Some Great Draft Strategies

nysportsday-offerFantasy owners often put a ton of emphasis on their drafts, and rightfully so.That is where they will build the core of their team that will determine how the next four months of their lives go. Well, maybe not their entire life, but you get my point. However, Fantasy owners often forget this: They have to be fully prepared for the draft and must be able to handle any curveball that may be thrown their way.

Yes, we all have specific players that we will target and want to end up on our team. But if you were planning on taking Jordan Matthews with your fourth round pick and the Eagles fan in your draft snags him in the third, don’t worry. You will be able to find another receiver you like at your pick,such as Emmanuel Sanders, Andre Johnson or DeAndre Hopkins. It’s all about being able to adjust  on the run and go with the flow of the draft.

After putting in hours of research studying rankings, reading articles and listening to radio shows and podcasts, owners should feel confident in their approach, but I’ve seen it time and time again where an owner goes in with a strategy and is sniped or intimidated by a QB run and abandons their plan. Well, the first rule of a draft is to let the draft come to you. If an owner intended on waiting to draft a QB they should not overreact when three go in the fifth and take one with their next pick.

Waiting on QB is a strategy that has proved very valuable in recent years. The point differential between quarterbacks and every other position is so great, it is worthwhile to load up on the others and wait on quarterbacks. Let’s use a league of mine as reference, which rewards four points for passing touchdowns and 0.5 points-per-reception (PPR). Even in a league that favors non-quarterbacks, 13 QBs topped the 250 mark last season, while only four running backs, four wide receivers and no tight ends surpassed that mark. That means in a 12-team league there was a QB that theoretically was on an owner’s bench, outscoring elite players at other positions. It is understandable if you want to reach on Andrew Luck or Aaron Rodgers, but after that leave the rest on the table and snag a Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning or Cam Newton later. Just take a solid backup in the double-digit rounds, such as Teddy Bridgewater or Carson Palmer.

That leaves the question of how owners should address other positions. They are advised to load up on running backs and wide receivers early on. In the first four rounds it is recommended to have two wide receivers and two running backs. Last week, we advised how to address the first round.

If an owner wants to take a tight end early, they should target Rob Gronkowski at the end of round one or Jimmy Graham in round three. Greg Olsen and Travis Kelce should go in the fourth and fifth round. Everyone after that should go round six or later.

As for defenses and kickers, do not take them earlier than the last two rounds. Defenses can be streamed week-to-week, exploiting good matchups. There is no real advantage into drafting a kicker earlier than the last round.

Fantasy owners should stay up to date on injuries, depth charts and player usage at practice. The best way to do this is to find their favorite site that updates players news and visit it once a day. Another great way to do so is to follow beat writers on Twitter. These are reporters who watch every practice, so you will get a good feel for a team’s strategy by following them. Also, find some Fantasy Writers you are fond of (I recommend myself and my colleagues at and follow them.

The last piece of advice before heading to your draft should be this: Do not just research players, but research other owners. Fantasy owners love to talk about strategies and players they like this time of year. Make sure to hang out with some of your league mates in the coming weeks, whether it be over a beer or to watch a preseason game, you will be able to get a better idea of their draft strategies heading into the draft and will be able to plan accordingly.

If you have any questions make sure to follow me on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.

For more great Fantasy advice and insights from the RotoExperts team, click here and use the promocode “nysportsday” for an exclusive discount for NY Sports Day readers.

About the Author

Get connected with us on Social Media