Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: What’s the best slot to draft from?


In terms of fantasy soccer draft technique, it is vitally advantageous to know your draft place earlier than your draft so you possibly can hone in on gamers prone to be in your vary. Whereas there isn’t a one appropriate option to draft your fantasy group, having a basis of information can assist you to navigate the draft and are available away with a profitable — and hopefully — championship-winning group.

To make issues easy, this text will likely be based mostly on a 12-team league, however the identical logic can definitely be used for 8 and 10-team leagues.

From a purely analytical standpoint, the primary draft slot is probably the most advantageous within the conventional snake-style fantasy draft. Once you take a look at the out there expertise and likelihood utilizing Worth Over Alternative (VOR), the order by which you wish to draft goes first, second, third…and so forth. 

It’s also why leagues just like the Scott Fish Bowl, the premier Professional-Am charity fantasy league, have applied a third-round reversal (3RR). Doing so helps to shift the worth throughout all 12 draft slots, eliminating the benefit of the primary total decide.

Now, simply because the numbers counsel it’s the greatest spot doesn’t essentially imply you should have your greatest outcomes from it. In the long run, it comes right down to no matter fantasy soccer draft technique produces probably the most constant outcomes for you.

Many individuals don’t like the primary decide due to the sensation of at all times needing to achieve for particular gamers, given the lengthy span between picks. If this sounds such as you, drafting from the fourth to fifth slot may be the higher choice. 

In 2021 fantasy drafts, which means you might be assured one in every of Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook dinner, Derrick Henry, or Saquon Barkley. If you don’t really feel there’s a discernible distinction of their fantasy outlooks and are in the identical tier, take the fourth spot and luxuriate in that worth.

There is no such thing as a one “appropriate” fantasy soccer draft technique or option to play. All of it comes right down to what you are feeling creates the perfect total lineup.

For this, all of it comes right down to the league’s format. The worth can drastically change based mostly on required starters. The very best rule of thumb is to focus on the positional shortage early.

For instance, in a 1QB format, I are likely to hammer the working again place early and sometimes. Ideally, I’m deciding on one in every of my prime RBs in Spherical 1 after which grabbing two extra by Spherical 4.

At working again, the upside falls off the cliff rapidly as fewer and fewer groups have “workhorse” three-down backs. Simply final season, solely 27 working backs averaged greater than 15 alternatives per recreation, with solely 22 seeing 15+ touches per outing. 

Whereas there will likely be gamers like James Robinson or Mike Davis who find yourself being league winners who got here out of nowhere, discovering starting-caliber RBs mid-season is uncommon. 

The place this draft technique differs is in a superflex fantasy soccer league. That is the place the positional shortage drives up the worth of QBs immensely. Whereas not required, you want to be beginning two quarterbacks each week in your lineups.

For instance, the QB24 in 2020 (Daniel Jones), averaged 13.6 factors per recreation and scored a complete of 190.2 factors (4 factors per TD). Solely 11 RBs scored increased than this in complete and 16 in ppg. For receivers, it was 16 in complete factors and 11 in per recreation common. 

Thus, if I don’t stroll out of a superflex draft with three starting-caliber QBs, I really feel at a large drawback. With solely 32 beginning NFL QBs, which means not everybody within the draft can pull this off. Not solely are you growing your weekly upside, however you create a bonus whereas others battle with bye weeks and the inevitable accidents that pop up in probably the most inopportune instances.

This one is tough, however three rise above the remainder in my eyes for 2021.

Najee Harris

Certainly one of them needs to be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first-round decide, Najee Harris. Harris has been my RB1 for effectively over a yr now and is probably the most full again of the 2021 NFL Draft class. He has no competitors for touches with Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland and may issue within the passing recreation.

It’s effectively inside cause for Harris to see 280+ touches as a rookie. However there may be the evident concern of the offensive line, which acquired even worse with the discharge of David DeCastro. Harris continues to be an RB1 for me, however this didn’t assist his outlook in any respect.

Ja’Marr Chase

The following could be Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase. Not solely is he top-of-the-line receivers now we have seen coming into the NFL in recent times, however he’s reunited together with his former LSU QB Joe Burrow. On prime of this, the Bengals are going to throw a ton in 2021. It might not be the 770 makes an attempt Burrow was on tempo for in 2020 by Week 10, nevertheless it’s going to be lots.

It’s effectively inside cause to see Chase with a stat line round 135 targets, 90 receptions, 1,200 yards, and seven touchdowns as a rookie.

Kyle Pitts

The third rookie could be the unicorn himself, Kyle Pitts. Sure, I do know that rookie tight ends by no means ship (two top-12 TEs since 2010), however the recreation has modified. There’s a case to be made that Pitts was the WR2 within the NFL Draft and simply so occurs to be designated as a TE. 

With Julio Jones now in Tennessee, the Atlanta Falcons head into 2021 with 35.2% of their targets vacated from the yr prior (213), the seventh-most within the NFL. Matt Ryan continues to be taking part in strong soccer, and with Calvin Ridley set to dominate, Pitts may smash each single rookie tight finish file.

I’d not be stunned to see Pitts receiver 115 targets in 12 months 1, a complete that solely two TEs topped final season (Travis Kelce and Darren Waller). Pitts is my TE6 and represents a large tier break on the place.

What number of working backs do you have to draft in fantasy?

In case you ask me, there may be by no means sufficient. Okay, perhaps not, however you get my level.

As with most issues, it is dependent upon your format. Ideally, I prefer to base it off what number of I may doubtlessly begin. Say my beginning lineup has two working again spots and two flex spots. My minimal then could be set at 4 dependable working backs. Now, I can’t sacrifice my depth at different positions reminiscent of receiver, however it’s a benchmark in my head.

For instance, let’s use the 1.01 draft. The clear RB1, in my eyes, is Chrisitan McCaffrey. When it snakes again to me on the 2.12, my supreme state of affairs could be one in every of Austin Ekeler or Harris. To me, that’s the excellent mixture of quantity, upside, and coveted passing utilization in PPR codecs.

For a minimum of the subsequent 4 rounds, I’m prone to go RB and WR with each of my picks after which search for the worth that falls to me — concentrating on gamers like Kareem Hunt (52.9 ADP), Myles Gaskin (66.7), Mike Davis (81.6), Trey Sermon (110.3), and Gus Edwards (121.7) alongside the best way.

If I can stroll out of a draft with three of these working backs, I’m ecstatic. Whereas I’ve and can proceed to evangelise being versatile with any fantasy soccer draft technique, going into it with some form of plan is a should to keep away from panic when on the clock. Now we have all been there, and it doesn’t finish effectively. 

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Tommy Garrett is a author for Professional Soccer Community overlaying the NFL and fantasy soccer and a member of the FSWA (Fantasy Sports activities Writers Affiliation). You’ll be able to learn extra of his work right here and comply with him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.


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