Draft strategy for fantasy football

By Chris Dertz

Hello, and welcome to the first iteration of a new weekly column that I’ll be writing on America’s real past time: Fantasy Football.

Around the country, armchair GM’s are rejoicing because the NFL season is knocking on the door, and there’s no better way to stay in tune with everything that’s going on in the league than managing your own team of names on a computer.

Every Friday, I’ll discuss different draft strategies, personnel moves, or under-the-radar players that can get you ready for the weekend’s action. Since the season has yet to start and many of you are probably days away from your league draft, I’d like to start by going over a draft strategy that I’ve used to great effect over the past couple of years.

But before I get into that, here’s a universal tip: Whether you’re in a league with people you know or a random assortment of strangers, don’t be that guy in the corner not chatting in the draft room. It makes it a better experience, and every once in a while you’ll be able to spot tips about where people could be going next.

Which leads me to this: If there is a player (likely a RB or QB) that you really want to snag in the first round, but may be undervalued (i.e. Brian Westbrook compared to Ladainian Tomlinson a few years ago), go ahead and pick the player that the rest of the league wants. Not only does it put them in a bind for the rest of the draft, but it’ll be very likely that you can trade the player you picked for the one you really wanted, and likely get some more pieces to play with in exchange.

Doing something as simple as this can give you a quick leg up on the other members of your league, and can build all-important depth on your bench in case of injuries.

As a closing thought, consider this: While the first few picks are very important, leagues are won and lost in the later round. Don’t let yourself get flustered if you didn’t get the guys you wanted.