Written by NOThinkingGuru
OK folks let’s destroy the current FAD strategies out there. The RB-RB strategy is one of the oldest and still most popular ways to draft. The biggest issue with this strategy is that in most leagues you only need to start 2 RB’s and if you go RB in the 1st rd and then RB in the 2nd rd, the next couple of rounds force you get WRs/TEs/QBs. Some of you are thinking well that is not true I can use another RB for my flex position or for the bye weeks. But remember what I said about having players that start every week for you. You should not try to draft your flex spot. Your flex should come from round 9 and beyond. True flex player or players that surpassed where they were being drafted from.
So let’s go back to the RB in the 1st and RB in the 2nd draft strategy. Yes I get 2 guys I trust to start every week. But what if one of the RB’s I get later in the draft or a RB I pick up on the waiver wire becomes a trust worthy guy. Then I can either put them in the flex or try make a decision every week which guy to start in the RB position. I consider RB as the most volatile position. These guys get injured more than QB/WR/TE. In today’s game these guys also split carriers with other RB’s. RB’s are easier to find on the waiver wire as they emerge every year out of nowhere. I would rather have one trust worthy RB and a bunch of RB’s later in the draft that could end up as every week players. If you look at the draft from the guys that won the high stakes leagues you will notice that they drafted one or two guys a round BEFORE their ADP and you will also see at least one player that fell a round to them. If you draft RB-RB then you can’t grab the special player that falls to you (if it is a RB) without hurting the rest of your draft. If you draft RB-RB then you are forced to draft a WR as I will explain later in this article.
ZERO RB STRATEGY
Let’s discuss the opposite strategy in zero RB. The zero RB strategy is when you draft other positions but wait until at least the 6th rd before drafting your 1st RB. This strategy is perfect if you are lucky enough to outsmart everybody else in your draft and get 2 RB’s late that produce every week. An example of this is drafting CJ Anderson and Justin Forsett last year because both guys did not get drafted in most leagues. So last year if you got your 3 WRs, 1 QB, and 1 TE in your first 5 rounds (last year) and got these RB’s late in your draft or on the waiver wire you should have had an awesome team. If you are a very lucky person go ahead and use this strategy. The only time you should ever think about using this strategy is BEFORE the preseason. In the preseason the starting RB for many teams has not been established. Also the rookie RB’s have not been hyped up the draft board. As I said earlier RB’s get injured more than any other position. So grabbing a talented backup that can be drafted late before the preseason and if the starter gets injured then you are golden.
EARLY RB STRATEGY
Let’s get into a little safer strategy which is the early one RB strategy. This means that you grab a stud RB in the 1st couple of rounds and you don’t worry about your 2nd RB until later in the draft. I like this strategy this time of the year but it does not mean I go into my draft thinking that this is how my draft will end up. This strategy also works better BEFORE the preseason because there are lots of RB’s going late that should end up as the starting RB for their team. After the preseason you will have a better idea of which one of these RB’s will be the starter which will move them up the draft board. I will give you an example of this. 2 years ago Gio Bernard was being drafted between rounds 5 and rounds 8 before the preseason. After the preseason I saw him being drafted as early as round 3. (By the way he had a great season that year with the13th most fantasy points at the RB position). The problem with this strategy is that all the RB’s that have a prominent role will be gone before round 6. This means that you really have to do your research and find out who are the more talented and healthy backs. This RB also has to fit the scheme of offense and have a decent O line. There are lots of factors and this is why these RB’s are going so late in the draft. If you don’t feel comfortable with the RBs going late, then avoid this strategy.
