Fantasy Guides Draft Strategy
When approaching your drafts, my biggest piece of advice is to have a FLEXIBLE strategy. Do not be locked into certain players in certain rounds, because that's for sure to be thrown out the window by the time the 2nd round rolls around. The best thing you can do is have a general plan that you can adjust as the draft begins to unfold. That way if some surprises get thrown your way, you won't be panicked. This is my strategy when drafting. It wasn't always this way, but I've been playing for 15 years and have improved year after year.
Use the advanced rankings to help you determine tie breakers between players you're about to draft. If you're on the clock and both Josh Jacobs and Miles Sanders are sitting right in front of you, use Jacobs elite usage as a tie-breaker. These advanced rankings allow you to quickly see important statistics to give you more time to process your pick when it comes up.
TRY TO GO ROBUST RB IN THE 1ST TWO ROUNDS
The drop off at running back is steep. The edge you get with an elite RB is much greater at an early-drafted running back than it is at any other position. The wide receiver position has become more flat in recent years, so you can afford to wait on your WR in the 2nd or 3rd round. There are still wide receivers I like in round one, most specifically Michael Thomas, so don't force the pick, but in general try to lockup your RB1 in round 1 and 2.
DO NOT DRAFT A QUARTERBACK IN ROUND 1
This is getting better year after year. Fantasy drafters are getting smarter and more efficient with their drafts and realize they can wait on quarterback, but it still happens every year. DON'T BE THAT GUY. Yes, I love Lamar Jackson, but I'm not touching him unless it's the third round. You're a near lock to regret using a 1st round pick on him once the fantasy playoffs roll around.
DON'T BE SCARED TO WAIT ON QUARTERBACK
I've been playing fantasy football for 15 years now. And I've been in multiple leagues. I've had plenty of drafts in the past where I waited as long as possible to draft a quarterback. I just did it to see how long I could wait. It became a sort of goal of mine. I've even waiting as late as round 13 to take my first one. A few years ago that quarterback ended up being Matt Ryan who finished that year as the QB2. I got 2nd place in my league that year. My point is, in 1-QB leagues, I love SO MANY quarterbacks that I feel completely comfortable waiting until the 10th or 11th rounds to draft your first quarterback. I'm ok taking Dak Prescott, Kyler Murray or Deshaun Watson in round 6 if you really want one of those guys, but in most drafts I'm going to wait.
HAVING SAID THAT, DON'T GET TOO CUTE WITH QUARTERBACK
Like I said, I love to wait on quarterback, but in some of my leagues there are some really smart players, and everyone is waiting on quarterback. If that's the case in your league, take advantage when there is opportunity. If it's Round 7 and you're debating between Will Fuller or Russell Wilson, DRAFT Wilson. Don't just wait on QB to wait on QB. If some of the better QB options end up falling to you in the draft, take them. There is always value to be had and you just have to look for it.
DRAFT MULTIPLE QUARTERBACKS IN LEAGUES WITH DEEPER ROSTERS
If your league allows you to roster 17-20 players, consider drafting three quarterbacks. The reason for this is that you get the best possible matchups with having at least three quarterbacks. I've found that with three QBs rostered, you're almost a lock to have a quarterback playing at home every week, and those home games on average produce much better results for the QB position. Having said that, with COVID-19 having the potential of having stadiums that are 25% capacity or completely empty, it possible the home field advantage won't be the the same level of impact. You may not get that advantage, but you still will have more opportunities to start QBs in really good matchups week in and week out.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO DRAFT KELCE OR KITTLE IN ROUND 2
They are such game changers at the position and the edge they give you compared to other positions is great. I'd prefer to get them in the late 2nd or early third round if possible, but that's not likely to happen. Just don't reach for them in the early 2nd.
DON'T BE SCARED OF ROOKIE RUNNING BACKS
Don't be scared off by Marlon Mack, Kerryon Johnson or Malcolm Brown eating into the workload of Jonathan Taylor, D'Andre Swift and Cam Akers. Running backs typically hit the ground running in year one by mid season at the latest. These guys are far superior prospects than those guys who are currently ahead of them, and will likely take over the backfield by mid-season.
DON'T FALL FOR THE ROOKIE WIDE RECEIVER TRAP
Yes, rookie wide receivers are fun. They're sexy. I get it. I like them too. But they very rarely produce in year one. A.J. Brown blew up last season, but he was still just the wide receiver 21. That's not a league winning player. I'm fine taking a shot at one later in my draft, but don't reach for one. Take a more proven veteran player.
DON'T DRAFT A KICKER
There is no need to draft a kicker unless your draft is the day before week 1, your league has rules about having to use FAAB money to add players or you have to fill out every position in your draft. Just avoid drafting the position. Yeah, your Yahoo draft grade might suffer because of it, but you're better off taking a stab at a player, and seeing what happens during training camp and the preseason to see if you have something solid that can help your team. Then just add a kicker as a free agent right before the season starts. I've streamed the kicker position for years and it's worked out great. You also don't have to worry about holding two kickers during bye weeks, which is a total waste of a roster spot.
WAIT UNTIL THE LAST PICK TO DRAFT YOUR DEFENSE
I used to draft defenses early. I did that for about the first 10 years of playing fantasy football. That was until I realized how easy it is to replace those points by just streaming the position. Defense is one of the hardest positions to predict in fantasy football because it relies on so many different factors by more than just one player. Last year I offered advice on streamers every week. These were defenses only owned by no more than 60% of fantasy leagues. The results were the #7 ranked defense. Just follow my advice on who to stream throughout the season and you'll be set. Trust me.