The NFL Preseason starts in just over a week. The regular season starts a month after that. This means that fantasy draft season is in full swing. A good draft will go a long way in having a successful fantasy team this year. I’ve put together a few tips to consider going into your league’s draft
1. Practice – With yahoo fantasy sports you can join as many mock drafts as you want. They offer 8- 10- 12- and 14-team mock drafts, which are pretty standard league sizes. They also let you pick your draft position, so if you know when you’ll be drafting in your real league(s), pick accordingly, or if you won’t know until the draft, try multiple mock drafts in different spots.
The important thing about mock drafts (and real drafts for that matter) are not the first few rounds as much as the mid-to-late rounds. This is where you can see what players you like are still available for what position, and plan a draft strategy accordingly.
2. Research – There are many online sources that offer player rankings, sleeper picks, bust picks, etc. Keep up to date with players’ values, injury statuses, and position battles.
3. Be Aware of Your League’s Settings – PPR (Points Per Reception) leagues are very common now, some sites will even have separate rankings for PPR and non-PPR leagues. You may also see some leagues award points for return yards, pick-sixs, or even carries. Know your leagues settings, and how it affects the values of certain players.
Also be aware of what roster spots your league uses. For example, maybe your league has a QB/RB/WR/TE Flex position. In that case you probably want a good QB in that spot, depending on your league setting. Some leagues even have defensive players, however, if you are a beginner I’d stay away from those leagues.
4. Try to stay away from your favorite team/players – This is something I see people doing all the time, and it never works. We all over-rate our favorite players, which is fine as a sports fan, but as a fantasy player it’s a big no-no. There may be a situation where a player is clearly the best player available and is on your favorite team. In that case it is okay to draft them, but for the most part try to just stay away from players that you like in real life. Also remember that a good real life player is not necessarily a good fantasy player.
5. Don’t draft a kicker or defense until the last 2 rounds – Or consider not drafting a kicker and/or defense at all. It may be in your best interest to use your last two picks on potential sleepers or guys in position battles that could end up being steals. Just remember to pick up a kicker and defense before week 1.