When to Draft a Player or Position: Part 2 Ranking and Drafting Your Team

Draft Strategy

Rankng Players Using Cross Positional Values – Putting it All Together

Now that we have our values at each position, lets put it all together using the top 5 players at each of the skill positions (QB, WR,RB, TE) and see how the top players from each position stack up

Cam Newton CAR QB 399 106
DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR 218 104
Rob Gronkowski NE TE 184 97
Doug Martin TB RB 199 82
Doug Baldwin SEA WR 191 77
A.J. Green CIN WR 188 74
DeAngelo Williams PIT RB 189 72
Jordan Reed WAS TE 158 71
Gary Barnidge CLE TE 158 71
Todd Gurley LA RB 187 70
Lamar Miller MIA RB 185 68
Greg Olsen CAR TE 148 61
Delanie Walker TEN TE 148 61
Eric Decker NYJ WR 173 59
Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR 172 58
David Johnson ARI RB 174 57
Tom Brady NE QB 347 54
Russell Wilson SEA QB 333 40
Stephen Gostkowski NE K 168 40
Blake Bortles JAC QB 332 39
Carolina CAR DEF 152 39
Arizona ARI DEF 147 34
Graham Gano CAR K 161 33
Denver DEN DEF 144 31
Kansas City KC DEF 143 30
Carson Palmer ARI QB 320 27
Blair Walsh MIN K 152 24
Chandler Catanzaro ARI K 151 23
Josh Brown NYG K 149 21
Philadelphia PHI DEF 127 14

How to Draft Your Fantasy Football Team

While we all what an end all be all answer to this questions, I’m sorry to say that there is none.  When going into a fantasy football draft you need to be very flexible.  One of the biggest mistakes fantasy football owners make is going into their fantasy draft with a plan that is written in stone.

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2016 Fantasy Football Draft: Late Round Options if you wait on Wide Receiver

2016 Fantasy Football Draft: Late Round Options if you wait on Wide Receiver

Draft Strategy

As a zero running back guy, it’d weird this year to be talking about taking running backs early and looking for WR value in the later rounds.  That in fact seems to be the case this year.  In many leagues and mock drafts the fantasy football pendants are recommending people to grab wide receivers early and that’s just what they are doing.  They are generally safer in terms of injury and have more upside.  This in turn is leaving value at the running back position which is why I found myself trying to find some later round WR value to help round out my team if I can draft any WR studs early.

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When to Draft a Player or Position: Comparing Value Across Different Positions

When to Draft a Player or Position: Comparing Value Across Different Positions

Draft Strategy

One of the biggest concerns Fantasy football owners encounter is knowing which player or position to draft and when.  Knowing when to draft players at particular positions is where most fantasy football team owners go wrong with their drafts.

Most fantasy owners go in with a list of guys they want to draft, but they don’t know which round to draft them or if they should choose their RB over their WR.  Usually after the first few rounds their plan goes out the window and it’s a crap shoot.

Starting a draft can be nerve racking, who should you draft?  For year’s people have been saying draft a running back first.  This is why the 1st round of drafts have been dominated by running backs.  Over the last few years wide receivers have popped up more in the first round.

Here’ a list of the top 5 QB’s

Cam Newton CAR 399
Tom Brady NE 347
Russell Wilson SEA 333
Blake Bortles JAC 332
Carson Palmer ARI 320

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5 Draft Mistakes Fantasy Owners Make

5 Draft Mistakes Fantasy Owners Make

Draft Strategy Fantasy Football

Fantasy mistakes happen to all of us, but not learning from them is the real crime.  In a effort to avoid sabotaging your fantasy football season before it even starts, Let’s look at five common draft day mistakes fantasy owners make.

Having Your Draft Plan Written in Stone

One of the best things you can do to prepare for you draft is to create a plan of attack.  A draft strategy in conjunction with participating in a number of mock drafts is a great way to prepare.

The common mistake I see every season is the lack of flexibility with an owners draft plan.  They want specific players or to get their QB in a certain found that they are lost if someone takes their player.  You may be passing up on a great player by grabbing your QB to early.

Every draft is different and you need to be prepared to react to opportunities that arise. Be sure to look at what positions owners are drafting and what positions there may be a run on.  Be sure to create tier levels for your players so you can have a number of players in your queue just in  case someone else drafts “your guy”.  That why you can get another player you like instead of rushing an making a mistake.

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Late Round Draft Strategies

Draft Strategy

Many people go into a draft with some basic strategy of who they plan on picking for the first few rounds. Whether they have their favorite players or like to pick RB’s first, or WR’s, etc.

