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The Art of Drafting


By Avery Jones, DFW Writer 

// DFW / REDRAFT 2016 SERIES

Draft season is upon us and we are all looking for an edge when it comes to our drafts. Many of us are doing mock drafts, listening to podcasts and researching players to get a leg up in our drafts. For many of you this is your favorite part of the fantasy season, doing the draft is something I look forward to every year. Well I’m here to give you a few tips on how to win the draft, and get a leg up on the competition.

Don’t Be Biased
The biggest mistake you can ever make is drafting off of personally feelings. We have all done it, and I’m here to make sure you don’t do it again. As great as it feels to draft a player from your favorite team, or a guy who graduated from your Alma mater. Do not do it! The expectations will always be too high, and the player will cloud your judgment. The feeling you get from drafting him, will go away really quick when he doesn’t perform like you were hoping for. Then when someone wants him in a trade, you will always want more than he is worth because your judgment is clouded. While this might seem obvious, I think we all need a reminder sometime not to do it.

Watch For The Runs
In every draft there are patterns, and a huge key to a successful draft is being aware of those patterns. A few rounds in look at the board and be aware of what everyone has taken. If you need a WR but you don’t want to reach, there’s a chance a guy could fall if you notice the people drafting between your two picks don’t need WRs. One big run to watch out for is the QB run. The QB run is something I advise you not to fall into, and not to panic about. Last season we had 40+ QB’s post weeks of starting caliber type numbers. That’s more QB’s then there are teams that posted top 12 numbers one week, which is a testament to not drafting QB’s early. Last season Cam Newton wasn’t drafted in a lot of leagues, and he finished with the most QB points in standard scoring leagues.

Don’t Rush On a TE
Many people make the mistake of jumping on a TE too high, and that can be a huge mistake. Unless you’re taking Gronk, there really is no elite TE. While Jordan Reed and Greg Olsen are good players, there is no need to reach on a TE. If you look at the stats for 2015, difference between the 2nd and 5th best TE’s is only 22 points. Then after that the 6th and 11th TE’s are only separated by 23 points. When you think about that per week, that’s not even two points per week. With a difference of less than 2 points per week, its not worth taking a TE in the 3rd round when you could wait until the 7th or 8th. Wait on a TE, and stack yourself up in other positions that have a bigger point differential between a 3rd round and 7th round pick.

Make a Tiers Chart
What I do before every draft is make tiers for every position. Tiers will be a huge help when you draft, and can help you make all the tough decisions. Sometimes when you’re struggling with a pick, looking at your tiers can be the deciding factor you need. If you’re deciding between a 2nd tier RB, and a 3rd tier WR it can help you realize the value in your pick. If there is more 3rd tier WR’s then there is 3rd tier RB’s, that’ll tell you to wait for the WRs and take a RB. Tiers can help you realize how you value people, and whom you think is the best player available. As nice a big chart of the best 300 players is, sometimes you need a more precise way to measure the value of the player you’re taking. Do a little bit of extra work, and do tiers. You’ll thank me for it after your draft.

Now those are just a few little things you can do to give yourself a leg up in the draft, but there is always more you can do. If you are serious about your league, put in the extra work and make yourself a team to beat. I say this in every article and I’ll say it again. You don’t win your league in the draft; you win your league during the season. That being said, setting yourself up with a good draft can be a huge advantage to having a good season. Draft well, utilize the waiver wire and make some trades. You’ll be on your way to a fantasy football championship.