1) The number one rule on draft day is to have fun. You’ve prepared all off season for today. You’ve read the ADP reports and bought your favorite fantasy football magazine. This could be your first ever fantasy football draft, it could be your 10th. Draft day is always exciting and surprising. It keeps you on your toes and gives you a good idea of who your biggest competition is. You might even have some ideas for potential trades, though those are few and far between these days. You know that guy that just drafted a kicker in the 6th round? Yeah, you don’t have to worry about him this season. Kick back relax grab some chips and some wings! Enjoy it, have fun, talk smack and draft smart!
2) Know the league scoring system! Obviously know the basics. Are you playing PPR, points per reception, or standard scoring? How many points are touchdowns per reception or rush yard? Are there bonuses for big plays? How is the defense scored? Knowing this going into a draft can impact who you draft and when. In a PPR league a go to slot receiver could potentially score you more points than the teams wide receiver 1 that gets you a touchdown every few games. Keep league scoring in mind when you enter draft day.
3) Adaptability is key. No matter how many mock drafts you’ve done, no matter how many times you’ve written out plans A, B, and C, things change. Your top three second round picks could get picked up before its your turn. If this happens to you, you could go best available player but its not always the best option. Pay attention to who is on the board. Is this the last chance to grab a potential top 10 RB? He might not be on your list but he could give you the best advantage and the next player you’re targeting could have a much lower ADP and you can grab him on the next turn. Maybe there’s a massive amount of running backs on the board. Now is your chance to grab a top WR. Everything plays into being adaptable. League size, position, scoring and draft trends all play a factor in what you do with your next pick. If your plans fall apart don’t panic! Look at your situation and draft the player that can win you the league!
4) Avoid RBBC, running back by committee. Easier said than done, I know. RBBC is a headache and causes more mid week research than you want to put in. You have to pay attention to game flow, snap counts, trends and match ups. Sometimes you even have to pay attention to post game interviews with the coach! If you end up having to draft a player that is in an RBBC you’re going to eventually have to draft the number 2 running back behind him as a handcuff. If the running back 2 starts seeing more snaps then he is the guy to play and you’ll be glad you drafted him otherwise you have the option of sticking with your original draft pick and dropping the 2nd running back. Either way it’s a win win in this situation. That’s if everything works out perfectly and no one snipes the handcuff running back before you do! Avoid this situation and save yourself an in season headache.
5) Only pick one tight end, one quarterback, one defense and one kicker. Obviously don’t listen to this if you’re playing in a two QB league. This a huge tip because of how common people draft two of these positions of draft day. More so than not more than half of the players a league pick two quarterbacks. You cant play two quarterbacks so don’t waste a roster spot on them. Not all picks play out the way you think they’re going to. That wide receiver 1 you had your eye on all off season barely breaks the top 20 wide receivers week to week. It’s unfortunate if you have an extra quarterback warming your bench when you had the opportunity to draft a player that could fill in for your dud receiver.
6) In regards to tip 5, you should wait for most of these positions. Your last two picks should be a defense and a kicker. If you’re using a higher pick for either of these positions you could be passing up on good position player with higher upside than your defense. For the same reason, wait for a quarterback. You can end up with a solid quarterback as late as the 11th round in most drafts. Since most fantasy players draft two quarterbacks, you can keep you eyes on the wavers and capitalize on their loss when they ultimately have to drop that player for someone else. A little stat crunch right here: In 2018 aside from Mahome’s incredible fantasy season, the difference between the number 2 quarterback and the number 12 quarterback was 72 total fantasy points. While that may seem like a lot this stat incorporates the entire 16 game season. Even if this were spread out among a 13-14 week standard fantasy season then it comes out to 5.5 – 5.1 points per week, respectively. These points can be easily made up by a decent wide receiver or running back. Drafting a quarterback in the earlier rounds, above round 6, does not give you as much of an advantage as a wide receiver or running back could in those rounds. As far as tight ends go, if you don’t get one of the top 3 tight ends, they usually go within the first 3 rounds, you can hold off until around rounds 6 or 7 to get a decent tight end capable of getting you points. Play this right, look at who is available when an elite tight end comes your way. Is it late in the 3rd, early 4th? Does drafting a tight end at an early draft position give you a better advantage than any of the other available players? There is a lot to consider here but if you don’t get a chance to draft Ertz, Kelce or Kittle this season, you can wait it out.
7) Another major tip: Draft with streaming in mind. I don’t care if you happen to draft a top 3 defense, pay attention to the match ups! See a defense on the wavers that are playing the worst offense in the league? Grab them! Play them! Probability says that they’re going to have a good week. Your top 3 defense is up against the best offense in the league, maybe you should take your chances on the wavers that week. Think about the weekly match ups when it comes to players as well. Your running back is going up against the top rushing defense in the league? Maybe this isn’t his week. Who do you have on the bench? What are their match ups? You could make a wrong move, we all do, and unexpected things happen throughout every football season. Always play to the probability and things should work out for you!