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Five tips for drafting a winning fantasy team

1. Value, value, value
There’s always a debate who to pick in each round based on skill, but one thing to consider when drafting is value. For example, there’s no reason to draft a quarterback in the first round unless you’re lucky enough to pick Aaron Rodgers. There are plenty of quality quarterbacks in the NFL to help your team not be the bottom-dweller of the league. Drafting a quarterback like Tony Romo in Round 2-3 is a great value and allows flexibility in Round 1 and 2.

2. Never ignore pre-season injuries
This is no secret. Guys get hurt playing football. Players get bumps and bruises during training camp because it’s the first practices in several months. Most of these injuries are nothing to worry about, but keep an eye on them. If a player sits out a few days to rest, you have nothing to worry about. Coaches rest players during training camp to keep them from injury. However, if a player sits out for a week or more, it could be a sign of a more serious injury. Odell Beckham Jr. had a slight hamstring pull in training camp last season, and the injury went from a few weeks off to missing the first four weeks of the season. Although Beckham went on to have a spectacular year and emerged as one of the game’s brightest stars, don’t expect others to shake off injuries as easily.

3. Rookies are game changers
The players being selected in the top few rounds are established big-name pro bowlers with a proven track record. That being said, rookies can be a great investment for your team. Rookies have had excellent seasons in the last five years. Odell Beckham Jr., Doug Martin, Julio Jones, all flourished in their first seasons in the NFL. Although there’s a slight risk in drafting rookies, risk is a big part of playing fantasy football. Players like Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley and Amari Cooper have potential to be big-time point producers and should all be available in the
middle rounds.

4. Listen to your head, not your heart
It seems very basic, but many fantasy football fans struggle with this. Just because you know the players on your favorite team doesn’t mean they are the best option. Diversifying your roster puts you in the best position to win. There’s a reason that a player who’s been a pro bowler in the past and a star on your favorite team is still available. He’s most likely old and won’t be able to produce. Every roster spot on your team is valuable; use them wisely.

5. Expect the unexpected
There is no way to expect a player getting a torn ACL or getting suspended four games for PEDs, but drafting a few “Just In Case” picks can help you avoid a long losing streak. “Just In Case” picks help keep the team afloat when one of your top point producers gets injured or suspended. The waiver wire is also a great place to pick up solid players to plug-in to the lineup if the unexpected arises.

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