from the GSI archives..
The first thing that a rookie owner (or any owner for that matter) should do is obtain a cheat sheet from either a magazine, website, or other media publication. Usually a cheat sheet has a list of players in a ranked order, and allows the owner to know which players are available to be drafted. From the cheat sheet an owner can figure out in what order they would draft each player. Many owners rely strictly on the rankings of the cheat sheets they are using because they assume that the magazine knows more than they do, and that they have the most accurate information. This can be true in many instances, but cheat sheets and magazines are often out of date and have players ranked fairly high even though they may be injured or without a team. Because of this, any owner cannot fully rely on a cheat sheet.
After obtaining a cheat sheet, the next thing than an owner should do is formulate a strategy. The owner will use the strategy to figure out when they’ll want to take certain players or positions. While having a cheat sheet is useful, having a good strategy can be more beneficial because it is the basis of how you will draft your team. A cheat sheet can be used to see where other people (or publications) would draft someone, not necessarily where YOU should draft them (it’s just a recommendation). An owner should take that into consideration, and then figure out where they would want to draft a player according to their strategy. Think of the cheat sheet as the bricks and mortar of a house. It will be the materials and tools that the owner will use to help build their house. Unfortunately, a builder cannot build a house without also having a blueprint of how they want to build it (your strategy). Without the materials and the blueprint, the builder is likely to not succeed. However, if the builder has both of them together and follows the blueprint, then success may not be too far away.
Here is a brief description of some commonly used strategies
• Best available player: The owner selects the best player that hasn’t been drafted, regardless of what position they play and who they have already taken.
• Scarcity: The owner selects a running back in the first and/or second round because it is the thinnest position in the draft. It is easier to fill the other positions later on in the draft.
• One/Two Combo: The owner selects the number one receiver from a team and also selects that player’s quarterback. The reasoning behind this is because the owner will get double the points (or so it seems) every time the quarterback throws to the receiver.
• Balanced: The owner will draft a running back, receiver, and quarterback in the first 3 rounds.
Now that you have a general idea of who and when to draft a player, lets get into what you should and should not do in a draft.
• Do: stick to your gut feeling. Regardless of what a magazine says, everything in the Pre-season is just speculation. No one knows for sure.
• Don’t: draft players from your favorite team just because you want to root for them. While it would be ideal to be able to both select a player for your fantasy team and have them be on your favorite NFL team, the name of the game isn’t “rooting”. That’s what cheerleaders are for…this is fantasy football! Owners should draft players that will help them WIN their fantasy league.
• Do: look at more than one cheat sheet. By doing this, an owner gets a better idea of when players are likely to be drafted. It is pooling from more than one source, and there is no need to put all your eggs in one basket (or magazine).
• Don’t: allow someone to pressure you into a draft day trade just because they say you are getting a better deal. Part of fantasy football is out managing the other owners. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of “peer pressure” or “bullying” tactics.
• Do: cross off each player as they are selected in the draft. By doing this you’ll know which players you can select, and won’t get pinned as the person who says, “Has this guy been drafted yet?”
• Don’t: be afraid to tweak your strategy in the middle of the draft. If a highly touted player happens to slip a few picks then by all means take him. A strategy is just a general guideline to follow. By no means is it set in stone.