Fantasy Football Advice

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The Year of the Quarterback

Most years, the advice that I gave most often was to load up on Running backs in 3 of the first 4 rounds. Usually, this means that only the odd person drafted a QB or RB in the first round. It really depended on whether or not your QB was given 4 points or 6 points for passing TDs.

There weren't many wide receivers that could out-produce the elite running backs in fantasy football up until the past 2 years. It's obvious that this has now become a pass happy league with 3 QBs passing for more than 5000 yards and wide receivers consistently receive 50+ yard touchdowns.

This year, the first three picks should all be running backs: Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice. They are the three remaining running backs (that aren't holding out like MJD) that control the majority of the teams running plays. All three also get receptions in the passing game.

After that, there is no other guaranteed lock for a running back. This isn't to say that you should abandon picking up running backs in the early rounds; this would be a gigantic mistake. Three out of four times, the teams that make the playoffs are all deep in Running back.

It may not make them successful as even the best RBs can get skunked for a single game. But, you will have a better chance especially when some of the starters start to get injured. Being a hawk on the waiver wire is key, especially early in the season.

If you have the 4th pick, you can either choose Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson or Chris Johnson; it just depends on how you want to build your team. If you take the QB or WR, you should make sure to get the best remaining RB on the board in the 2nd round. All of the top QBs and WRs will be off the board by then. Larry Fitzgerald, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Andre Johnson are the top QBs and WRs that I'm speaking of.

The other top QBs will be Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton (Rushing TDs), Michael Vick and Eli Manning. You have to be somewhat careful about injuries with everyone except Eli. There is a significant drop in the talent of WRs after about the top 15.

However, for the first time ever you have a couple of legitimate Tight Ends that should be taken in the late 2nd to early 3rd round (Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham). Both of these guys out performed most of the WRs and RBs in the league last year. If you don't get them, don't jump a round for Antonio Gates or Aaron Hernendez; let them go until round 5 at the earliest.

A lot of the RBs and WRs in the 3rd - 8th rounds are hit or miss. That is why I always try to stockpile these positions. Inevitably, you have to count on at least 2 busts/injuries for these early picks. You never know which locks are going to bust, but every year they are out there (Shonn Greene, Michael Vick, Chris Johnson last year come to mind among more than 30 others that got picked in the first 10 rounds).

Getting teammates might seem like a good idea (and it is for a good QB to WR or RB combo), but getting a pair of competing teammates is often difficult and frustrating. Examples would be New Orleans/New England running backs or any 1-2 WR or RB combo, especially when a team overall is weaker at receiving/rushing.

As usual, don't pick a defense before the 9th round of your draft and don't pick a kicker until the 15th round at the earliest. Only concern yourself with a 2nd good QB if you are left with Matt Ryan, Phillip Rivers, Tony Romo, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger as your starter.

Older Fantasy Football Advice

Watch the halftime and postgame shows during the season, especially the first few weeks of the season.

Look for un-drafted players with big games, and for key injuries. You will be able to pick up some great free agents or backup players before most of the other managers know about them.

This is especially true for wide receivers. I have been able to pick up Marcus Colston as a rookie and Anquan Boldin in his rookie year at halftime of their 1st game of the season, just to name a few.

If you need to trade a player or trade for a particular position, check out your opponents team rosters. First look for teams that have too many of the position that you are looking for.

Or if you are looking to trade a particular player, see which team in the league has a need for that position. You will find that you will get more value this way for your player.

Unless you have a ton of starting running backs, avoid trading them unless for extremely high value. Running backs are what win fantasy football leagues. If a team needs one, you should make them suffer or pillage their team for multiple high quality players.