- The two main fantasy football draft types are snake drafts and auction drafts.
- There are different strategies that should be considered when drafting in either a snake or auction draft.
- It is recommended to select running backs first as they have the opportunity to gain the most fantasy points each season.
LAS VEGAS—As the 2020 NFL season approaches quickly with the kickoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans mere hours away, fantasy football general managers should take into consideration different strategies when drafting their teams.
Sites like DraftKings and FanDuel have already begun their avalanche of advertising to sports fans, but the different methods of using these sites should be reviewed before getting involved.
With a new season comes new players and new opportunities to bet on the NFL. Novices and experts can both benefit from a refresher and insight into fantasy football this year.
Fantasy Snake Draft Guide
When looking at the snake draft format on fantasy football betting sites, this is similar to how the NFL drafts rookies. Teams are given a draft and their pick is chosen at random. The place they end up is dependent on how many people are participating.
They draft a player from whichever spot they are in for however many rounds there are to fill everyone’s roster. If a person picks last in the first round, they will be first in the second round. The opposite also applies across the board and for each following round.
For those new and experienced fantasy football general managers, consider using this strategy when drafting a team.
Being that the running back position is such a scarce position, it would be wise to go out and draft both a RB1 and an RB2 with the first two picks no matter the draft position.
Typically, when the third pick comes around, GM’s can go for another running back to fill in the flex position unless there is a premier talent quarterback such as Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson available. Otherwise, a running back should be the way to go.
Once the flex position is filled out, it is time to look at both wide receivers and tight ends. These positions should be taken with the next two picks. More so a starting-caliber tight end rather than a wideout being that there are endless amounts of talent at the wide receiver spot.
Once GM’s get done with their third and fourth-round picks, it is wise to round out the receivers with a WR2 as they are easy to come by.
Once all of those starters are filled out, the remaining picks are filling out the bench as well as drafting a quarterback. By this time in the draft, there will still be a great amount of elite talented quarterbacks that could be taken such as Russell Wilson, DeShaun Watson and Dak Prescott.
When filling out the bench, this is where it comes time to experiment with the picks as this is where sleepers and smaller named players should be drafted. These are players that are drafted with low risk but add high value to any team and could even be placed in the starting lineups from week to week if they keep their performance consistent.
Lastly, somewhere with the remaining three picks should be both a defense and a kicker. When looking at team defenses, unless one of the elite defenses is still available, it is wise to stream defenses and choose a defense going up an easy opponent that week. The same thing goes with kickers that unless an elite kicker is there, it is best to stream based on their opponent that week.
COVID-19 Affecting Fantasy Drafts
One major factor to take into consideration when drafting a fantasy football team, however, is the unfortunate circumstances that is COVID-19.
When drafting, some GM’s use strategies such as handcuffing and handicapping backups to their starters just in case the starter gets hurt.
This year, however, it would be wise to select a wide variety of players from different teams for the reason being that if a backup or starter gets the virus, chances are it will spread to the remaining players at the position since they are usually practicing together in the same areas.
This strategy goes for all positions, where teams should draft backups from different teams to fill the void in case someone gets COVID-19.
Fantasy Auction Draft Guide
The way an auction draft works is instead of teams taking turns drafting players, teams nominate players to bid on against other teams in the league. Each team is given a salary and can bet big on a player within their means.
However, there are three main strategies when drafting a fantasy football team during an auction draft.
Stars & Scrubs
The stars and scrubs method is going out and getting all of the big-name players that a GM can afford right from the jump and then filling out the rest of the roster with inexpensive players who may or may not be valuable to a team.
Where things could take a turn for the worse here is that some of the bigger named players could take up more than 25% of the salary cap leaving the remaining affordable players, ones that might not add value at all. If those star players get injured, you could be screwed.
This strategy could work in the long run of an auction draft whereas instead of going for the big-name players right away, GM’s would skip out on the elites and go for the above-average players that add value for the right price.
Where this would pay off in the draft process would be when those GM’s that went for the stars and scrubs method get to a later point in the draft, they won’t be able to afford the other above-average players which makes it easier for other GM’s to get a player at a bargain price. It’s all about the long game with this one.
Hybrid Of The Two
This hybrid version of the first two draft methods could turn out to be the most beneficial of the three methods. In this method, it leaves room for fantasy GM’s to be able to get bigger named players but also allows for them to get smaller players who could bring enormous value.
When using this method, one thing to keep in mind is that there should be a split within the salary. A fair number would be 80% of the salary should go towards the more important positions such as wide receivers and running backs while the remaining 20% should go towards the remaining positions.
Kickers And Defenses
Drafting a kicker and a defense should be the last two spots that round out a team. Also, these spots should cost a general manager no more than $1 when bidding on it. If it goes over, it takes away from value somewhere else.
The reason for it being $1 is because these are good areas for teams to be able to stream players weekly based on that week’s opponents.
