X
Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

X

Receive free daily analysis

NFL
NBA
NHL
NASCAR
CFB
MLB
MMA
PGA
ESPORTS
BETTING

Already have an account? Log In

X

Forgot Password


POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts

How to Draft Like a Fantasy Football Champion - Draft Day Strategies and Tips

You’ve been waiting all summer for this. Your fantasy football draft has been circled on your calendar ever since the commissioner set the date. So how do you win your draft? I’m glad you asked.

Before we begin though, remember that the draft is simply the beginning. You cannot win your league on draft-day, but you can definitely lose it. Don’t engage the auto-pilot due to your draft-day success and fly on those laurels right into a fourth-place finish. Midseason management is crucial. Got it? Good, now let’s crush the draft.

Editor's Note: Purchase a full season NFL Premium Pass (including Draft Kit + DFS Premium), and also get MLB Premium + DFS for free through October. Premium DFS lineup picks, expert lineups, tools and more - seven days a week. You can see screenshots of our NFL Premium and MLB Premium and DFS tools. What are you waiting for?

 

How to Win Your Fantasy Football Draft:

Research

It sounds obvious, but it still has to be stated. I personally think it’s a good idea to get a ton of research under your belt before looking at rankings because of how anchored one can get by them. Honestly, some anchoring is unavoidable, but the key here is that you’ve exposed yourself to multiple viewpoints and reports before perusing rankings sheets. Now you simply have to fight your own confirmation bias when checking those out!

Know Your League Settings

Again, this sounds obvious, and yet I see it every season. At some point between the beginning of the draft and Week 1, an owner pipes up saying “wait, I didn’t know this was a PPR league?!” Sigh. Just don’t be that owner.

This also has another meaning, as one needs to ingest their league’s scoring system and take in information with their particular settings in mind. Maybe your league gives a bonus for 100+ yard games, field goals over 40 yards, or penalizes interceptions more than the standard scoring. Be aware.

Don’t Marry Your Rankings

It’s really easy to go for a broad-spectrum “best player available” draft strategy, and while sometimes that can be a good call (especially in the early-going), it’s typically a bad decision to have a rigid motivator like rankings. They provide a solid foundation, but one has to flexible within your draft.

Rankings cannot account for the nuances of your own league’s scoring system (as mentioned before), and even if the settings perfectly match then there’s no way to incorporate the psychology of your leaguemates. Perhaps your league has a tendency to draft QBs early even though “the book” says to wait, or certain players/teams are over-drafted due to your location and leaguemates’ fandom.

Enhance Rankings With Tiers

It does a drafter good to utilize tiers on their draft sheet. It’s helpful to know that A > B > C > D, but that linear valuation system doesn’t alert you to how much of a respective gap lies between each player. Player A may be Tier One, while Player B and Player C are rather similar in Tier Two but well ahead of Player D in Tier Three. In reality the linear rankings might look like this instead: A >> B > C >> D.

Break Down Rankings By Position

Tiers are a great start, but it can be rather difficult to discern draft patterns when you’re strictly looking at a draftboard that is all-compassing. Imagine you’re faced with your fifth-round pick and you currently have two RBs and two WRs already. Instead of simply selecting your favorite player in the highest tier remaining, you can increase the value gained here by having positional tiers.

Say that the fifth-round pick has you deciding between an RB, a TE and a WR. If you have positional tiers then perhaps you notice that there’s one more Tier-Two WR, three Tier-Two TEs and five Tier-Three RBs as the rest of the Tier-Two RBs are gone. It appears that the Tier-Two WR is the best selection here, with a decent chance for one of the remaining RB/TEs in the next-highest remaining tier to make it back to you for your next pick.

Use Your Bench Spots On Upside

This is much more relative to one’s league, but for the majority of you playing in one-QB leagues that are fairly standard, listen up. If you drafted Russell Wilson, don’t bother burning a late pick on Matt Ryan. There will always be a QB on the waiver wire. The same rule applies for TEs; don’t snag Jason Witten late if you took Rob Gronkowski.

Which brings up the point of upside. Witten has a near-zero chance of “breaking out” and posting league-winning numbers. He’s a guy you snag late for a solid floor, but your preseason bench spots should be for handcuffs and lottery tickets at the RB/WR positions in most formats.

Kicker and Defense Are Almost Always Your Last Two Picks

I say “almost” because there might be some leagues out there that have crazy kicker-related scoring or something. The point here is that these positions are extremely fluid and tough to project success with. Stephen Gostkowski is probably still going to be the first kicker off the board (he did finish with the highest scoring on Yahoo, so it’s warranted), but did anyone peg Graham Gano as the second-best kicker before last season?

