The Three-Headed Monster – Take each of a QB, RB, WR with your first three picks. This approach lends itself to a balanced attack without glaring weakness at any of the featured positions. Having a stud at each position also maximizes your potential for trade partners in the event of an injury at another position or if one of your other players doesn’t pan out as you hope.
Off and Running – Selecting a running back with each of your first two selections is a standard draft philosophy. The emergence of the RBBC (running back by committee) has forced some GM’s away from this approach, but it has the potential for great upside if done correctly. Stud running backs are the cornerstone of many winning fantasy teams. Historically, over half of all fantasy owners were using this strategy, but that number is probably closer to 25 percent today.
Better to Receive? – Ten years ago, going WR-WR with your first two picks would likely elicit a chorus of snickers and jeers. But the NFL’s trend towards a pass-happy league, coupled with the demise of the feature back, has made the strategy entirely acceptable. Employing this draft tactic is risky, as it places an emphasis on one’s ability to prospect running backs in later rounds. Important: If you utilize WR-WR approach, DO NOT take either a QB or TE until at least the 5th round.
Wait on a Quarterback – While it is advisable to grab a top signal-caller, it is not a necessity. Even though an elite quarterback will score more points than any running back or receiver, the point differential between a top QB and a serviceable starter isn’t as significant as it is in the RB and WR positions. For this reason, many GM’s wait until the middle rounds (6th -8th and beyond) to grab a quarterback. With every selection not used on a quarterback, owners will increase their chances of landing a difference-making RB or WR. When waiting on a quarterback it is recommended to grab a reliable backup a few rounds later for use in a possible quarterback by committee system. And be mindful of QB runs, especially if you are at the ends of the draft. Missing out on a viable QB can cripple an otherwise stellar fantasy squad.
Don’t Be the First – If you are the first person to take a defense, are you getting value? The answer is no, even if you take them behind their current ADP. Fact is, if you are the first to take any of the lesser positions (tight end, kicker, defense), you are paying a higher price than any other owner for that position. Let someone else start the run of a position. You are certain to get a quality player a round later and beyond. But be mindful of depth at each position, especially if you draft from the ends (picking 1st or 12th, (10th in smaller leagues)), where you will see many players taken between grouped selections.
Grab a Piece – Each year there are a few trendy offensive units that the masses peg to breakout. A team that fits this description for 2010 is the SanFrancisco 49ers. Don’t be dismayed if you don’t land a cog of such an offense. Consider that #2 WR Josh Morgan isn’t being drafted in most leagues this season. If the Niners develop into a prolific offensive unit, Morgan would certainly outperform current projections and making him a successful late-round flyer pick. By grabbing a small piece of a breakout offense, GM’s give themselves a chance to be a part of the next big thing without reaching for players who are probably being eyeballed by every other GM.
Upside Up – In the odd numbered rounds that snake “up”, draft for upside. In even rounds, where the draft comes back “down”, make some safe selections. This way, you can avoid emerging from your draft with a roster comprised exclusively of boring safe choices or boom/bust type players.
-Be mindful of bye week scheduling. If you are drafting a backup QB it does you little good to take one who sits the same week as your starter.
-Sometimes the difference between two relatively equal players will come down to the elements. Cold weather games often impact the passing attacks of teams in the latter stages of the season. If you have the chance, select players that play in domes/warm-weather climates over those that play in the cold and wind of Northern cities.