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Fantasy Football Redraft Strategy

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Everybody loves their own team. After a draft, ask your friends how they think they did. Maybe a couple won’t be too ecstatic about it, but for the most part, everybody loves their own team. It’s just one of those things.

Let me present some general ideas that you can take with you into the draft.

First of all, don’t get stuck thinking you should plan out which position to take in each round, especially the first six rounds. You don’t know how things will shake out, simply focus on the guys you like to start. I can’t tell you how many times people ask me if “RB/RB/WR/QB/WR” is a good way to start the draft. Sure, it can be, but there are too many factors involved to carry that plan into multiple drafts.

You’ve heard it a million times but it can’t be overstated, draft a kicker in the final round. Not the second to last round, the last round only! The difference between the best kicker and an average starting kicker is very minimal. From week to week, we’re talking about a couple points difference at best. Needless to say the difference between other positions is much greater, making the need to find quality playmakers far more important than kickers.

Let’s say you take two RBs in the first two rounds, do you really need to grab another in the fifth? Maybe if a player you really like has slipped into that round, but if you only need two starting running backs, take care of your other positions first.

Think of your draft in three distinct sections. The first seven rounds, the last two rounds and the middle rounds.

In the first seven rounds, focus on  your starters: quarterback, two running backs, two or three wide receivers (depends on your roster settings), one flex spot and a tight end. In general, you want to fill out those spots.

In the final two rounds, you should draft a backup defense and a kicker in that order. If you have a shallow bench, it may not be worth it to add a backup defense, so keep in mind this isn’t a universal strategy. Personally, I like playing the matchup with my defenses so I usually have two on my roster.

Do not under any circumstance keep two kickers on your roster. That’s just silly.

Now in those middle rounds, you’ll really have an opportunity to make your team special. Hypothetically, let’s say you went RB, RB, WR, QB, RB, TE, WR in the first seven rounds. Since this team has two stud running backs and you only need two RB starters, there isn’t a big need to select a RB again. In this example, you’d likely want to take a WR at the start of the middle rounds. You’ve got one great WR and the other is solid. Focus on having a balanced team. Even the most durable players, who may have never missed a game in their career, are capable of going down on any given Sunday.

The summary of the middle rounds strategy is that if you go early on a position, you can wait till the end of the middle rounds to work on the depth. If you go late into the first seven rounds to address a position, say a tight end, you’re going to want to take a TE earlier in the middle rounds.

The final piece to the middle round puzzle is when to select a defense. I recommend that you do not be the first guy to take a defense. What often ends up happening is that a run will happen, which ultimately inflates the value of a defense or no one will pick a defense for another round. You’re only going to feel stupid if you reach for the Pittsburgh defense only to have everyone wait another 20 picks to select their D.

In the end, assuming your bench can handle it, you’re going to want one backup QB, five total backup RBs and WRs, one backup TE and one backup defense. For non-PPR leagues, I recommend three backup RBs and two backup WRs. For PPR leagues, I prefer it the other way around.

Just remember, your draft doesn’t make or break your team. Waiver wire management and in-season roster maintenance are what will keep you competitive. A good draft can only make your team stronger because even the worst draft can be healed through the addition of some waiver wire gems throughout the year.

About The Author

Matt De Lima is the guy behind the guy behind the guy. Born and raised near Los Angeles, CA during simpler times where the Rams and Raiders both played there. Back when Eddie Murphy was funny and people still listened to Whitney Houston's music. A graduate of Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!), he's played fantasy sports for the last 10 years and began writing down his opinions in 2010. You remember that fantasy football league you were in last season, there was that one team that somehow had Aaron Rodgers, Chris Johnson, and Andre Johnson? Matt was that guy. You should listen to him. Follow his exclusive content @ OpenSports.com

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