Advice For Fantasy Football Drafts
By Ken Zalis
Here are some simple rules and advice to remember before, during and after your draft.
Follow These Rules At Your Draft
A) Pay attention to the picks and what is going on at the draft.
Go online and print out a sheet with all players available by position. As players get taken, cross their names off the list. Do not be the person that picks Frank Gore in the third round after he was taken with the 12th overall pick. Everyone hates that person.
Know when it is your turn to pick. Don't wait five minutes and then say, "Oh, is it my turn?" Be ready; have three or four players prepared to draft when you are three picks away; and when it's your turn, pull the trigger. Your fellow players will appreciate it.
Rule of thumb: If you look down and see someone available that you think should have been picked during the first round … he was.
Suggestion: Don't say, "I will take so-and-so." Say, "Where did so-and-so get taken?" It's better that way. Trust us.
B) Stay sober.
Don't get me wrong, as a player, I love when other players get hammered on draft day. But if you are in it to win, have only one or two drinks. Don't make us drive you home.
C) Know your rules.
Don't automatically assume running backs are the most valuable players in your league. Know your scoring system. If you get six points for each touchdown pass, then quarterbacks are much more valuable than any running back.
D) Ignore bye weeks.
Yes, ignore them. If the best player left on your draft board has the same bye week as someone you took before, do not take a lesser quality player just because of a bye. You can trade them or pick up someone else later. In the end, it will work out, so do not even take the bye list into your draft. Many other fantasy football writers disagree with me on this. They are wrong.
E) Prepare, prepare, prepare.
It's the most important day of the year and the most fun, so don't show up with a magazine you bought five minutes ago. You might as well not show up at all. Example: There was a three-time league champion that did not look at a thing before the draft. That player then went 4-7 and missed the playoffs. This team was always competitive, but because the player did not take an hour to prepare, the team was horrible. Stay away from magazines, because they were printed weeks ago and the information is no longer valid.
F) Picks after the eighth round make or break your draft.
Anyone can take Ray Rice or Arian Foster during the first round, but knowing who the backup to Maurice Jones-Drew is will win you championships. Take players that play in a high-scoring offensive system (New England, New Orleans, Detroit and so on).
G) Take two or so sleepers and rookies.
Take a high-risk, high-reward player. Also, with rookies, receivers have the biggest impact.
Fans Fantasy Football Strategy
A) Have fun with it.
We used to play fantasy baseball -- some of us still do -- but, overall, we got tired of the day-to-day scorecards and transactions. With fantasy football, you need only a few hours per week to prepare. Don't get bogged down every day with transactions; they are all in one neat place in the "What's New" section. So relax, sit back and enjoy.
B) Don't overanalyze.
In the "This Week's Picks" section, we will give you our guess picks and advise you whom to start. I am sure if you look on another Web site, you will see someone telling you the opposite.
But we suggest you go with your gut. If you have Matt Stafford and Eli Manning on your roster and can start only one quarterback, you could spend hours trying to decide. Don't. The five-minute rule is now in effect. Here are some tips for picking starters.
1) If the player is among the top five for his position this year, start him. If not, move on.
2) Is he playing against a team ranked in the bottom 10 in defense for the year? If yes, start him. If not, move on to the next question.
3) During his last two games, is the player on the upswing? If yes, ride the wave and start him. If not, move on.
4) Go with your gut. Flip a coin. Send us an email and we will break the tie.
C) Scan the waiver wire each week.
One man's garbage is another man's gold. Make sure you know who is available in your league. Your competitors will not help you; they will just laugh at you.
D) Turn your lineup each week, and do not start injured players or those on a bye week.
One of the most upsetting things for an owner is when other owners don't pay attention or play each week. I do not care if you are 0-8. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then, and we need you to beat the team you are playing.
Posted Aug. 29, 2012