As for defense, I can see the temptation to take a “stable” defense in Seattle but the current state of the NFL provides more returns for those who stream defenses in order to target weak opponents. Some popular strategies are to tail the Vegas sportsbooks’ team totals (usually a home defense) as well as simply picking on the same bottom-tier opponents on a weekly basis. It takes some work, but when the Seahawks go to Arizona in Week 7, visit New Orleans in Week 8 or head to New England in Week 10, one might lose to a team streaming a mid-tier defense.

In the end, your league, team and draft are your own. I’m not going to sit here pushing you to go WR/WR or RB/RB with your first two picks (that’s for another day). This is about filling your draft toolbox with only the finest of ingredients, providing you with multiple paths to success. The key here is to find the perfect balance of focus and flexibility, while minimizing risk early and allowing oneself to chase upside late.

 

NFL & Fantasy Football Chat Room




POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts

REAL-TIME FANTASY NEWS

Dalton Schultz39 mins ago

Won't Play In Week 13
Noah Brown42 mins ago

Tank Dell, Noah Brown Questionable For Week 13
Dorian Thompson-Robinson54 mins ago

Won't Play Sunday, Joe Flacco To Start
Keenan Allen1 hour ago

Questionable For Week 13
Dallas Goedert1 hour ago

Doubtful To Play In Week 13
Treylon Burks2 hours ago

Questionable To Face Colts
DeMar DeRozan2 hours ago

Uncertain To Play Against Pelicans On Saturday
Pat Connaughton2 hours ago

Ruled Out On Saturday
Keegan Murray2 hours ago

Practices On Friday
Chris Olave2 hours ago

Still In Concussion Protocol But Not Ruled Out
Doug McDermott2 hours ago

Will Not Play Against Pelicans
Luka Doncic2 hours ago

Ruled Out On Friday Due To Personal Reasons
Joel Embiid2 hours ago

Will Be True Game-Time Decision On Friday
Devin Booker3 hours ago

Will Sit Out Against Nuggets On Friday
Victor Wembanyama3 hours ago

Will Be Sidelined On Friday
Trey McBride3 hours ago

Iffy For Week 13 Action
Marquise Brown3 hours ago

Officially Questionable Against Steelers
Julius Randle3 hours ago

Tagged As Questionable On Friday
Dalvin Cook3 hours ago

Breece Hall, Dalvin Cook Questionable For Week 13
Treylon Burks3 hours ago

Cleared To Play In Week 13
Aaron Jones3 hours ago

Ruled Out For Week 13
Jerick McKinnon4 hours ago

Chiefs Expect Jerick McKinnon, Kadarius Toney To Play In Week 13
Dougie Hamilton4 hours ago

Simon Nemec Called Up To Devils Friday, Dougie Hamilton Placed On IR
Zach Charbonnet4 hours ago

Dealing With Swelling In Knee
Adin Hill4 hours ago

Leaves Thursday's Contest Early As Precaution
Timo Meier5 hours ago

Close To Returning, Could Play Friday
Jonathan Taylor5 hours ago

Officially Ruled Out
Sam Montembeault5 hours ago

Signs Three-Year Extension With Canadiens
Nikita Zadorov5 hours ago

Traded To Vancouver
Kenneth Walker III5 hours ago

"Might" Be Able To Play In Week 14
Hayden Hurst5 hours ago

Ruled Out, Tommy Tremble Doubtful For Week 13
Dalton Schultz5 hours ago

Not Expected To Play Against Broncos
De'Von Achane5 hours ago

To Play In Week 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers6 hours ago

Lavonte David, Devin White Out For Buccaneers Defense
Chris Godwin6 hours ago

To Be A Game-Time Decision
Beneil Dariush7 hours ago

Arman Tsarukyan A Favorite Over Beneil Dariush At UFC Austin
Jack Eichel7 hours ago