Some strategies are typically based on position scarcity, perceived value and a desire to formulate a somewhat balanced team. But what happens when your half way through your draft and everyone executed their draft plan as best they can?

Most people’s draft strategies fall apart halfway through and in the second half of some drafts have no strategy or reason as to what they are going to do. Fantasy owners end up looking to fill out rosters with random guys they’ve had on their teams before, or guys from their favorite NFL team. Its these later rounds that an strewd owner can often separate himself or herself from the pack by drafting guys with upside or protecting against the chance of injuries to your starters. Im going to show you four tips that will give you the edge you need in those later rounds.

1. Take Fliers on Young/High-Upside Players

Tight end Zach Ertz should be on your late-round radar.
If you’re like most people, you are probably taking a cheat sheet to your draft with a list of players based solely on someone else’s projected fantasy points, you may end up with a bench full of veterans if you pick soley based on a player’s name.. And, while having a few veterans like Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin or DeAngelo Williams can certainly give your team some stability, it limits your teams upside. Think about this, Eddie Lacy, Zac Stacy, Andre Ellington, Alshon Jeffery,Keenan Allen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jordan Cameron andJulius Thomas, all had breakout seasons in 2013 and most were in second half. If you’re like me and hit on atleast one of them, it likely catapolted your team to another level.
Here are a few rules for late round picks:
1. Take some chances. Especially if you’re playing in a keeper or dynasty league!
2. The whole second half of your draft should be fliers minus maybe one or two “safe” backup picks. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:

RB: Take Carlos Hyde, Andre Williams, Terrance West and Devonta Freeman over running backs like Darren McFadden, Shonn Greene, Chris Ivory, Jonathan Stewart and Knowshon Moreno.

WR: Take Terrance Williams, Kelvin Benjamin, Sammy Watkins and Kenny Stills over wide receivers like Greg Jennings, Hakeem Nicks, and Steve Smith.

TE: Take Zach Ertz, Ladarius Green, and Dennis Pitta over tight ends like Antonio Gates, Heath Miller and Jared Cook.

Note: The one position I didn’t include here was quarterback. If you’re going to take a flier on a young/high upside quarterback who hasn’t yet established himself, make sure he’s your No. 2 or 3 quarterback and not your starter. Rookie quarterbacks rarely break out, which leads to consideration No. 2.

2. Obtain an Upper-Tier Backup Quarterback

In recent years, the quarterback position has become deeper for fantasy purposes. This year there’s a big difference between the top-tier “backup” quarterbacks and the lower-tier backups. Let me be more specific: Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, and Andy Dalton are significantly better than Ryan Tannehill, Alex Smith, and Joe Flacco . You can find wide receivers on the waiver wire throughout the course of a season, but once the draft is over, you’re basically stuck at quarterback barring a trade. If your starter goes down or is struggling like Tom Brady did last year, it could be a season-killer unless you’ve got a quality backup quarterback. Just a side note here, Dalton and Rivers were actually in the top five at the position last year in most scoring formats (8,800 yards and 65 touchdowns combined). Although coaching changes this season (Jay Gruden and Ken Whisenhunt are now head coaches elsewhere and not coordinators) have led to a drop in their respective values, having them on your team could be invaluable.

3. Draft Running Backs Who Backup Players with Health Risks

The term “handcuffing.” Gets talked about every year, so its nothing new to most fantasy football owners, but it is still a vital late-round drafting strategy with respect to one position and one position only: running back. If Calvin Johnson gets injured during the season, for example, it’s highly unlikely that his backup is going to beable to fill his shoes in such a way to put up the numbers Johnson puts up. Its much harder to replace wide receivers on NFL teams. Running backs on the other hand, if you have a good offensive line, it can make even a marginal player into a productive fantasystarter. That’s why it’s a good idea not only to handcuff, but look to draft running backs who back up injury prone guys such as Steven Jackson, Arian Foster, etc. Keeping that in mind, here are the running backs (top 25 or so) with the most and least health risk entering the 2014 season:
Level Two Risk (Running backs whose health is MOST concerning): Arian Foster, Ben Tate., DeMarco Murray, Doug Martin, Reggie Bush, C.J. Spiller, Ryan Mathews.

Level One Risk (Running backs whose health is LEAST concerning): LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, Eddie Lacy, Jamaal Charles, Giovani Bernard

You should look to draft players like: Terrance West (CLE), Jonathan Grimes (HOU), Lance Dunbar (DAL), Bryce Brown(BUF), Donald Brown (SD), and Bobby Rainey (TB). All of which make really nice late-round targets, even if you don’t have the guys starting in front of them on your roster.

