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Fantasy Football: Draft Strategies

So normally, I’d recommend to schedule your draft directly after the 3rd preseason game, because that’s the best look you’ll get at the starters (not saying much when Rivers and co. were in the game for 3 drives), and the chances injuries happen from that point until week 1 of the regular season are rare, but possible (see Bridgewater).

There are a couple schools of thought when it comes to building your team in regards to bye weeks. One is that you spread out your bye weeks so you never have more than one or two of your starters on a bye, and the other is that you schedule as many for the bye as possible so you can have your team at full strength most of the time. What do I say? Do what works for you. Draft who you want, but do keep an eye on bye weeks.

Round 1 I always go RB here. Unless something changes or you are at the top of the draft and can pick up Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, or Julio, go RB. In our staff league, something like 6 of the first 7 picks were all WR’s, so I panicked and grabbed a less than stellar wideout. If there’s a run on players early, you need to pick one from that position before they’re gone, or load up on talent at other positions and try to work a trade. 3-down backs are just so hard to find in the NFL, that you need to pick them while they’re still on the board. In my fantasy league, I was able to pick AP with the 8th overall pick.

Round 2 Here’s where you’ll start to see more WR’s come off the board. Stay within the WR and RB positions. If Gronk falls to late in this round, you can go ahead and pick him, as he’s the equivalent of a low-end WR1. I would not reach for him in the 1st round because there were 8 WRs and 6 RBs who scored higher than him last season. I picked AJ Green with my 13th overall pick.

Round 3-4 Keep grabbing RBs and WRs. You want to stock up on them because there a bunch at the top, and really slim pickings at the bottom. I picked up Keenan Allen (a steal in our eyes) with the 28th pick (ADP 25), and snatched up Mark Ingram in the 4th with the 33rd pick, his ADP being 22.

Round 5 At this point, 7 QBs were off the board already, and I figured it was about time. This would be the earliest I would go for a QB normally since the position is so deep, but since Andrew Luck was still on the board, I “reached” 7 spots early at 48. His projected points on are less than a point lower than Russell Wilson at 288.14, so I figured, why not? If you can wait and there hasn't been a run on QBs, grab another WR/RB. Get that flex position nailed down.

Round 6 At this point, TE’s will be middle of the road. I was able to grab Tyler Eifert right where he’s being drafted on average.

Round 7-9 stock up on your backups WR/RB/TEs. If you haven’t picked a starting quarterback yet, go for it. You’ll score a low-end QB1.

Round 10 Nothing wrong with going DST here. Your DST can win you games, and with an ADP of 77, picking up the Carolina Panthers at pick 93 is nothing short of a steal.

Round 11-13 More RB/WR. You only need 2 TEs on your roster, but you can never have enough RB/WR... chances are one of your picks will blow it this season, and you’ll have someone you feel okay about dropping. I picked up Gostkowski in the 12th because he’s going to help my team more than a backup WR/RB. If an elite K is on the board, go ahead and grab in the 12th or 13th. There will always be good kickers on the waiver wire. If you want Lambo, he’ll probably be going undrafted. Despite being the 18th best scoring kicker last season, has him as the 31st ranked K. They don’t think the Chargers offense will be better or that he’ll be more accurate in his second season?

Round 14-15 Grab your backup QB and a sleeper. I picked up Philip Rivers in the 14th. He’s projected to score less than 10 points less than Luck, and he was still on the board. His ADP is in the 9th round, and let me tell you... if he’s available in the 9th, you better click that “draft button” quicker than Rivers pops out kids. He is easily one of the most underrated players in fantasy, and has been for a long time. For your last pick, go with a sleeper. I drafted two sleepers in Kevin White and Dorial Beckham-Green. If they don’t pan out, drop them. I already dropped Kevin White for Jordan Reed because some idiot decided to drop him.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Obviously there are no fool-proof methods to drafting your fantasy team, but this round by round method will get you close. If you are a true fantasy pro, work the waiver wire like it’s no one else’s business. That’s where you’ll find the true gems.

Have a good season!