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Draft Day Mistakes to Avoid

Looking to avoid some draft day mistakes this season? Armando offers his advice on what you need to avoid on draft day.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

It never fails. Every season on draft day, at least one fantasy owner makes a mistake while drafting. Sometimes, even a minor mistake, can make the difference between a playoff team and a championship team. This is why I’ve decided to write this article. Below I’ll list some common mistakes that fantasy owners should avoid on draft day.

Filling out starting lineup

Unless you’re in a league that requires having a specific amount of players in each position, there is no need to fill in you starting roster early. Take full advantage of the value you have in every round. I’ve looked at some ADP’s and have seen Seattle and San Francisco defenses going in the eighth and ninth round. That’s a big NO-NO unless you’re league is heavy on defensive scoring. In those rounds look for gems, take players with upside, and load up on running backs and receivers that can be trade bait down the line. Even take a tight end with upside before a defense. I usually do not draft a defense or kicker until the final two rounds. Do not draft a defense because you already have the rest of your starting lineup filled in. I can’t stress enough how very important depth on a fantasy football team is and using those mid-late picks on a defense or kicker  could set you up to fail. I’ve seen people take two defenses and two kickers in a league where you really only need one because they wanted a backup for their starting lineup.  I’ve yet to see one of those owners win a championship. Don’t make the same mistake.

Drafting with emotional attachment

This happens every season, fantasy owners draft with emotions and not their head. If a player did not perform as expected on an important week last season, do not take that into consideration this season. That was last season and everyone is entitled to a bad week. So if Brees didn’t get you through week one of the playoffs last year, don’t automatically cross him off your list this season. Another good example of this would be choosing players from your favorite teams. I’ve seen some people with their favorite players’ jersey on and next thing you know he takes that player a couple rounds ahead of ADP, simply because this player plays for his favorite team or it’s one of his favorite players. BIG MISTAKE. Don’t make this mistake. Stick to your rankings/board and consider that player a bonus if he comes to you later on.

Base decision off Average Draft Position (ADP)

I’m sure when it comes to this many will disagree, but don’t draft based on ADP. Before I continue, I wanted to make this clear. I do think studying ADP rankings is an important part of the preparation for draft day so that you know what most owners are thinking during draft. However, on draft day, follow your rankings. If there’s a specific player you want in the third round and ADP has him going late in the fourth, don’t be afraid to draft him just because the ADP rankings say otherwise. Keep in mind, ADP is simply an average of what other people are doing. It does not mean you have to do the same.

Understand the difference between fantasy and reality

When I think of this mistake the player that comes to mind is Tony Romo. Many football experts consider Romo an unproven quarterback when it comes to the playoffs. I would agree since he has only won one post season game. Nonetheless, in fantasy football Romo puts up solid numbers. In the past three seasons, Romo has finished top ten in fantasy points amongst quarterbacks (based on standard scoring settings). So when you ‘re hearing in the news how Romo is one of the least clutch players in the big game, understand that it has nothing to do with what he brings to the table for fantasy football. These are two different things and it’s important to know the difference. Super Bowl rings do not matter in fantasy sports.

Sharing your information

This is a mistake I have made in the past and after last year I will not make it again. I’m in a couple of leagues with close friends and sometimes people come and ask me a question.  Last season two of the owners I shared information with on draft day went on to win the title. One of them actually beat me in the semi-finals, putting my fantasy season to an end. Fantasy owners need to remember how much research and work they have done to prepare themselves for draft day. Don’t put that to waste by sharing all of what you’ve learned with other members of your league.

Going into your draft unaware of the league settings

Fantasy owners must always know what type of league they are joining. There is no excuse, you need to know what your scoring and roster settings are before you draft. It’s simple, if you go into a draft not knowing those two things, you’re already two steps behind every other owner in your league. There’s a difference between a PPR league and a non-PPR league and both drafts should be approached differently. Therefore, if you don’t know the difference you’re in trouble. Before your draft, log on and read the settings for your league.

Place too much emphasis on bye weeks

Bye weeks were once something that many owners focused on. That was then, this is now. You are always going to find players on waivers. You can worry about that one week when it gets here. One loss shouldn’t be the end of a fantasy season. So if you’re on the fence between two good players, do not let this be the determining factor. Select your squad and worry about bye weeks during the season.

If you stay away from these mistakes it does not guarantee you a championship. However, it does give you an advantage against most other teams who will be making at least one of these mistakes.