Fantasy Football 2015: A complete guide to quality drafting


How do Fantasy Football 2015 owners everywhere truly have a quality draft? With the 2015 NFL Draft in our rear view mirror, and the preseason half over, it’s time for everyone to start planning and preparing there fantasy draft. A quick recap for all of you avid fantasy footballers who love drafting rookies, a total of seven quarterbacks, 22 running backs and 35 receivers were selected in the 2015 NFL Draft.

The seven QBs selected were the fewest selected dating back to 1967. Out of the 22 running backs (full backs included) eight were selected within the first three rounds and out of the 35 wide outs, 14 were selected within the first three rounds. Those 35 wide outs are now challenged to try to upstage if not mirror the 2014 rookie wide out class.

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Last year, Odell Beckham Jr. led fantasy rookie wide outs with a total of 297 points. Behind him, Mike Evans with 245.1 followed by Kelvin Benjamin with 225.8 points. The list goes on, Sammy Watkins, John Brown, Martavis Bryant, Jordan Matthews and so on.

This year, definitely consider drafting rookie wide outs such as Amari Cooper, Kevin White and  Devante Parker. I left Devin Smith off the list mostly because of his rib injury and the fact that Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall and quite possibly either Chris Owusu or Jeremy Kerley are in front of Smith on the depth chart.

Cooper, the first wide out selected in this year’s draft has serious potential, besides proving while in college that he’s more than ready for the NFL. He is one of the newest additions to the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders already have an impressive quarterback in Derek Carr, entering into his sophomore season who now has something he did not have during his rookie year which are weapons. Carr now has not only Cooper but Michael Crabtree and rookie tight end Clive Walford.

Kevin White was the second wide out selected in this year’s draft. Selected by the Chicago Bears in the first round, White will not be Chicago’s No. 1 wide out but can be a major threat for opposing defenses. White will be paired up with Alshon Jeffrey and Eddie Royal, two guys with experience and major talent. Jeffrey will be Chicago’s No. 1 wide out so he will most likely be Jay Cutler‘s first go to target. Besides throwing interceptions, Cutler likes to heave the ball down the field, White should be able to haul in the deep passes for Chicago.

Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Kevin White (West Virginia) poses for a photo after being selected as the number seventh overall pick to the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins drafted Parker with their first round pick. With Miami sending Mike Wallace to the Vikings and Brian Hartline leaving for Cleveland, the Dolphins are a receiver needy team. Drafting Parker, trading for wide out Kenny Stills and signing free agent Greg Jennings, Miami now has an even stronger chain of wide outs. Parker could be Miami’s main go to guy for quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Besides who you should draft or what rookies you should consider selecting, you should always have a draft strategy. A complete strategy for quality fantasy football drafting because anything can happen in a blink of an eye.

The main complaint I hear from fantasy owners is, believe it or not, who to select with the first overall pick. Normally, they drive themselves completely off their rocker trying to decid what position to draft first let alone which player to take.

For anyone who has ever been in that situation, it can be chaotic, the clock is ticking, everyone in your league is feverishly waiting for your pick and you’re sitting there looking like a deer in a headlight. Have no fear my friends, here is a quality draft strategy for this scenario.

Always choose a running back in the first round, you can never go wrong with Jamaal Charles. Charles will not only rush over 1,000 yards for your team but he’s also a receiving back. You can mix it up, take a running back first round and a wide out in the second round. I usually take two running backs and two wide outs within the first four rounds.

Dec 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) carries the ball as Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin (93) defends during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Then take a quarterback, don’t be that guy that selects Peyton Manning in the first round because then you’ll be left with someone such as Peyton Hillis as your running back. Believe it or not, valuable quarterbacks will be available in the later to mid rounds. Last year, I took Eddie LacyChris Johnson, Dez Bryant and Jeffrey before selecting Russell Wilson and Tom Brady as my quarterbacks.

In between selecting your two quarterbacks, draft a tight end. It’s a 50/50 chance Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski will or will not be there but like a quarterback, selecting them too early in the draft will cause your team a chance at selecting a vital wide out or running back. Kyle Rudolph, Jason Witten, Austin Seferian-JenkinsVernon Davis, Charles Clay and Jordan Cameron will all be available later on in the rounds.

Lastly, use the last few rounds to draft your defenses, kickers and a FLEX player. You can choose a defense or kicker anytime in the last few rounds as it doesn’t matter which you draft first. This year, the Bills, Texans, Jets, Seahawks, Rams and others such as Miami are top defenses this year.

Kickers like Justin Tucker, Mason Crosby, Blair Walsh, Steven Hauschka, Adam Vinatieri and Stephen Gostkowski are all top fantasy kickers. As your FLEX player I would advise drafting either a wide out or running back.

You’re allowed to plug in either three wide outs or three running backs in your lineup each week. Guys such as John Brown, Steve Smith Sr., Anquan Boldin, Dorial Green-Beckham, Devin Funchess, the list goes on really of all players available for your FLEX position.

Have at it fantasy owners, your complete guide to quality drafting is here for your own use as you please. Ever since entering the fantasy football realm five years ago, being in three leagues or more a year using this guide, I never finished lower than third place.

Like many avid lovers of fantasy football, fantasy is an art, such as the art of building a perfect team during free agency and the NFL Draft. It’s an art that requires a game plan and a strategy. If you want to succeed this upcoming fantasy football season, make sure to use this guide as a reference since the majority of the time, it will yield solid results.

Next: Fantasy Football 2015 Profile: WR Eric Decker

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