The end of summer is always an exciting time for fantasy football enthusiasts. The kids are going back to school, the leaves are getting ready to change colors, and football is right around the corner. With the season approaching, it is time to construct your fantasy team. It is important to have a go to draft day guide to help make sure you come out with the best available roster that will lead you to championship glory. These 10 commandments will take you there.
1. Thou shall adapt
If everyone else zigs know when to zag. If you go into it with the mindset you are taking a RB with your first 2 picks and you have a later pick, the RB group may be depleted. Whereas the WR group can have an abundance of talent still available. If you are able to land OBJ and Julio in the late first and early second rounds, that is a very strong start to your roster. RB can be addressed in the 3rd and 4th rounds if you find two strong WR to start out your roster.
2. Thou shall forget about the past
Getting burned by a player sticks with you. Investing draft capital into a player that you believe in only to have them turn around and screw you over sucks. You can’t hold a grudge. If you refused to draft Melvin Gordon after his rookie year because of his lack of touchdowns, you would regret it. Tom Brady wasn’t a QB1 in the final 5 weeks of the 2017 season, and if he spurned you in the playoffs, refusing to draft him can hurt your roster if he falls to a good position. Forget the past and don’t be afraid to take a chance on a player that has hurt you.
3. Thou shall know your opponents
Being in a league with the same people annually can be beneficial for your fantasy draft. Pay attention to the tendencies of the other owners in your league. Do they like to go RB heavy in the first couple rounds? Is there a specific player they target on a yearly basis? Use this to your advantage. If you know they target a QB early, don’t be afraid to jump ahead of them if there is one that you target. Track their current rosters. Know the positions they need to target. If their roster consists of 1QB 5RB 1WR and a TE there is a good chance they will be targeting a WR soon. Snipe them. Take the best WR available and the RB you want has a decent chance to return to you, especially if you are near the end of a round.
4. Thou shall not fall into a run
It is bound to happen. Rodgers goes off the board late 3rd. Wilson goes in the 5th, followed immediately by Newton. Your pick is next. Everyone is taking QB you need yours right? WRONG! 3 teams have taken a QB, they aren’t likely to take a QB anytime soon as they have other needs to fill out their roster. Having to worry about 3 less owners taking a QB leaves you the chance to take the best player available and target your QB later when others are getting positions that you targeted earlier in the draft. Don’t let the QB or TE run let you fall into a trap!
5. Thou shall not be a homer
I am a diehard Seahawks fan. Russell Wilson, Dougy Fresh, T-Locks, Ed Dickson (maybe), Nick Vannett (maybe), our defense... they could all provide fantasy value. I am not going to go into it and reach for one of them. If one of them falls to he beyond their ADP will I take them? Yes, if they are they highest ranked player on my board. Don’t let your home team bias play a role into your fantasy team! Playing fantasy truly make you like and appreciate more players throughout the league.
6. Thou shall plan for the later rounds
It is pretty easy to have a great team through the first 1/3 of the draft. The key is finding the players used to construct your rosters in the later rounds. Pay attention to rookies that have fallen into a great opportunity, like Michael Gallup, Anthony Miller, Cortland Sutton. Players that may not be high on the consensus ADP but have a chance to make a huge impact on their team. Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt are prime examples from the 2017 fantasy season. Also pay attention to players who have high TD potential. Also, players that have switched teams may have fallen in the ADP. Alex Smith and Eric Ebron both have tons of potential to help their new teams.
7. Thou shall know their league rules
Knowing the league rules is key to guiding your team to a championship. Standard, half point or PPR? 4pt or 6pt passing TD? Are there fractional points? Are there bonuses for yards totaled? What is the roster setup? How many bench spots? All these are key. A player like Matt Stafford, who is the 10th QB off the board has much more value if there is any amount of bonus points allotted for over 300+yds passing. Knowing the league rules and maximizing the point system is key.
8. Thou shall not draft until after week 3 of the preseason
Week 3 of the preseason is the dress rehearsal game for the NFL season. Most of the starters play 3 quarters of the game. If injuries happen in this game you will be able to plan your draft accordingly. Spencer Ware last season is a prime example. Kareem Hunt capitilized from the Ware injury, but if you drafted before week three your roster could have taken a huge hit if you drafted him early in the draft. Wait until after week 3 or 4. Wait until the final rosters are set so you know exactly who to target. Alex Collins was cut after the final preseason game last year, and knowing if he was going to an opportunity like Baltimore at your draft could have been a huge advantage in your draft.
9. Thou shall follow the news
If you go into a draft without knowing the current rosters, injuries, and depth chart you are at a huge disadvantage. Social media can keep you up to date on the latest news and notes. Set up a twitter. Follow beat writers and analysts. Even if you arent tweeting every 4 seconds, the information these analysts can provide will give you a leg up on the competition. Download some apps that give you up to the minute info on all current players in the NFL. Keep up to the minute going into and after your draft.
10. Thou shall not be ok with your final roster
It is easy to fall in love with your team after a draft. But you can’t go into the season set on your roster. Make moves, make trades, and look at key free agents that can help your roster win. Love your team and embrace it. Give it an awesome name. But don’t be ok with it. Don’t be afraid to cut ties with a player who is underachieving on your roster. Throw them on your bench, or cut them. If they aren’t helping your team be ok with trading or cutting the player. As a good manager your roster should always be moving and don’t be afraid to make that move
Following this guide can be crucial to the success of your roster. Live and breathe the fantasy football commandments. In the end it will all be worth it when you get that championship trophy, or belt, or the ultimate prize. Bragging rights.
Dynasty + Redraft Specialist