By Jack Delaney on August 7, 2014
Fantasy football is very similar to the stock market, and identifying trends before you head into your draft will give you a leg up on the competition. If you know what your opponents are going to do before they even do it, you will be in a prime position for drafting a championship team.
These are five early trends that you should be aware of.
The Seattle Seahawks are being selected in the seventh and eighth round in most mock drafts I have done, and the San Francisco 49ers have been selected in the eighth or ninth round. Defenses rarely repeat the exact same fantasy production from year to year, but players are trying to find an edge by drafting a defense early. A run on the position can start from other panicked owners in your league once San Fran is gone.
Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers will all probably be gone before the start of the third round, but that doesn't mean you can't find a potential top-five quarterback in the later rounds. From drafting Andrew Luck in the fifth round to landing Cam Newton in the seventh, there is plenty of value still available after the big three are gone. Philip Rivers will still be available in the ninth round!
You may have been ahead of the curve and knew Andre Ellington was going to be a sleeper pick back in March, but he is no longer a sleeper. Even if you did research your research back in January, the person who picks up a magazine five minutes before their draft now has the same type of information as you.
Jimmy Graham will be gone in the first or second round, but fantasy players seem to be waiting this year on their tight end options. From Jason Witten being available in the sixth round to Dennis Pitta being available in the eighth, fantasy players are finding value later in the draft for the tight end position.
This strategy is a more advanced strategy than most people in your league would probably use, but it is something to be aware of. To limit the chances of drafting a running back who is a bust in the early rounds, fantasy players will not draft a running back until the fifth, sixth or sometimes seventh round. If you a have several people in your league attempting this strategy, watch the wide receivers fly off the board.
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