by Brad Holda
After engaging in multiple mock drafts for research purposes, I have a few things to get off my chest. Hopefully my insights will help you out and not just make me feel better for going on a rant.
The vast majority of users draft in order of the ADP rankings, taking the next postulated best player per the site’s rankings. This is a recipe for disaster. These pre-season rankings are highly subjective.
Do your own research! Take charge of your team!
Just because Andrew Luck is ranked 12, doesn’t mean by any stretch that you should draft him in the first or second round. Not to mention, the pre-season rankings hardly ever match up with end of the season results. Drafting the perfect team is an imperfect science, and there is no algorithmic solution that will solve this. Players are always on the incline and decline, or get injured, suspended, etc.. That’s why it’s imperative to have some creativity when drafting. Always research and find your sleepers and those that may be on the verge of a breakout season. I fare pretty well in my leagues, so I will impart my drafting strategy unto you: the Alternating Position Draft Strategy. I draft in this order:
1. Running Back
2. Wide Receiver
3. Running Back
4. Wide Receiver
5. Wide Receiver
6. Tight End/QB
7. QB/ Tight end
8. Running Back
9. Wide Receiver
12.QB/Tight end #2
13. QB/Tight end #2
16. Wide Receiver
I go with a solid running back #1/2, and the third running back I pick is normally a handcuff to my #1 and my 4th running back is a sleeper pick I determined through my own personal research. Which, if you want to be successfull in your league, you have to take the initiative and do independent research.
Then, as a standard, I pick 6 wide receivers. My first 2 picks are the best 2 off the board. My next two picks are who I perceive to be the best back-ups in case my WR1 or WR2 gets injured. Of course my last 2 picks are sleepers I envision possibly having breakout seasons.
I believe you shouldn’t draft a QB until at least the 6th round, reason being that quarterbacks average between 12-18 points a game and there is plenty of talent left late in the draft. Why draft Aaron Rodgers #2 when you can get Dez Bryant, and get a Philip Rivers type quarterback or Tony Romo in the 6th round or later.
I believe the spots I have listed for quarterback drafts and tight end drafts to be interchangeable, even when it comes time to pick a back-up. I hope you’re picking up on the thematic scheme I’m trying to get across to you! I’ll explain in conclusion.
Always save your last few drafts to a kicker and or D/ST. Most kickers average around the same points when it comes to the end of the season. I mean, it’s the pro’s, they’re going to make the PAT and the majority of the field goals, don’t worry about it so much. As far as defense goes, no one can predict
how good a defense will be preseason, I don’t care about all the statistical analysis and number crunching they do, nobody knows. I’ve had better success playing the waiver wire and drafting the best defense playing the worst offense.
If you haven’t noticed, the common thematic element I’m trying to express as a recipe for success when you draft in your league is… wait for it…BALANCE. Life is all about balance and homeostasis. And it applies to many of the endeavors we embark on in life, even the most trivial of things, even drafting in a fantasy football league.
It’s like working out at the gym; you don’t want to just work out your upper body. You will look top heavy and have tiny legs and it doesn’t work. You have to alternate and work out your lower body as well. You don’t want to be “top-heavy” with 7 running backs and 3 wide receivers. That could look good on the draft board, but will it really work out? You have to go into your draft with a preconceived plan to have a balanced team and bench, If you have to “alternate” players, you will have a stocked cupboard and an even number of replacements for each position to give you the best chance of winning.
Like I said, there is no algorithmic or magical formula for drafting a team that wins championships, but there are always “draft strategies”, as crazy as they may seem (like mine), that can give you a leg up on your competition. This is how I’ve drafted and I do pretty well. Hope it’s helped, inspired you or was at least an interesting read. SkullKing is here for all your draft research and advice needs.
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