It’s 2020. Life is crazy, and the world has been turned upside down. But through all the craziness, barring anything unforeseen, the 2020 year has one immense gift still yet to give: a new NFL season! So get ready football fans, throw on those worn out jerseys, study up on your fantasy rankings, bust out the cold beer, and get hyped: a brand new season is right around the corner!
Every NFL season; you’ll log onto your favorite sports site to check for the most up date football content that your heart can devour. You’ll also be eager to check the latest fantasy rankings, so you know whom to draft and where to draft them. One of these sites like, oh, I don’t know, SkullKing sports, will give you this cutting edge fantasy content. But in doing so, you’ll have to decide how to fill out your fantasy roster. Do you draft a high volume RB first? How about a stud wide receiver who’s been consistent his entire career? And oh yeah, you’ll need a QB too. But in what order do you draft these positions?
There’s no one perfect equation when it comes to drafting fantasy players. Although one golden rule might be PLEASE DON’T DRAFT A KICKER FIRST! Aside from that solid advice, how do you know who to draft and where? For this fantasy analyst, it’s simple: Draft based not solely only on need, but also value. For this reason, load up on stud RB’s and WR’s first. Those players are likely to get the volume of receiving and running work. Quarterbacks don’t have to be taken in the first few rounds. They. Can. Wait.
Additionally, unless you have an elite QB like Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson, you can wait to draft a QB. You could even employ a well known fantasy strategy where you play QB’s based on matchups. If the 32nd ranked fantasy defense is playing a QB on the waiver wire, pick him up! So often fantasy football comes down to matchups. You’re sure to get that player at a bargain price, while still playing your elite players on your fantasy team. There’s no need to draft a quarterback high. And the stats bear this out. According to Fantasy Pros, the top 10 QB’s in terms of fantasy production in 2019 featured the likes of players such as Josh Allen (!!), Kyler Murray, and even James Winston! You think any of these players were taken in the first round? Not even close! So there’s definitely value to be had in drafting a quarterback in the later rounds.
In fact, according to ESPN’s Mike Clay’s 2020 top 300 non-ppr fantasy rankings; there is no quarterback even in the top 30 players! Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes come in at numbers 31 and 32 respectively. But who dominates the top 30? Running backs and wide receivers of course! Aside from George Kittle and Travis Kelce, Clay’s top 30 players ONLY include running backs and wide receivers.
And finally, what about leagues that offer PPR scoring format? Also known as points per reception, well guess what? Quarterbacks CAN NOT get you additional points in these leagues. The running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers are the players who will be getting you these points. You want to strategize to get your team as many fantasy points as possible on a weekly basis. If you are changing and tinkering with your lineup each week, why not pick up quarterbacks off the waiver wire? Or even play those stashed on your bench? If it’s a favorable matchup, then employ that quarterback.
Remember, you are trying to maximize your fantasy team’s points, but you are ALSO looking to exploit weak matchups that a player might have vs certain defenses. More likely than not, someone will reach for Mahomes or Jackson in the first round in your league. And you know what? Let them. This will leave you elite running backs and wide receivers that you can use on your team. Fantasy football isn’t solely dominated by one player. And while it might be tempting to take Jackson, Mahomes, or another solid QB early in the draft, remember that one player doesn’t win a fantasy league. Will they win you one week? Maybe. But collectively as a whole, you want a well rounded team with plenty of depth and elite, proven positional players who have a track record of providing boat loads of fantasy points.
You can draft a quarterback in the later rounds. Be patient. Wait it out. Load up your team with plenty of positional depth and get your fantasy draft rolling.
After all, your fantasy season isn’t won in Round 1.
Written by Kevin Atchley, QB Fantasy Analyst