By Adam McGill @adammcgill83twitter.com on July 25, 2014
The fantasy football season is rapidly approaching and draft day will be here sooner than you think. To help you start forming a strategy, here are 20 things to keep in mind before starting your 2014 fantasy football draft.
Most times before the draft, your friends will start dropping subtle hints about which players they intend on drafting. It is important to know the tendencies of your friends and the players that they have been gushing over all offseason.
This is more a tip for IDP owners, because defensive linemen and linebackers tend to blur the line of a true defensive end. Owners must remember to watch a player’s eligibility closely in drafts this summer.
There will be plenty of injuries between now and the start of your draft. Be informed on every injury and make sure you aren’t the owner calling out the player with the torn ACL.
As the summer months approach, the positional battles across the league will only get hotter. It is important for fantasy owners to be completely up to speed on every starting job, because it will impact which players have fantasy value. Your cheat sheet better have every real starter circled come draft day.
Nothing helps you prepare for a fantasy draft like doing a couple mock drafts. There are now millions of different places to participate in mocks, so don’t be afraid to bone up on your draft prowess. After all, practice makes perfect.
It was only a couple of years ago when every owner loaded up on running backs, but the transition within the NFL has made wideouts much more productive fantasy options. Obviously, the top-10 backs are gold, but after that the position gets pretty thin. So instead of grabbing a RBBC running back, take a shot on another top-30 wideout instead.
Players change uniforms every offseason. It is the nature of the business. However, the turnover often confuses fantasy fans and leaves many owners drafting behind the curve. Make sure you know which players have changed teams during the summer months and the potential impact it could have on their fantasy value in 2014.
The waiver wire can be a godsend to an owner that is off to a horrible start. All-Stars come out of nowhere every season and quickly become fixtures in fantasy lineups. If you struggle early on, don't be afraid to work the waiver wire on a weekly basis.
1. Adrian Peterson - 29
2. Maurice Jones-Drew – 29
3. Marshawn Lynch - 28
4. Chris Johnson – 28 (29 in Sept)
5. Matt Forte – 28 (29 in Dec)
6. Eddie Lacy - 24
7. Montee Ball - 23
8. Zac Stacy - 23
9. Giovani Bernard - 22
10. Le’Veon Bell - 22
Don't be scared to go off the reservation for a few picks. Many people simply draft according to the book. They go down someone’s rankings and slowly start crossing off names one after another. However, this hardly pays off in the longrun. So while you are calling out names this summer, it is alright to skip down a couple names on your cheat sheet.
Every fantasy draft, there is the guy that wakes up with no clue who is on his bench because they had too many fizzy sodas the night before. By all means have a good time at your draft this year, but for the sake of your fantasy team, don’t reach for that 10th beer.
You should have multiple cheat sheets and multiple draft strategies in mind depending on how the first couple rounds pan out. Anything can happen and it is always important to be prepared for the worst. Make sure to have a flexible draft strategy this summer.
As we have learned over the last several seasons, injuries can come out of nowhere. That is why it is important nowadays to grab handcuffs for your important backs. It is better to have a backfield locked down, than to have an assortment of second-string backs.
Some leagues are more touchdown-heavy, while others tend to rely more on yardage and receptions. Before your draft starts, print out a list of your point system to bring to the draft.
The Talented Mr. Roto is hands down the most synonymous name with fantasy football, and as a result, everyone takes what he says as gold. However, he has been wrong countless times and is by no means perfect. Don’t take everything that he says as pure gold.
The value of a kicker is often dependent on the matchup, which makes reaching for a kicker absurd. When looking to address your kicker position, it is always smart to wait until your last pick. There is absolutely no need to embarrass yourself by drafting a kicker in the middle of the draft.
The current buzz around camp is that Eli Manning is looking very strong. He had a miserable 2013 season (18 TDs/27 INTs) and will come with some risk this summer, but don’t believe in last year’s numbers. Even Eli can come back from the dead.
There are really only a handful of defenses that will truly outscore the rest of the field every fantasy season. The Seahawks proved they are the best unit in fantasy last year, but the drop off between them and the fifth-ranked fantasy defense simply isn't that much. It would be better to wait to draft a defense until after the first few units comes off the board.
The quarterback position has become increasingly deep in recent fantasy seasons and there are suddenly close to a dozen options that can be started on a week-to-week basis. It is not longer required to reach for a quarterback on draft day, because the options in the fifth round can be almost as productive.
Fantasy football was invented to not only be a way to talk trash between friends, but also a way to have fun. So while you are cursing out your fellow owners and thinking about quitting (again), remember that it is all in good fun. Don’t let it completely consume your life. Try to have some fun this fall.
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