5 Last Minute Tips for your Fantasy Football Draft
Updated: Sep 3, 2018
#1) Wait to draft a quarterback
Many casual fantasy football owners feel the need to draft a top QB early in the draft, however fantasy veterans know that waiting on QB and stocking up on the WR and RB position early on is the way to go. There is something to be said for having Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady on your team and never having to worry about who to start at QB no matter the matchup, but there is a steep opportunity cost there.
Rodgers ADP (average draft position) is #24 overall and Brady sits at #45. By drafting one of these guys you are forgoing a top 25 WR or RB – players such as Larry Fitzgerald, Stefon Diggs, Ju-Ju Smith Schuster, Mark Ingram, or possibly Jordan Howard. The drop of at RB and WR is steep after players in this tier.
Meanwhile, there are a plethora of solid quarterbacks available in rounds 9-12 such as Jimmy Garopollo, Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Derek Carr, Phillip Rivers, Jared Goff…the list goes on. The drop-off at WR and RB is just so much greater.
#2) Prioritize drafting the players you like and want on your squad
Every year I see people waiting on players they like because experts say that it’s too soon to draft them or owners feel the need to get the proper “value” during the draft. I’m on board for drafting players at the right value, however there is a happy medium. When it’s my time to pick and there is a guy I want who is borderline not going to be there when the draft comes back to me, I likely am going to be aggressive and take them now to ensure they are on my team. Don’t wait on players you love. Be aggressive (within reason) and jump up a round or two from their ADP when needed. Go by FantasyPros average draft position (ADP) to know when you should make your move.
#3) Know your league format before you draft
This one might sound like a no-brainer, but if it’s been a while since you have drafted a fantasy football team or this is your first time, you will want to be sure to look at the league scoring settings before the draft. There are three types of leagues – Standard, Point Per Reception (PPR), and ½ Point Per Reception (1/2 PPR).
Wherever you are drafting, just go to the League section and look for Settings or Scoring. Review the scoring to craft your draft strategy. Here are the main differences:
Standard – TDs are more valuable. Players are not rewarded for making a catch, so big goal-line running backs or TE red zone targets are more valuable than in PPR or 1/2 PPR. Pass catching RBs or high volume receivers are downgraded.
PPR- Catches are extremely valuable and a player such as Theo Riddick goes from being almost an afterthought to be a valuable asset worth drafting in 10 and 12 team leagues. PPR also affects which WRs have value and someone like Larry Fitzgerald or Golden Tate are upgraded since they are likely to catch a lot of balls this year.
1/2 PPR - The greatest league in the land. If you don't agree, we can't be friends. It's a perfect mix of TD scoring reward and credit for hauling in receptions. While someone like Riddick is not hugely valuable, players like this are often flex worthy. Dual-threat running backs (carries + receptions) are the most valuable players in the game in PPR or 1/2 PPR and really standard for that matter as well.
The other big differences is the point total awarded for TD passes. The Standard is 5 points, however some leagues change that to 4 points or up it to 6. In a league where QBs get 6 points for a TD pass you can expect the best QBs to go 1-2 rounds higher.
#4) Draft LOTS of running backs
Running backs tend to get injured most often in football, probably because they are the guys every 300+ pound lineman is trying to murder on most plays. Having a healthy stable or startable RBs is a very important part of building a championship roster. By round 8 of your draft I would say you should have 4 RBs. In the draft I just completed I took 6 RB through the first 10 rounds. Not only will this give you depth in case of injury, but it also offers you guys you can play during bye weeks plus trade bait for later on. Throughout the season healthy RBs averaging 8+ points each week are valuable and desirable trade assets.
#5) Get familiar with the layout of the online draft room
At least 20 minutes before the start of the draft be sure to test things out and get familiar with the online draft room. Each site uses a slightly different set-up and you’ll want to launch the draft before to get a feel for the way things work. At the top right, there is usually is a place to add players to your “queue.” You can either drag players there or star them to add to the queue. Use this tool!! It helps you stay organized and keep track of the guys you want to take. If you run out of time during your pick, the system will take the top player in your queue. This will also take some of the stress out of making your selections as the clock is ticking down.
As the draft proceeds, you will see the teams moving along in order at the top as players are drafted. Usually on the right side or toward the bottom, above the chat section, you can see who is being taken. Keep an eye on how many picks until it’s your turn again. Always monitor this during the draft and be prepared to take two picks in a row if you are at the front of back end of the draft since all sites use the snake format (except auctions).
Have any questions about your upcoming draft we can you help you? Leave a comment or hit us up on Twitter @fantasygriddle
Subscribe and Follow the Fantasy Griddle Podcast
Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/y7lmafbl
Google Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/y9hsn58h