By: Andrew “Fish” Fain
Do not think for a second like certain alleged “experts” who work for four letter networks and enjoy giving themselves nicknames they haven’t earned, that this column is going to be a manifesto about who you should or should not take. Nor will I tell you the way you want to draft is smart or dumb. Did I mention I also will not give myself a nickname?
No, this is going to be a very simple outline of the best way to draft a Fantasy Football team. You can take my advice or not, frankly it won’t bother me either way. I do know that anyone who ever tells you they dominate their football league every year is full of crap. It is impossible to dominate in football every year, you know why? Because there is more luck involved in NFL Fantasy Drafts than any other fantasy sport. Don’t believe me? Well try this out and find out for yourself:
Go to ESPN, CBS, FOX, MyfantasyLeague or any other website that has free leagues forming. Go ahead and sign up for the league. Go ahead and rank your players, more to take out any injured guys than anything else. Then let the computer auto-draft your team. If you set a line-up every week with those players, more often than not, that team will make the playoffs. If that doesn’t prove that a guy like the aforementioned Mr. Self-Nickname is full of crap, I don’t know what will.
But still, we draft because we enjoy it. It is probably the best day of Fantasy Football season. It is the day that everyone’s team is still undefeated and hope springs eternal. It is also the one day of the season where you can talk trash without it coming to bite you in the butt.
So how should we approach the draft? Well the easy answer is to first make sure you know the rules. Is it a PPR league? Is it a 2 QB league? Things like that play a huge role in the strategy of drafting. So the single most important piece of advice anyone can give you is KNOW YOUR LEAGUE.
Other than that, it really is simple, know what you want to accomplish and do not let others deter you from it. That means if you know you want a WR, don’t let a run on RB’s make you change your plan. If it does, the entire draft goes out the window.
Play with both your head and your heart. There is no reason not to grab your favorite player a few slots early, if he won’t come back around again. But if you’re a big Doug Martin fan, grabbing him in the 1st round makes no sense. So use common sense as well.
Always have three or four choices either lined up in your head or in your Que. There are few things worse than seeing the clock run down on a pick and making a panicked selection because you weren’t ready. It will usually end up being a very bad choice, and something that could have been avoided by being a little prepared.
Pay attention to what is happening in the draft. This is more for live drafts than the ones on the computer, but don’t be the guy in the 5th round asking if Aaron Rodgers had been taken yet. You’re not playing with idiots; of course he has been taken. Along those lines, don’t be the idiot that takes a guy who just tore his ACL and is out for the season, and now you want a do-over.
It is much harder to do those things on-line nowadays because the players who are taken are gone from the available que. But on the computer the time limit is hard and fast, if you get stuck with an auto-draft player because you weren’t fast enough, don’t be that guy begging the Commissioner for a do-over. EVERYONE hates that guy.
Finally, just have fun. This is not rocket science or brain surgery. Nobody dies if you make the wrong pick, or your team stinks. So just have a blast with it. To keep leagues fair, make sure you always set your line-up, even if you’re 1-8 on the season. It is only fair to everyone.
See, no pick Adrian Peterson #`1 this season, or stay away from Randall Cobb. Those choices are yours and yours alone (unless you have a partner), and if you like AP, hell yes take him #1 and be happy. If you prefer a different guy, take the different guy. Nobody truly knows at this point who is going to be great or not, it is all speculation. If someone tells you that they know for sure that Eddie Lacey will be the best running back in football, they are either Marty McFly or full of crap, and you can guess which way I am leaning.