Whether you swear by not drafting until September 1 so that way most of the injuries are out of the way, you have a group of delinquent friends that are impossible to get together to draft, or just decided you wanted another league, then this is for you. Honestly, I’m in the same boat as most of you guys I have 3 drafts to take place within the next week and I have no stress about it because I know exactly what my strategy is going into each and every draft whether I’m drafting from the 1 or the 12 slot. So without wasting any more time, here are my tips for being successful on draft night.

In this year’s rankings, the draft is going to be primarily dominated early by RB’s. According to ESPN’s ADP (average draft position) data, 9 of the first 12 picks have been RB’s. The only three receivers breaking this trend are Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, and Odell Beckham Jr. There are 4 more running backs going in round 2 effectively taking away any and all of the top backs. I’m not saying there isn’t going to be serviceable players here but if you started your draft WR WR you are now looking at Jordan Howard, Joe Mixon, or Jerrick McKinnon as your top back. While in round 3 for WR, you are still looking at Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, and Larry Fitzgerald to lead you to a desired fantasy championship.

TIP: Make sure you have 2 RB’s by round 3. 

Moving on, let’s say by the end of round 3 you have 2 backs and a receiver if this is true you have likely missed out on Gronk, Zach Ertz, and Travis Kelce. Don’t Panic. Greg Olsen, Delanie Walker, and Kyle Rudolph will all be there still and on average you can still snag up Rudolph as late as round 7. I tend to wait even longer and pick up guys like Trey Burton or David Njoku who have shown a lot of promise leading into this season. Once, you get past the top few TE’s there honestly isn’t much of a difference between the number 4 through 12.

TIP: Wait to draft a TE.

In my ideal draft, I have 3 WR and 3 RB by round 6 leaving holes at TE and QB. While most would say now this is the time to pick up those positions, I disagree and am going to nab up my 4th of each position in most cases. Above when I said to draft a TE late, the same could be said about QB except you can wait MUCH longer. Here is a list of QB’s not going until the beginning of round 10 at the earliest right now. Patrick Mahomes, Phillip Rivers, Derek Carr, Alex Smith, Dak Prescott, Jared Goff, and Marcus Mariotta. Do yourself a favor and stock up on 4 RB and 4 WR before taking a QB. I would even consider grabbing your TE and more before grabbing a QB this year.

TIP: Draft a QB in double-digit rounds.

So what I listed above gets you through about 10 rounds if your draft, while knowing when to draft what positions is important, it is probably more important to know who is sitting at the draft with you.

First off we have The Homer. The Homer is going to draft guys from his favorite teams. I believe it is important to take advantage of this guy. He will undoubtedly reach to take whoever his local writers have been blowing up. We all know this guy and every league has him. In one of my personal leagues, I have seen it so extreme as to see Ben Roethlisberger go in round 1 and for someone to draft over half his roster of guys who came out of the University of Nebraska. Guess what, both of these teams were towards the bottom of their respective leagues.

TIP: If possible, draft near the homer and take advantage every time he reaches for a player.

 Along with the homer, if you can remember certain things about league mates from the year before this always helps. For example, if you know Tim always drafts a QB too early count on him doing it again and this helps you be prepared for certain positional runs that are far from traditional and this helps in once again taking advantage of a league member.

TIP: Get to know your league mates.

While some of these points I’ve made may seem like a given to some, there are people who make these mistakes every year and wonder why they are never very good at fantasy football. Use these tips as you want and remember every league is different. Go into your draft knowing the scoring rules and be ready for unexpected draft picks to happen.


Makings’ Mailbag

This will be my first article using the mailbag and I would like to continue to grow this as something expected weekly from me.  So without wasting any more time, here are some questions I received this week in regard to fantasy football.

From Vinny: Who do you think will have the better season in PPR, Sammy Watkins or Kenny Stills?

Answer: Alright so if any of you have read my articles before, Kenny Stills was featured as one of my favorite sleepers for fantasy football in dynasty formats. The same holds true for Redraft as well. Kenny Still finished in PPR leagues last year as a top 30 WR and that was with Jarvis Landry being there. This season Kenny Stills benefits with Tannehill being back at QB and Landry no longer there to soak up targets. I expect Kenny Stills to once again finish as a top 30 WR and being a great flex option throughout 2018. Now to Sammy Watkins, there was a time earlier this offseason when I thought Watkins may just return to being a good receiver again. With this came another Sammy Watkins injury and now I believe we will see the same song and dance from him. One of the things I do like about Watkins is he is part of an offense with a lot of weapons in Hill, Hunt, and Kelce. So if he can develop a rapport with Mahomes and stay on the field he has potential to be dangerous. If I was betting money though give me Still at WR45 over Watkins at WR32.

From John: Is Mark Ingram even close to worth the cost? He is suspended for 4 games and then has a bye week after his return.

Answer: As you mentioned Mark Ingram is a risk being guaranteed to miss 5 out of the first 6 weeks of the fantasy season. To me at his current ADP according to ESPN of going at the top of round 6, I will say no he isn’t worth it. While I think he will come back and play well, it is hard to draft anybody in round 6 that is going to miss over a third of the fantasy season. A couple of things going in Mark Ingram’s direction have been Sean Payton saying that Kamara won’t see a huge boost in workload during Ingram’s absence. The other thing going for Ingram is he is going into a contract year, meaning the Saints may run him into the ground because there is not a concern about the amount of wear and tear on his body as he likely will not be with the team in 2019. So to get back to the answer, I will not be taking Ingram in the 6th if he falls to the 7th or 8th I will consider him as an RB4, but by looking at ESPN’s data I will not get this opportunity.

From Justin: How many more seasons will Le’Veon Bell be an effective fantasy player?

Answer: This is one of the more difficult questions to tackle because it is hard to tell where Le’Veon will be next season. With his pending free agency, Le’Veon will get ran into the ground by Mike Tomlin and the Steelers this season to the point where I think he’ll have more than his 427 touches from last season. To get to the answer, I believe Le’Veon will still be a top redraft pick in 2019 and then after that, he will slide for the next three years becoming just a flyer by 2022. While he will only be 30, his body will be older than that with the extreme workload that he has had in his career.

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