How do you draft your fantasy team?
Do you go over several draft scenarios and try out different strategies? Do you just wing it? Or, are you somewhere in between?
When I was young, I would wing it. I picked my favorite players (shout out to Maurice Jones-Drew and Chad Johnson) and other players that I’d heard of that I knew were good.
As I got older, I went into my fantasy drafts more prepared. I never had a clear strategy in mind, but I had done some research and knew the rankings and the players I wanted.
Now, I have specific strategies that I like, and I test these strategies by doing mock drafts on the ESPN Fantasy Football app (it’s a lot of fun).
What are these strategies? The three I use the most often are drafting QBs late, zero RB, and going with the flow.
While there is no right or wrong way to draft, I believe these three draft strategies help you pick the best team possible.
Drafting QBs Late
Quarterbacks in fantasy football are overrated. Don’t agree with me? That’s totally fine! I won’t hold it against you. But, before you anger quit this blog, hear me out.
We all know that not all QBs are the same. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are the cream of the crop and will most likely get drafted early in most leagues. But in reality, there isn’t much of a difference between those two and the rest of the QBs week to week. The variance in points between them and guys like Marcus Mariota, Matthew Stafford, Phillip Rivers, Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, Andrew Luck, Dak Prescott, and Russell Wilson isn’t very much.
Instead of drafting a QB early, think of who else you could draft instead. Is there a quality RB or WR still out there? That might be a better option. Then, while everyone is drafting QBs, you’ll be stocking up on valuable RBs and WRs to fill your bench.
Would I like to have Aaron Rodgers on my team? Heck yes. But I would also like to win my championship, and spending an early pick on a QB can weaken your RB and WR core.
A zero RB strategy seems scary. RBs are the most valuable players, right? Zero RB believers would tell you otherwise.
Zero RB is like it sounds: you don’t draft any RBs until later rounds. Instead, you pick high-end WRs (and maybe even a tight end) to bolster your WR core.
Because WRs are safer picks than RBs. Which is usually true, unless your name is Deandre Hopkins or Allen Robinson. RBs get hurt more often, mainly because they are used more often, and are more likely to bust. Look at Todd Gurley, Adrian Peterson, and Eddie Lacy. All of them either suffered injuries or didn’t perform to expectations.
RBs are also more likely to lose their starting job. Backups rise up and prove they are worthy (looking at you Jordan Howard and Jay Ajayi). WRs, on the other hand, are more trustworthy week-to-week.
Zero RB can be a great strategy (especially in PPR where you’d rather have pass-catching RBs), but it depends on how the rest of your league drafts, which is what the next section is about.
Going with the Flow
Relax, man. Don’t worry about it. It’s all going to be fine.
That’s what going with the flow is all about. You can’t control how the other people in your league draft. You don’t know who they’re going to pick. That’s why you have to be flexible and ready for whatever when it comes time to pick your players.
If others are going zero RB, then stock up on RBs. If they’re drafting a lot of RBs, then go zero RB and draft WRs. A lot of it depends on your draft pick number and who your league mates draft.
Honestly, this is probably the best draft strategy you can have. It’s almost impossible to predict what’s going to happen, so going into your draft prepared to handle any situation is the most (and best) you can do.
Be prepared for drafting a QB late. Be prepared for going zero RB. And be prepared for going with the flow.
What are some other draft strategies that you like? Let me know in the comments!