Drafting A Fantasy Football Team
Drafting A Fantasy Football Team
Gregg Rosenthal (Fantasy Sports Sr. Editor) gives expert video advice on: What factors should I consider when selecting the draft options for my fantasy football league?; Should I draft any rookies onto my fantasy football team? and more...
What factors should I consider when selecting the draft options for my fantasy football league?
When drafting a fantasy football team, you want to see what your starting line-up is going to be. If you want to have 3 wide-receivers in your line up, or 2 running backs, or if you want to have less, that's something you have to decide before the season. I think it's cool to have more - the more the better. Why not have more starters in your fantasy football team? The most that you'll usually have is 2 -3 running backs, 3 wide receivers and also one flex position, which you choose from your best running back, wide receiver or tight end. You want to look at the league service that you're setting up, and make sure that they're capable to handle any setup that you want in your fantasy football team. Some sites are basic and they don't really give much flexibility in what you can do. The more flexibility in drafting when you are looking for these football league services, the better
What is a 'live' draft in fantasy football?
A live draft is when everyone in the fantasy football league gets together online and drafts their team, basically like a real NFL draft. Usually, there will be a time limit per pick - maybe 60 seconds or two minutes. A live draft is the best way to draft a fantasy football team, because that way you're choosing who's on your team. It's not based on any preset list or anything. It's a lot more fun, because when you're on the clock, there's a lot more pressure. Maybe you thought you had a list of who you like better, but once you're on the clock in a live draft, you'll look at that list and think, 'You know what? I don't really want Steve Smith. I want to take someone else.' Live drafts make the process a lot more like real life. Basically, you just have to set up a time that everyone in the fantasy football league can get together and do the draft for the day, and you'll usually be finished in a couple of hours.
What is an 'auto-pick' draft in fantasy football?
An auto-pick draft is a way to make fantasy football easier for a user, by having a computer draft the team for you. There will be a lot of rankings, and you can tweak the rankings if you want. The computer will auto-pick the team for you. If you're doing your fantasy football draft live, you may want to set it to auto-pick for a little while. For instance, if you have to run out of the room for a while. I know that's what some people do. Some leagues are advanced enough that you can set an auto-pick list of players you like and the computer will set them for you. Basically, an auto-pick draft is just a way to make it easier for the computer to pick the players for you. If an owner doesn't show up to the fantasy football draft, it will just automatically go by an auto-pick and the computer will draft the team for them.
What is an 'offline' draft in fantasy football?
An offline draft is basically a live draft, but everyone is there. You get together with all your friends. An offline draft is the best way to do it, if you can. It's not easy, but if you're playing fantasy football at work, that's the best way to do a work league. You all get together, maybe at the end of the day, you get some beers, and go around the room, drafting the players as you go, all in a fun setting. That way, you can trash talk a little more. Basically, you'll just go around the room, just like the way you would on the computer, in a Serpentine style. Let's say there are twelve fantasy football teams, the person who has the last pick in the first round will have the first pick in the next round. You'll pick back and forth, basically, until everyone has their team and has their rosters totally full. At the end of the live offline draft, your commissioner will enter all your teams online into a system that will keep track of the stats for you.
What is an 'online auction' draft in fantasy football?
Online auction drafts are when you get together with a group of owners, usually from all around the country, but instead of drafting your fantasy football team, you do an auction online. There are only a couple of sites that do this: fantasyauctioner.com, mockdraftcentral, auctiondraft.com - just look it up by goggling it. You'll find online auctions. Basically, you get together and instead of drafting, you auction it. Everyone has a certain amount of money. It's really cool. With the systems they set up, you can see how much money you have left, and there will be a timer. Usually it will be really quick - five or seven seconds. During an online auction draft, there will also be the 'going once, going twice' stage. To pick the player you have to have a big amount on that player. You start the bidding on LaDainian Tomlinson at $30. Someone somewhere else goes $31, and you just keep adding money to that or putting how much money you want to bid. The site will say, 'going once, going twice' and then every player in the league will get sold, until every team in your fantasy football league is filled up and you have all the roster requirements, just like in a regular league. Online auction drafts are a little more intense than other drafts. They take some quick thinking and will probably take a little longer - just as a warning going into it.
