have too many fantasy football teams to count. Between NFL, CBS, FOX and ESPN, I hope I don't forget to visit and update rosters somewhere during the season. I've been doing this for many years now and I still really enjoy it. But every year I am just amazed at how so many people draft their players for Fantasy Football. I'm not talking about keeper leagues or some of the other leagues with many diff. varieties of rules, I mean your average; run of the mill, fantasy football league. Usually I just sit quietly and let them make mistake after mistake while I (and a few others that seem to get it) take advantage of them. Finally I thought I'd spell it out somewhere.
So here it goes;
Never ever draft a QB in round 1 PERIOD. Sure Drew Brees is an awesome QB who will give you an average of 30 PPG. BUT (that’s a really big B U T), I still can get a QB in round 4 that averages 28PPG. Last year and the year before, everyone was taking Brady and Payton Manning in round 1 while I was getting Philip Rivers and Drew Brees in rounds 4 through 6. Then when the trades happen, a guy wants to know why I don't think Tom Brady is worth Adrian Peterson.
It's about averages people. Don't compare Drew Brees' PPG average to Ladainian Tomlinson's, compare Drew Brees to Philip Rivers (whom I just got in round 4 of my latest draft). Two points is all you gained, by taking Brees in round 1. "Yeah, but that's two points more for me." I'll hear. Well, not so quick. Because while you were drafting Brees in Round 1 I was getting a premier RB who may not have the points per game average of Tom Brady or Drew Brees, but compared to the RB available to you in round four (where I get the Philip Rivers, or last year I got Drew Brees) you get a RB worth about 9 to 13 points per game fewer.
If I could do a graph here, It would show the PPG on one side and the players rankings down the bottom. For QBs the drop off is slight as there are good quality QBs available well into every draft. This would hold true for WRs too. Sure Larry Fitzgerald is an awesome WR, but he only gives you an average of 17 points per game (in a standard league). The difference between him and some WR I can get much later in the draft is (just like QBs) not very significant. Why worry about taking Fitz in round 1 or 2 when I can still get Greg Jennings (15 PPG) a few rounds later?
WRs are more important though as you need to carry more starters in CBS. and a few others. Some places you can choose to have 3 WRs start, or 3 RBs start as on slot is an option RB/WR. So you do need to get quality WRs, but you do not need to panic and think that if you don't get a Larry Fitzgerald or a Randy Moss, you'll not be able to compete. You will do much better with a roster of Greg Jennings and Vincent Jackson and your stud RBs while the guy that did panic and take the Drew Brees and Larry Fitz has to start with LenDale White and Fred Taylor.
Now lets cover DST and Kickers. WHY oh why would anyone take a kicker until the very end of the draft? OK maybe if you have a guy you really like, you might get him a round or maybe even reach two rounds before the end, but I see guys taking Kickers before they have a back-up QB? Yeah, it's usually the same guy that took a QB or a WR in round 1. The same goes for a D/ST. Why is everyone so anxious to grab the Steelers so freaking early? In one draft I had they went in round 2 and in round 3 in another league. There is no good way to put it except to say that that is plain STUPID. Yes, I know how good the Steelers D/ST is (or was), but the difference between them and teams that often go in the last few rounds, or may even slip into the FA pool is only a few points per game. I've won many leagues by just picking up a D/ST that had an easy Offense to match up against that week. So instead of trying to draft the best D/ST early to make sure I had a good one, I just waited and took whom ever was left and each week I would take the D/ST that was playing a team with no real impressive Offence. For example. Your Steelers D/ST is playing the Saints or Chargers or Cardinals (all able to put up points in a hurry), while I pick up whomever happens to be available and is playing the Lions, Bears or Raiders. An Average D/ST will look good against those teams (last year anyways). Yet people panic and take a solid D/ST early to go with their awesome QB and WR.
TE's are a bit more tricky. There are usually about 4 or 5 that just stand apart from the rest. You will need to act fairly early to get one of them (say rounds 4 - 5), but if the top 4 or 5 TE's are gone, then just pick up whom ever with your late round picks. In other words, if you haven't been able to snag a Witten, Gonzo or Gates caliber TE, then your draft should end like this DST, K, TE or any combo of those three. I can get very good quality TEs from FA. No, not that can compete with the Gates' 10 PPG, but lots of 5 to 7 PPG type TEs will be available all year long in the FA pool.
The difference between the best QB and other solid QBs available in rounds 4-7 is only slight. Don't waste the early pick.
The difference between the best WR and a WR available much later is again only slight as there are lots and lots of good WRs out there.
There are a small handful of real contributors, if you miss one of them, then don't bother. If you can grab Witten in round 4 or 5, great!, but if you miss him and the few others, then grab a Brent Celek from FA and he will probably give you an average of 4 or 5 points like most other TEs.
D/ST is really about match-ups and you can do fine with a FA pick-up from week to week just looking at the match-ups. no need to panic and draft the Steelers in rounds 2-5 just to make sure you have a good D/ST. Even they will have bad weeks where you will wish you had used a team that was on the FA list.
COM’ on! Do I even have to say it? The difference between the best Kicker and just some also-ran, is maybe 2 points per game average. Take a kicker in the last round of the draft or close to it.
This is your bread and butter. You have to take RBs early and often. Even if you get an Adrian Peterson or M. Turner, you need solid depth for by weeks and injury insurance. RBs value drop FAST. A RB you pass on in rounds 1 and/or 2 can not be replaced by a RB you'll find in rounds 3 or 4.
If you do take a WR in round 1, then remember this simple strategy;
"You should have 2 RBs before you have 2 WRs." and "You should have 3 RBs before you have 3 WRs.,". So if you took Fitz in round 1, you take a RB in round 2 and another in round 3 and you are still OK. At the end of the year, if you don't believe me, check out the "Draft recaps" and see if this formula fit those that are moving on and those that have no chance. There are exceptions to every rule, but if you draft like this, you will win a lot more often. OF course you still have to draft good RBs and such - lol. In my current draft, round 7 a guy just draft Shaun Alexander. Well drafting an old bench warming RB who might not even be playing this year doesn't count for drafting a RB *shrug*