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Fantasy Football Draft Strategy Tips

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Football season is almost here. If you want to win this season’s fantasy league competition and dominate the league, you need to start planning your draft strategy right now. We have the tips you need to take the trophy this year.

Planning for the draft

The draft can sneak up on you. Don’t get lost in a busy schedule and forget to put in the time beforehand so you can be quick and flexible on the day.

Use a cheat sheet

This isn’t high school: Cheat sheets are totally fine. Your cheat sheet should have players broken down by auction value and overall ranking. Coordinate them according to position. In addition to this general information, you can consider including:

  • Bye-week information
  • Overall draft value
  • Positional ranking
  • Your league’s scoring and roster rules

Consider a mock draft

A number of sites offer you the chance to participate in a mock draft. Doing so can help you prepare for the real thing.

Keep your cool

A critical mistake many fantasy league players make is to fall in love with a certain player. They may even make draft choices based on college, home team bias, or just the general look of a player. Don’t let your heart run away with your head: Always consider why you might not want a player.

Use fantasy-specific player rankings

The NFL’s depth chart is great, but play on the field in the NFL isn’t the same as fantasy league play. You’re much better off using a good set of fantasy football player rankings.

First-round strategy

In the fantasy league, round one is for finding a running back or a great wide receiver. These are the money positions, so don’t sacrifice here even if you can get a big-name quarterback. For the 2019/2020 season, you should be aiming for these running backs:

  • Ezekiel Elliott
  • David Johnson
  • Saquon Barkley
  • Le’Veon Bell
  • Christian McCaffrey

There are some other good names in there, too, but if you’re new to the draft, these are great to start with. For wide receivers, the names to watch are:

  • Julio Jones
  • Davante Adams
  • DeAndre Hopkins
  • Michael Thomas
  • A.J. Green

Second-round strategy

You can go a different way here. If a top quarterback is available, it could definitely be worth it to try to snag him. But most people find that round two is better used as an opportunity to grab a great running back or wide receiver to increase your chances of making points. In addition to the names listed above, consider these running backs:

  • Alvin Kamara
  • Melvin Gordon
  • Joe Mixon
  • Dalvin Cook
  • Aaron Jones

If you’re looking at wide receivers and missed all the first round picks, here are some other solid choices:

  • Odell Beckham
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • Keenan Allen
  • Mike Evans
  • T.Y. Hilton

Third-round strategy

At this point, you want to continue focusing on your skilled positions, but if you’ve managed to grab some good wide receiver and running backs in the first two rounds, choosing a quarterback here could be a smart play. Consider waiting on your quarterback until round four, however, if you have the chance to get two top-tier running backs or wide receivers.

Fourth-round strategy

This is the round where you want to grab your quarterback. If you already chose one and are happy with your RB and WR choices, think about picking up a tight end here. Just remember that this is a very top-heavy position, meaning that it’s only worth using your pick if you can get one of the top names. Look for:

  • Chris Herndon
  • Mark Andrews
  • Greg Olsen
  • O.J. Howard
  • Eric Ebron

Finishing up

As you move into later rounds, fill your basic roster and then load up with running backs and receivers. Just make sure you’ve got solid people in all your main positions before you use these choices to grab up long shots and lower-ranked players who might have a breakout year.

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