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- Wait to draft a quarterback. For an inexplicable reason, the rapist in Pittsburgh is going outside of the top 50 in most draft formats, he’s about to have a monster season under center for perhaps the league’s best offense.
- If your league allows draft pick trading, do your best Bill B impersonation and trade down. The difference in average points scored between top 35 overall picks is actually negligible. Stockpile talent instead of banking all your hopes on a top 3 overall pick. AP is 31 with a fake set of knee ligaments, think of him like a bad piece of pussy and move on.
- Avoid one year wonders early. Freeman, Rawls, Allen Robinson, etc. If the guy has one good season, or a portion of one season (Rawls), let somebody else gamble on them early. Just ask last year’s Giovani Bernard owners.
- Always handcuff your high round backs late. CJ Prosise, Buck Allen, Wendall Smallwood, Jordan Howard, Tevin Coleman and Devontae Booker are extremely talented backs I bet you’ve never heard of, but are one play from becoming fantasy must haves. Instead of asking if Aaron Hernandez is available or drafting Johnny Football for the sake of your team name, take these guys and their immense upside.
- Don’t forget about Jimmy Graham. I’m absolutely shocked at his average draft position in the 120s, meaning nearly 11 full rounds conclude without his selection. He’s hurt, but concerns are far overblown with his probable return before Week 1. Last season was disjointed, but after a full offseason in Seattle, look for Russell Wilson to target Graham much more regularly, especially in the red zone.
- Draft Lions receivers. With Calvin Johnson on a beach somewhere and tight end Eric Ebron perpetually on the injury report, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones will shoulder the load in the Motor City. Yes, the Lions added Anquan Boldin, but after a down 2015 and nearing a decade and a half in the league, how much can he really have left? The Lions remain an awful running team that will likely be playing from behind a lot. Draft them.
- That guy who takes the Seahawks defense in the 4th round can go fuck himself. Play defense on a matchup basis instead, signing free agent defenses to supplement your late round selection (love the Vikings this year going in 13th/14th round) based on the ineptitude of their opponent. Playing the Browns and Cody Kessler’s first ever start? Sign them up. The point differential between a top 5 defense and middle of the road with matchup supplements is negligible at best. Don’t waste an early pick.
- Draft Duke Johnson, not Isaiah Crowell. Though Crowell is the more established of the two-headed Browns backfield, new Coach Hue Jackson absolutely loves throwing to the running back, evidenced by his unfounded admiration for Gio Bernard in Cincinnati. Johnson is the vastly superior receiver of the two, with route running ability suggesting a possible future as an emergency slot receiver. Draft Duke.
- Do not auto draft. If you spend 1, 2, 3 even 500 bucks to enter a fantasy league (as I’ve noted, I’m a degenerate) at least have the self-respect to show up for the fucking draft. Nothing good can from auto drafting. If you win, nobody gives a shit because the computer did it for you. If you lose, nobody cares what your excuse is for missing the draft. Every fucking year somebody skips it and spends the entire season bitching about picks he “would have made.” Don’t be that guy.
- Sabotage is not only fair game but smart. My personal favorite move to infuriate a future opponent is checking out his roster two to three weeks before our matchup and scoping who will be on a bye. Most kids by mid-season carry only one QB, so if you get lucky, his will be on a bye two weeks later for your showdown. I like to drop a couple backup WRs and/or running backs to leave him choosing between Case Keenum and Blaine Gabbert. Prepare yourself for some angry texts, and immense satisfaction.
- Don’t draft anyone from San Francisco. I’m tempted to say take Kap late since nobody wants him and somehow he’s being paid $14 million to backup Gabbert (supposedly). But the Chip Kelly experiment is too unpredictable, and likely unsuccessful in 2016, to add any 49er to the roster. Running back Carlos Hyde seemed like a no-brainer, but he doesn’t really fit Kelly’s style as he’s more of a downhill plodder in the mold of Demarco Murray than an outside burner. Torrey Smith is best as a downfield option, but Kelly favors a quicker passing attack. Vernon Davis is gone, and the offensive overhaul is in its amoebic stages. Stay away.
- Stack Dallas ball carriers. Yes, I love Zeke Elliott, but anybody running behind that line will go for 1000 yards and 10+ scores. Just ask Darren McFadden. Again, this is a dangerous league and Elliott has had a bit of a concerning offseason off the field, so if you’re lucky enough to take him early, get his handcuff. And if you weren’t, do it anyway on the chance he’s hurt, and you just might luck into a massive trade piece.
- Remember how much depth there is at wide receiver, but how it’s nonexistent with running backs. I understand it’s extremely tempting mid-second round to snare AJ Green over Jamaal Charles/Lacy/Rawls, but if you do, who the fuck do you plan on drafting in the 4th+ as a running back? You’ll end up holding onto “camp all-stars” like 2015 Terrance West praying for an injury. Wide Receivers like Marvin Jones, Diggs, Jordan Matthews, Randall Cobb, Doug Baldwin, Eric Decker, and Devin Funchess will be there outside of the top 50 (most likely). Draft for value, don’t let Ryan Matthews and Tevin Coleman be your running back duo like someone in my league did.
- Take the Patriot blinders off. Every year, I hear people go on about how some under the radar Pats receiver is about to blow up, and/or their new tight end addition is the next Hernandez/Gronk super combo. But like Dobson, Thompkins, Price, Johnson (I refuse to say Ochocinco), Wright, and Chandler, this year will also be a fantasy disappointment. Scott Chandler had one of the worst years of his career last year playing behind Gronk, so do not expect Martellus Bennett to come anywhere close to his 2015 Chicago numbers. Edelman does not score enough to be valuable in a non-PPR league, and this is not the year Dobson puts it all together. Brady spreads the ball too much to value anybody that highly aside from Gronk.
- Don’t forget injured guys from 2015. I’m amazed how under-drafted players, that are now or will be healthy by week 1, that were injured last season are going. Kelvin Benjamin, Jimmy Graham, Jamaal Charles, and even seemingly sure thing Jordy Nelson are going way too low in most draft formats. Pounce while scorned former owners reminisce on what could have been in 2015.
- Bad quarterback doesn’t mean less value for wide receivers. I’m shocked at the free fall of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in this year’s pre season rankings. Do you guys not realize that over the past two seasons they’ve put up monster numbers with a dead armed Manning and laughably overrated Osweiler under center? Sanchez sucks, that’s fair. But this team can’t possibly pass the ball any less or more ineffectively than they did in 2015. These guys still have major value, especially Sanders going as late as the 6th/7th round..
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