Steers Vegas Back On Track
Beneil Dariush7 hours ago

Has A Dangerous Task In Front Of Him
Brayden Schenn7 hours ago

Leads Blues To Victory Thursday
Bobby Green7 hours ago

Looking For Third Win In A Row
Noah Dobson7 hours ago

Grabs Three Assists In Thursday's Win
Jalin Turner7 hours ago

A Favorite At UFC Austin
Tyrese Haliburton7 hours ago

Notches Another Big-Time Performance
Jack Hughes7 hours ago

Adds Three More Points To His Tally
Dustin Stoltzfus7 hours ago

In Dire Need Of Victory
Trae Young7 hours ago

Posts A 45-Point Double-Double
Tom Wilson7 hours ago

Celebrates First Career Hat Trick
Jalen Brunson7 hours ago

Drops 42 Points In Win Over Pistons
Punahele Soriano7 hours ago

Looking To Return To Win Column
Jonathan Isaac7 hours ago

Tagged As Questionable On Friday
Tristan Jarry7 hours ago

Caps Off Winning Performance With Historic Goal
Jose Alvarado7 hours ago

Questionable On Friday With Ankle Sprain
Kristaps Porzingis8 hours ago

Ruled Out Against 76ers
Nicolas Batum8 hours ago

Probable To Play Against Celtics
Xavier Tillman8 hours ago

Sr. Questionable To Return On Friday
Zach LaVine8 hours ago

Will Miss One Week With Foot Soreness
Mitchell Marner17 hours ago

Scores Hat Trick In Victory
Alex Lyon17 hours ago

Earns Third Consecutive Victory
Jeremy Swayman17 hours ago

Posts Shutout Against Sharks
Matt McLain20 hours ago

Fully Healed
Shohei Ohtani21 hours ago

Wins Most Outstanding Designated Hitter Award
Chris Paul21 hours ago

To Be Re-Evaluated On Monday
Aaron Gordon21 hours ago

Listed As Questionable For Friday
Jamal Murray21 hours ago

Uncertain For Friday
Zach Hyman1 day ago

Ready To Return On Thursday
Juuso Valimaki1 day ago

Back For Coyotes On Thursday
Ilya Mikheyev1 day ago

Good To Go Thursday
Dougie Hamilton1 day ago

Won't Play On Thursday
Radko Gudas1 day ago

On Track To Return Thursday
Andrei Svechnikov1 day ago

Expected Back On Thursday
Mark Kastelic1 day ago

Ridly Greig Placed On Long-Term IR By Senators
Dylan Cease1 day ago

Cardinals Interested In Dylan Cease
Joaquim Silva1 day ago

Looking To Return To The Win Column
Clay Guida1 day ago

Set For 36th UFC Fight
Kelvin Gastelum1 day ago

Returns To Welterweight
Tyler Glasnow1 day ago

Cubs Have Held Trade Talks On Tyler Glasnow
Sean Brady1 day ago

Looking To Rebound After First Career Loss
Deiveson Figueiredo1 day ago

Moving Up To Bantamweight
Rob Font1 day ago

Set For Third Fight Of 2023
Nick Martinez1 day ago

Agrees To Two-Year Deal With Reds
Jackson Chourio1 day ago

Brewers Expected To Complete Record-Breaking Deal
Joey Wendle2 days ago

Agrees With Mets
Devin Williams2 days ago

Wins NL Reliever Of The Year Award
FĂ©lix Bautista2 days ago

Felix Bautista Named AL Reliever Of The Year
Luis Severino2 days ago

Mets, Luis Severino Finalizing One-Year Deal
Shohei Ohtani2 days ago

Expected To Sign Before End Of Winter Meetings
Dylan Cease2 days ago

Trade Talks For Dylan Cease Have Intensified
Randy Arozarena2 days ago

Being Shopped By Rays
Bo Bichette2 days ago

Likely Staying Put
Emilio Pagán2 days ago

Emilio Pagan Agrees To Two-Year Pact With Reds
Dylan Cease3 days ago

Dodgers "Among Most Aggressive" Teams For Dylan Cease
Shohei Ohtani3 days ago

Yoshinobu Yamamoto "Above All Other Options" For Giants
Juan Soto3 days ago

"Almost Certain To Be Traded"
Cody Bellinger3 days ago

Earns NL Comeback Player Of The Year Award
Liam Hendriks3 days ago

Earns AL Comeback Player Of The Year Award
Jackson Chourio3 days ago

Brewers Discussing Deal With Top Prospect Jackson Chourio

RANKINGS

QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
RANKINGS
C
1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP

MORE RECENT ARTICLES

 
Breece Hall - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Injury Reports For Week 13 (Friday Updates): Aaron Rodgers, De'Von Achane, Jonathan Taylor, Keenan Allen, David Montgomery, Aaron Jones, Breece Hall, more

Heading into Week 13 of the NFL season, there is no shortage of big-name players in the injury headlines. The fantasy football playoffs are just around the corner, and these injuries could complicate start or sit decisions. Our injury updates and reports for Week 13 as of Friday, December 1, 2023, will give you the... Read More


Rhamondre Stevenson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Week 13 Fantasy Football Matchups We Love: The Fantasy Matchmaker

