Mistake #4: Avoiding players with common bye weeks
Based on current ADP you could theoretically start your draft by selecting David Johnson and Dalvin Cook in the first two rounds. Both are ranked as Top 12 running backs on most mock draft sites, so obviously you would want them both on your team. They do however share a Week 12 bye, and that’s a problem right?
This is flawed logic for a few reasons. First of all, if those running backs perform as predicted you’ll probably be a lock for the playoffs by Week 12. You might have to sacrifice a win that week, but you’ll have both players back when the playoffs start — and that’s what matters. You may not even have to sacrifice a week.
If your roster is the same in Week 12, or Week 4 for that matter, as it was in Week 1, then you’re doing it wrong. Just last season Phillip Lindsay and Nick Chubb were running backs available on the waiver wire early in the season in most leagues. In-season acquisitions and roster management are probably the most important skills for a successful fantasy football season.
Mistake #5: Drafting with blinders on
Your top priority during the draft should be the roster construction of your team, but that doesn’t mean you should completely block out the rest of the room. You need to keep an eye on your opponents’ rosters as well. This will help prevent you from overreacting to positional runs and allow you to react appropriately.
Another theoretical situation. It’s the ninth round and all of a sudden the last four picks have all been quarterbacks. Human nature would have you panic and get yours next before they’re all gone. Stop. Breathe. Check out your opponents’ rosters to see how many of them have quarterbacks. Then check the tiered quarterback rankings from your cheat sheet. Do some quick math. If there are enough quarterbacks in the tier you want to target to get you through the next few rounds, even if all of the quarterback-less teams left select theirs, you’re free to scoop up another more valuable position. If there’s only one quarterback left before the tier break, go ahead and lock up your quarterback.
Mistake #6: Locking into a strategy
There are a plethora of fantasy football draft strategies out there, and each can deliver you a competitive roster if used correctly. However, blindly sticking to a draft strategy may end up hurting your team if you stubbornly pass on great values in the draft. It would be irrational to pass on a stud running back that inexplicably slipped to your draft slot just because you want to go “ZeroRB”.
The “Late Round QB” draft strategy can work beautifully, but maybe everybody in your league also prescribes to it. There won’t be as much running back and receiver value in the middle rounds, so you may as well get whomever you perceive as the QB1 a bit earlier than you planned.
Or maybe you have a league where everybody drafts quarterbacks and backups early. Then absolutely make sure to gobble up all that value they’re passing on at other positions, but make sure you grab a quarterback before you’re left choosing between Joe Flacco and Eli Manning as your starting quarterback.
There can be countless variables that play into your draft. You need to be able to adjust. You need to be fluid and “stay water” in your drafts. Good luck out there on Draft Day!!