Kyle Stafford – @KStafford32
How you draft in your fantasy football league will be at least 75% responsible for how you finish. The other 25% is based on lucky free agent pick-ups, trades in your favor, and staying focused on the goal.
You can sell out and get your Draft Prep from the popular talking heads, example: Matthew Berry. The problem with that is that you and nine other guys are sitting together on draft day with the same draft sheets and player evaluations. I am not selling that Matthew Berry doesn’t make a good point every once in a while, but I would like to think that you are smart enough to make your own fake football choices.
WHERE DOES IT BEGIN?
Player Evaluations, Player Evaluations, Player Evaluations…. did I mention Player Evaluations??? My example would be the master mind in New England Bill Freaking Belichick. Only certain players and draft picks “fit” Belichick’s player standards. You need to have standards when it comes to who is on your team. If you don’t you might as well have your wife/girlfriend draft your team for you because of the color of the teams jersey look cool, or Tom Brady looks nice in spandex. I’m not saying… I’m just saying. Here are a few key areas I look at when I am drafting any player:
- Injury History
- Team Success
- Role in the Offense
There are also key areas to look at for each position
Type of Offense, Completion %, Receiving Talent, Offensive Line
Does he split carries, Receiving Threat, over or under 30
Targets, Quarterback, Offensive Scheme
A few unknowns to look for are Rookies and Coaching Changes. For the most part Rookie Wide Receivers and Running Backs are safe bench picks. Rookies can turn out like Texans RB Adrian Foster, or the flip side Chargers RB Ryan Mathews. Coaching changes can change how many targets a wideout receives or how many handoffs a running back carries.
I hate to mention Herman Edwards, but when he took over the Kansas City Chiefs in 2006 he let RB Larry Johnson carry the ball for an NFL record 416 times. Previously Johnson had only carried the ball no more than 336 times in a season. Another great example is the Mad Scientist Mike Martz. Whatever offense he is reinventing, (Currently the Chicago Bears) you can expect his Quarterback to throw 40+ times, Wideouts to have their targets increase, and high paid running backs become glorified pass blockers.
WRITE IT DOWN… NOW!
Now is the time to set your teams formula. Here are a more few in-depth tips.
Injuries: I never draft a player that has a history of injuries or is coming back from a major injury. The risk/reward is not high enough. Let your competition draft Ronnie Brown with his 2nd Round pick and in week 4 he will be the one desperate for a lucky Free Agent or Trade.
Age: Age increases the chance of injuries. Running Backs are a no-brainer on this. They die off approaching age 30. Wideouts are productive in their 30’s but they tend to drop off in yardage and are more venerable to a rookie taking their job. Quarterbacks with small injury history become safe with age. Be careful with Peyton Manning this season. If you are in a keeper league trade your aging players a year early instead of a year late.
Team Success: Success is contagious. Players on top teams or high powered offenses have a higher rate of return. Tom Brady wears a ton of bling and he made fantasy studs out of guys like Deion Branch, David Patten, and David Givens?!? Success is contagious.
These are the top 3 areas I look at when drafting any player. You would be wise to do the same.
THE GOLDEN RULE:
Never Fall In Love With Your Players. You should always be looking to upgrade your team. Nobody is untradeable and to a degree undropable. Just because you took a player in the first round doesn’t mean he has earned a spot to start on your team. Your goal is to beat your dumb friends at fake football, not harbor your man crush for Peyton Manning while he is on the IR all year….prediction?
Be on the lookout for my next FFB Draft Prep Article: The Perfect Draft Formula and Don’t Mess with It!
Follow Me on Twitter @KStafford32
All views submitted in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Can of Corn.