Draft Tips and Tricks

You have your draftlist ready to go, now how do you use it?

1.  Craft your draft strategy to how your league scores points.  You want to load your team with players who will benefit from the way your league scores points.  If you play in a standard league your Running Backs and Quarterback will be much more important than Wide Receivers or Tight Ends. If you play in a PPR league, it's flipped so Wide Receivers and Tight Ends are much more important and the Running Backs you should target are the ones that catch a lot of passes.  If you play in a league that gives points for return yards, get yourself a wide receiver or running back that also returns punts or kickoffs.  Every round you should look for the players that will best exploit the point schedule of your league. 

2.  Know when you will be drafting.  I have sorted this list by Expected Draft Position (EDP) to give you the most accurate representation of when players are getting picked.  Sometimes leagues let you know in advance what place you will be selecting players, other times it will be a mystery until draft day.  If you know your placement you can use Draft Mode.  In Draft Mode you enter in the size of your league and your draft position.  It then breaks down the draftlist round by round so when you click on the 3rd round tab, it will show you all the players available between your current pick and your next pick (including some overlap for longshots and reaches).  The players will be sorted according to their VORC score (Value Outlook Reliability Consistency).  Select the best available player with the highest VORC score!

3.  Practice on mock drafts.  Mock drafts aren't perfect, but they do help you deal with the dynamics of a live draft and a timer.  Using this list on a mock draft will help you see if there are any gaps on your draftlist.  Maybe your list has too many filters on it, so there are spots where there are not enough options.  You can always go back and modify your filters to make them less restrictive. 

4.  Access the app when you're ready for your live draft.  There is a lot of stuff happening right now.  Players are getting injured, or coming off of an injury.  Some players stock is rising or falling sharply.  This list is dynamic, so I'm making adjustments to it as these news stories happen.  The app is constantly updated online during the fantasy pre-season.  Just pull up the app on any web connected device and use it in concert with your live draft app.  I like to use my phone for the app (hold it landscape) and run the draft on my computer.

5.  Prepare for Rushes with Quarterbacks and Tight Ends.  It never fails, you've got your list.  It says your QB won't go until the 45th pick.  All of a sudden some guy takes your QB with his 30th pick.  Then 4 more Quarterbacks get taken before your next pick.  Now you're scrambling, you panic and take the next QB available because you don't want to miss out.  This happens all the time!  When it comes to both these positions, most of these players are picked in their draft order (Andrew Luck goes 1st, Aaron Rodgers goes 2nd, Russell Wilson goes 3rd, etc.)  On draft day, I keep a tally of how many QBs and TEs have been taken.  If I'm targeting Jared Goff (he's currently sitting as the #8 QB off the board), I wait until 6 QBs are selected and then I take him with my next pick.  This means you will take that player a little early, but you will have a high probability of getting the player you want.  Likewise, having a backup plan (say you'll take Brady, #10 QB, if you miss Goff), will allow you to not freak out when the rushes happen.  I also do the same with my backup QB, If I want Phil Rivers (currently the #14 QB off the board), I wait until the 12th QB is picked and then I take him with my next selection.

6.  Don't reach too far for a player!  When you look at your list, I'm sure you're thinking something along the lines of:  "Wow, Look at player X!  He's being selected 56th but his value says he's the 23rd best player this season.  I'm going to grab him in the 3rd round for sure!"  PLEASE DON'T DO THIS.  Success in Fantasy Football requires you to get good value from each of your players.  If you take this 6th round player in the 3rd round, no only have you destroyed his value but you have bypassed other 3rd round players that are critical to your team's success!  If you really want that player, take him with your 5th pick so you're still getting value and the risk isn't as high should he not live up to expectations.

7.  Don't Gamble or Speculate in the first 6 rounds.  The Top 60 is filled with question marks: rookies, older players that may be on the verge of breaking down, players past their prime but still highly valued, and injury prone players.  You want to weed those players you feel are too risky from your top 6 picks.  After that point, go nuts.  Speculate the hell out of the middle and later rounds because the risk is significantly lower and it won't kill your team if you're wrong.  You want the core of your team to be as reliable and consistant as possible.

8.  Take a defense with your second to last pick.  Defenses are the most speculative player on the board in my opinion.  They usually don't score that many points (about on par with an average TE), and the risk is exceedingly high.  Every season there are major busts amongst the top 5 defenses selected.  Likewise, there are many unheralded defenses which end up being outstanding (like Chicago, which was virtually undrafted last year).  I usually end up just streaming this position based on the matchup, even a mediocre defense can have a great week against a lousy offense!

9.  Take a kicker with your last pick.  I always enjoy it when the kicker rush happens, usually in the 9th round.  All of a sudden kickers start flying off the board.  All you need to do is smile and keep picking RBs and WRs because you can still get really good players in the middle rounds.  Year after year it is proven that there is virtually no advantage of taking a kicker early.  The difference between the #1 Kicker and the #12 kicker is less than 2 points per week on average.