Obviously, there are lots of different strategies for drafting your fantasy football team.   A lot depends on the type of draft (snake, auction, keeper), the number of teams and the scoring system (PPR, IDP, etc.).   Whenever you draft a fantasy football team, you should take all of these things into account and adjust your plan accordingly.  Knowing something about the other managers in your league helps also.

But if you’re reading this, you already know that already.

So here is the top-level, big picture, macro-view (take your pick) strategy that we like this year and it applies to most formats.  It’s also a drastic change from the way we’ve drafted in the past.  Here’s why.

In the past, we subscribed to the stud running back, solid wide receivers and wait on quarterbacks approach.  Not anymore.  The days of the stud running back are over.  Most teams employ a running back by committee approach nowadays and this position is just so injury-prone that it makes running backs a big risk and it also means there is more depth at this position than ever before.  Why take C.J. Spiller when you can have Fred Jackson for much less?  The same goes for Zac Stacy and Tre Mason.  Reggie Bush and Joique Bell.  The list goes on and on. So this year, we’re concentrating on safe, proven value.  And it’s a total divergence from past years.  I call it the Jimmy Graham and stud QB approach.

In a snake draft, it works if you have any draft position after 4.  All things aside, if you have draft position 1-4, take a running back.  Don’t be stupid.  But after that, take Jimmy in round 1, then Brees/Rodgers in round 2. I know what you’re thinking.  “Then I’m screwed at RB!”  But are you really?  Here are the teams we usually end up drafting in a traditional 12 team yahoo snake draft.

  1. Jimmy Graham
  2. Drew Brees
  3. Antonio Brown / Alshon Jeffrey
  4. Percy Harvin / T.Y. Hilton
  5. Toby Gerhart / Rashad Jennings
  6. Shane Vereen / Pierre Thomas
  7. Emmanuel Sanders / Jeremy Maclin
  8. Pierre Thomas / Darren Sproles / Fred Jackson

So here’s what you end up with.  THE #1 tight end who has proven very durable and is one of the safest bets in fantasy football, other than Brees who is probably THE safest bet in fantasy football.  Then you’ve got a lot of solid wide receivers in the rounds 3-4 range.  Brown, Jeffrey, Harvin and Hilton all have #1 potential.  Then you have a stable of interchangeable running backs.  Take about 4 of these guys and you’re going to get solid production most weeks but more importantly, you have flexibility at the position.  Which means you can play match-ups and you aren’t killed if one of them gets hurt or under-performs (I’m looking at you Doug Martin).  You can also get rookie RB’s later in the draft that could be really good later in the year.  Think Carlos Hyde, Andre Williams, Tre Mason, Jeremy Hill, Terrence West.  There are also the crafty veterans like Fred Jackson, Khiry Robinson, Mike Tolbert that will get you points.

The point is that running backs are very deep this year. They’re also a crap shoot.  Load up your bench with them and spend your money on the guys who you know while produce.