Never played Fantasy Football before? Here is how to Draft

July 03, 2007 | WNST Interns

I KNOW, there have been many theories on how to draft in a Fantasy Football League. So many that you may be thinking to yourself, “Why have I bothered to read this?” Well I will tell you….this is a round by round guide to how to draft a competitive, balanced and deep Fantasy Football team. We will try to give each round analysis of what position you should pick and why. We will try to include as many pitfalls or scenarios as we can. This strategy has worked for over 10 years….we may not win every time, but we are in the playoffs and have a shot at the prize at the end of the year…so take it all in…try it…if you have any questions…contact us and we will be glad to help out. This strategy is based on re-draft leagues with 16 rounds….Starting a QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, D and 8 bench slots.

So here we go…read through it all first before you call me an idiot! LOL

ROUND 1: TAKE THE BEST RB AVAILABLE…PERIOD! I do not care if you play in an 8 team or 16 team league….you have to start 2 RB’s…so you need 2 STUDS if you are so lucky…I do not want to hear about Peyton Manning here….no thank you….If you take a QB or WR with this pick you will struggle to get good RB to start or depth….I would rather have a Frank Gore and maybe a Carson Palmer or Matt Hasselback, then Peyton Manning and Cadillac Williams.

ROUND 2: TAKE THE BEST RB AVAILABLE….now there will be some temptation to grab a QB here…here is my Theory…IF PEYTON MANNING IS AVAILABLE IN ROUND 2…TAKE HIM….Otherwise pass on a QB…On average there are 12 Teams in a Fantasy League…so at worst you will wind up with the 12 ranked QB in your league…in 2006 in terms of TD’s thrown..that would have been Hasselbeck, McNabb, Romo or Rothlisberger…and Leinart, Young and Cutler were lower than that…you can win leagues with those guys…especially if your RB combination is a Steven Jackson and a Willis McGehee lets say….RESIST THE QB TEMPTATION…get 2 in ROUNDS 7 thru 9 and you will be fine…and deeper at RB and WR….

ROUND 3: TAKE THE BEST RB AVAILABLE…yes I know I am being repetitive….but think about it this way…in the REAL NFL…GM’s are now saying you need 2 Starting RB’s to win in the league because the defenses are bigger and stronger and injuries happen….Back to the Math….there are 32 NFL team…there are 12 teams so if all 12 teams in your league followed my guide…36 RB’s would be taken thru 3 rounds….Trust me 3 QB’s and 5 WR’s and a TE will be taken in the first 3 rounds minimum. So, if you follow this Guide you now have 3 starting NFL RB’s…you now have trade bait and depth…

ROUNDS 4 and 5: Here is where you have to really pay attention to what your other owners are doing….I would usually say to take the best WR’s available on the board here…but that is not entirely true all the time…yes I know we do not have a WR on the roster yet…but traditionally after the top 10 or so WR’s are gone…there are a group of 20 or so who’s stats are all the same or there abouts….remember there are 64 starting WR’s in the NFL…so again if you have 12 teams and each team takes 2 then 24 WR’s are off the board…so you still have 40 starting WR’s to choose from here….so with that being said…IF GATES, GONZALES, WINSLOW, CRUMPLER OR HEAP are available here…I WOULD TAKE THEM…otherwise take 2 WR’s 

ROUND 6: WE ARE LOOKING FOR DEPTH HERE…if you took a TE in round 4 or 5…TAKE THE BEST WR AVAILABLE…If you now have 3 RB’s and 2 WR’s…do not reach for a QB YET…TRUST US…those that already have a QB and this means most of your league by now…are not going to take another QB before they fill out their roster…so relax on the QB’s….TAKE THE BEST RB or WR on the board….Oh and if you do not have a TE yet…don’t worry about it…after the first 5 or so, they are all the same and the same theories that I have on QB’s apply…

ROUND 7: DEPTH DEPTH DEPTH…..Still on RB’s and WR’s here…maybe a handcuff pick here if you took LT, Turner is a good one here…if you have Henry maybe Mike Bell is solid here….start thinking of what ifs here….what if my RB gets hurt…will I be forced into a trade or free agency or can I handle it…you will want to handle it and make trades and free agency pick-ups from strength, not weakness.

