One of the biggest misconceptions in maximizing your fantasy football draft strategy is that running backs always hold all the cards when it comes to your fantasy football draft. So many fantasy sports analyst advise their readers to draft two running backs in the first two rounds to succeed. If you're a beginner to fantasy football then that advice might be just want you needed, to lose your fantasy league.
There's many different religions in America, most of them all point back to God. Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian etc.. While these religions have different rituals and practices, they all point back to the same God.
The same holds true for fantasy football draft strategies. Upside Down Drafting, Value Based Drafting, 2 RB Early, Best Available Draft Strategy etc.. While these strategies have a slightly different bend on how to think about the draft, they all point back to one underlying principle, separation between tiers of players, consistency and predictability.
I recommend you read the strategy below, purchase a real deal cheat sheet (you get what you pay for), and use the strategy that falls into your lap. Yes I said falls into your lap.. understand that on draft day you'll be randomly slapped with a draft order and you can't control who will be available to draft when it's your pick. Therefore, your strategy will change from round to round.
Not many running back get 25+ carries a game. Coaches across the league have installed two-back systems to keep both players fresh for an entire season, heck the Saints and Patriots still rotate three running backs at times on any given game. Teams have become more pass happy as well. With teams like the Falcons, Broncos and Packers relying more and more on their passing offense, wide receivers have seen their receptions, yardage and touchdown catches grow every year. The same can be said with quarterbacks and their passing numbers. 5 years ago you wouldn't have consider taking a quarterback in the first two or three rounds of any draft. The fear was that you'd be losing out on a top notch running back. In today's game, the number of valuable "work horse" running backs has dropped. It's up to your league point settings, the players already drafted and your draft order that determines who position you should draft and when that position is filled.
I got an email today from one of our readers. I won't give up their name to protect the innocent, but what they told me made me cringe.
I am thinking to go RB, RB, RB, WR/QB to start.
Had he stuck to this strategy before asking me for my opinion, he could have had a fairly solid group of running backs to choose from every week. But his other positions would have been lacking. And then he would have been left hoping his lower-tier skill players at all the other positions somehow panned out for the season. Especially since RB is so inconsistent and unpredictable year after year who knows if his first three picks would have even panned out as round 1,2,3 value?
So what do I tell him? Take what the draft gives you. I have found that going with the Best Player Available in the first three rounds will not only be beneficial in giving you the highest-scoring players possible, but it will also help you garner a stud at almost every position. Which is talked about in here.
If you are able to draft a tier 1 running back in the first round then why draft a tier 2 RB in round 2, when there's a tier 1 WR or QB or TE (only Jimmy Graham in 2014) available? But if you look at your cheat sheets and see there is a wide receiver or two that are ranked higher than the next running back on your list, you're better off taking the receiver because you know he is going to give you more points. You can take this a step further and draft based on position scarcity and player value ensuring you draft a winning team.
Adjusting your initial strategy to counteract the changes that take place during the draft will ensure that you are getting the best player possible that fits your scoring system. If you don't do this you might as well forget about winning that championship.
Key points to maximize your draft strategy:
- Go into your draft with a "Best Player Available Strategy" for the first 3 rounds!
- Look for value based on tiers AKA position scarcity and player value
- Be ready to adjust to counteract changes
- If you don't get a tier 1 QB in round 2 or 3 then wait until the later rounds.
- If you don't draft Jimmy Graham late in round 1 or in round 2, then look for a TE in the later round, the point separation and consistency between Jimmy and the remaining TE's is huge.
- Last but not least, get a solid cheat sheet for each position. Ensure the cheat sheet list ADP and projected fantasy points based on your league settings, like the cheat sheets sold here.
Our 2016 cheat sheets will help you win your fantasy league and draft a dominating team, check it out.