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Fantasy Football Question


charger77

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Tomorrow I will be participating in my first ever fantasy football league & draft. I know who is good and what not but I need some draft strategy.

It is an ESPN league, is there a particular order in which I should draft players or should I just go with best available? If I were to get a top 3 pick in the draft who should I take first?

Thanks,

-Dan

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I always try to get an elite QB and WR, they put up points quickly and are usually very stable. Many like to draft RB's early but the number of good fantasy RB's is much higher than QB's and WR's. Don't overlook Tight Ends, if you miss out on an elite TE you will kick yourself when you are stuck with Joe Shmo. This doesn't mean draft a TE #1 but be aware when they start to disappear.

Usually I go:

1st Round QB or WR

2nd QB or WR

3rd RB

4th RB

5th TE

6th Def

Then determine spots of need and draft freely!

Good luck and I hope this helps, obviously if someone good falls in your draft GET them and disregard the list.

Most important follow you're instincts and check the waiver wire and free agents as often as possible.

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I always try to get an elite QB and WR, they put up points quickly and are usually very stable. Many like to draft RB's early but the number of good fantasy RB's is much higher than QB's and WR's. Don't overlook Tight Ends, if you miss out on an elite TE you will kick yourself when you are stuck with Joe Shmo. This doesn't mean draft a TE #1 but be aware when they start to disappear.

Usually I go:

1st Round QB or WR

2nd QB or WR

This isn't a bad way to go, it also gets a lot easier if you can get the QB and WR from the same team. It's not a need but if it sets up that you can get a tadum like Eli Manning and Victor Cruz, go for it.

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The only advice I can offer is don't be afraid to draft young players (especially with running backs) or take a hunch on a veteran player in the later rounds.

Your drafting players for what you think they are going to do, not for what they've done and the biggest reaches I see people make are taking veteran players coming off big seasons, especially with your running backs and wide outs. That's usually been what's bitten me.

I've consistently overvalued younger players from where most other people would have them and its rarely backfired on me.

Also be lucky. That really the number one factor in fantasy. I took Arian Foster in the second round back in 2010. My rational was he did well at the end of the '09 season. Steve Slaton had a big year a couple years prior behind that Texans offensive line. I figured why not? But no way did I think Arian Foster was going to lead the league in rushing. On the flip side of things took Randy Moss with a late first round pick in '08 (overvalued a veteran coming off a big year.) Tom Brady goes down week one. Did well on the year, but clearly not the same guy with Matt Cassel at QB.

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Dan, here's what you need to do in three simple steps: :)

1) Familiarize yourself with your league's rules and point value system. Every league is different: some are touchdown-driven leagues, while others are based equally on touchdowns, yardage, and receptions together. To help you with this first point, ask your commissioner questions like: "Is this a PPR league?" (PPR stands for Point Per Reception. Most fantasy leagues are not PPR, but if yours is, it changes your draft board significantly. Players like Wes Welker and Darren Sproles are just as valuable as players like Larry Fitzgerald or Adrian Peterson because of the number of passes they catch) or "Is this a keeper league?" (Owners retain X-number of players from year to year... so if you draft Andrew Luck, you could have him for his whole career if you wanted to).

It's also good to look over the scoring rules. Some leagues give less rushing yard points to QBs than they do to RBs. Other leagues give less reception yard points to RBs in comparison to WRs. Again, ever league is different, but most leagues look something along these lines:

QB - (25 yds PASS = 1 pt; PASS TD = 6 pts; 10 yds RUSH = 1 pt; RUSH TD = 6)

RB - (10 yds RUSH = 1 pt; RUSH TD = 6; 10 yds RECEIVING = 1; RECEIVING TD = 6)

WR/TE - (10 yds RUSH = 1 pt; RUSH TD = 6; 10 yds RECEIVING = 1; RECEIVING TD = 6)

Use that as your measuring stick when comparing your league's point system to your average league. So if your league gives 1 pt for 20 yds PASS to QBs instead of 25 yds, but only gives 4 pts for a RECEIVING TD to RBs, bump the QB position up a notch in importance and target RBs who score more touchdowns on the ground than through the air. You'll get a better feel for your league's system as you play through the season.

