Hello one and all. Yes, I’m keeping the draft strategies rolling out. No, this is not by popular demand. Yes, it’s useful information. No, it’s not just filler. Yes, the first few sentences of this paragraph ARE filler. No, it won’t continue much longer. Yes, I promise. See? We’re done now. I know a lot of people have put out general draft strategies and have done so much earlier. I get that. But I also realize for all intents and purposes, the draft season is really starting right about now as most people wait until this week or early next to get their draft on. If you’re already done and you did some of the don’ts, well apply some of these don’ts to your next draft. I assume you’re in more than one Fantasy Football league for 2013. To not be would be very un-American in my book. Oh and BTW, some of this may seem self-explanatory to y’all and some of it may not. Realize we may have some new blood/brethren from the Fantasy Baseball side who don’t understand this little game we play. They get me when I say ‘positional scarcity’ but not so much when I talk about how to fill a roster, ya dig? But enough with that, I have a long list to go over here so I can’t dawdle too long. So lets cover some do’s and don’ts draft strategy for 2013 Fantasy Football…but of course I have to remind you of the Razzball Commenter Leagues before I do so. To not do so would also be un-American. And now moving on…
DO load up on WR and RB in a standard league on your bench. This is where some of the most crucial picks can make or break a season and for that reason, DON’T draft for TE or QB depth. You’re not sure if Jermichael Finley’s going to be a beast so you just have to draft Rob Housler, right? Wrong. In a 12 team, that’s 12 starting TEs typically. Unless you drafted Gronk, you have no reason to start your year off drafting two TEs. Just keep your eye on waivers for upside and ride with what you drafted. TE is going to be the lowest scoring skill position you’ll have out there in most leagues unless you have Graham/Gronk. Don’t fight that, just go with the flow. At worst, you end up streaming at that position all year. I promise you’ll survive. If you drafted a top 12 QB this year, you have little reason to draft another QB. You’re worried about bye weeks? When is your bye week? Week 11? You don’t think you can find someone off waivers to fill that week for the time being? Exactly. It’s not a need for a standard 1QB league setup. While you’re drafting Jay Cutler and Ed Dickson, I’ll be drafting Roy Helu and Markus Wheaton. I like my chances at upside and usefulness for my roster moreso then yours.
Defense & Kickers
DO stream them most of the year unless you find a diamond in the rough to start the year like many did in Blair Walsh and the Denver Broncos defense. It’s a roster position that doesn’t warrant your attention until the last two rounds of the draft, how vital could it be? DON’T draft a DEF/K. Do what I suggest above and develop RB/WR depth. That’s two extra lottery picks you can wait on before the season starts and see what comes of them. Since you can stream these two spots, there’s no reason they should take up a roster spot for you until they absolutely have to.
DO follow mine…I keed. No, the real do here is DO pool resources and develop your own ideals. Personal rankings – when not influenced by herd mentality, of course – are a reflection of a Fantasy Writer’s perspective on how to build a good team and a reflection of likes/dislikes. It’s not a trump card for how you should draft so DON’T be a slave to the rankings and by that I mean not only your favorite writer’s rankings but to your own. You’re building a team that needs to be competitive. If I need Frank Gore but I have Andre Johnson ranked ahead of him and they’re both still out there, I’m going to take Gore. Of course, I don’t like AJ but that’s besides the point. It’s your team, you need to build it like it’s your team and not some formulaic equation of how someone else would draft.
Your League Setup
DO draft according to how your league is setup. I know, I know, common sense. But it’s amazing how messy a draft can get when you don’t know your league’s scoring and roster setup. You drafted 4 Running Backs…congrats! Too bad your league starts 4 WR and only 1 RB…oops. Yeah, extreme analogy but it’s just a simple fact. If you don’t know the rules of your league, it doesn’t matter how well you draft because you drafted on assumptions and not on what team you really needed to build. I guess I need a don’t in here. Hrm…DON’T not pay attention to your league setup. Yeah, that’s it…
DO realize value when you see it. You just drafted Calvin Johnson and backed it up with Matt Forte in the 2nd. Well done! Now the third round comes to you and for some ridiculous reason, Dez Bryant’s still out there. But you need to draft David Wilson now, right? RIGHT?!? Eh, I wouldn’t hate you for it but it’s hard to pass on Dez at that point. In a nutshell with this ‘it should never happen’ analogy, what I’m trying to say is this. DON’T become a slave to a dogma, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. Be able to recognize the value of the guys you’re picking. It’s ok to be contrarian if what’s presented makes sense.
Late QB Drafting
DO take a QB as late as you possibly can this year. There’s too much depth at the position for you to draft on in the first 4 rounds. I know it feels sacrilegious to pass on Drew Brees in the 2nd, 3rd and even 4th. But do it. The fate of your team depends on it! DON’T think you need a top end QB to be competitive this year. Romo goes pretty late and if you get in a room of guys who understand that, the value at QB will fall back to you pretty far. Take advantage of this trend, don’t fight it.
Strength Of Schedule
DON’T buy into it, not one bit. It’s too often we base how we think a player will do based on a previous year’s body of work. Both their own and their opponents. But these numbers are a fallacy. In a discussion earlier this summer with a DMC supporter, he mentioned that at least 8 teams DMC would face this year were at the bottom of the league in terms of rushing yards against. However, of those teams, only one made the playoffs and the rest were borderline cellar dwellers in their division. That meant the 4th quarter was for the opposing RB to run free and clear most games. Assuming these types of stats will stay static enough to draft off of are crutches we need to throw away. DO draft based on the talent/merit of the players involved. You think DMC is gonna have a banner year this year based on his skillset? More power to you (I don’t!). But don’t let numbers from the past affect how you’ll draft/view a player in the future.
DO pay attention but DON’T pay that much attention. Yes, I did this one in a nice, neat, contradictory little bow for you. The reality is, you don’t know what your team is going to look like come week 5 or 6 or 11. So stop worrying that you have 3 NOLA players and what are you gonna do that week. Maybe you’ll be leading your league and can afford to not worry about it. Maybe you’ll have made a beneficial trade that makes up for it. Maybe the players you drafted are injured and aren’t even on your team any more. You just don’t know. Don’t plan for the unknown, just draft good players and let the Fantasy Football Gods do their best/worst.
Don’t Drink The Kool-Aid
This will be my final note and it comes at the detriment of you ever believing in me again, perhaps. But we all play this game. We all have our beliefs/stances. I DON’T want you to follow my rankings because I say so or my sleepers/overrated guys because it’s the word of Sky. I DO want you to formulate your own opinions and be ready to draft by them. Yes, this is somewhat similar to a few things above but whoever you follow for your advice, don’t follow blindly. We all have our reasons and I do my best to give you them in my rankings but if you don’t agree, we’re cool. I can dig it. Heck, even JB and Jaywrong rip apart my rankings in one of the more recent Razzball Podcasts. I don’t hate them (any more then I did before that). In the end, you’re drafting your team, not my team or Matthew Berry’s team or whomever you wanna throw into this primordial Fantasy Football soup. So go draft your team, have fun and listen to everything I say…in this post where I tell you not to listen to everything I say. OK? Ok.