If you’re an obsessed fantasy baller like we are, then you never enter a draft unprepared. Walking in blind is for amateurs and fools. Of course, every league has at least one dickhead who claims he bought a rankings mag the day before and prefers to trust his gut rather than utilizing hours of research and analysis.
This is usually the same clown who shows up minutes before the scheduled start time wearing the jersey of his favorite player and gripping a tallboy of coffee from the convenience store/gas station two blocks away. He’ll boast about his alcohol-induced escapades from the night before and warn everyone he might fall asleep before round eight because he’s “operating on four hours sleep.”
Stud Running Back loathes these ex-frat boy douchebags. Crushing them during the season is one of our favorite pastimes. Don’t be that guy. Put in the time and develop a strategy for your draft. If you’re going to shell out $50-$100 for an entry fee, you might as well give a crap. It makes for a better fake team experience.
Now that we’ve climbed off our soapbox, let’s get down to brass tax. You need a plan. Not just any old plan, but a winning plan. A plan that will allow you to exit your draft with a talented and deep team. How do you devise a blueprint for destruction? Kick back, we’re gonna tell you. Follow these five pearls of wisdom and you’ll be on the fast track to humiliating the rest of your league.
5) Do your own rankings – Take the master list of names from whatever mag or website you read and customize it to your personal specifications. If your league awards points for receptions, bump up all those running backs and wideouts known to catch a lot of balls. Guys like Steven Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Brandon Marshall and Wes Welker are targeted much more than players like Michael Turner, Clinton Portis, Steve Smith and Terrell Owens. If you follow the NFL, you have your own thoughts on who you think will have a big season. Don’t rely on someone else’s opinions.
4) Never draft a defense too early – We’ve been in hundreds of fantasy drafts over the years. Without fail, one, possibly two owners will think they’re smarter than everyone else and snatch a defense in the sixth round. Don’t be one of these morons. Whoever takes the plunge will draft last year’s top-rated defense and inevitably, said defense will take a steaming dump. Trust us, grabbing a third running back or a starting quarterback is the better play.
3) Wait on your quarterback – Unless you’re in a league that awards six points for TD passes, don’t start thinking about signal callers until at least round five. Plenty of starting caliber QBs can be had in rounds 5 through 9. Last season, Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers were both mid- to late round picks who finished in the top 5 in points. Matt Cassel and Tyler Thigpen went undrafted, but each became quality starters by season’s end.
2) Don’t ignore the receiver position – This is especially important if you are in a league that requires you to start three. You must get two reliable pass catchers by round five. If not, you will be left picking from the scrap pile later. It’s better to take a true number one wideout over a questionable number two running back. Studs at each position is the key to capturing fantasy titles. It’s not fun being like the guy who drafted Adrian Peterson and Michael Turner last year only to end up with a 4-10 record.
1) Adapt on the fly – So, you’ve finalized a suitable strategy and even participated in a few mock drafts. You are supremely confident DeSean Jackson will be there in the fifth round. In fact, you’re banking on it. Flash forward to draft day. The rookie owner picking three spots before you steals Jackson right out from under you. No need to panic. Use your rankings and grab the best available player. Drafts are like sexual harassment cases — some go smooth, while others crash and burn. Always have a backup plan.
There you go sports fans. We can’t select the correct players for you, but if you abide by Stud’s rules, you will feel as giddy as a school boy once your draft is complete.