First of all, I am good at fantasy football. I have made the playoffs 4 of the last 5 years and won my league twice in that span. Considering you most likely have not won your league ever, you probably should take my advice. I am going to share with you my formula for success and how I go about my selections on draft night. (Non-PPR Format)
Running Backs, Running Backs, Running Backs
The top-end talent in fantasy football, in my opinion, comes from high quality running backs. My first 3 picks this year were running backs and it paid dividends this season. The workhorse backs that get a majority of the carries for their team are usually gone within the first few rounds. Do not get me wrong, there are quality wide receivers in that range but unless they are a cannot miss receiver like DeAndre Hopkins or DeVonte Adams, your best bet is to take running backs early. There are plenty of serviceable receivers in the NFL draft them later. The RB pool will dry up and you will get stuck with backs that split carries that will not produce as many points. My first 3 picks were Derrick Henry, Austin Eckler and David Johnson.
There is a Steep Drop off at Tight End
Now I am not saying you should reach early for a tight end. All that I ask is that you monitor what others are doing in your league. Most people will most likely focus on running backs and wideouts early. Start considering taking a TE as early as the 4th or 5th round. After the top 3 or 4 TE’s come off the board, It is anyone’s guess who is going to have a good season and who is not. You might get lucky drafting one late, but odds are slim. I took Kelce in the 5th and he went off.
Do Not Reach for A Quarterback
Yes, QBs are important and some of you probably think I am nuts for saying it is not a high priority. You can get a good quarterback late considering everyone drafts 1 and then a back-up with very late picks. So worst case scenario you end up with the 10th best QB in the NFL all 10 are relatively capable of having monster weeks. The guy who drafts Mahomes in the 1st round is a moron. I got Russell Wilson somewhere in the middle of the QB scramble in the 7th and he crushed it this year.
Think About New Players in New Systems
Think about the implications of players that were traded or signed contracts with new teams. Players in new systems may see explosive returns for your fantasy team. Guys who are good can become great on different teams with different talent around them. Be careful doing this because there is a little more of an unknown element when drafting these players. Also, do not just think of the player being moved, think of the other players that were signed or traded to their team. A new QB can make a decent receiver a much better receiver. I took TY Hilton for this reason thinking he and Rivers would have a quality connection. It did not pan out as I would have liked but by the same logic noted above, I took Diggs with his move to Buffalo and he has been unbelievable this season.
There is a gold mine of undiscovered talent in incoming 1st round players. There is so much upside considering highly drafted NFL players are plugged right into offensive schemes. It does not always work out but if the last 2 players you draft are rookies you have a shot at a standout player that was on absolutely no one’s radar. I drafted 3 rookies this year. Jalen Reagor, Henry Ruggs III and Justin Jefferson. 2 of these players were decent bye week fillers and 1 is a pro-bowler. I would call that great value for my last 3 picks of my draft.
Fantasy football is over for this year but these concepts will most likely ring true for seasons to come. This process has proved to at least keep me in the hunt year after year and could help you turn your fantasy game up a notch. Good luck next year!