Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fantasy Football Draft Guide

The draft is the most important day of the Fantasy Football season, because it is when you build the majority of your team.  You can do on-line drafts, which are done on the computer, or off-line drafts, which you do at someone’s house.

Whether it is on-line or off-line, you should get to the draft early, so you can get organized.  You don’t want to arrive late and be rushed to make your first round pick. 

If you can choose your draft position, I suggest selecting a position in the middle.  If you pick at the beginning or end of the round, then you’ll get two picks close together but will have to wait a long time for your next picks. Conversely, if you’re in the middle, then your selections are evenly spaced, and you can choose consistently good players.

1st Round:

You can usually predict the first few picks.  Normally, the best running backs go first.  However, it can also depend on where you live.  For example, I live in Wisconsin, and I can guarantee you that Aaron Rodgers will be drafted within the first three picks.

The NFL has evolved into a passing league and is quarterback driven.  Therefore, I suggest drafting a quarterback in the first round.  I’ve always drafted a quarterback in the first round, and it has always worked out well for me.   Quarterbacks produce a lot of points and can be the foundation of your team.  However, make sure you draft an elite quarterback, like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning.  At least one of them should be available by the time you pick. 

You may panic when you see everyone drafting the top running backs and wide receivers.  You’re afraid that there won’t be anybody good left for you.  Don’t worry.  When the other members of your league are drafting quarterbacks, you will be picking up solid players and adding depth to your team.  Moreover, you only need to draft one more quarterback to fill in when your starting quarterback has a bye-week, unless your starter gets hurt. 

2nd Round:

In the second round, I would look for a reliable wide receiver or running back (whichever has the best available player).  Stay away from injury prone players and players with behavior problems.  Players that are suspended for four games won’t help in a 13-14 game regular season.

Warning:  Be extremely cautious with players that hold out of training camp.  They are injury prone and are bound to pull, sprain, or strain something.  Nothing can replace a training camp.  When they finally end their holdout, they will not be in football shape and will probably pull a hamstring.  Consequently, they will be battling injuries all season. 

Next Few Rounds:

Fill up your wide receiver and running back slots.  These are your skilled players, and they will be the source of most of your points.  If one is available, try and get a good tight end that is big and athletic.  They can be very productive. 

Also, don’t underestimate the power of a good kicker.  Kickers can be a good source of production, and you should try and draft one early.  Don’t draft one in the third round, but at the same time, don’t be the last person to draft one. 

Later Rounds:

This is where your offseason research and NFL Draft knowledge pays off.  You will be familiar with the players, when other people in your league might not be.  The later rounds are when you add depth to your team and pick up your sleepers.  Smart selections in the later rounds can turn a good team into a great team. 

You shouldn’t be afraid to draft your sleepers, because they might turn into starters.  I drafted Chris Johnson his rookie year as a bench player, and he emerged into a star. 

Also, make sure you draft a solid back-up quarterback.  In addition, make sure your back-up quarterback has a different bye-week than your starting quarterback, otherwise you will be in trouble when that bye-week arrives. 

You can take a chance on a rookie.  I drafted Matt Ryan his rookie year to back-up Tom Brady.  That just happened to be the year that Tom Brady tore his ACL in week one.  In addition, Matt Ryan turned out to be a good NFL quarterback.  Luckily, my chance on Matt Ryan paid off. 

At the same time, don’t beat yourself up if your back-up quarterback ends up being terrible.  Normally, you can pick up a solid quarterback in waivers or free agency.

Watch Bye-Weeks:

Make sure that your bench players have different bye-weeks than your starters.  Also, you don’t want to have 4 starters with the same bye-week, because it will be hard to replace that many players for one week.  Therefore, on your pre-draft list, you should mark the bye-weeks of each team.  You can also print off sheets that have the bye-weeks on them.  

You can visit for more Fantasy Football tips.


  1. Dude, the info and strategies in the article are just awful. Qb in first round, maybe a wr in the second? Where's your rb depth? Backup qbs? This article is bad and you should feel bad

  2. In both ESPN and NFL leagues, the top six leading scorers from 2012 were quarterbacks. The NFL is a passing league, and they have the ball in their hands on every play. Conversely, running backs are much less dependable. They are much more likely to get injured, and many times, their success depends on having a good offensive line. If you have the first pick in the draft, I would not pass up Adrian Peterson. However, if you have a mid or late round pick, then I would go with a quarterback. That's just my opinion though.