a standard league you might want to draft differently then you would a PPR league. In a PPR league you’ll want to draft receivers that catch the ball frequently because each catch is a point. In a Standard league that doesn’t happen. It all depends on what league you are in so draft accordingly.
Don’t Draft Multiple Rookies
Rookies can be very good or can be very bad. No one really knows because you draft them solely on how they produced in college. It is okay to take a chance on one or two rookies, but for the love of god do not take a bunch of rookies thinking they are going to be the young squad that will crush everyone. That will not happen. An example comes from my league where someone drafted five different rookies. That is way too many to have on your team. Maybe they will be good or maybe they will be bad, but you cannot take that chance when it comes to your team. Draft smart and draft one or two rookies, but not most of your team.