Sleeper Players To Look Out For
Daniel Jones, New York Giants ADP RD: 15 AAV: $1.6 – With Jason Garret stepping in as the new offensive coordinator for the Giants, we can expect to see a more vertical and aggressive offense that saw 597 throws last season when used by the Dallas Cowboys.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals ADP RD: 16 AAV: $1.8 – Zac Taylor wants to throw the ball and throw it a lot. Burrow will have plenty of opportunity and talent around him to pay back a late-round investment.
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts ADP RD: 17 AAV: $0.5 – Philip Rivers went from rags to riches in the offseason where the Colts offered him a top-five offensive line in the league as well as above-average receivers such as T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell. If Rivers has any greatness left in the tank, this season is where it will show.
Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team ADP Rd: 10 AAV: $7.7 – The versatile Huskie has been handed the keys to the backfield and has been shooting up draft boards almost 6 rounds higher than he was going just last week. Don’t wait too long but at this price, it’s still great value.
Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills ADP RD: 12 AAV: $3.4 – Moss is going into his rookie season with the Bills in a run-heavy offense that has already made it clear that the starting running back will depend on the week. Moss also adds value as a pass-catcher as well which could boost him to a permanent lead back role.
James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars ADP RD: 17 AAV: $0.2 – Robinson is listed as the RB1 for Week 1 of the season as the Jags have recently parted ways with Leonard Fournette and will get the majority of the carries due to the fact that the teams other running back, Ryquell Armstead has been placed on the COVID list.
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Baltimore Ravens ADP RD: 9 AAV: $7.4 – Hollywood Brown is seen as the WR1 in the eyes of offensive coordinator, Greg Roman. Brown will be at full speed after dealing with injuries in his rookie season. Fantasy owners got a taste of what Brown can do at full speed during Weeks 1 & 2 of the 2019 season where he put up over 40 points.
Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings ADP RD: 16 AAV: $1.2 – Jefferson is listed as the WR2 ahead of the 2020 season and he is expected to be treated like it as the Vikings have a hole to fill now that Stefon Diggs is no longer around. Jefferson led all of college football last year in yards and touchdowns.
Henry Ruggs III, Vegas Raiders ADP RD: 12 AAV: $2.6 – Good news for Ruggs is that with the Raiders WR1, Tyrell Williams has been sidelined. Ruggs is listed as the starter after being the first receiver taken in the draft and will certainly draw deep targets as he did for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals ADP RD: 9 AAV: $6.1 – Joe Burrow could be the best possible thing to happen to Boyd in his career. Boyd usually lines up in the slot which is Joe Burrow’s favorite target as his slot receiver playing for the LSU Tigers led the nation in yards and touchdowns.
Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons ADP RD: 13 AAV: $2.2 – Hurst is joining a Falcons team that ranked first in tight end targets in 2019. Their former tight end finished in the top ten for tight end ranks last season. It also helps that the team views him as an every-down tight end.
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos ADP RD: 12 AAV: $2 – Noah Fant has proven to be a great young tight end that can make plays from anywhere on the field. That being said, the team has made it known that he will be lining up in the slot from time to time which will create more opportunities for him.
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans, ADP RD: 17 AAV: $0.4 – Smith is seen by the Titans as the most likely player to have a break out year. Smith has moved to the team’s TE1 spot after parting ways with Delanie Walker. He will certainly play a role in an offense that does not look to pass as much. When they do pass, look for Smith to make an impact.
Buffalo Bills ADP RD: 10 AAV: $2.9 – The Bills should easily be seen as one of the top defenses considering that they play in one of the weakest conferences in the league that has them matched up with the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets for four games.
Los Angeles Chargers ADP RD: 17 AAV: $0.4 – The Chargers would bring great value as a streamer team depending on their opponent. They have tons of pro-bowl talent such as Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Denzel Perryman and newly acquired Chris Harris.
Indianapolis Colts ADP RD: 14 AAV: $1.3 – The Colts defense is another stream worthy team based on their opponents. They have revamped their defense as well with the addition of Super Bowl runner up, DeForest Buckner and Xavier Rhodes.
Rodrigo Blankenship, Indianapolis Colts ADP RD: 17 AVV: $0.3 – The Colts have parted ways with longtime and legendary kicker, Adam Vinatieri which leave Blankenship to be the starter. After seeing what Vinatieri could do, the Colts must have seen something they liked from Blankenship.
Zane Gonzalez, Arizona Cardinals ADP RD: 16 AAV: $1 – Being that the Cardinals offense saw a huge upgrade in the offseason, that means more opportunity for Gonzalez as this team looks to get to the red zone more often.
Greg Zuerlein, Dallas Cowboys ADP RD: 14 AAV: $1.7 – Zuerlein was once known as one of the elite kickers in the league before being cut by the Rams. However, he has moved on to a soaring Cowboys offense with loads of offensive weapons that are sure to get him easy red-zone targets.
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Samuel has been writing professionally for 4 years. He comes from a sports writing background where he enjoys writing mostly about basketball and football both professional and collegiate. He is a recent graduate of Florida State University where he majored in Editing, Writing and Media with a minor in Communications. During his free time, you can find him watching or playing sports as well as playing videogames and listening to music.