How to Draft a Kicker and Defense for Your Fantasy Football Team

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Drafting a winning fantasy football team isn't an exact science, and it often takes only one or two poor draft picks to ruin your entire season. This is why it's vital that you spend some time beforehand to consider your fantasy draft boards and create rankings of each position and player. By doing so, you can go a long way towards getting the most value out of each pick, which should in turn give you a much better chance of coming away with your league's fantasy football trophy at the end of the year.

In short, coming up with a detailed draft day strategy is one of the most important things you can do to improve your chance of success and also avoid some of the more common draft day mistakes. In terms of these mistakes, there is really none bigger than drafting a kicker or a defense too early while there are still plenty of potentially valuable skill players available. Even the best fantasy draft kits won't help you if you don't make your picks smartly.

The Logic of Drafting Kickers and Defenses Late

There is no doubting the fact that your kicker or your defense could mean the difference between winning and losing an individual matchup—whether it is during the regular season, playoffs or the Super Bowl. However, over the course of an entire season, having a range of decent skill players to choose from will generally provide much more total value than having the top rated kicker.

The reason is that during a typical season the difference between the top-rated kicker and the 10th to 15th-rated kickers generally doesn't average out to more than 1.5 to 2 fantasy points per game, which usually isn’t enough to win your league's fantasy football trophy on its own. On the other hand, having a top-notch backup running back or quarterback could potentially produce many more points in a single game when faced with a favorable matchup. Similarly, you'll always have someone to turn to should your number one go down with an injury.

For this reason, it makes absolutely no sense to take a kicker in the early to middle rounds when you could take your chances on a skill player that could be set to have a breakout season. In fact, if you look at the fantasy draft boards of most experts, you'll immediately notice that they tend to wait until the very last round to draft a kicker.

The same things that apply to kickers also can be applied to defenses. Again, the difference between the highest-scoring defense and those in the middle of the pack usually doesn't average out to all that many points per game over the course of the entire season. Moreover, predicting the top fantasy football defense is almost impossible. In fact, those defenses predicted to be the best prior to the season very rarely end up being anywhere near the highest scoring by season's end.

Draft Late and Use the Waiver Wire

A sound draft strategy is to always choose the player with the most points potential and the biggest ability to be a difference maker over the course of the season. Should you decide to spend one of your early to middle round picks on a kicker or a defense, it means you'll be passing on numerous potentially valuable skill players. This is a decision that could come back to haunt you later in the season when you realize you missed out on the opportunity to nab that sleeper wide receiver or a decent backup when your quarterback goes down with a season-ending injury.

Therefore, it's always best to wait until the final rounds of the draft to pick up a defense and a kicker. After all, should the ones you end up with perform poorly; you can always pick up replacements over the waiver wire.

Prepare Yourself for the Draft

The best thing you can do to improve your chances this season is to be fully prepared when draft day rolls around, which means more than just making sure you have your fantasy draft kits and fantasy football draft supplies. It all comes down to preparation, i.e. developing a sound draft strategy and sticking to it.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you can neglect the fantasy football draft supplies either as having high-quality draft boards and draft labels will go a long way towards making the draft run smoothly and efficiently. At MyDraftDay, you can find a wide range of draft boards and kits suitable for leagues of any size, as well as a wide range of other supplies to ensure that your draft day party is truly memorable.