This is the week where most fantasy football leagues will draft their team. This will not be a top to bottom review of how to go through your season. Rather, this will be a guide about how to approach your draft. There are so many things that can mess with your roster as soon as players get on a field, but you can get started on the right foot by getting most of your roster set.
1. Read Multiple Sources
It can be a crutch to buy a single magazine or get the printouts from a single trusted website. Make sure you find people who have different takes. This will force you to make value judgments. It can also point out the error of someone's mindset. There is also the problem that some of these rankings came out too early. Make sure you do not surrender your draft to a single opinion.
2. Add Your Own Flavor
Sure, get the opinions of experts. We have a few of them around here that are trying to help you. At the end of the day this is your team. Make a combined ranking of your own. One thing that helps is find one you like, adjust some of the rankings based on other sources and then tinker with it until you are comfortable. You want the plan because it gives you a base of understanding. It also forces you to find a reason why you would pick someone over someone else.
3. Devalue The RB2
You want a solid RB1 (or at least the solid advice of the RB1 podcast... just saying). There is far less value to focusing on having that second RB. The tiers just do not work out in your favor. Whether you end up with Isaiah Crowell, Carlos Hyde or Ty Montgomery, the difference is not enough to worry about it. Focus elsewhere. With pass-catchers getting to be more and more the focus of offenses and with the rise of the running-back-by-committee approach, look elsewhere for value.
4. Make Sure You Have Two Good WRs
In this same string of thought, have two WRs. WRs have quickly surpassed RBs as the most valuable position. Yes, every site will still be ranking a few RBs in the top couple spots, but the trend toward WRs is firmly entrenched. Do not get left out. You want to have a solid WR1 and WR2. When evaluating them, focus on players who get high target numbers. It will help with consistency. Players who consistently touch the ball do better than the long pass guys. This means taking Davante Adams over Mike Wallace.
5. Wait on TE and QB
People will be drafting Rob Gronkowski early hoping he can repeat his amazing 2011 season. Just for the record the last five seasons he has given you just two 1,000 yard seasons and two seasons over 56 catches. Someone will take Gronk in round two. Do not let that be you. If you have a solid team and can get Travis Kelce or Greg Olsen in the fourth round, that might be good enough. You will still find TEs like Delanie Walker, C.J. Fiedorowicz and Kyle Rudolph much later in drafts.
QB is another of these positions. If Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Drew Brees fall to the fourth round then pounce. Based on current ADPs, that seems unlikely. Without one of these three players, just wait. Kirk Cousins is falling. Matt Ryan is available in many fifth rounds. Do not chase names, get value.
6. Ignore The Backup QB
There is basically no reason to use a roster spot to hold onto a backup. You might think that a solid backup quarterback is someone you might be able to trade away later. That is very unlikely. You can find someone during your bye week that will work as a streaming option. Use that roster spot for a lottery ticket player and sort it all out later.
7. Make Sure To Have At Least One Lottery Ticket
Lottery ticket players are guys going later that might have huge upside. You want someone stable as your backups for bye weeks, but count on a possible injury somewhere and someone else might just not play like you thought. Draft one or two guys who might be the hero on your team. They might be someone who wins you the league or just the guy you end up cutting when your QB is on his bye week. Either way, it is a harmless risk.
8. Set Your Draft Plan, But Be Prepared To Abandon It
Too many people walk into the draft and say "I need a RB-RB start" or "I need balance with a WR and a RB in the first two rounds." Give yourself a philosophy. Say you want to focus on WRs, but if Le'Veon Bell falls to the seventh pick you take him. Basically, do not let yourself get stuck on your plan and leave better players on the board because you are too wedded to your plan.
9. Never Draft Someone to Trade Them Later
There is never value in this. Draft players you want. Never plan to give a player away.
10. Use Waivers Early
Take the chance on a player early. No reason to wait on this. If you have the high waiver priority, look at the end of preseason and the end of Week 1 to make your team better. There is no reason to hang on to the waiver priority. You don’t get any extra points for that.
Good luck out there!