Draft night may seem like a straight forward night that has a simple complexion. On the surface, it does seem simple enough, yet it decides the future of your season.
The key to a great draft is to have a plan, expect the unexpected, and don’t make boneheaded rookie mistakes. Whether you are a six-time champ, or a first-time player, these mistakes can be made by anyone. Here are five common mistakes that can your fantasy football season on draft night.
Know Your Draft Date – This should go without saying, but you really need to show up for your draft. The demise of many teams is the dreaded “autopick.”
The computer can’t tell if you’re weak at a certain position. It can only tell what positions you have on your roster. Autopick will choose the next best player based on the website’s rankings for the position you need to fill. You could very easily be stuck with Aaron Rodgers in the first round and Dez Bryant in the second round. You could find that the computer didn’t take a running back until the third round. There are no running backs that exist in the third round that can be a reliable RB1. A potential roster headlined by a RB1 of David Wilson or DeMarco Murray will not win you any league.
This isn’t the only problem with autopick, either. Your bench could consist of a backup kicker or three quarterbacks. The dreaded autopick screws you out of the chance of having the next Doug Martin or Randall Cobb on your roster before he becomes a hot commodity.
If you cannot make your draft, the least you could do is set your own rankings and positional limits at each position so you don’t end up drafting two kickers.
Have a Game Plan, but Don’t Live and Die by It – It is always a great idea to have a plan of who you want to grab in the draft. It is great to know who you should stay away from and what position you want in a certain round.
The mistake many people make with having a game plan is sticking to it too excessively. The draft is the most unpredictable thing about fantasy football. Your co-worker Steve could draft the guy you wanted the pick before you, or Adrian Peterson falls into your lap at the third spot. There isn’t any way of knowing who Steve was going to pick, and there was no way of knowing Peterson was going to fall to you at three. But he did.
Being able to adjust your plan when the unexpected happens is one of the keys to being a great drafter and overall fantasy player. It is always great to prepare, just don’t expect it to go perfectly.
Don’t Draft Guys for Trade Bait – This may be the most common mistake made by veteran fantasy players. Many guys will pick players with the intention they could trade them later for a position of need.
This doesn’t work 90-percent of the time. The smart fantasy players will draft guys that will fill a position they need, and they won’t need to trade with you. What will end up happening is you will hold on to the player you drafted for the first few weeks but you can’t drop him, leaving a bench spot occupied where there could be an important waiver wire pickup.
By the time you are able to flip the player for a profit, it could be Week 5, and the Randall Cobb of the 2012 waiver wire is already gone. Draft guys that will fill your needs. It will help you more in the long run.
Don’t Stress too Much About Bye Weeks and Handcuffs – Every team in the NFL has a week off during the season to rest and recuperate. A lot of times, these bye weeks are extremely inconvenient for you and your team. That is why a lot of owners try and prepare for the bye week headaches during the draft by purposely drafting guys with different bye weeks.
This is not the correct way to go about it. Don’t pass on Lamar Miller just because he has the same bye week as your RB1. It makes more sense to deal with the bye weeks on the waiver wire than during the draft. You’re putting yourself at a disadvantage by concerning yourself with bye weeks before the season has even started.
The same theory goes toward handcuffing your running backs. Don’t reach on Michael Bush just because you snagged Matt Forte. If he isn’t at the spot where you feel he is appropriate to be picked, then it isn’t a huge deal. It is always nice to have a handcuff, just don’t stress over them.
Fantasy Football is a Game, Have Fun with the Draft –
Often people forget that fantasy football is just a game. You typically succeed more if you relax and have fun with it. Being stressed out doesn’t help you think clearly during the draft, which results in a poorer team.