Fantasy Football Picks

Making Fantasy Football Draft Picks

When it comes time to make your fantasy football picks in any fantasy season, it is easy to feel a little out of the loop. Unless you’re blessed with unlimited time and a studly NFL television package, there’s no way you’ll be able to make perfectly educated draft picks that satisfy all the requirements.

Let’s take a detailed look at the process of making fantasy football picks to at least better understand why a fantasy owner might make a specific pick. Here are two pick scenarios analyzed in detail. Adapt your own situation to those presented here and prepare to whoop up on your fantasy competition.

First Pick in the Fantasy Draft

It seems to make sense at first blush that making the first pick in a fantasy football draft can improve your chances at winning. It seems that way because we make such a big deal out of the first pick – arguing with friends about who is the top fantasy football player overall, playing into the national fetish for all things number one, checking and rechecking different draft day cheat sheets to see who may be this week’s draft day darling.

Fantasy Football PicksThe fact is, picking first in the draft is no more important than picking 16th. If picking the right player at the first position could make or break your fantasy football season, there’d be no reason to hold a draft – just a lottery for first pick. Fantasy football picks don’t stand on their own, they require a team to support them. That’s why I could care less who is picked first in the leagues I play in, as long as the move seems logical or in any way backed up by reason and evidence.

Let’s say you have the first pick in the 2009 fantasy draft. You could go the “safe route” and pick the overall number one ranked RB (and generally the overall number one ranked pick ) Adrian Peterson. This is a good pick, I’m not going to deny that, but it is a bit predictable. Having said that, Peterson is probably going to put up fantasy numbers somewhere in the range of 260 or 270. That’s the kind of performance that you don’t want going to one of your opponents, so drafting Peterson right out of the gate makes sense.

Then again, if you draw the first pick, your opponents are probably predicting a Peterson selection. If you don’t want to play into their hand, consider picking a QB right out of the gate. There are plenty of solid points scoring QBs to choose from – Brady, Brees, or Manning could easily rack up 350 points this fantasy season, and that’s also a big number you don’t want falling into the hands of the other owners in your league. By picking a guy like Drew Brees, you’ll be making a statement. Remember that fantasy football picks can operate like psychological warfare. They don’t always have to make perfect football sense.

Last Pick in Round One

Very few fantasy football picks come with the ease of the first pick. By picking first, you set the stage for the rest of the draft and you operate independently of the other owner’s picks. In essence, picking first is the touchstone by which the rest of your fantasy draft will be judged.

What about picking last in the first round? How do you manage to make both a smart and a successful pick after all the other owners have had a shot at the draft board? Easy – you pick the best player available for your strategy.

That’s all, that’s it.

No Sturm und Drang, no angst, no sweaty brows. Simply stick to your draft strategy, check your cheat sheet against the draft board, and toss a dart. So many fantasy football gurus will tell you to hedge the rest of your picks against your first round pick, but I’m here to advise you to be lighthearted. If you pick last in the first round, chances are your league runs a serpentine draft, and you’re about to turn right around and pick again. What does this mean for your first round pick? No pressure.

Say you planned on going against the grain and picking a WR in the first round. This can be a smart strategy, snapping up the best and the brightest receivers before the rest of your league has a chance to sip their beer. While the first round of the draft is playing out, make sure that some other knucklehead owner hasn’t stolen your thunder. If the top one, two, or even three WRs move off the board in round one (very unlikely ) THEN it may be time to change your strategy.

Otherwise, stack your roster early with a hard hitting WR like Randy Moss or Larry Fitzgerald, to say nothing of Reggie Wayne. If two or more of these guys float away before your pick, abandon the WR strategy and go straight for the RBs or QBs your opponents passed over to pick WRs. When you think about it, picking last in round one and first in round two puts you in a very special position – to snipe the studs your opponents gave up in favor of their new “cutting edge strategy”. Individual fantasy football picks won’t make or break your shot at the fantasy championship, so in the early rounds look for the guys you just plain want on your team.

By taking a look at two bookend fantasy football picks in the first round, we’ve covered just about all you need to know to inform one individual pick selection. Remember to bone up on your NFL knowledge before draft day, keep a couple of cheat sheets handy, and ignore hype that doesn’t make sense to you. Picks in fantasy football don’t require ESPN buzz or the admiration of the jerks you’re playing against – all that’s required is an owner with a plan and an open draft selection.


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