Welcome back to the Week 13 Fantasy Matchmaker article looking at Week 12 matchups we love! This is my weekly series for RotoBaller where I look at the matchup strength for pretty much every viable fantasy football player across the fantasy skill positions. With only two weeks left in the fantasy football regular season, each... Read More


Kyler Murray - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Week 13 Fantasy Busts? Players Who May Disappoint Include Kyler Murray, Breece Hall, D'Andre Swift, Drake London

Dodging busts with a full 16-game slate can be easy. With six teams on bye, it's a little bit more difficult. The Bills, Ravens, Vikings, Bears, Raiders, and Giants all get their week off this Sunday. It couldn't have come at a worse time with the fantasy playoffs for the majority of leagues just two... Read More


jaylen waddle fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

WR/CB Matchups to Target and Downgrade - Week 13 (2023)

Welcome to Week 13 of the WR/CB Matchups article. For those who are not familiar, this is a weekly series looking at fantasy football matchups for wide receivers versus the cornerbacks who are projected to cover them. During the past three seasons, I have tweaked my process to make the chart more user-friendly and predictive,... Read More


Bijan Robinson - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers

Rest of Season Half-PPR Rankings: Fantasy Football Top 200 for Week 13

December approaches and the fantasy football playoffs are on the horizon. Prepare for the championship push as best you can with our Week 13 fantasy football half-PPR rankings for the rest of 2023, as of November 30. Check where key players shifted, such as Bijan Robinson, Cooper Kupp, Zack Moss, and more. These half-PPR fantasy... Read More


Brandon Aiyuk - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em - Week 13 Matchups Analysis

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 13 matchups analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Last week started out with some lopsided Thanksgiving and Black Friday contests before the game of the week on Sunday between the Eagles and Bills. The schedule goes back to normal with just one Thursday matchup, but we... Read More


Najee Harris - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Booms and Busts - Fantasy Football Starts and Sits for Week 13 Lineups

Week 13 is finally here, and it might be the most important week for those fantasy managers still fighting for a playoff spot. With most leagues having their playoffs start in Week 15, there are just two regular season games left. That means if your fantasy team is on the bubble, you have to win... Read More


Kyren Williams - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Updated Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

      Fantasy Football Rankings by NFL Position ALL - QB - RB - WR - TE - DEF Above you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings, tiers, player news and stats for your 2023 fantasy football leagues. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's fantasy football rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Fantasy Football... Read More


C.J. Stroud - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Week 13 NFL DFS Prop Picks - Over/Under Prop Picks for Sleeper.com

We started this week on fire, finishing 4-0 for our Thursday picks. Last week we had a good showing finishing 10-7 in total (6-6 Thursday and 4-1 Sunday) and moving our total to 53-45. This might be my last week this season writing a Sunday prop article so I have something special lined up for... Read More


C.J. Stroud - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

FanDuel NFL DFS Week 13 Picks: Top Daily Fantasy Lineup Plays Include C.J. Stroud, Kyren Williams, Amon-Ra St. Brown, George Kittle, More

It’s Week 13, and it’s the time of the year when every game matters just a bit more moving forward. The 13-game schedule began with a Thursday night meeting between the Seahawks and Cowboys, with Dallas squeezing out a win in the high-scoring affair. Then, on Sunday, teams like the Lions and Chiefs could ascend... Read More


Tua Tagovailoa - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Bold Predictions for Fantasy Football Week 13: Tua Tagovailoa, Najee Harris, Bijan Robinson, Mike Evans, Evan Engram

Week 13 is here, and I’m back with another edition of fantasy football bold predictions. This week’s list of bold predictions will include Tua Tagovailoa, Najee Harris, Bijan Robinson, Mike Evans, and Evan Engram. Every week, I will provide some fun and bold fantasy football predictions. While these bold predictions aren’t the most likely outcomes,... Read More


Jaylen Waddle - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL DFS Picks

PrizePicks NFL DFS Prop Picks - Over/Under Props for Week 13 (Sunday Main Slate)

Hello everybody, and welcome to our PrizePicks NFL DFS prop picks for Week 13 - Sunday Main Slate! The 2023 NFL season is underway, and that means our friends over at PrizePicks have a TON of great DFS plays we can look to take advantage of. Our partners at PrizePicks offer some of the best... Read More


Tua Tagovailoa - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

NFL Week 13 Fantasy Football Weather Report

Greetings, fellow football fans! I'm Erik Salveson, the newest member of the RotoBaller family. With a longstanding passion for fantasy football, I'm thrilled to dissect the weather's influence on the gridiron. This article delves into the conditions at various NFL stadiums, unraveling the secrets behind how they shape game outcomes and player performances. Rain, snow,... Read More