It is almost September and that means that (fantasy) football season is nearly upon us. Arguably the most important phase of building the perfect fantasy football team is the draft; it will make or break your fantasy football season. While drafting a team may seem simple, there are various do’s and don’t’s that should be heeded. This article outlines those do’s and don’t’s as well as strategies to use going into your draft, players to target, and some sleepers.
Lets start out with the do’s and don’t’s of drafting. In my opinion the biggest DON’T is drafting a quarterback too early. Year-after-year people fall into the trap of selecting a quarterback because of their big-name appeal. The main thing to think about when it comes to drafting quarterbacks is the fact that there are plenty of strong options at quarterback. Basically that means that reaching for a quarterback in an early round is pointless since another quarterback can offer similar production five rounds later. A minor don’t is that you shouldn’t draft two quarterbacks or running backs with the same bye week.
The first “do” of drafting is that your first couple of rounds should only be used on wide receivers or running backs. In my opinion you should use your first round on a running back. Running back is the most important position, and there aren’t that many strong options. If you have the opportunity to draft either David Johnson or Le’Veon Bell, you should snatch them up immediately. However, once those two are gone, I would advise drafting one of the top wide receivers. In your first two rounds you need
Another don’t of drafting is that you shouldn’t overthink things. Sometimes the simplest choice is the best choice. An example of this is last year with Tom Brady. Brady kept slipping last year due to him being suspended the first few games of the season. Everyone kept passing on him because of the suspension, but he ended up as the number four fantasy quarterback for the last twelve games of the season. Anyone who was able to nab him in a later round ended up being rewarded greatly.
One more “do” for drafting is to make sure that you pick a defense before a kicker. Picking a solid defense is far more important than picking a stud kicker. With kickers, one strategy is to just stream one each week based on match-ups. The same can be said for defenses, but having a top-tier defense is more lucrative.
The final don’t of drafting that I’ll talk about today is the fact that you shouldn’t necessarily listen to every piece of fantasy advice that is thrust towards you. While that is sort of contradicting what I’m doing here, ultimately your fantasy football team is your fantasy football team and no one else’s. That means that when it comes down to a tough decision, you should go with your gut instinct, not someone else’s opinion.
Top deep sleepers at each position:
Quarterback: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams- I know what you’re probably thinking here: “Why would I ever roster a Rams player”. Nevertheless, when you look closely, Goff is primed for an improved season. The addition of Andrew Whitworth will allow him more time to maneuver in the pocket, and the addition of Sammy Watkins gives him a go-to target. Goff should not be your QB1 to start the year, but stashing him as your backup is a smart decision.
Wide Receiver: Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills- Jones will look to fill the void left by Sammy Watkins. Albeit the fact that Jordan Matthews is higher than Jones on the depth chart, Jones will likely be Tyrod Taylor’s go-to option. This is because of the fact that Matthews mainly maneuvers in the slot, which leaves the outside for Jones. Jones is unheard of for the most part, and should fall deep enough in drafts. He is one of my favorite sleepers of the year due to is vast upside.
Running Back: Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts- At some point Frank Gore’s age is going to catch up to him. When that happens you will want to make sure that you have Mack rostered. Even though Robert Turbin is ahead of Mack on the depth chart as well, he doesn’t pose that much of a threat. Stashing Mack on your bench until he earns his opportunity looks like a smart move. You should be able to nab him fairly late in drafts, but don’t be afraid to reach for him and his immense potential.
Tight End: Dwayne Allen, New England Patriots- As we saw last year with Martellus Bennett, it pays to own Rob Gronkowski’s backup. Gronk has proven to be prone to injuries, meaning Allen could suddenly be thrust into a starting role in a moments notice. Even if Gronk doesn’t end up getting injured, Allen holds some value since the New England Patriots often run two tight end sets.
Kicker: Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints- The New Orleans Saints have had one of the most high scoring offenses each of the past few seasons, and more of the same should be expected this year. Because of that, Lutz will constantly find himself in situations to gain points, whether it’s through extra points or field goals. Make sure you wait until the last round of your draft to select Lutz.
Defense/Special Teams: Los Angeles Chargers- The Chargers had an abysmal season last year, but that blame shouldn’t be pinned on the defense. Surprisingly enough, the Chargers were a top ten fantasy defense/special teams last year. They didn’t lose any key cogs so everything should be running smoothly this year. Wait until the second to last round to draft them.
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