As someone who has played fantasy sports for over 30 years and written about it for nearly as long, there’s one thing I have discovered: It is an inexact science.
Just when you think you’ve devised a foolproof formula for success, your picks flounder. Fortunately, there are also times when that last-round selection of draft day becomes the star of your squad.
Going into your 2017 fantasy football draft, here are some pointers to keep in mind:
* Rank your players by position. Fortunately, we’ll be doing that for you (of course, I still advise coming up with your own if your preferences are far different from mine).
* Invest time into doing research. Let’s face it, many of the entry fees for fantasy leagues can be sizable, so don’t waste your money by just thinking you can just wing it on draft day.
* If you have invested the time and come up with rankings, stick by those rankings when drafting. If you spent hours or days in compiling your list, don’t freak out and stray from it and reach down for a player several slots below just because the clock is ticking.
* Stay informed through the draft. With the numerous ways people can access info on the internet, don’t be caught taking a player who just got suspended for half the season an hour before your draft.
* Make your selections based on your tiered rankings. If you have only three quarterbacks in your first tier and only one is left on the board, but there are still seven wide receivers left in that position’s first tier, take the QB.
* Don’t be swayed by “the run” that will inevitably come on a position. It’s one thing to start a run on wide receivers or defenses, but if three straight teams picked the same position, don’t feel compelled to continue that trend — especially if that player/defense is a reach based on your rankings.
* If you follow these guidelines and feel there is one position you’re weak at following the draft, don’t panic. Chances are most fantasy owners will be feeling the same way about one of their positions. If that’s the case, strike a deal before draft night ends.