Here’s 6 Things You Need to do Before Your Fantasy Football Draft
Fantasy football draft day is fast approaching. Unfortunately, some owners won’t be ready in advance of the draft. If you fall into that camp, what exactly are you supposed to do to avoid becoming your league’s laughingstock?
For starters, download our Draft Kit IQ app. Seriously, do this right now. We’ll patiently wait here while you do so…
Now that’s done, you can take solace that you have selected a top fantasy football draft kit trusted by thousands of users. Among the unique features are automatic player tiers, SMART IQ suggestions, and unlimited mock/live drafts. Not to mention, Draft Kit IQ is the the most user-friendly draft kit you will find on the market.
Draft Kit IQ will be in your corner on draft day, but you should still take the time to catch up on your fantasy football homework. Here are 6 things we recommend you take care of ASAP.
Do Some Mock Drafts
Practice makes perfect. This means you need to get off the sidelines and squeeze out some mock drafts. At a minimum, we would recommend trying to complete at least two of them. While doing so, make some mental notes as the rounds move along.
What players are going off the board in the first two rounds?
What positions are attracting the most attention for the first few rounds?
When does the first QB go off the board?
Are any intriguing sleepers jumping off the board?
After getting a few practice runs in, you’ll know the draft trends, anticipate opponent reactions, and develop countermoves.
Review Player Tiers
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Since you’re in a time crunch, you won’t have time to review each and every player on the board. Instead, you should spend some time reviewing specific positions by tier. For example, there’s typically a cutoff on the RB position between surefire first two rounders and the best of the rest.
The same holds true further down the draft board. The next tier of backs is that much better than the third tier, and so on down the road. This same concept applies to all of the other positions. There are wideouts which you can justify taking in the first two rounds, while you’re better off waiting on the next tier.
Beyond the second tier, you have another solid group of wideouts which slot into the third tier, followed by lesser involved players in the fourth tier, and on and on until you move further down the depth charts. If you can get a sense of which tier players fall into, your life will be that much easier on draft day.
Gauge Expectations for All 32 Teams
Things move quickly in the NFL, and fortunes can change overnight. Last year’s playoff squads could have some bumps in the road up ahead, while several teams which missed out on the dance could be on the rise this time around. If you haven’t been keeping up in the offseason, it can seem pretty daunting to try to get up to speed on all 32 teams.
Fear not, there’s actually a quick and painless way to get a good handle on the actual expectations of each squad for the coming year. The sportsbooks are our best friends in this case, as they do the heavy lifting and maintain an active futures market for NFL betting.
In a nutshell, each team will have odds to reach the Super Bowl and an expected win total attached, as well as odds to win their own division. You can take a look at Super Bowl and division odds here, while an early look at win totals can be found here. You’ll be up to speed on team expectations in no time if you simply spend some time reviewing the futures market.
Familiarize Yourself with Major Offseason Moves
The NFL is a year-round business. Between free agency, the draft, trades, and preseason roster moves, those who are out of the loop can feel like their heads are spinning when they try to catch up right before fantasy draft day.
When you’re in a time crunch, the best course of action is to take a deep breath and familiarize yourself with the offseason news that really moves the needle. Here’s a great spot to catch up on the moves that matter. On the same site, you can get a handle on the draft right here.
Again, a ton of news in a short period of time can be really overwhelming, but it will be less intimidating if you stick to what really matters. For example, the Pittsburgh Steelers offense will look quite different this year, while the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets have a new stud WR and RB respectively.
For the draft, focus on the rookies who actually look like they can make an impact in year one. The same holds true for the rest of free agency and any other offseason moves. Focus on the quality players who will make an impact on the field and move on.
Choose Your Tools and Give Them a Test Drive
No matter which way you slice it, you’re going to need some tools at your disposal to assist you through the draft process. This can range from an archaic fantasy football magazine which has been sitting on the shelves for months to an advanced app such as our very own Draft Kit IQ.
In between, you could use a spreadsheet, a trusted website, or even a good old-fashioned pencil and paper. Regardless of your choice, be sure to take the time to get yourself organized and ensure all of your tools are in working order before you enter the draft room.
Nothing can disrupt your draft strategy like well thought out plans gone awry, and the same holds true for the draft itself. Give your tools a whirl and make sure everything is in working order. You’ll thank yourself later, and you also won’t be subjected to scorn and ridicule by fellow drafters as the guy or gal that held everyone up.
Have a Plan of Attack - But Be Ready to Pivot as Needed
Now that your fantasy football crash course is out of the way and you have yourself organized and ready to go, there’s one more uber-important step you need to take. Before you enter the draft, be sure to take the time to think through your plan of attack.
For example, what are your goals for the first two rounds? How about the first four? When are you thinking of pulling the trigger on a QB? At a minimum, you need to enter the draft knowing what you want your team to look like after round four.
If your goal is to grab two stud RBs right away and then focus on wideouts, the wheels are in motion for how you will approach this year’s draft. That said, things can change in a hurry on draft day, and you need to be prepared to change gears as needed. For example, let’s say there’s a major run on RBs in the early going.
That could leave some stud wideouts available later than they should be in relation to their average draft position. In that case, you need to be ready to pounce and take advantage of exceptional value opportunities. SMART IQ suggestions from Draft Kit IQ will help you navigate through that exact situation and many more.
Here’s What You Need to Remember
Do some mock drafts. Try to squeeze in at least two to get a handle on the fantasy landscape.
Review player tiers. When you don’t have time to dig into every player, get a sense of the player tiers at each position.
Gauge expectations for all 32 NFL teams. Take a look at the sportsbook futures marked for Super Bowl and division odds, as well as projected win totals.
Familiarize yourself with major offseason moves. Stick to the impact players that will really move the needle on the field this season.
Choose your tools and give them a test drive. Make sure your tools of choice are in working order and that you have everything organized the way you want it.
Have a plan of attack, but be ready to pivot. Fantasy drafts don’t always go as anticipated, but SMART IQ suggestions can help when you need to change direction.