Perhaps the most important aspect of Fantasy Football is your fantasy draft day; the day that can either make or break your season. Now when drafting the most important thing to remember is to actually be at the draft itself instead of being out playing call of duty or whatever you do in your free time. Auto draft is evil to those who wait. Contrary to popular belief, good things do not come to those who wait. In fantasy you have to act fast and be smart. Especially on draft day, it is important to keep your priorities straight. Here are some keys to a successful fantasy draft.
Don’t get attached to one guy.
Very important to do this because if you base your entire draft all around one player, you will lose focus of your overall goal which is a great quality team.
Look to draft your favorite players.
Although some may argue against it, this is probably the best fantasy strategy when drafting because during the season, it is easy to lose hope or your control of your team. So if you pick a guy who you have liked forever, you won’t get as mad if he does poorly than as another player. As well, because you know everything about your player, you know what exactly their strengths and weaknesses are, paying you major fantasy dividends.
Do NOT listen to ESPN projections.
ESPN projections are deathtraps, as usual ESPN projections are almost always wrong. When looking to draft a player, if you are a fantasy n00b, it is probably best to rely on ESPN projections. I mean, the NFL is so unpredictable as it is, so it is much better to be the most educated. Knowledge is power, so research the top guys in the league, look at their rap sheet and decide for yourself whether or not they are good.
Look at each players individual fantasy stock.
Basically this means look at each player’s value; look at their career stats and whether they have had issues say with fumbling or injuries. As well, look at their position on the depth chart, if they are a #2 back, if they have any competition, if they have any rookies to compete with, these can be a major red flag when picking especially running backs. Take RB Jamaal Charles last season, absolute best, can’t get enough of the guy, but because he had other RBs to compete with, he wasn’t given the goal-line touches that say Adrian Peterson or Arian Foster would get. But then again, determining fantasy stock is the biggest challenge of fantasy football. Perhaps you decide that Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati RB who rushed for over 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns last season, including 5 straight 89+ yard games in the last 6 weeks of the season. However the former patriots back’s stock may be falling due to 37th overall pick Giovanni Bernard. Many former or current Green-Ellis owners are cautious because of the Rookie’s recent success over at North Carolina where he rushed for over 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns in both seasons as a Tar Heel. Although Bernard is very talented and skilled, Green-Ellis is a proven winner, especially with the pats back in 2010 when he rushed for 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns. Regardless of the amount of rookie # of carries, The Law Firm is going to get those goal-line touches. And as you may know, he is the best in the biz in punching it through from short distance. So with all those facts/knowledge in mind, you (fantasy drafter) can act on those picks and pick those picks that peter piper could’ve picked because he was picking prickly pickled peppers.
Go with proven winners.
What does this mean exactly? Glad you asked. Don’t pick the overhyped one game or one season wonders, go for the veterans or 4th year guys. Look for the players whom have produced consistent numbers throughout their career and are healthy and strong enough to reproduce those same exact numbers. Take RB Andre Brown, ranked #10th best RB according to ESPN. For the New York Giants this past 2012, Brown hardly played only half the season and only rushed for 385 yards and 6 touchdowns, yet he’s ranked 10th best RB. Just because he went on a little touchdown streak does not mean Brown is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Newsflash, this guy hasn’t been proven. Just because he has gotten lucky after Ahmad Bradshaw went down, honest make him a top fantasy back. Look elsewhere.
Go with a Running Back for your first pick.
Now depending on your draft position, RB is the most valuable position in fantasy football, finding a good quality RB is a dime a dozen. Unlike QBs who do gain more fantasy points usually, RBs are hardly able to be found on the waiver wire as well most good or starter RBs are currently on rosters already so if you screw up your first round pick with a QB, you are probably a fantasy n00b and won’t have a good time. Why a running back for first pick? First of all, it is about production. Unlike Wide Receivers who get about maybe 10 targets per game, running backs get about 20 carriers/chances to gain fantasy points. As well, because Running backs are the only men at their position, usually around the goal-line they are counted on to punch it in for a touchdown, while WR are maybe called on once or twice in the red zone. And although WR might get at least 5 receptions per game, Running Backs are guaranteed at least 15 solid carries per game. Now to gain yards as an RB is definitely much harder/takes longer than a reception would. However remember run over rise, therefore first pick= running backs.
Get players with a great QB.
As the leader of the offense the Quarterback is the most vital part of the offense. Great Quarterbacks make great teams. Thus, when drafting look for players who have an effective QB. You wouldn’t want to draft a RB for say the Raiders, perhaps he may be the best RB available, but because his QB can’t get the ball down the field and get to the red zone, he will often get less goal-line touches than say Steven Riddley who has Tom Brady who is an elite QB. The better the QB, the better the offense and in turn the better the chances a player has to score not only fantasy points, but touchdowns. As well, it doesn’t help a WR if his QB is below par. Usually a good QB can help make even mediocre receivers great. It isn’t usually the Palmer-Meyers connection that turns heads, it is the elite, Manning-Thomas or Brees-Colston connection that earns fantasy owners mega points.
Get RBs with a great Defense.
Other than getting a fantasy player with a good QB, getting a Running back with a good defense is most important. Defenses prevent other offenses from scoring, thus if a defense is good, the ball is in the offenses hands more often and in your player’s hands. Take the Seattle Seahawks led the league with fewest points allowed per game last season (15.3), and look at Marshawn Lynch’s corresponding stats. Last season Lynch was 3rd in the league in rushing yards with 1,590 and T-5th with 11 rushing touchdowns. As well Houston’s #7 ranked defense helped RB Arian Foster, who last season was 6th in the league in yards with 1,424 and led the league in rushing touchdowns with 15. If your player has a great defense then at the game, to run out the clock your player will get called on to pick up some more yards and fantasy points for you. Great defenses help make any offenses job easier, so when looking for a pick, look for typically Denver, San Francisco and Seattle players.
Get WRs/QBs with a horrible defense.
(Although this may not make any sense at first once I’ll explain it, you’ll hop on board.) Because horrible defenses are so bad, they let up points easier and thus leave the hard work to the offense to try and score and make up those points lost. Take the Saints for example. New Orleans was the worst defense in the league last year (, partially why Drew Brees was relied on to rescue his team and throw 43 touchdowns and 5,177 yards. Horrible team Defenses are great especially for wide outs because usually when a team lets up a lot of points, the offensive coordinator will turn to the passing game because of the less amount of time/more amount of yardage compared to rushing. As well, comebacks are usually those of the passing persuasion.
Chose a player who plays for a fantasy friendly team.
What is a Demoldey Certified Fantasy Friendly Team exactly? Good question. Basically a “Fantasy Friendly Team” is a team that scores a lot of points and can be a combination of pass-oriented or run oriented. For example do not pick a running back from a more pass-oriented team, say like Pierre Thomas from the New Orleans Saints would be a horrible choice because the saints are a predominantly passing team and hardly give the ball to their 3 running backs, unlike say the Redskins who are primarily rush-oriented. The same applies for Receivers/Tight Ends. If your team has an offensive coordinator who uses a lot of options and running plays, it is probably best to chose a running back from that team, not a WR/TE because they are not a main focus of the offense.