Fantasy Football 2012
When conducting your Fantasy Football Draft the best overall
advice is to play it safe early. Don’t try to out smart
yourself. Get your running back early, but then draft a balance
of running and passing throughout the draft and save your
gambles for mid and late rounds. When you do gamble, focus
on running backs.
1. Check your Leagues Point System before
the draft and occasionally during the season. Obvious,
but often ignored. Notice during the season which categories
seem to be manufacturing a lot of points. If you see a
point strength in the some category make moves for players
who excel at that category. You will be surprised how
you can stop a weakness on your team and turn it into
a strength in the league. Some leagues, like Yahoo Fantasy
Football, have a STANDINGS scoring summary. Use this to
analyze strengths and weakness of categories during the
2. Running Backs: Draft a “sure
thing” veteran running back in the first round,
always. Strongly consider another with your second pick,
but don't be forced to take one whose value is much lower.
The bottom line is you need to know that every week you
will get consistent, top-scoring from one your running
backs. Make sure you look at the running backs ability
to score in the red zone and his ability to catch the
ball. Those two factors are what separate to good fantasy
backs from the average backs. Make sure to grab some extra
running backs in the late rounds. Extra running backs
are more important than any other position because of
the lack of change that happens at the position. Take
a gamble on a running back. A rookie or a back up of a
top running team is a good gamble.
3. Quarterback: They will generally
score the most points in Fantasy Leagues. But with most
leagues having only one starting slot, even in a 14-team-league,
you can get good starting QB's in the late rounds. Naturally
if you are playing in a more competitive 2 quarterback
league the position is much more valuable. Here are
A) The Franchise QB: This year three players
qualify: Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady. Cam Newton
is right on the edge, but needs another year to prove himself.
It is probably not worthwhile to take one of these ahead of
the best running backs, but in 2012 all 3 of these players will
likely go within the first 12 picks.
B) Fantasy Stud: These are sure-things and have
potential to be a Franchise QB in any given season. Cam Newton,
Matthew Stafford, Michael Vick, Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Matt
Ryan and Philip Rivers qualify in 2012, making the QB position
very strong. Ben Roethlisberger is as good as the above QB's
and might be a fantasy stud depending on the direction of his
C) Fantasy Starter: This is the most common QB
and can be drafted in the mid-late rounds and even found in
free agency in most leagues. Jay Cutler, Josh Freeman, Ryan
Fitzpatrick , Matt Schaub, and Joe Flacco are the types in this
category. Peyton Manning could rise as far as stud, but he is
still a bit of an unknown and should be drafted with caution.
D) Fantasy Hopefuls: These are either inconsistent
veterans or young QB's. Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton, Alex Smith
and Sam Bradford fit these bills. These can go higher than the
solid veteran starter and make good gambles at the right time.
You should put all QB's into these categories to help
your draft. The point here is if you don't draft a "Franchise
QB" you are better to wait unit the mid-rounds
to get a "Starter" quality QB. Either start
the run on this type of QB's if the time is right or
grab yours during the run.
4. Wide Receivers: The first bit of advice
on WR's is to go back to the general draft advice, know
your point system. Some leagues give points for receptions.
If your league does, this gives possession-type receivers
more value. It changes everything. After that is established,
just like at running backs, you need to get at least one
sure-thing WR. He needs to get the consistent 6-7 catches,
100 yards and a TD. Don't under-estimate the value WR's,
but don't over-estimate them either. There are around
60 wide receivers to choose from, RB, TE and QB have half
of that. After you have a stud, it is almost as likely
to find a second or a third in free agency during the
season as it is to find one in the draft. This is not
to say don't draft more than one, it is to say be aware
5. Save gambles for middle and late rounds.
Plenty of places for gambles, just not too early.
6. Go into the draft with a small
draft plan and some sleepers. Then throw away your plan.
The most important thing during the draft is to ADAPT!
Notice what positions are and are not being drafted.
Can you hold off on drafting your Quarterback because
everyone has already drafted one? Was there a run on
tight ends? You better get one, even if it is a slightly
over-priced player. Go with the flow of the draft and
you will do better than sticking to a plan. If you are
new to drafting and your league offers an auto-draft
option, use it. This will give you a safely drafted
7. Finally, keep an eye on the player's
bye weeks. But even more important, look at when your
playoffs are and check the QB's you are drafting during
those weeks. Make sure one of them has a good match
up in each playoff week. It can mean the difference
of a championship and second place. Also check the running
backs, although they are generally more consistent,
playing against a great defense probably means less
TD's. It should just be another thing you weigh when
you are drafting, not the only reason.