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Fantasy Football Draft Strategy

Take a Calculated Gamble

This is something that you should do with a few picks in your draft. Now obviously the earlier you take your gambles in a draft the bigger the risk. Following the draft chameleon rule, and don't pick the rounds you'll take these gambles. Have an idea of the players you want to target with your gambles and then when you start to get a good core for your team in place and some of the positions you need to fill are looking less than thrilling, go against the grain and make that gamble.

There are a ton of factors that you can weigh when deciding who would be a good pick to take a calculated gamble on. Some of those factors include:

  • Starting for a team that is improving (Peter Warrick last year is a good example)
  • Inheriting a #1 role (like Santana Moss after Coles left the Jets)
  • Backing up a very injury-prone RB or a mediocre RB
  • Guys who finished up the season strong last year over the last 4 - 7 games
  • Some players who turned out to be solid picks to gamble on last year include Darrell Jackson, WR/Seattle. Jackson was considered by many to be the Seahawks #2 WR but for those in the know you realized that Koren Robinson is still not a true #1 WR. The way the Seahawks execute their offense they really don't use a #1 WR at all. K-Rob was being picked about 3 rounds earlier on average than Jackson last year. Jackson finished as the #10 WR in FF last season while Robinson slipped to 25th. In 2 drafts I was in last year Jackson was taken ahead of Robinson and while at the time of the pick there were people who talked smack about it being a dumb pick, nobody felt that way by mid-season. This is a great calculated gamble paying off.

    The key to a calculated gamble is you'll never win your league by simply following the same trends and rankings that everyone else is using. You must break away from that for some of your picks to try and land that player who will catapult you past the other owners. While the core of your team shouldn't hinge on these gambles, your depth should have some included to try and give your team an edge.

    One of the most important things in having a successful draft is it's often not whom you pick that helps you win it's whom you don't pick! Last season players like Peerless Price and David Boston were taken very early in many drafts and those picks killed their teams. While it's not always obvious, avoiding those busts is paramount in having a good draft. While you can't anticipate every injury that can turn your draft sour you can take steps to avoid players like Price and Boston. Sometimes it's a good gamble to take a guy others don't think as highly of and sometimes the gamble pays off when you leave a guy that many think highly of for someone else to take.

    Read the Other Owners Minds

    Wouldn't it be cool to be sitting at the draft table and knowing who each owner is going to take for the first 8 - 10 rounds without calling the Dionne Warwick psychic hotline for $4.99 a minute? Well you can do this fairly easily now that the internet is such a wealth of information and you can get this data gathered quite quickly.

    Go to our ADP page and get the average pick slot for each player. Combine this with the rankings you're seeing at some of the larger websites and you'll know almost to a player who will be taken in which round.

    This information is very helpful once you get past the first 3 rounds. It will help you fill out your squad by knowing which players you can wait longer on than others. Nothing sucks more then that empty feeling you get after seeing a guy you really want get scooped up a round before you were going to take him. This piece of draft prep will have you experiencing that feeling far less often and will also help you to dish that feeling out to other owners more often as well. Nothing boosts your drafting confidence more than having one or more owners grumbling they thought they could get the player you just picked.

    Apply some of these basic draft strategies with your system you prefer to use and I guarantee you'll have improved drafts... or your money back... from this free article.

     
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