It's fast becoming 'that' time again and with all the recent progress being made in the labor negotiations in the past week, it actually looks like we will have a NFL season without interruption! The most important fallout from this, other than marriages being saved across the land as male homicidal rage will be stifled with 4 quarters of normal Sunday joy, is that fantasy football is a go without any hitch. With this being the case, it's time to start delving into what you need to know to have a successful year and maybe capture first in your league.
Here are five 'truths' you need to take into account when getting ready for your fantasy football draft;
Good running backs are still key, but are getting harder to find
The old fantasy football adage is that if you have two good running backs, then you are a lock for the playoffs and while that still holds true for the most part, it's getting increasingly hard to find that dynamic duo to propel you team. In recent years, the backfields of many a NFL team has shifted from a singular star to a group thing. You have your main runner who eats the first two downs, a third down specialist who primarily can block or act as another receiver, and in some cases, a short yardage specialist to grind out those third and ones. With the wear and tear that the running back position produces, the days of a featured back are numbered.
Which is why you need to target at least one of these elusive few in the first round. Adrian Peterson, Rashard Mendenhall, Peyton Hillis, and Ray Rice are all examples of running backs that could be key to a successful fantasy run.
Wide Receiver is your deepest position
Taking a look at the projected fantasy football points (as compiled by cbssports.com fantasy site) of wide receivers going into this season, the one thing that jumps out at you is that the position is deeper than what you might think. There are (give or take) 40 wideouts projection to have at least 100 fantasy points, going by standard scoring, with over half that expected to put up over 125 points. Considering most leagues start 3 receivers and usually run around 10 teams strong, that means every team has a chance at three 100 point wideouts apiece.
Taking that into account, unless you have the chance to grab maybe an Andre Johnson or a Roddy White, it's probably best to fill in your running back and quarterback positions first.
A good quarterback can get you a championship
Referring back to the cbssports.com projected rankings, a top running back will get you 200 to 250 fantasy points in a season. Switch the position to quarterback and you have the top 8 projected to score between 300 to 350 points. That's a pretty steep increase in positions!
The basics that you need to keep in mind here is that when you are picking in order of importance, position wide, you need to realize that the person who touches the ball most has the best chance to score the most points and nobody touches the ball more than a quarterback. The only reason to pass on a top 3 QB in the first round is to grab a top 3 rusher, period.
Kickers and defenses go last for a reason
Just about anyone who does fantasy football for any amount of time can tell you that you should not even think about drafting a kicker or a defense till the final rounds of a draft. The reasoning behind this is twofold. First, the difference between the top kicker and the 15th is negligible, there simply is a big point difference. This also applies with defenses.
The second reason is that the other positions are just more important. Between starters and backups, the need is greater at every other position. Besides, you can guarantee that the other teams in the league aren't going to be targeting these two slots till late so why should you.
Look at your late season match-ups!
The most underlooked aspect of drafting a good fantasy football team is that you want great match-ups come playoff time. Sure, teams can drastically improve from year to year but for the most part, if you follow football you know what defenses are good or not. Good late season match-ups can be the difference between drafting, say Drew Brees over Tom Brady. Both are good and will put up points but if Brees has an easier schedule come playoff time, you can bet I will pick him up instead of Brady.
So, there you have it.
Here are five fantasy football truths that, if kept in the forefront of your mind come draft time, should help you to pick a winner. Stay tuned to CraveOnline for more fantasy football news and notes in the weeks to come.