Suggestions, comments, or questions? E-mail me.

Fantasy Draft Day Strategies: Load Up on Stud WRs

Draft Strategy

Like all things, change is inevitable and your draft strategy is no different.  The days of loading up on running backs has long past.  I have been a proponent of drafting stud wide outs for years now for a number of factors.  First off, many teams are using running back by committee and secondly the NFL has evolved into a passing league.

My case in point as far as fantasy football in 2014, the fact there are so many outstanding wide receivers that are going to go off  this year in fantasy football. Most teams like the Eagles are switching to an up-tempo offensive attack in a passing-dominated league, and the addition of cushy rules benefitting wide receivers are making wideouts look more like studs.

While I don’t  believe the NFL will be as strict with calling illegal contact and holding penalties once the regular season starts, im betting  that many corners and safeties will be hesitant hold and contact receivers.

So why do I like wide receivers so much?  Wide receivers are scoring more points than ever. Look how many receivers were around the 200 fantasy point make last year.  Remember when only running backs were hitting that level?.

So what does this mean as your fantasy draft strategy? Well much of your strategy should be based on your leagues own scoring system as well as by its starting roster.  For example, do you have to start 3 WR’s or just 2 WR’s?  Is it a PPR league?  These factors will dictate which strategy will work the best.  In any case I believe in drafting Studs/ Home Run hitters first before filling needs.  Yesterday, a friend of mine was drafting late in the first round.  If you’re drafting in the first five picks getting a stud running back is easily accomplished. But we really consider Alfred Morris, Le’Veon Bell or Montee Ball as true studs worthy of a first-round pick? I sure don’t. That’s why if you’re picking at the end of the first round, I think it’s smart to target stud pass-catchers instead.  If you cant get a stud running back, get a stud wide receiver or tight end and pick up running backs later.  Running backs are prone to injury and if you get a goal line back you’r e in good shape.  Another thing to consider is the drop off in consistent receivers after the first 3 rounds.  Let’s dive into which wide receivers are worthy of your first two picks.

If you cant get one of the top 4 running backs, Calvin Johnson is the best wide out  to take in the first round of your fantasy draft. He’s a proven stud  year after year, and now the Lions finally paired him with a suitable No. 2 wide receiver in Golden Tate. He’s the most consistent wide receiver in fantasy averaging in the neighborhood of 15 fantasy points per game the last 3 years and leads his position in scoring every year. He’s the only no-brainer first-round pick.

Sifting through the rest of the crop becomes difficult, but only because there are so many players worth drafting in the next two rounds. In many of my recent NFL Fantasy drafts, the next five wide receivers selected are. Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas,Julio Jones, A.J. Green and Brandon Marshall.  All of these receivers have scored in the areas of 200 fantasy points over the last few years.

The next tier of WR’s drops off a bit, but they include Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, Alshon Jeffery,Andre Johnson, Vincent Jackson and Keenan Allen.

While all of these guys look like studs while you’ve watching the games, not all are top teir fantasy football studs.

So how should you proceed with your wide receivers come draft day?

1)    Draft a stud top tier

2)    Draft another top tier stud if available

3)    Draft a tier 2 or 3 WR, if none available grab an RB

4)    Take long shot WR’s in the later rounds

Don’t be afraid to draft deep at wide receiver spot especially if you are starting 3 WR’s. The number of consistant double digit wide outs is less than that of RB’s. With that said the idea that it’s better to use a running back at the flex isn’t without merit, but it also isn’t the only way to win, especially if you have 4 good wide receivers

The middle rounds are the hard part.. If your left with a number of backs used in a committee, or a wide out like Michael Floyd, Cordarrelle Patterson or T.Y. Hilton, it’s a no brainers, take the wide receiver! If these guys will fill your WR3 or Flex spot, you’re in really good shape.

Now the real question,

Who should you pick late in drafts?

Here are some names to look for as a WR4 or WR5 with loads of upside (all currently have an NFL.com ADP of Round 13 or later):

Justin Hunter
Kenbrell Thompkins
Markus Wheaton
Andrew Hawkins
Jarrett Boykin
Jordan Matthews
Hakeem Nicks
Kelvin Benjamin

In closing, when it comes to drafting wide receivers, try your best to get two studs. Then fill out your roster with home run hitters, guys with upside in 2014. Don’t waste roster space on big names like Steve Smith or Greg Jennings. Invest in the fantasy players who have a chance to explode this season.

Most importantly have fun, learn and get improve your team!.