It's getting close to that time again! It's almost draft time. My favorite time of year. We rank our players, grab our cheat sheets and draft what we all think is the championship team. We text our friends and tell them to just pay up now because this league is yours. But then something terrible happens. Your star wide receiver gets hurt, you start to panic and make a dumb trade. Then you're so mad your 3rd draft pick is stinkin it up for the first 4 weeks so you drop him only to see the guy score 14 touchdowns throughout the rest of the season. Worry no more my friends because I'm gonna tell you how to win your draft and ultimately win your league.
The first and most important rule in Fantasy Football is never draft a kicker until the last round. It's an absolute waste of time. There's no telling how many FG attempts a kicker will have even with a lousy red zone offense. And if you do draft a kicker earlier than the final round, for goodness sake at least get a kicker who plays in a dome.
Second rule is don't ever draft a QB in the 1st round. Yes, people have won their leagues before by drafting Brees or Rodgers in the first round but I guarantee that's not why they won. I drafted Matthew Stafford in the 10th round last year. Some drafted Eli Manning even later then that. The point is that Tony Romo will get you just about as many points as Tom Brady when it's all said and done. So wait until at least the 5th round before even thinking about a QB.
The third rule is DO NOT draft a defense early. Fantasy Football defense is not real defense okay! Interceptions and sacks are more important than points allowed so save yourself the trouble and pick the best available defense in the 12th round or later. Don't bother strategically planning a way to get Baltimore's defense because a team like the Lions who let up a ton of points will get you fantasy points in other statistical categories.
Rule number 4. Avoid drafting players on the same team. It's no fun deciding whether to start Roddy White, Julio Jones or both. Even worse is a RB and a WR on the same team and worrying about who will have the bigger day. Only a QB to WR combo works here like a Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson.
The 5th rule is not to worry about bye weeks. If you're in round 4 and you want to draft Victor Cruz then take him and don't worry about your number 1 WR having the same bye week. You never know how these things are going to play out due to injuries, the emergence of players and waiver wire pick ups. Draft whoever you want and forget about bye week strategy. But try not to have your whole team with the same bye week. That's a bit ridiculous.
Rule number 6 is not as important as the above but getting a top tier Tight End can be crucial. After the best 5 or 6 TE's in the league there are serious problems. It's harder to find production out of free agency for a TE then it is for a WR. Don't draft Rob Gronkowski too high but if you can get him without sacrificing a top level RB then go for it. TE's are like catchers in fantasy baseball. There are only a few good ones and they can be the difference in a win or a loss.
The 7th and final rule of drafting your fantasy team is stock up on RB's and WR's. Especially the running backs because they drop like flies in the NFL. You need back up players at these positions not only in case of injury but also for bye weeks. So before you start trying to fill out your roster with defense and kickers, make sure you load up on RB's and WR's.
Good luck with your drafts everyone. I will be posting my Fantasy Football Rankings by August 1st. I'm ready for some football. Check out "Bracket Coverage" every Friday and "Route 4 Sports Podcast" every Sunday at 6pm EST all year long for NFL sports talk on the F2A Radio Network on Blog Talk Radio. Click the link on the right sidebar for all the information.