In the first part of Fantasy Football draft strategy I went over strategies to consider when drafting in the upper half of your league. I am going to go over the strategies to consider when drafting in the bottom half of your league, along with some strategy for auction drafts. As I said in part one I think that your draft strategy stems from where you are placed on the board, and knowing how to play the board to get the players, to make the team you want is critical.
Now if you are drafting in the second half of your league’s draft(5-8, 6-10, 7-12, for 8, 10 and 12 team leagues) I think there is the option to go a totally different route than the strategies I have already listed.
1. Non-Running Back first
I don’t think any running back outside the top 6 merits a 1st round pick, following that logic I think you take Jimmy Graham, Calvin Johnson, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers. If you are in a deeper league and somehow all those players are gone, consider the other Tier 1 receivers or Drew Brees. If you draft a QB you can snag a Tier 1 receiver afterwards and take your running back in rounds three and four(my favorite strategy), or play the board. If you take a receiver first you could grab one of the top 3 QB’s if they are available(my favorite strategy), get a second tier running back, lock down another tier 1 receiver or play the board. If you take Jimmy Graham first I think you should play the board afterwards so as not to have a talent gap at running back or receiver.
2. Double Up
If you do decide to take a running back in the latter half of the first round I suggest doubling up on the position. Since you will be picking again shortly after your first selection you could conceivably end up with a running back duo of Zac Stacy and Arian Foster, or DeMarco Murray and Doug Martin. If you hit both of the picks you will be set at running back for the year, if you go 50/50 you still end up with a top 10 running back. Obviously there is risk in this strategy, look at last year. If you took Trent Richardson and CJ Spiller using this formula then you lost your league, but if you took Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte then you scored all kinds of fantasy goodness. It’s a riskier strategy but if you really are adamant about grabbing a RB after the top 6 go in the first round I would use this strategy. This strategy also applies for receivers. If you wind up with any combination of Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas and AJ Green then you will be set at receiver. I think this strategy is safer since I think these are tier 1 players and are safer picks, but you will also be out of a RB doing this, so again high risk high reward strategy.
3. Best Available Football Player
I know this may seem kind of redundant but it’s not. If you are picking in the second half of your draft and all the super obvious first round players have been taken you’ll have a tough decision to make. Rather than taking a risk with a high-upside, high-risk player take a known commodity. If you are stuck between taking Doug Martin or Aaron Rodgers with your first pick, think about it like you are building an actual football team. Yeah, Doug Martin is a really good running back and getting a good running back is important within the first few rounds, but if you are picking in the latter half of your draft you can draft a running back early in the second round. If you are building an actual team though, is there anyway you take him over Aaron Rodgers? Or do you take him over AJ Green or Dez Bryant? Of course not. So why would you do that in your fantasy football draft? The most important part of the few round of your draft is getting consistent quality. Safe players who you know will take care of business and be the core of your team that get’s filled out with other contributors later in the draft or in free agency. If you whiff on that core part of your team more often that not you end up having a rough season. So if you are in a position like that, take the best player available, don’t box yourself in by forcing yourself to take a “need” pick.