What is the best fantasy football draft strategy?
Fantasy football season is once again upon us, and like most, it’s time to get that annual draft kit and cheat sheet ready. Whether you are in a standard snake league or one of those daring auction leagues, it is time to plan your strategy. The question remains however, what is the best way to draft your team? Do you follow the rankings and just take the next best guy on your list? Do you stock up on running backs or do you go west coast offense and take enough receivers to fill your flex spots?
A lot of your strategy will have to do with your league settings and how the scoring breaks down. If you are like me and play in more than one league a year, find out all the settings and league rules before committing. I joined a league one year and found out during the draft that the rules were you had to draft two defenses, two kickers, two tight ends, etc. This is something I would not have agreed to had I known earlier. There is more value in taking a flyer on that rookie running back instead of having a backup defense.
Now more than ever, the NFL has become a passing league and quarterbacks are valued in both real football and fantasy. Take my league for example; we have the option to start a second QB in the flex spot. If someone manages to grab two of the Top 10 quarterbacks, it’s a no brainer to do just that. I used to be able to win with three running backs, but that is much harder to do now with most teams using a stable of guys in the backfield. Top ranked receivers are much more valuable now and if you can get a Dez Bryant or Antonio Brown in the late first to early second rounds, you do not want to pass on them. Any tight end not named Gronkowski or Graham you can wait on until the seventh round or so, because they will all do just about the same for you. It is worth mentioning though that Greg Olsen is climbing that ladder, so keep an eye out for him as well.
On the defensive side of the ball, try not to wait too late for a team defense or you could find yourself dropping and picking up a new defense every week. I have been guilty of this in the past so I made the effort to get one by round twelve. Kickers get picked where they always should, dead last. This is not a science and I am only speaking from about ten years of experience, so do what you feel gives you the best chance to win. Keep in mind that a good portion of fantasy sports is luck. Which reminds me, draft Andrew Luck this year, he is going to be a beast! Most importantly try not to over think the process. After all, it is supposed to be fun.
What draft strategy do you use? Do you use the same one each year or do you adjust it in each league? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Kevin McQuade covers the NFL for MFST, you can follow him on twitter @kmcquade9.