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How Do You Feel About Your Team? Don’t Overthink Your Fantasy Football Draft

You’ve done all your research, you’ve done 100 Mock Drafts, you’ve done Best Ball drafts, now it is fantasy football draft time. You feel confident and prepared. After the draft, you look at your team and in the back of your mind you are questioning some picks and after all that, you don’t love your team. It’s a bad feeling and whether you notice it or not, you are going to be focused on this team a little bit more. You’re going to try to get yourself to love these players and where you drafted them. Unfortunately, the reality of this circumstance is that you have overthought your draft. You remembered all the ADPs of players and you tried so hard not to reach, but now you’ve missed out on “your guys” and the excitement of your roster.

Regret and uncertainty are something that a lot of Fantasy managers feel every draft season. It’s something I have felt many times after a fantasy football draft. Most owners don’t realize the psychological aspect of drafting. If you have been drafting for a long time, you usually have some sort of plan you follow whether you intend to or not. Strategies like late-round QB and Running Back heavy are terms that have surfaced due to players putting a label on their strategy across every draft. You don’t need to have a plan going into every draft, but having an idea of what route to take if the first couple rounds go into a direction you don’t usually take is important. This is where draft preparation is most important. It’s not always about knowing exactly what players to draft where; it’s about being able to adjust based on the value that presents itself in each round.

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Decide on a Fantasy Football Draft Strategy

I have selected two draft positions in a 12-team PPR league where the decision-making process seems a lot different. Using FantasyPros Average Draft Position, let’s take a look at two different routes through 7 rounds that may present themselves come draft day. Keep in mind that in two-QB and SuperFlex leagues you will want to prioritize positions differently; the same goes for three-wide receiver leagues.


Team 1: Draft Slot 4

Round 1: Alvin Kamara RB NO

Round 2: Chris Godwin WR TB

Round 3: Calvin Ridley WR ATL

Round 4: Mark Andrews TE BAL

Round 5: Keenan Allen WR LAC

Round 6: Dak Prescott QB DAL

Round 7: Tarik Cohen RB CHI


There are a couple of reasons I wanted to highlight this team. I believe this is a good example of value-based drafting (another strategy-driven phrase). What that means is that the highest-ranked player regardless of position is the one drafted. Many times, Fantasy managers go out of their way to prioritize the running back position no matter where other players are being drafted. This team could have done just that, but this is where Tier-based drafting provides an advantage. If this player would have been completely set on starting the draft RB-RB, they would have been looking at a lower tier of running backs at this draft position and passing on an elite wide receiver in Chris Godwin.

This team also displayed a strategy that many in the Fantasy Community don’t usually recommend, grabbing an elite tight end and quarterback in the first six rounds. Compared to his current ADP of 33 overall, Mark Andrews was a clear value at pick 45. It would have been easy for this manager to pass on this great value just due to the lack of RB2 at this point in the draft, it is these types of decisions that can separate your team from the field. This team now has a clear advantage just about every week at the tight end position. This is the same case for the round 6 selection of Dak Prescott. The value is there for a top tier QB, so take it. These pieces are far more valuable than taking players who don’t excite you just to feel safe in your picks.

There is always another way to look at this team, as some Fantasy Managers are very uncomfortable leaving their draft with guys like Tarik Cohen as their RB2. Taking an elite TE and QB will certainly have an effect on your overall roster construction. It is safe to say that the average drafter views running backs and wide receivers as the cornerstone of any roster, so make sure you are OK with the lack of depth in at least one of those positions when deciding on this strategy of value-based drafting. Remember, you want to love your team, not feel like you did exactly what you were “supposed” to do.


Let’s take a look at a team that employed a different strategy, one that many Fantasy managers feel is the way to go in 2020.


Team 2: Draft Slot 9

Round 1: Joe Mixon RB CIN

Round 2: Josh Jacobs RB LV

Round 3: Allen Robinson WR CHI

Round 4: Robert Woods WR LAR

Round 5: A.J. Green WR CIN

Round 6: Mark Ingram RB BAL

Round 7: Marvin Jones WR DET


This team seems to have followed what is now viewed as a “Traditional” draft strategy. Focusing solely on the two positions that you must start multiple of in order to have a depth driven stability throughout the roster. We all know the running back position is going to become scarce quick in drafts as there are only so many at the position that you can feel confident in week in and week out. Locking up two of the top tier running backs is something you are going to see a lot of this season. With the lack of preseason, roles are not as defined as they would be in a normal year, so there is a feeling of comfortability that comes with grabbing two backs who have defined roles going into this season.

What this strategy does is provide a wide range of options for your FLEX, as well as the ability to overcome an injury or change in player opportunity. This also puts your team in a good place in the event one of your top picks falls into the “bust” category. Basically, if you like your bench filled with higher tier guys at these positions in order to have flexibility, I highly recommend this strategy. Whether you start WR-WR or RB-RB, focusing on depth at these positions is certainly something that will leave you confident with your roster from top to bottom.

The key to prioritizing depth in your drafts is having the confidence in late-round quarterbacks and tight ends. In a one QB, 12 team league, there are so many options at the quarterback position. While your team won’t have the positional advantage that Team 1 did at these singular positions, stocking up on those depth pieces allows you the flexibility to take your shot on one or two of your favorite late-round QBs and TEs. Players like Lamar Jackson and Darren Waller are great examples of late-round picks that provided major production for teams in 2019.


Conclusion: Be Happy With Your Fantasy Football Draft

When all is said and done, the key is to have a grasp on what type of Fantasy player you are and what you prefer in a Fantasy roster. You want to have a priority or overall idea of how you want your team to look after the draft. At the same time, do not follow a strict draft plan. Let the draft come to you and adjust accordingly based on value and tiers. Have draft practices that leave you excited for the season, remember that this is a season long game. If you love QB-WR stacks, draft them! If you love having players on your favorite team, draft them! Do you like guys that receive heavy volume or that have big play ability? Draft that way! You can still be prepared and not overthink every draft decision.

Always remember, you do not win your league at the draft. It is a long, sometimes dark road to victory. Fantasy Football was made to be fun and exciting so if nothing else, draft that way!

If you like this, you’ll also want to check out Corbin Young’s Top Breakout Backs for 2020!

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