Not Your Grandmother’s Fantasy Football Draft

08/24/2012

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At a family dinner a few weeks ago, my grandmother asked me for Fantasy Football draft advice.  The ladies at her Community Clubhouse heard the men talking about their upcoming draft, and wanted to get involved.  The men told them that there were “no women allowed” in their league, so they started their own.  It goes to show you; even Senior Citizens hate losing to females in fantasy sports, so they ban them from the league.  Anyhow, I go on to tell my 80 year old grandmother the basic draft strategies, the ones everybody knows, and every expert writes about.  I did not go too in depth, after all she is 80, but I think I gave her enough for her to draft well and hopefully beat down the other grandmas in the league.  I have some personal strategies I use when drafting, that I will discuss right now.  Feel free to use them, mock them, tear them apart, ignore them, it matters not to me, everyone has their own theories, here are a few of mine.

You don’t need a top tier Fantasy Quarterback to win: Sure, getting Rodgers, Brees, or Brady is great, but if you don’t it’s not the end of your season.  Any Quarterback is going to put up points in most cases, so don’t panic if you don’t grab one of the top three.  Many serviceable Quarterbacks are available in the mid-rounds, and some in the late rounds.  Don’t panic if the top three or four are gone before your first pick.

Pay attention to bye weeks:  Most draft rooms list the bye week next to the players’ names somewhere and it’s not because they think it looks cool.  They do it because it is important, and you should not overlook it.  The last thing you want to do is look at your fantasy roster and see nine players with the same bye week.  If that happens you will be hitting the waiver wire hard that week and may have to drop some players you don’t want to lose.  load your team up with them, and I am not saying they will produce as much as a #1, however, in the mid to late rounds, you can find good value.  When people question me on a pick and say “he is there number 2” I always respond, “right, that means he is being covered by the number 2 cornerback”.  

Handcuff other owners Running Backs:  Everyone always tells you to handcuff your Running Backs.  I totally agree with that.  But I like to handcuff other owners Running Backs as well.  Last season I had Toby Gerhart, and when AP went down, I offered him in a trade to AP’s owner.  We never reached an agreement, but I was able to ride Gerhart for a few weeks and an eventual League Championship.  I like to grab a handcuff of another owner mainly as a trade chip, and some owners are so obsessed with having their handcuffs, good deals can be struck.

Defense and Kickers:  I know you have all heard this one before.  Draft Kickers and Defense late.  I say, don’t draft them late, draft them with your final two picks!  Why waste a pick early on a Defense or Kicker.  I don’t care if it’s the Steel Curtain, or the 1985 Chicago Bears Defense, or the second coming of Rolf Benirschke, don’t do it!  Kickers and Defenses are always available on the waiver wire, and it is easy to play match-ups with them.  Load your team with skill players, and save the Kickers and Defenses for last.  One year I did not even draft a Kicker (it was a live draft) and added one a day before the first game after making some trades and freeing up a roster spot.

So there you have it, a few strategies that I use when drafting my fantasy football team.  You don’t have to follow them, if you do follow them, and they blow up in your face, I apologize now.  If you finish dead last, let me know, I will call my Grandma and see you can join her league.  You may have a better luck against 80 year old women.

Joe Jasinski
Trade Fantasy Football Guest Writer
Joe Jasinski has been playing Fantasy Sports for over 20 years.  Long before the internet, when scoring was done with a newspaper on Monday mornings; he was playing in his Father’s office leagues.  With players like Christian Okoye and Bubby Brister leading the way, Joe was able to win numerous league crowns before the online era.  He has continued his winning ways in the online era.
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