Zak Drapeau's Fantasy Football Drafting Tips Part 1
As we approach yet another NFL season with the first official weekend of preseason football only days away, it's about time we start getting ready for fantasy football. Here at FansOnlySportz, we love Fantasy Football as much as any other sports fans.
Before I release my annual Fantasy Football tips, I think it's important to restate some of the tips last year and how they did for me.
2021 Tips and Takeaways
Complete mock drafts as soon as you find out what pick you are. If your league doesn't release your pick until the draft, do several at each pick. This will give you an idea of who's left at your spots.
CMC is the #1 pick: While I do trust CMC this year as a #3 or #4 pick, this came back to bite me as he only played 5 games last year.
Draft QB's late: I was able to snatch up Aaron Rodgers in all of my leagues in round 9 or later and finished the year as the #6 QB. Running stats will help your stats but drafting a consistent starter who will optimize touchdowns with little turnovers is more important.
Try to stay away from injuries, but there's only so much you can do. This is football and things happen, injury prone players should fall in drafts but no one is un-draftable because of it.
Draft for value before position: This is a strategy for every season. Some people want to make sure they have 2 RB's and 2 WR's first, or they need a TE in the top 6 rounds. Don't do this. Draft the player with the best upside and figure out your starting lineup later, you can always make trades.
Now that the background is out of the way, lets see what basic tips we can add for this year, along with some specific player advice and maybe even a few sleepers.
1. QB's are falling in mock drafts. Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts are good picks in round 7 or later. They are "running QB's" but have great WR cores and will put up 3500 and 25 passing, plus have great running numbers.
2. WR's are DEEP this year, so while you should always draft for value first, in the first four rounds you should draft knowing there will be starting WR's left in rounds 5-7. So-to-say you should try to draft RB's early.
3. If you are someone who likes to have a top TE, you need to draft one by pick 60. The value of TE's drop significantly after T.J. Hockenson. That's not to say there won't be sleepers, but guaranteed studs are hard to find this year and will go early.
4. Make a list of 2 sleepers per round. This coincides with the mock draft rule. Once you get a feel for who's left at your pick you can start looking down the board and seeing who you want to draft. Remember you don't always have to draft the "suggested" player. If you like a guy down the board who won't be around by your next pick, follow your gut, especially in later rounds.
5. Draft players on good teams over players on bad teams. Unless your getting a #1 option on a bad team, it's a better bet to draft players on contending teams than on bad teams as the whole team will have better stats meaning a larger spread to each player.
6. Offensive lines = offensive production. Teams with great o-lines will always have better stats for their running backs, and will almost always have teams with great passing stats as well.
7. Draft your defense and kicker in the last two rounds.
So there are my go-to tips when drafting this year and honestly they are all equally as important. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get several mock drafts under your belt before you draft because if you don't, you will end up panicking on draft day and make rash decisions and everyone hates the feeling of walking out of your draft with one or two picks that you hate instantly.
With all the big basic tips out of the way, let's look at several specific players and sleepers and what I would do with them come draft day.
(First of all to all my FansOnlySportz counterparts and friends that read this article, if you steal my guys; I hate you, you're welcome, and good luck this season. Talking to Austin, Matt, Chris, Duffy and Jarrad.)
1. Christian McCaffrey: McCaffrey is the most polarizing player in fantasy this year and over the last two as well. He has #1 pick potential every year but the injury concern is perhaps the greatest of any player in the league. For me, I can't justify him being any higher than the #4 pick but certain outlets have him at #2 or even #1. A Panthers offense that now has a decent tarter in Mayfield will expand the offenses passing game and open up holes for CMC. I won't be drafting him this year after he killed my team when I drafted him #1 last year, but I'm biased and you should draft him is he falls in your leagues.
2. Derrick Henry: The workhorse, bruising #1 option in Tennessee who rushed for 2,000 yard last year and carries the ball 300+ times a season finally got hurt. Even though he only played 7 games last year he was far ahead of every other rusher at the time of his injury and will definitely get the same workload this year especially after trading A.J. Brown. Expect Henry to get 1,600 yard and 13 touchdowns again this year barring another injury. Speaking of injury, I'd estimate the likelihood of lighting striking twice at 40% which is scary, but sometimes you have to swing for the fences. Henry should go at #3 or #4 in every league this year.
3. Russell Wilson: It seems every year that a great QB in a new city tears up the league and puts up monster numbers and for my money, Wilson is that guy this year. He is ranked between #8 and #10 of the QB's this year and is going somewhere around round 6. While his WR room isn't bursting with Pro Bowlers, his team is extremely solid all around with a great stable of RB's as well. His rushing upside is there but his passing upside is off the charts this year. I will try to take him early and may target a few of his receiving options as well.
4. Tom Brady: Brady has thrown for over 4,000 yards and 24 touchdowns ever since he fell off a cliff in 2017. He's reached 4,600 yards and 40 touchdowns ever since moving to Florida. Brady has 0-to-little rushing upside but may get 2 touchdowns a year and is vastly underrated in fantasy after ending the season as the #3 QB in fantasy points last year. He is the #7 to #10 QB this year and again is going somewhere between rounds 6 and 7. Draft him early and laugh at everyone scrambling to find a running QB who'll get half of Brady's weekly points.
5. Miles Sanders: Here is my first sleeper. Sanders will share some snaps this year with second-year Kenneth Gainwell in a loaded Eagles offense this year, but will get goal line responsibilities and receiving back duties. Right now Sanders' ADP is 67 but he's dropped to 80 in several mock drafts. A #1 back in round 6 on an explosive offense is almost too good to be true.
6. Albert Okwuegbunam: I really struggled with putting Albert-O on this list because I REALLY WANT HIM this year. Will be Wilson's #1 option at TE in Denver and his ADP is 107 right now. I can easily see him getting 600 and 6 in his sophomore season on a team that prioritized Noah Fant last year. With new HC Nathaniel Hackett's tendency to look to his TE's in the redzone, "Ock-woog-boon-ham" may be the breakout star and deepest sleeper this year.
7. Rachaad White: White is a rookie out of ASU who seems to be RB2 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He may compete early for receiving back duties but will defintiely take that role by the end of the year. That plus the fact that Leonard Fournette came into camp 40 lbs overweight gives him great opportunity to get some carries as well. White's ADP is #110 right now and has potential to be a top-70 player by the end of the year.
As we continue getting ready for Fantasy Football this season I ill release more articles like this. As of right now I have a "Sleepers" article on the way, a "Mock Draft" article on the way and several more tips to be released as well.
If you're interested in being a part of said mock drafts or care to share your favorite sleepers or tips with us, tweet at us at @fosportz!
Go check out fansonlysportz.com for more sports media content daily.
Make sure to