Fantasy Football Drafting 101

Here on the internet, there is a multitude of information regarding fantasy football drafts. So much so one may feel dizzy or get brain freeze if one were to try to digest too much too fast. The first step is to know where your feet are. Every league on every site has different rules and scoring systems, never mind the fact that season long and daily fantasy are so different they should not even be mentioned in the same breathe. We are here to clear up some of the confusion and to lay some basic ground rules.

Whether your league is daily or season long, the number one thing to know going into your draft is the scoring system for your league – specifically if it’s PPR (Point Per Reception) or Standard Scoring. While it may sound like a subtle difference, an entire point per reception is a massive shift from none at all. A running back, for example, may catch five passes for 25 yards. In standard scoring, that would be a grand total of 2.5 point. For a PPR league, however, that’s 7.5 points. Running backs like Danny Woodhead and Shane Vereen, typically third down backs, have made a very respectful fantasy showing over the years in PPR formats. Often, in standard drafts, these two particular players would be passed over until the later rounds, if at all. In PPR, I drafted Danny Woodhead in the third round three years ago and won my league that year as a result. This goes for season long and daily formats, as well.

Pay attention to matchups! Think Ben Roethlisberger is a fantasy stud that you can draft, put in your lineup all season and forget about? This year, in week one, the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing the hapless Cleveland Browns in Cleveland. Roethlisberger has been uncharacteristically poor in Cleveland the passed five years and there are many matchup friendly options on the waiver wire, especially week one.

As far as daily fantasy, I never spend my money on a top notch quarterback. I almost always go for a middle of the road quarterback facing a Swiss cheese defense that my start has good recent history against. When drafting a quarterback in a season long draft, I typically wait until round seven or eight.

For season long drafts, I almost always choose either two running backs or two wide receivers the first two rounds. In standard formats, I lean toward running backs and vice versa in PPR leagues. Running backs tend to be more injury prone and there always seem to be a handful of backs that come out of nowhere and are readily available on the waiver wire.

The most important thing to remember, however, is to take your time. Do your due diligence because come draft night, the picks tend to go quickly and the player you plan on taking with your next pick inevitably is taken right in front of you and all of a sudden your making a rushed decision and tend to go with a household name. Good Luck with your draft and have fun this year.