NFL training camps are buzzing with news on players looking great and others who are struggling. With the the first week of preseason action in the books, you have (hopefully) begun your preparations and research for your fantasy draft. In this article, we will outline a few tips and strategies that you can use on draft day to help maximize the value of your picks and mold your fantasy roster.
1. Have a strategy.
Go into your fantasy draft with an idea of what you want your team to look like. If you want an elite QB, be prepared to spend a first- or second-round pick on that position. If you feel WR is very deep this year, then feel free to reach for a fringe RB1 or RB2 in the first three rounds to pair with an elite TE or QB, knowing that you feel comfortable with the starters you can grab at WR in rounds 4 through 6.
2. Keep track of other team’s rosters.
This can be especially important if your pick is near one of the ends in snake drafts. Say you’re picking 10th in a 12-team draft and it’s the sixth round. You still need your starting QB, and Eli Manning is the last QB on the board you would feel comfortable with as your starter. However, you know the teams picking 11th and 12th behind you already have their starting QBs, so you can feel comfortable grabbing another WR or RB and be confident that Manning will be there in the next round for you to grab. By knowing what positions the teams around you have already filled, you can maximize the value of your picks and know when to pounce on a player at a position of need.
3. Check your picks against ADP.
Write down your overall pick positions (ex. 10, 11, 30, 31, 50, 51, etc. for the 10th pick of a 10-team draft) and check them against ADP to see who will most likely be available around those picks. If you plan on going QB and/or TE early, check to see what RBs and WRs will be available the next time you’re on the clock to see if you like the players at that point. This can be a good way to see where you think you can find value. For example, if you like the QBs that are normally available with your fifth- and sixth-round picks, you can stock up on RBs and WRs early.
4. Know your league scoring rules.
This can be an overlooked aspect when preparing for your draft, but if you’re in a new league, or you’re taking over another person’s roster in a keeper league, be sure to check the scoring rules. Some of the more popular variations include Points Per Reception (PPR) or non-PPR and scoring four or six points for each passing TD, but there are also leagues that score points for return yards, bonuses for long TDs and other twists. Slight variations can impact your rankings. For instance, if passing TDs are only worth four points and rushing TDs are worth six, it can boost the values of running QBs like Michael Vick, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III, so make sure you’re aware of your league’s scoring system.
5. Don’t draft a kicker.
If your league roster rules allow you to not carry a kicker during the preseason, then I recommend not drafting one. Essentially all kickers are the same. It’s a crapshoot, the most fluid position in fantasy football. So in place of that kicker you would grab in the last round, grab another lottery-ticket RB that has a chance to get a meaningful role if there were to be an injury in training camp. This strategy works best for leagues that draft early in the preseason. When Week 1 rolls around, you can just cut your last RB or WR and pick up any kicker off the waiver wire. It’s just about increasing your chances to strike gold late in the draft.
Hopefully this article helps both novice and veteran fantasy football players by giving you new ideas and ways to prepare for your draft. As the season grows closer, we fantasy players get more excited and get ready for the most important day of the year: draft day!
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