What is a 'standard roster configuration' for a fantasy football team?
A standard roster configuration depends on the league, of course, but the most standard would probably be when each fantasy football team has about two quarter backs, and once you count reserve players, you probably have at least four running backs, four wide receivers, two tight ends, one or two kickers and one or two team defenses. There is some strategy involved in how many running backs and wide receivers you have. I think it's a good idea to load up on your running backs and wide receivers; maybe get an extra one or two of them on your bench and sacrifice an extra tight end or kicker, because in the end those running backs and receivers are more valuable in fantasy football, they are harder to find, they will score more points and there are more injuries at those positions. That's pretty much the standard roster configuration for a twelve team fantasy football league.
What is the difference between drafting a 'team QB' or 'individual players' in fantasy football?
Some fantasy football leagues draft a team quarterback. Instead of drafting, for example, Tom Grading, you draft the New England's Patriots team quarterbacks. Whereas if you are drafting individual players, you get all the stats for that player, when you draft a team quarterback, you get all the stats for that team. I think the main factor here is that you get rid of the risk involved if a quarterback is injured or not. If a quarterback got hurt, at least you'd get his back-up stats. It's also good for teams where you don't know who the starting quarterback is going to be; maybe they are going to switch in that year, where you get the team's stats for the whole year. I don't think that there are too many team quarterback fantasy football leagues. I think individual quarterback league is probably the way to go, and is the most popular.
Should I draft any rookies onto my fantasy football team?
Sure, you can draft some rookie running backs in your fantasy football team. Running back is a position that just tends to be easier to adapt to in the NFL, and you see a lot of rookie running backs having a lot of success in the NFL and having big roles. You do not want to draft them too early; you do not want to draft them in the first or second round, but pretty soon after that there are going to be some running backs that start as rookies. Other than running backs, you do not want to take too many rookies in the fantasy football draft. Rookie quarterbacks? Forget it. It does not matter how hyped up they are: forget it, as it is such a hard position. Even if they play, it is going to be too tough. With wide receivers, there might be one or two guys every year who are worth having on your roster, but they are not going to be starting for you and it is very difficult to predict who they are going to be. At the most, draft only couple rookie receivers every year. In terms of titans and kickers, forget the rookies totally in your fantasy football team.
What are 'looks' or 'targets' in fantasy football?
‘Looks' or ‘targets' (I hear people use either one) in fantasy football are basically how many times someone is thrown to in the air. It's an advanced statistic to look at how many times someone is getting the ball, or the quarterback is trying to get on the ball. Basically, a guy that gets a lot of targets or looks is getting a lot of chances to touch the ball, so it's a way to show that, even though a player doesn't have that many catches, they're still throwing him the ball a lot and eventually he's going to get a lot of catches.
What are 'touches' in fantasy football?
In fantasy football, touches are basically how many times a running back / wide receiver / tight end touch the ball. You add up how many rushes and how many catches they have. This really affects running backs more than anyone because when you are looking at running backs when drafting a fantasy football team, one thing that really differentiates them is how many catches they get. Some running backs catch the ball 50, 60, 70 times, and each catch is almost like having two rushing attempts, so it's a huge advantage, how many times they touch the ball. Some running backs, like Shawn Alexander of the Seahawks, are great fantasy football running backs but almost never catch the ball. To me, that knocks them down from the top of the running back list. You would love to get a guy who gets the most amount of touches. It is all about touches when drafting a fantasy team. The more they touch the ball, the more yards they are going to get. Even if they are not very good, a guy who gets a ton of touches is going to rack up yards.
What is 'handcuffing' in fantasy football?
What you do with a starting running back is you handcuff their back-up running back to them at the end of your fantasy football draft. That's because, with running backs, it's all about how many rushes they get. One running back gets almost all the carry. If he gets hurt, suddenly you don't get any of the carry, so you want to have his backup in place on your fantasy football team in most cases. If you use a first round pick on a running back, you want to look to see who his real-life backup is. LaDainian Tomlinson is probably going to be the number one pick in the draft. His real-life backup might be Michael Turner this year. You want to draft his backup, Michael Turner, as a handcuff late in your fantasy football draft. Don't use an early pick on a handcuff, but take his back-up late in the draft, and that way it's like an insurance policy for your starter.