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For an owner to be successful in fantasy football, it is critical to have an effective fantasy football draft strategy. There are two main draft styles that most fantasy leagues utilize. The first is the traditional draft in which owners take turns selecting players in a pre-determined order until each owner has filled his roster.
The second style of selecting players is the auction. In an auction, owners are allocated a set amount of money, known as a salary cap, to be able to acquire players. An owner is allowed to bid on any player at any time until he runs out of money. Both styles are very different, therefore it is important to keep the league’s draft style in mind when creating a fantasy football draft strategy.
Traditional Draft Tips:
• If possible, an owner should try to do a practice draft before the actual draft day. Many fantasy football websites allow an owner to do this for free.
• Select running backs with the first two picks. Running backs are the backbone of a fantasy team as they are the players who consistently score the most points for their owners. Having a solid group of running backs can greatly enhance a team’s chance for success.
• Select a defense and kicker with the last two picks.
• Do not panic and over-reach. In most drafts there is a time when players of the same position start to get drafted in rapid succession. This causes many owners to draft a lesser player in a higher round out of fear. Owners who over-reach may miss out on great opportunities to draft a high quality player in another position.
• Fantasy owners should avoid having too many players on their team that share the same bye week.
Auction Draft Tips:
• Set a budget per position and stay within the budget as much as possible. Many owners choose to spend a large percentage of their budget for “star” players, hindering their ability to fill out their roster with other quality players.
• Owners should avoid bidding only on the players they are interested in. This allows an owner to hide which players he is truly interested in. Part of the fantasy football draft strategy in an auction is to get other owners to pay more for a player than they wanted to. When other league owners notice that one owner only bids on those players he wants to draft, they may try to drive the prices up on those players.
• An owner should consider bidding at the last second. The owner who is able to hide his interest in a player may be able to acquire a player at a bargain price with a last second bid.
• Spend wisely during the course of the auction. Many owners spend a large portion of their budget early, hindering their ability to bid on players later in the draft. This allows owners with room under the salary cap an opportunity to select quality players at bargain prices.
• An owner should plan on using his entire budget. Any money left over at the end of the auction is simply wasted.
In addition to these basic tips, there are many resources available for the owner looking to develop an effective fantasy football draft strategy. There are a wide variety of publications that are available for purchase with detailed information on hundreds of players and all 32 National Football League teams. There are also thousands of websites dedicated to fantasy football, offering a wealth of information to fantasy owners.