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Sean's Fantasy Football Draft Strategy Guide

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Dec 18, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley (88) is unable to catch this pass while defended by Kansas City Chiefs safety Sabby Piscitelli (42) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 19-14. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Beware Of A Positional Run

One thing that will throw off many fantasy football team owners during a draft is a positional run. Usually this will happen with a position like tight end. One tight end will come off the board and people in the draft will start to panic that they may not get the player they want at that position. This will start a run of tight ends coming off the board much earlier than they should. In this situation, stand pat and don’t buy into the run. At this time there are plenty of great players at other positions on the board that are being skipped over because of the run of tight ends. Go and take a different need at this time like a running back or wide receiver because there will be great value there as they should have come off of the board before your selection. You can grab a tight end when the timing is right and there will most definitely still be a very good one left on the board.

Stay Away From ‘Homer Picks’

This happens in every draft. There will be a huge fan of a certain team that will desperately want one of his/her team’s players on their fantasy roster. Usually, this will lead the team owner to draft this player much sooner than they should. This is the definition of the ‘homer pick’. Do yourself a favor and treat players on your favorite team just like every other player in the NFL. Draft them according to your draft guide and don’t reach for one just because he is available at your selection. If one of these players happens to fall to you at an appropriate position, then by all means, draft him. But beware of overvaluing these players because by doing this, you are allowing your opponents to draft other players at a much better value.

Do Not Take A Defense Too Early

In a fantasy football draft it is very easy to get carried away with the prospect of having a great defense on your team. Many team owners will waste a high draft pick (sometimes as early as the fourth round) on an ‘elite’ defense. There is no such thing as an elite defense. There are good defenses, decent defenses, and bad defenses. No defense is considered elite. The point gap between the top ten defenses in fantasy football is very marginal. Wait to draft a defense in the late rounds that has a favorable schedule against weak offenses. You can also hit up the waiver wire on a weekly basis and play a defense that has a good matchup for the week. Usually, each year there is a defense that steps up and scores much more points than anyone expected. Keep your eye out for these defenses and hit the waiver wire to acquire one. There is no need to reach on a defense early in the draft.

Late Round Sleeper Picks

Many fantasy football team owners have the wrong kind of strategy when the late rounds hit. They will start selecting players who will see limited playing time and will most likely spend the season on their team’s bench or will be eventually sent to the waiver wire. This is where your pre-draft research will come in handy. Scout out players who are flying under the radar that have a high upside and a chance to possibly break out this coming season. Look for types of players like good young receivers or running backs that may have a chance of staring at some point in the season if their team’s starter gets injured or doesn’t play up to par. Many of the selections around this time can easily be rookies.

The goal is to get these players on to your bench and do one of two things with them if they have a break out game. You can move them to your starting lineup if your team is struck with a nasty bye week or you are plagued with injuries to your players. Or, you can use these players as trade bait. Look to package this player with another decent player from your team and try to get a more elite player in return. Look to make this trade with a team in your league that lacks depth at the position you are trying to trade away. It is very possible to give up a player that you drafted in the sixth round and another breakout player that you drafted in the eleventh round for a player in return who was drafted in the third round.

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