Hello All, my name is Chris Nicolaou, also known as Cnic in the football community. I am the newest addition to the excellent staff here at Steel City Blitz. I will be leading the brand new fantasy football category that we are offering. I have been involved in fantasy football for about 6 years now. I have been writing about it for about two years, with extended experience at RosterWatch.com.
For many readers and football fanatics, they love the game of football but have never submerged themselves in a standard ESPN, NFL.com or Yahoo fantasy football league. In this article, I’ll share my strategies on how to draft the best team possible to beat your friends and collect some moola.
Conjure up your own draft strategy! It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyhow, don’t go into a draft without a plan. Everyone’s plan is different and fit’s their style. If you’re brand new to fantasy football then you have no clue what I am referring to. Here are some reasons to draft a play and deterrents not to.
Some fantasy football players use these two strategies:
BPA: Best player available. You draft the player that will score you the most points on the board regardless of position. If you’re going to do this, might as well not even draft and let the application auto-draft for you.
Position oriented: You draft according to positions that you may value the most and need to fill. While I do this, I don’t do this without caution. It is important to fill all your positions and at least one backup for each position.
I certainly do not use either of these strategies fully. They can be very dangerous and will certainly leave you in a hole down the road. If you execute either or both of these strategies alone, you disregard the following:
Yes, drafting according to BYE weeks is critical. If both of your running backs have a week 8 BYE week, you will be left too thin at the position and will be throwing in a backup and saying a Hail Mary.
I definitely look at the player I am considering drafting’s schedule toughness. If I am going to draft LeSean McCoy and he is facing some great run defenses, it might sway my decision away from him – or vice versa.
Opposing Positional Toughness.
Best way to explain this is with an example. If you’re looking to draft a WR – let’s say Amari Cooper. If he is going to be facing some seriously good #1 cornerbacks, it may sway your decision to go with another WR or a totally different position. This may work the other way as well; Cooper’s opponents with weak cornerbacks may sway you into drafting him.
Someone’s got a boo boo.
It is important to know if the player you are drafting has an extensive injury history. If he tends to miss a lot of valuable time, you may want to avoid that player. If he’s not on the field then he’s not helping your team score points.
It is important to analyze who you exactly are drafting. If you’re drafting Ezekiel Elliot, who are you really drafting? Not just Zeke. Look at who’s helping him. He has a great offensive line, his team ran the ball 43.5% of the time in 2015, and he fits their scheme. Also remember your RB gets points for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns! If you’re drafting Brandon Marshall this year, look at his offensive line, how many times did the Jets pass the ball last year? How many times was he was targeted, even targeted in the red zone? Who’s throwing him the ball? It may be Geno Smith, do you trust Geno? If not, you may want to go with another guy.
Tendencies and Depth Chart evaluation:
Like I said in the paragraph above, it is important to know how often your QB/WR/TE will be throwing the ball, or how many carries your RB should expect. Many times, there will be reports out there on how many carries a certain RB will expect to get.
Also, depth chart is critical for a few reasons. If a team like the Ravens don’t have a clear cut #1 running back, it may be wise to draft their backup as well (also works for injury prone guys like Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles etc.). This is called a handcuff. Last year, if you drafted DeAngelo Williams as Le’Veon Bell’s handcuff, you cherished it.
A combination of all of these. Many of you may say “okay, it’s really not that serious.” But I am a competitor and I really love money, so I will do what I can to gain a fair, competitive advantage. I want a dependable player who doesn’t have a horrible injury history, has a good supporting cast and I am convinced will produce for me.
Some important notes:
Look up how your league is scored. You will see that you will get the most total points out of your QB that does not mean draft one in the first round; actually, my advice would be not to. The most valuable position is the running back position, in my opinion.
You’ll most likely be in a SNAKE draft. If you do not know what that is, I’ll demonstrate. If you are in a 10 team, the drafting order will look like this:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3…
So if you have the 8th pick, you pick again shortly with the 13th overall pick.
If you have any questions about strategy, how I draft, how to set up a league, or anything at all, please use the comment section or reach out to me on Twitter!
I’ll have an article out soon on my Do’s and Do Not’s of drafting. Stay Tuned!