I really need to focus on my kicker and team defense this season, said no one in the history of Fantasy Football. And yet draft day rolls around and like clockwork you can always count on someone in your league to reach for the Seattle Seahawks defense or a kicker like Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots. For the love of the football gods, please don’t be that person.
Instead, you’re going to use every tendency of those in your league against them. You’re not betting the house on risky picks; you’re going to be the house. There are a few trends starting to emerge in Fantasy Football that you will be best served to understand before you step up to the draft table or hear your team name on the clock.
First, and this one is the most important tip I can give you this season, wait on your quarterback. I know Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will be sitting on that board oozing tempting fantasy juices. Practice restraint, and avoid what will be the unavoidable for most in your league.
Here’s what the conversations sound like in many fantasy circles this season. “It’s a passing league that is quarterback heavy” or “most teams have a one two running back punch so you cannot count on the workhorses like you could in the past.”
All are statements completely on point, but most use that information in a counterproductive way. They figure, in that case “I better get a quarterback quick since it’s a pass heavy league and the running game has fallen by the wayside for most teams.”
Here’s how you are going to use that information. “It’s a pass heavy league so I can get a quarterback late and since most teams don’t have a workhorse running back I better nab the few available immediately.”
Practice that, stick to your guns and get your stud running back quick. There aren’t as many as there used to be.
And for your piece of mind, in the countless mock drafts I have been involved in this season, you can expect your choice of guys like Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick in the fifth and many cases even the sixth round.
The next trend you will notice on draft day is the emergence of the wide receiver and tight end positions. Once the top nine or ten running backs are off the board, there will be a run on wide receivers. And when that run happens in most drafts, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson won’t be part of it. If you want Megatron in 2013, you’re going to need a large checkbook. His ADP in the mocks I was involved in was six.
The bottom line is this folks. The NFL is a passing league – period. Because of that you can wait on your quarterback, there are only a handful of workhorse running backs so get yours quick, and the wide receiver spot in some cases is more valuable than a running back that shares time on an NFL team.
Oh, and you can actually go without a kicker or defense. Play the weekly match-ups and use the waiver wire. More about that strategy another time.