Whether a person is playing in their first ever fantasy football league, or they are a seasoned veteran, there is always a thing or two to learn from reading up on the various guides out there. It is not an exact science, but for the most part, taking a certain strategy into a fantasy football draft can keep you in the playoff hunt every single season.
All of the fantasy football tips that are covered below are there to help people out. It does not guarantee success (nothing will, because injuries always happen), but they are beneficial recipes for winning. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind in order to have a successful fantasy football draft.
- Ignore the bye week. There are so many people who get nervous about having all of their players on similar bye week schedules. What people forget is that this only really affects one, maybe two weeks. That should not prevent you from drafting the best available talent. Remember, there are no bye weeks down the stretch in the fantasy football playoffs.
- Draft sure things over flashes in the pan. We all know those certain players who do not seem to bring it every week. Yes, when on, they can provide explosive totals. However, fantasy football drafts should be about taking solid, dependable players. The up and down season will really wear on a fantasy owner.
- Don’t fall in love with running backs. The NFL is changing, and that means that the best strategy is not always to stockpile running backs. Users are now able to pick up some of the top receivers in the league and getting just as much production out of them. If your league awards a point for each reception, receivers are even more valuable.
- Draft a QB early only if a top tier one is available. In real football, the quarterback dictates a ton of things. While they are also extremely important in fantasy football, they shouldn’t always go in the first round. Identify the top tier of fantasy football quarterbacks each year, and if possible land one of those players in the first or second round. If you are unable to get them, don’t panic, and look for value in the later rounds.
- Stockpile running backs (only as a possible strategy). Yes, I know this is a contradiction of tip #3, but hear me out. This was a strategy that a lot of people used more in the past, but it can still work if other strategies just aren’t for you. When a player picks running back and running back, they can later use them as trade pieces to get the players they otherwise were unable to draft. Along the same lines, having a ton of quality running backs makes it easy to at least find two solid choices to use every week.
- Take chances in the later rounds. So if you are drafting sure bets in the first few rounds, this allows you to take a flyer on a rookie, a player returning from injury or a player on the verge of having a breakout season. Since you are only wasting late draft picks, if the player becomes a total bust you can find a solid replacement on the waiver wire. This type of risk/reward type strategy is a much safer one than the type of person who goes for bust right from round one.
- Find time to do a mock draft. If you are a bit unsure on a draft strategy, some of the major fantasy football websites offer mock drafts at all hours during the day. In these mock drafts, people can gauge how other drafters are thinking. This allows you to realize who might be available that you like in the 2nd-6th rounds. A few solid drafts can really make you much more confident when it comes to the real thing. Using your mock draft strategy in your league can give you that extra edge that other owners might not have.
- No the rules and scoring. This should probably be #1 on the list, even though most might think it is a little silly. The truth is, there are a lot of people who go into the draft and don’t realize how the scoring is done. If you are in a customized league, the league president may have altered the scoring to emphasize a certain position more. It’s important to do a thorough review and adjust your draft board accordingly.
- Avoid massive trading preseason. While there may be a deal or two you’d love to do before the season even starts, have confidence in the team you drafted. Sticking with your original guns should be the only way to go, barring injury. Once the season moves along, that is when you should reevaluate your draft and see what is out there on the trade market.
- Remember: it’s just the draft. Yes, the draft is the most important part of fantasy football. This is where you are going to get the majority of your players that will either get you into your playoffs, or be the reason for your demise. Even a poor draft is not the end of the world though. Think back to basically any football season in recent memory. There are always those breakout players who end up playing integral roles for their real teams, and fantasy teams. Use the waiver wire to your advantage to build up and add to your team during the year.
Despite everyone knowing that one person who claims to be a fantasy football expert, the truth is no strategy is going to guarantee success. Find a strategy that looks like it could work for you, and go from there. Fantasy football is a mix of skill and luck, so remember that and don’t take it too seriously. Injuries and disappointments are always going to be a part of the game.