EARLY QB/TE STRATEGY
Let’s get into the stud QB or TE early in the draft strategy which is something I liked to do a couple of years ago. I don’t like this strategy this year because there are so many QBs/TEs that I trust every week. Both QB and TE are players going later in drafts. What I mean by later is going between rounds 6-10. QB Andrew Luck and QB Aaron Rodgers are both going in the 1st couple of rds. TE Rob Gronkowski and TE Jimmy Graham are also both in the 1st couple of rds. I love the idea of having any of these guys as my stud every week but what is the cost? The cost is I can’t get 2 RBs and 2 WR’s in first 4 rounds. This can be really good but you need to be lucky for things to fall to you. So let’s say that you go RB in the 1st rd and a QB or TE in the 2nd rd. If the best player available in the 3rd rd is a RB then your first WR will be drafted in round 4. Your #2 WR will be drafted in rd 5 or 6. Look at the guys in these rounds. When starting 3 WR’s every week and a possible WR in the flex having your 1st WR coming out of the 4th rd is really risky. This goes the same way if you draft 2 WR’s and a TE/QB in first 3 rounds. I don’t want my 1st RB coming from the 4th rd. Now let’s see how this strategy can work. If you can get a RB, WR, and a TE/QB out of the first 3 rounds then you can be flexible in the 4th rd based on how the draft is going. This strategy works the best when you draft a WR/RB in 1st and 2nd rd then get one of those stud TE/QB’s. This does not work most of the time since the 2 stud QBs are going (most of the time) in the 2nd rd. Gronk is going late 1st rd and early 2nd rd. Jimmy Graham is going in the 3rd rd but he’s in a new offense and he would be a guy I would target if he falls to the 4th rd. The hardest way to draft is to take both a QB and a TE before round 4. Since you only have to start 1 QB and 1 TE you can grab 2 of these guys later in the draft. You only need 1 to be a trust worthy player each week. This is why getting RB and WR is so important. Most likely you will only draft 2 total QB’s and 2 total TE’s but you need to draft about 5 RB’s and 7 WR’s to cover injuries, underperformance, and bye weeks. Having 2 roster spots for RB’s, 3 roster spots for WR’s and most likely a flex spot that is usually filled by a RB/TE, means these positions need more attention than a QB/TE.
Please remember folks that when you draft in a high stakes league people are willing to put more money into a draft than your home town drafts. Since it is a higher amount they can lose, it is more likely they will take it more seriously. They will do their research. When you read a magazine, read something online, hear from a podcast, or even satellite radios fantasy channel, or wherever you hear a fantasy nugget you need to write it down. Then when you get the time do your research and YOU decide if this is something you agree with or disagree with. If you agree then add it to your tool box but if you disagree then throw it away. Take responsibility for YOUR fantasy team and it’s decisions.
You need to understand that most of these people are called fantasy experts. Most of the guys I know who are in more drafts than I am laugh when they hear the word expert being thrown around on twitter. Especially since these so called experts are not in many drafts, (fewer than 5) and the drafts they are usually in are not for money. Most of these people have their degrees in journalism, (I wish I had a degree in journalism so I could be doing what they are doing) but then I would not be that good at fantasy football.
I’m great at problem solving. Fantasy football to me is a huge puzzle that changes from year to year. I’m not saying these people are wrong about what comes out of their mouths and keyboards, all I’m saying is if you hear something good simply write what you heard down. Then go do the research yourself. I can’t stress this enough. Every draft I have been in is different. You never get the player you want in every round. If you plan ahead and have 10 back up plans before the draft, when the real draft takes place you will be able to adjust on the fly.
For those of you who want to know why my name is No Thinking it is because in a draft I make my picks almost right away. Right before it’s my turn to make a pick I will have players I want cued up and when it is my turn I just take the next man up. If you think about it too long then you will second guess your first instinct. When you create your cheat sheet use someone’s cheat sheet to start. (HERE IS AN EXAMPLE FOR 2015) Now do your research to adjust those rankings based on your scoring system. Also don’t rely on last year’s numbers. Very few players repeat the previous year’s numbers but most of them that do are being drafted in the 1st and 2cnd rounds.
NFL teams don’t draft based on algorithms or combine numbers. They rely on scouts that they trust to watch not only the games but also the game’s film. The combine was created to evaluate players from smaller schools that did not get the TV time as the bigger schools. If a NFL team sees a player flash at the combine from a smaller school then the NFL team will go get the game film of that player. If you have a question about a player or team read what the scouts are saying. I like to use scouts with a good track record. Look at their articles from previous years. I’m not going to say Good Luck drafting but instead go outsmart and out study your competition. Remember our motto: Don’t just win, DOMINATE!