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Fantasy football draft tips

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs with the ball during the first day of NFL football training camp at Mankato State University in Mankato, Minn. on Friday, July, 29, 2016. Credit: AP / Andy Clayton-King

With the start of the NFL season just over a week away, here are a few tips for upcoming fantasy football drafts.

Don’t overvalue quarterbacks.

Even Cam Newton isn’t a first-round pick. Not with the likes of Antonio Brown, Adrian Peterson, Odell Beckham Jr. and Todd Gurley out there. Yes, the NFL has transformed into a pass-happy league, but skill position players benefit more from that from a fantasy perspective than quarterbacks do. In standard leagues, a 75-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers is worth 7 points, whereas the same 75-yard touchdown reception for Jordy Nelson is worth 13.5 points. You’ll get more bang for your buck if you stock up on running backs and wide receivers (or in the rare case, i.e. Rob Gronkowski, tight ends) in the early rounds, even if that means sacrificing one of the top few quarterbacks for a dependable Carson Palmer in the seventh or eighth round.

Wait until the last two rounds to draft a defense and kicker.

With the number of injuries players endure, you’re going to want as many skill-position players on your bench as possible. There’s not usually too much of a point differential between the top-ranked fantasy defense and the 12th, so if you don’t get Seattle, move on and start looking at teams such as the Jets or Rams. The same is true of kickers. Sure, Stephen Gostkowski is probably going to be the top-scoring kicker, but a Graham Gano or Matt Bryant won’t be all that far behind. Also, you don’t need more than one defense or kicker to start a season. It’s much more to your benefit to streamline these positions if you’re dealing with an injury, an unfavorable matchup or anything else that might arise throughout the long haul of the NFL season.

Know your league’s rules and settings before you draft.

Not all fantasy leagues are created equal. It’s important to know heading into your draft whether or not it’s a PPR league, whether it’s a 2QB league, how many flex options you have, etc. For example, a player such as Jarvis Landry, who had 110 catches last season, is going to be much more valuable in a PPR league than a non-PPR league.

Do a mock draft that fits your league.

Once you have your league’s settings and rules down, join a mock draft that fits that criteria. If it’s a 12-team auction draft, do a 12-team auction mock draft. If it’s a 10-team snake draft and you already know you’ll have the No. 5 pick, practice by doing a mock draft from that position.


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