Over the years in the TFL I have drafted and promoted “balance” in my fantasy football teams. Unlike some owners who stockpile (usually) running backs, I opt for drafting value at each offensive position (RB/QB/WR). This allows me a top player at each position and provides me a strong foundation to build upon.
When I joined Fantasy Football Starters, I read about the Russ Bliss Draft Strategy, which I was very familiar with because it mirrored how I usually drafted. Russ took his strategy a step or two further, providing contingencies in each round depending on the position you just drafted. This makes the transition into a fantasy football league easier for new owners, but it also allowed me, as an experienced owner of my options, round by round.
Last year I failed before I even started in how I computed and used my cheat sheets, which had me throwing in the towel by week 10, but in reality I failed myself with Shonn Greene being drafted in the 3rd round in 2010. This year I would like to think I am a year wiser, but also open to new ideas when it comes to fantasy football. Over the years I have been drafting with blinders on. Thanks to FFS those blinders have been dropped and I am open to alternative draft strategies, depending on where I am in the draft.
Regardless of the strategy you employ in your draft, one key component is to “stay flexible.” This year FFS member Cody bought an interesting strategy to my attention. The piece came from the Rotoworld Forums written by the user, Mad Scientist titled, “The Don’t draft RB’s until the 6th round strategy.” In 2000 I actually started by drafting two WRs in Randy Moss and Marvin Harrison. He does make a compelling argument, “the strategy is a stat that 67% of RBS in the top 24 this year will not be in the top 24 the next year. There is also a similar drop off in the top 12 (RBs).” I also understand Russ Bliss has a similar strategy at FFS, but have yet to read about it.
This strategy has an owner drafting WR, WR, WR, QB, TE, RB, RB, RB, RB through 9 rounds. “I’m shocked at the RB’s that are available pretty much free and clear…there is less competition at RB rounds 6-8,” says Mad Scientist. Using our most recent TFL draft only 8 RBs were drafted in those 3 rounds as compared to 11 WR, 7 QB and 4 TE. Even rounds 9-12 have some good RBs on the board.
Trying to apply this strategy in my most recent draft I could have drafted Andre Johnson and either Roddy White or Charles Johnson in the #5 slot last weekend. Round 3 would have been interesting because historically the TE position goes off the board in Round 4 or 5 with Antonio Gates being draft. This year he was a 4th round pick and I don’t believe I would have reached for him in the 3rd meaning guys like Nicks and Fitzgerald would have been available. That would have rounded out my 3 starters at WR and if Gates was still selected in the 4th round, all the other big named TE were still available.
I can only speculate how it would have actually played out, but the strategy is interesting, but an owner needs to really pay attention to the tiers and getting the best value at RB when the times comes. This strategy might work better if you had a #9 or #10 draft pick (10 team league), as you would almost assure yourself of 2 top WRs. With any luck in one of my last two fantasy drafts I might have a chance to employ this strategy and see just how my draft goes.