After reading Part One and Part Two of our series on how to draft a successful fantasy football team, are you ready for Draft Day? Almost, but not quite. We have a few more tips for fantasy football team managers to help get the season off to a strong start.
Handcuffs Are Your Friends
Unless you’re one of the long line of NFL players who have seen the inside of a jail cell, handcuffs are your friends.
Handcuffs generally only apply to your stud running backs. If you’ve drafted right, you should wind up with one, possibly two running backs you want to handcuff with their backup. In the later rounds of your draft, pick up the guy who will take the place of your stud backs, should they go down with a significant injury.
For some running backs, there may be nothing more than a committee behind them. In that case, don’t bother. But for those backs who have a clear successor – especially if that backup is chock full of talent himself – make sure that successor is on your fantasy football team’s bench in the event of disaster.
Be Aware of ADP
What is ADP? Average draft position. Most major fantasy football providers will show the ADP of every player, giving you a general idea of when players are usually drafted. This is a great piece of information to have at your disposal.
Are you worried that if you don’t draft Darren McFadden in this round that he won’t be available later? If you know what his ADP is, that will give you a fairly strong basis for knowing when he’ll likely be drafted and, as a result, if you can wait or if you should grab him now.
ADP isn’t the end-all be-all of draft strategy, though, so don’t rely on it as such. When a guy shows up for the fantasy football draft in full Oakland Raiders superfan regalia, including a McFadden jersey, you can rest assured that Run DMC will be drafted above his ADP.
Participate in Mock Drafts
Mock drafts are excellent practice for testing all your strategies before it really counts. There are countless fantasy football providers out there that offer free mock drafts, and once you get your draft list together, your positions tiered, and everything else we’ve taught you in order, try out your entire strategy and base of knowledge in a mock draft or two or three.
Mock drafts reveal flaws in your strategy without you having to pay the price for the entire season. You may find that your strategy of drafting running backs in the first two rounds leaves you terribly void of wide receivers. Or that the player you’re targeting in the fifth round is consistently going in the third round, so you should bump him up your draft list.
This is incredibly valuable experience to have under your belt before you start drafting for real in your fantasy football league.
Pick a Cool Team Name
So you’ve got all of these tools in your belt heading into Draft Day. Now don’t muck it up by showing up at the big event with a lame name for your fantasy football team. Nothing makes you the laughingstock of your league faster than announcing your team as Carl’s Caterpillars or The Blue Team.
Good luck this season!