ROUND 8, 9 and 10: OK QB FREAKS here is your time…in 2006 I got Vick, Farve, Kitna, Vince Young and Delhomme in these rounds…so QUALITY can be had…I like to take 2 QB’s within these 3 rounds and unless I got a STUD TE early…my TE here…in 2006 Watson, L.J Smith and Dallas Clark are some of the TE’s that went this late….
OK 6 rounds left….We should have 2 QB’s, 1 TE, 3 RB’s, 3 WR’s and another RB or WR on the roster….within the next 6 picks we need a Kicker and a Defense…and then 4 picks of sleepers and rookies…This is where those in it to win it do some damage…Colston anyone? Yes I took him in many round 16’s last year…How? Why? Once you saw Donte Stallworth being moved from the Saints…someone had to be their number 2…Rookies? WR’s usually make the biggest impact…RB’s? Look for those number 2 receivers that could get playing time….

ROUND 11 thru ROUND 14: I would only take a Defense here if Baltimore or Chicago are there…otherwise take a Defense in round 15 and a Kicker in round 16. So take a sleeper or a Rookie WR here…follow training camps…they will unlock the keys to these picks. Grab depth…

When we are done your roster should look like this…2 QB’s, 5 RB’s, 5 WR’s, 1 TE, K, D and 1 more WR or RB….we can always pick up or trade for what we need later if we drafted well and have depth….I love 2 for 1 trade to those owners that are weak at RB and WR…which someone will be.

Don’t think it will work…join a free league and try it…IT WORKS…I have tested all the draft theories and based on my years of playing this game…this draft strategy will work…it covers all the bases.

Also follow these rules at your draft!

  • A) Pay Attention to the picks and to what is going on at the draft. Go on-line (We have a link for this) and print out a sheet with all players available by position. As players get taken, cross the player off the list. Do not be the person who picks TIKI BARBER in the third round after he was taken with the 8th overall pick. EVERYONE HATES THAT PERSON! Know when it is your turn to pick. Don’t wait 5 minutes and then say Oh is it my turn? Be ready, have 3 or 4 players prepared to draft when you are 3 picks away, then when its your turn…PULL THE TRIGGER! Your fellow players will appreciate it!
    RULE OF THUMB: If you look down and see someone is available who you think would be picked in the first round…THEY DID!
    SUGGESTION: Don’t say I will take….so and so….say where did so and so get taken. ITS BETTER THAT WAY…TRUST US!
  • B) STAY SOBER! Don’t get me wrong as player, I love when other players get hammered on draft day. But if you are in it to win, have 1 or 2. Don’t make us drive you home.
  • C) KNOW YOUR RULES! Don’t automatically think RB’s are the most valuable players in your league….know your scoring system…if you get 6 PTS for each Touchdown Pass…then QB’s are now much more valuable then any RB.
  • D) IGNORE BYE WEEKS! Yes ignore them! You can work it out later. If the best player left on your draft board has the same bye week as someone you took before, DO NOT take a lesser quality player just because of a bye…you can trade them…or pick someone up later…it will work out…do not even take the bye list into your draft. Many other sites disagree with me on this…they are WRONG!
  • E) PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE! It’s the most important day of the year and the most fun, so don’t show up with a magazine you bought 5 minutes ago. You might as well not show upExample: In a league there was a three-time champion of the league who did not look at a thing before the draft. They are now 4 – 7 and out of the playoffs. This team was always competitive, but since they did not take an hour to prepare their team was horrible.
  • F) PICKS AFTER THE 8TH ROUND: They make or break your draft…anyone can take LT or Shawn Alexander in the first round. But knowing who the back up to LT is…will win you championships. Take players that play in a high scoring offensive system. (KC, SEATTLE, ST. LOUIS, SF….and so on)
  • G) SLEEPERS and ROOKIES: Take 2 or so… never know…take a high risk, high reward player… Also with rookies, WR’s have the biggest impact!

As always I can be reached at