2) Draft for depth/Avoid the rookie mistakes. Lots of rookie players make the mistake of filling out their entire starting roster first (K & DEFENSE included) before moving to fill the bench roles. Grabbing a solid #2 QB or #3 RB or WR is probably more important than drafting a #1 K. It is also easier to make trades later in the season if you have good bench players in order to fill a hole left by injury or a draft bust. You will always have that oddball owner who takes the #1 DEF in the 4th round or the #1 K in the 6th... ignore them. And DO NOT take a kicker before one of the last two rounds.

Another rookie mistake is forgetting to look at your bye weeks for your starters. If your trying to decide between two bench players and it's a toss up, go for the replacement player with a different bye week so he can fill in for your starter on his bye.

3) Draft smartly. Here's a few tips I'll give you on drafting a solid team:

- Draft an elite QB early. Most leagues place a heavy emphasis on the QB position. If you have an elite QB such as Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Newton (fantasy-wise, he was a beast last year), Vick, or even Stafford, every week you go against someone who is starting an Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Mark Sanchez, or Tony Romo you'll have a very good chance at winning.

- Leave the WRs alone for the first few rounds. Disregard what everyone else has said in this thread. Everyone would love to have Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, or Andre Johnson. However, the NFL as a whole is so deep league-wide at WR, it is in your best interest to load up on an elite QB and very good RBs, as there are much fewer very good RBs when compared to the WRs. You can wait around to rounds 5/6/7 and still pick up guys like Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Marshall, Jordy Nelson, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, AJ Green, etc... and the drop-off in production is not nearly as big from the elites, especially when compared to the the drop off at RB between a Ray Rice or Frank Gore and a Kevin Smith.

Also, WRs are more likely to come out of nowhere and be productive if you watch the waiver wire. Guys like Victor Cruz or Jordy Nelson weren't drafted in most leagues last year and were available on the waiver wire over the first few weeks, and they had Top 10 seasons.

- Be aware of what positions the teams drafting before you and after you have yet to draft. This will help you in the middle rounds. Say you have the 8th pick slot in a 10-team snake draft (where the draft order reverses every other round) and this is what the draft board looks like when your 3rd round pick is up:

Your team -------------- Team 9 -------------- Team 10

LaSean McCoy -------- Ray Rice ----------- Drew Brees

Chris Johnson --------- Michael Vick -------- Maurice Jones Drew

You know that you will be taking a QB and a WR with your next two picks. If you look at the draft board, you will see that it is highly unlikely that Team 9 or 10 will take a QB with either one of their next two picks between your two picks because they have both drafted one. However, there is a very good chance that at least one WRs will be taken by both teams before you get to pick again. So the smart thing would be to take your WR first, then wait it out for your QB as he is passed by the last two teams because they don't need one. If you take the QB first, there's a very good chance that the top WR you wanted will have been taken.

- Have fun. Talk some smack. Diss your buddy's picks. You overhear someone planning to pick a player, steal them out from under them.

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1. Wait on TE

2. Draft K and D/ST very late, if not last.

3. Don't just bring a ranked list of guys. Bring a tiered list. This helps you gauge the drop-offs in talent/production levels. An example: You're up in RD 3 and are between a WR or RB. The top two available are, let's say, Fred Jackson and Dez Bryant. You have Fred Jackson ranked higher (slightly), but you know that if you pass on Freddy, you can get maybe Ahmad Bradshaw or Darren Sproles or a guy like Michael Turner or Frank Gore. But if you don't bite on Dez Bryant now and there's a mini-run on WRs, you might end up with Demaryius Thomas (a guy with upside, but lotsa questions, too) as your #2 WR. In that case, I might take Bryant and wait on RB until the wrap-around in Round 4. The point of all this is (and I'm not some expert, just a veteran fantasy player so take this or leave it), in my view, fantasy football all comes down to a version of Value Over Replacement Player. The point is to maximize your roster's value at every point over an average starter in the league. So you have to decide not which player you like better at a given spot, you need to think about your team as a whole. Your team might be better off with a slightly weaker RB #2 because your WR #2 is so much stronger than it would be if you waited. So the tiered approach allows you to see and predict drop-offs before they happen and you're left holding the bag.

