The Jet Press

Top 5 draft strategies for fantasy football

Apr 28, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of 2016 NFL Draft logo at Los Angeles Rams draft party at L.A. Live. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of 2016 NFL Draft logo at Los Angeles Rams draft party at L.A. Live. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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fantasy football
fantasy football

Apr 28, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of 2016 NFL Draft logo at Los Angeles Rams draft party at L.A. Live. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to Fantasy Football, it all comes down to your draft that determines the overall strength of your lineup. Here are five strategies for an excellent draft class.

It has been a long and boring winter without football. The good news is training camp will be here in no time, which means there’s only about a few more months until the long-awaited 2016 Fantasy Football draft!

Related Story: Top 10 fantasy football sleepers for 2016

Every season people make fun of my fantasy football obsession; mock drafts, daily injury report updates, and now my newest addiction, daily fantasy football. I should add, these are usually the same people at the end of the season asking me how I always win or ask me to help them draft next season.

So here I am! I have created a list of five steps that will help you conquer this year’s fantasy football draft. Once your draft is complete, you’re on your way to a great season; don’t forget to follow my weekly start, sit and sleeper picks available all season long exclusively on The Jet Press. But for now, let’s check out the top five strategies for a successful fantasy football draft.

Next: 5. Sign up early

May 11, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; General view of NFL shield logo helmet and slot machines at the McCarran International Airport. Raiders owner Mark Davis (not pictured) has pledged $500 million toward building a 65,000-seat domed stadium in Las Vegas at a total cost of $1.4 billion. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (not pictured) said Davis can explore his options in Las Vegas but would require 24 of 32 owners to approve the move. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5. Sign-up early

The first two years I played fantasy football, my draft pick was horrible, last and second to last. I couldn’t figure out how to get a better draft pick, and then it clicked. The sooner you sign-up for your league, the better draft pick you get.

I tested this theory in several of my leagues, and I even had the first pick last season. Now, I literally stalk my commissioner, email and league dashboard to be one of the first players to sign-up.

Also, if you want to win, a lot of time and dedication is needed. The earlier you register for your league, the sooner you can start planning, researching and learning about it. Fantasy football is all about strategic planning and that doesn’t happen overnight!

Next: 4. Know your fantasy league inside and out

Jan 24, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; General view of Draft Kings logo on an advertising LED screen during the Denver Broncos game against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Patriots 20-18 to advance to the Super Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. Know your fantasy league inside and out

Every fantasy football league is different, and there are a ton out there. The most popular leagues are standard and PPR (point per reception). There are also quarterback only, defense only, re-drafting leagues, and the list goes on.

Each league has different rules and point values. Some leagues even allow the commissioner an opportunity to change point values. Understanding your leagues point system is critical for your fantasy football draft.

Know how many players you need for each position. Some leagues run with one quarterback, some have two. Other leagues use two receivers while another may use three. Don’t forget about your bench; knowing how many alternate players you’re allowed will help you create your final plan of action.

You also need to read the draft rules and capabilities. During the draft when you’re actually on the clock, find out how long you have to choose a player. Some leagues even let you create a draft queue; when it’s you’re turn to draft a player, it automatically chooses the next player in your queue. Knowing your league is most important, aside from the actual draft itself.

Next: 3. Don't play with your heart

3. Don’t play with your heart

Yes, we all have our favorite football team however, when it comes to fantasy football, you need to be able to let go just a little. It may not be valuable to draft your team’s entire roster.

For instance, as a die hard New York Jets fan, I would love to draft Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker but drafting one or the other will increase my chance to earn more fantasy points per game.

Last season, Marshall earned over 40 fantasy points in Week 14; Decker, earned almost 20. During that same week, A.J. Green earned about 50 fantasy points. Mixing up your roster is most effective in all leagues, and will allow you to maximize your weekly fantasy points, not to mention bye weeks would be an absolute nightmare!

Next: 2. Do lots of research and be organized

Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Confetti falls as Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) reacts during his walk off the field following the game against the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl 50 at Levi

2. Do lots of research and be organized

Research is key when planning your draft. Read up on last season’s top scorers (check out my Fantasy Football Top 50 Players of 2015). You don’t want to take too many chances or risks in your initial draft; sleepers will depend on a weekly basis not season long, so stick with statistics.

Make a list of the top 25 players for each position; defense/special teams and kickers could be a list of 15. This will help you not only organize your draft, but if someone “signs” your pick before you, you have a list of runner ups.

As the draft continues, cross out each player drafted, so you’re not scrambling for players when you’re on the clock. If you run out of time, your choice will be automatically picked, which is something you definitely do not want. Be ready for anything!

Next: 1. Create a draft plan that will bring home the win

Feb 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cheerleaders during the Super Bowl 50 championship parade celebration at Civic Center Park. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

1. Create a draft plan that will bring home the win

Create a mock draft. Know what number pick you have and start there. Identify which position you will pick during each round. Keep in mind some positions are more important than others.

I suggest running backs and receivers first and second and maybe third and fourth. Tight ends are less important and can be drafted later in the draft. Definitely draft a quarterback before a tight end. Defense and special teams should be chosen last.

must read: Jordan Jenkins already off to a strong start

After you choose the order of your picks, take the previously researched lists and put them in order. There’s your draft! Come draft day, you will not only be organized and ready to rock but you have a fail proof plan and will definitely have a great season. Hopefully one that will bring home the win and envy of everyone in your fantasy league.

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