Taking part in a fantasy football league can be a heck of a lot of fun, but it can also quickly turn into a drag should you fail to properly prepare for the draft and end up with a dud team. Unfortunately, the many complexities of fantasy football mean that this isn't always as easy as it seems. However, by following these tips and developing a sound pre-draft strategy, you'll give yourself a much better chance of taking home your fantasy football trophy at the end of the season, and more importantly, the bragging rights that go along with it.
Continually Revise Your Draft Boards
The most important part of your pre-draft strategy is to develop your fantasy draft boards. Your draft board is basically a list or ranking of all players based on their projected value, and you can easily find thousands of print and online resources that can help you determine how good of a season every player is projected to have.
However, many of these resources are written during the offseason, which means they could be woefully out of date by the time draft day arrives. Therefore, it is always a good idea to pay close attention to the news during the offseason and pre-season. By doing so, you'll be able to avoid potentially picking injured players and also possibly spot any sleeper picks that could be set to have a breakthrough season.
Due to the many things you'll need to keep track of, many people choose to buy fantasy draft kits, which contain draft boards, player labels and everything else you need to stay organized and prepared for the big day.
Pay Attention to the Skill Positions
One major mistake that many people make when creating their draft boards is that they tend to focus more on filling out their team first. The problem is that picking the top-rated kicker or other less valuable positions is a good way to miss out on important skill players that could potentially contribute many more points over the course of the season.
In general, your draft board should really only include offensive skill positions throughout the early and middle rounds, with defenses and kickers then being taken in the later rounds. The reason is that even the best kicker or defense is never going to provide as many potential points as a running back, quarterback or wide receiver that has a halfway decent season.
Don't Play Favorites
Like everyone else, you've probably got a favorite team. However, your fantasy football draft is not the time for these allegiances. The whole point is about trying to pick the player with the best value, which may or may not be your favorite hometown player. Many players often make the mistake of quickly filling up their roster with players from their favorite team, which means that they often bypass much better choices.
A good fantasy football roster is a balanced roster that includes players from a number of different NFL teams. Relying too much on one or two teams limits your ability to adjust your roster based on favorable matchups and makes your roster much more susceptible to big losses should one of those teams have an off day.
Prepare to Be Flexible
Although you should definitely focus a lot of time and energy on creating your fantasy draft boards, it is important that you also learn how to be flexible. This means being able to adapt based on how your opponents are drafting and making sure that you have backup players in mind for every round and position.
Just because you planned on taking a quarterback in the first round doesn't mean that you should still follow this strategy when your turn to pick finally comes. If none of the available quarterbacks is worthy of a first round pick, you'd be much better off adjusting your strategy and choosing the best player available.
In this sense, while your fantasy draft labels and draft boards are definitely important, you should also develop an overall ranking of every player. By doing so, you will give yourself a much better chance of getting better value out of each of your picks and also of spotting a steal in the later rounds—all of which will help your chances of bringing home your fantasy football trophy at the end of the year.
Don't Forget About the Draft Party
Of course, it is also important that you and the rest of the league are fully prepared for the draft day, and what better way to celebrate the event than with a draft party. MyDraftDay is your one-stop choice for all of your fantasy football draft needs, including draft t-shirts, trophies and a whole range of draft supplies. As well, you can also find fantasy draft labels and fantasy draft kits that will help ensure you're fully prepared for the big day.
At the end of the day, there is no way to guarantee that you'll be successful in this year's fantasy football league since so much of it relies on chance and the way that odd-shaped brown ball bounces. Of course, the unpredictability is part of what makes fantasy football so fun. Still, by following these steps when developing your pre-draft strategy, you should at least ensure you are as prepared as possible when draft day finally comes.