With the start of the season just two weeks away, dedicated managers will be neckbeard-deep in player news and updates so that come draft day, they’ll take their league by storm. Mock drafts are an excellent way to get a sneak peak on what you might expect on the big day. Here are a few observations and tips that may come in handy for you when you draft.
Don’t use a first round pick on Aaron Rodgers
Everyone loves a security blanket. There’s no doubt Rodgers will be contending for a spectacular finish this season, as he has done for several years now. The problem is that his end of year total fantasy points won’t necessarily justify a draft position 3 or 4 rounds earlier than someone like Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, or even Tony Romo, all of which should be available in a sensible league in the 3rd to 5th rounds. You’re better off locking up a stud RB and a half-decent QB than a stud QB and some RB that may or may not keep his job. Sure, it’s nice to set your QB1 and leave him there for the rest of the year, but it will cost you in the long run.
Watch for positional runs
Around the 4th or 5th round, you’re going to see a run at a particular position as the player pool begins to shallow out, and it will most likely be at WR or QB (notable RBs should be gone by this point). Pay close attention to the holes you need to fill. Don’t lose out on grabbing those serviceable starters if you see a run forming – chances are they won’t be there when the snake comes back around!
Avoid unpredictable situations until the 7th/8th round
For your starters, make sure that they’re the go-to guys at their positions come Week 1. Avoid the unpredictability of the Denver backfield or any other “by committee” circumstances when putting together your week-in, week-out starters. Certainly take some chances later in the draft, but your top 7 or 8 picks should be locks to start on any given Sunday.
Build your roster with the expectation that nobody will trade with you
Anybody who’s been burned in a fantasy trade before will be less likely to trade in the future. Since a lot of leagues have returning managers, this is going to make it tough to find a trustworthy trading partner. Don’t stack up on one position at the expense of another thinking you’ll be able to trade your way to a brilliant line-up – you’ll most likely be stuck with your original team and be relegated to the waiver wire.
Keep up to date on injuries as much as possible
Seriously, people were drafting Denario Alexander a full day after his ACL tear was announced. Don’t be that guy. Make sure you have a good idea of the key injuries going on around the league, not just for players to avoid but also for players that scoot up a spot on the depth chart due to unfortunate circumstances for others. Many free sports news apps, like The Score, have notifications for breaking news.
Bonus: Don’t draft a defense until
the final 2 rounds round 9
Rather than telling you not to draft a defense until round 15 (because sometimes we just can’t help ourselves), I’ll just say this. Once you’ve locked up your key players, instead of rolling the dice on a WR4 who may be a WR3 by mid-season, or a handcuff for a player you don’t even own, depending on your league’s scoring settings, you might try for one of those consistent defenses around round 9 or 10, and that’s okay. Just don’t go nuts and grab the Seahawks in Round 6.