Smart Drafting in Fantasy Football
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Smart Drafting in Fantasy Football

Are you prepared for the draft?

With the NFL draft over and mini camps starting it's time to start preparing for your fantasy football draft. The first thing question you need to ask yourself is 'How serious do I want to be?'. Are you the guy that has to win every game? Are you the guy that wants to win but don't care if you lose a couple? Or are you the guy that chips in your league dues so that you have something to talk about Monday with the rest of your co-workers. Don't be afraid to admit you're this guy. Every league has one or two. If you said yes to question three then grab your beer, kick your feet up on the desk and enjoy these tips for what they're worth. If you said yes to the first two questions grab your pen and paper and lets get started.

The first and probably most important thing to know is your league rules. How many players on a roster? How many starters at each position? What's the scoring system? Is this a keeper league? How does free agency work? How does trading work? When's the trade deadline? And last but not least what's the draft order? Once you've digested all this information you're ready to prepare your draft sheets.

A second thing to note is some information about the other owners. As I stated before there are three types of owners. Know which category each of the owners in your league falls into. Pay special attention to the owners that take this seriously. Unless you're in a keeper league most leagues only have three maybe four really serious owners. Know where they are in the draft in every round. These are the guys most likely to grab that player you wanted next. In the first few rounds you'll lose the next player you want to the guy who could care less. But more often than not he's not paying attention to you so he won't draft the player your looking at.

Now it's time to get to the fun stuff, developing a draft strategy. The best strategy to use is a value-based system. To determine a player's value you need to predict every offensive players stats for the season. If that seems like a lot of work it is, but we've made it easy for you. Coming this summer Fantasy Football Toolbox will allow you to enter your leagues scoring system in to our system. We'll then rank all the players based on stats predictions we've made. Now that you have all the players ranked its time to split them into groups. Take a look at your QB's, RB's, and WR's separately. Split them into four groups, red (great), yellow (really good), green (good) and white (average). There's no hard line between any of the groups. The one thing to remember is there are only a few great players at each position and lot of average players. To help define the break look at how many points the fourth and fifth best QB's are going to score. If the difference were two points I wouldn't advise splitting the group here. However if the difference is twenty-five it's probably where you separate the great players from the really good ones. Now that you have grouped the players it's time to do a gut check. Stats are a nice but sometimes you'll get that gut feeling about a player. Take note of this player(s). If he's still available in the late rounds don't be afraid to pick him. You'll want to rank kickers and defenses too but they're not as important. After the top two or three kickers and defenses the rest are pretty much the same.

Now that you've ranked the players you're almost ready to draft. Just a couple more sheets to prepare and we're off. One cheat sheet I always bring to the draft helps me keep track of the positions each team has drafted. As other owners draft take note of the positions they're filling. Come rounds 6-12 this will be handy. A second cheat sheet keeps track of your player's bye week. You don't want to many players on the same bye week. However, don't let this be the only reason you don't draft someone.

 
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