The other strong benefit of tiering out your draft board is that it helps you make decisions that aren't just based on need. So you wouldn't pass on a Tier 2 WR to take a Tier 3 RB, just because you feel you need to get an RB.

It's not a perfect system, but it's helped me out over the years. And if you don't have time to do this yourself today before your draft, I think you can find a similar idea on cbssports.com with Tiers listed out done by guys who actually do this for a living. I don't think ESPN has anything like this yet.

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1. Wait on TE

Eh, unless it is Gronk, Graham or to an extent, Gates. Those guys are clearly better then any tight end out there. Beyond those 3, there are guys that are much less consistent then them, and essentially becomes a crap shoot.

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GFB said (in a lot more detail) what I was going to say. It really does depend on the scoring system of your league. My league's very RB-heavy, so that's generally what our first round consists of.

However, I feel obligated to reiterate to pay attention to bye weeks when you draft. You don't want a week that you either don't have enough players (in which you'll have to drop someone) or have to play a quad full of backups.

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However, I feel obligated to reiterate to pay attention to bye weeks when you draft. You don't want a week that you either don't have enough players (in which you'll have to drop someone) or have to play a quad full of backups.

You don't take a lesser player just because the better player has the same bye week as a player you've already drafted. You can stomach a loss in the regular season to make sure you have a good enough roster for the playoffs.

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However, I feel obligated to reiterate to pay attention to bye weeks when you draft. You don't want a week that you either don't have enough players (in which you'll have to drop someone) or have to play a quad full of backups.

You don't take a lesser player just because the better player has the same bye week as a player you've already drafted. You can stomach a loss in the regular season to make sure you have a good enough roster for the playoffs.

I was speaking more of just to keep bye weeks in mind when drafting, not to base your roster on having balanced bye weeks.

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Thanks for the advice fellas. Just got back from the draft. I picked 7th overall (out of 12) here are the 2012 Fighting Yorkies :

Starters

Matt Stafford QB

Larry Fitzgerald WR

Wes Welker WR

DeSean Jackeson WR

Jonathan Stewart RB

Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis RB

Colby Fleener TE

Green Bay Packers D/ST

Garrett Hartley K

Bench

Kevin Kolb QB

Santonio Holmes WR

Laurent Robinson WR

Andre Caldwell WR

CJ Spiller RB

Rashard Mendenhall RB

Jacquizz Rodgers RB

Philadelphia Eagles D/ST

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Thanks for the advice fellas. Just got back from the draft. I picked 7th overall (out of 12) here are the 2012 Fighting Yorkies :

Starters

Matt Stafford QB

Larry Fitzgerald WR

Wes Welker WR

DeSean Jackeson WR

Jonathan Stewart RB

Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis RB

Colby Fleener TE

Green Bay Packers D/ST

Garrett Hartley K

Bench

Kevin Kolb QB

Santonio Holmes WR

Laurent Robinson WR

Andre Caldwell WR

CJ Spiller RB

Rashard Mendenhall RB

Jacquizz Rodgers RB

Philadelphia Eagles D/ST

Yikes! Your RBs are pretty weak. It'd try and turn some of your admirable WR depth into a decent RB. Maybe try and flip DeSean Jackson and Jonathan Stewart for a Fred Jackson or Darren Sproles or Frank Gore or Michael Turner or even Ahmad Bradshaw. And then maybe look to pick up another TE off of waivers.

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I haven't played fantasy football in years (I barely know who half the players are thesedays!), but one thing I know is that nobody's opinion on whether to draft a WR early or not is really valid without knowing whether it's a points-per-reception league or not. I played in both types of leagues, and there was a dramatic difference in WR value in each.

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