- Running backs are too thin to not try and get a solidified RB1.
- Don’t reach for Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen.
- Great wide receivers can be found in the mid-to-late rounds.
- Make every pick count, grab potential breakout players with final picks.
LAS VEGAS – More often than not, a team’s fate is settled by the time the fantasy draft is completed. Obviously, trades and waiver wire additions can be made, but the most important foundation for a team is established during the draft.
Don’t Wait For Running Backs
The running back, despite being quite the contrary for actual NFL teams, is the most important position in fantasy football. There are so few workhorse running backs in the league that securing one of the few RBs that don’t have to share touches provides an advantage over other players in the league.
By the time the second round is completed, all of the top running backs will be off the board.
At the bare minimum, fantasy players need to take a running back in one of their first two selections. In 2020 NFL betting fans saw just nine players rush for over 1,000 yards, having one or two of the bunch brings a big matchup advantage each week.
Examples of workhorse RBS: Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, David Montgomery, Najee Harris, Ezekiel Elliott
Wait To Draft Your Quarterback
Seeing an elite quarterback available in the third or fourth round can seem like a good pick at the time, but in fantasy football, it’s simply a bad move. In 2020, Josh Allen was the No. 1 quarterback in fantasy but only scored an average of 3.8 more points per week than Justin Herbert who finished as the QB9.
Allen himself wasn’t drafted until the seventh round on average and finished as the top option at his position. Herbert was being the 35th quarterback selected and finished as a QB1 option.
There’s always value on quarterbacks later in the draft that won’t concede too much of a positional edge against opponents.
Examples of late-round QB targets: Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins, Daniel Jones, Joe Burrow
Solid Wide Receivers Can Be Found Later In Drafts
Getting Davante Adams or Tyreek Hill is obviously a great piece to a team, but there are players who can provide a similar output in the later rounds of the drafts. Similar to the running backs, a sizable workload is important.
Tyler Lockett was one of just eight players to have 100+ receptions last season but isn’t being drafted until the fifth or sixth round this season. Tee Higgins has receiving yards total of 1050.5 set by sports betting sites, but isn’t being taken until the sixth or seventh round.
There will always be players in good situations that are selected later in drafts, be the one to take them and leave the rest of the league wondering how they fell so far.
Examples of mid-round wide receivers worth taking: Tee Higgins, Tyler Lockett, Chase Claypool, Courtland Sutton
Don’t Waste The Last Picks Of The Draft
Every pick counts in fantasy football. The couple seconds of laughter people will give for taking Tim Tebow in the final round isn’t worth the potential lost value of drafting someone who could have a breakout season.
Once a team’s core is finalized, league owners should be looking for handcuff players in case of injuries and possible breakout candidates. There are tons of players being completely overlooked that could prove to be league-winners.
Examples of final-round targets: Bryan Edwards, Nico Collins, Terrence Marshall, Rhamondre Stevenson, Randall Cobb
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Nick is a football fanatic with years of sports journalism experience. He achieved a degree in Broadcast/Journalism from Penn State University. When he’s not covering the latest NFL odds you can catch him debating Brady > Belichick in his free time.