Fantasy Draft Day Prep

Written by: Tyler Zajac

Fantasy Football

Draft days are here and how you draft your fantasy football team is like an identity that will follow you through the season and carries a lot of weight week by week as you make changes, tinker and adjust. Maybe you are multi-year champion in your league who has your way and it works in your league or maybe you are the one who keeps finishing middle of the pack and can’t seem to break through to put yourself in a better position towards the end of the year and hopefully not but just maybe you are the person that seems to screw it up year in and year out and you want this to be your year.

Whatever the case is I’m going to run through some draft day strategy must-dos to get you in the right mind-set and ready to compete and elevate your game on draft day.

Know Your League

This is an article for everyone (mostly newcomers) and therefore must be addressed. When I say know your league, I mean this in multiple ways. Know what type of league you are in (Re-Draft, Keeper, Dynasty etc..) All these leagues carry tremendous variations in drafting strategy and what the next year may hold. For instance, in a re-draft league, you are focused on your current year and the future outside of the upcoming season matters very little but in a dynasty league future potential of players is huge and thus must be accounted for. There are leagues out there drafting high school kids for the future but chances are they aren’t reading this article so we won’t get into that. Next thing to know is your leagues scoring settings (PPR, ½ PPR, Standard etc..) Every league may have some settings they like to use that are a little different but most standard leagues are around the same parameters. What’s important to know is if you are in a league that awards points for receptions that you look at players that have a lot of targets not just yards and that includes running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers. Those extra points for catching the ball add up quickly and can make or break certain games. Finally, don’t neglect the playoffs. Yes, they are weeks away but when they come around if you are in a league that is a two week sum of points and goes up until the last week before the actual NFL playoffs when elite players are resting that’s going to crush you (Ask me how I know)

Second piece to understanding your league is knowing or not knowing who you are playing with. If you don’t know who you are playing, there isn’t too much you can do other than take note the first year and see how they draft and look for trends over time if possible but if you are in a friends or family league knowing the people can be a huge advantage. In a friends/family league you may have people who won’t draft good players because they have been burned by them in the past with a nagging injury, people who don’t really know what they’re doing, people who draft by average draft position (ADP) only, the favorite team drafters who draft primarily their favorite team so they can root them on or people who are really freaking good and you need to watch out for. Knowing this early though allows you to prepare for draft day especially once the draft order is released.


I cannot stress how imperative it is to do research before your draft day. Take it from somebody who used to go in and guess who would be good that year with nothing in front of him other than what the ESPN rankings were and now spends hours, days and weeks on research. If you put in the time like anything you will be better. Hey, this is no different than everything else in the world…who would have thought. The sheer amount of resources out there now a days make it easy and fun to do research to prepare. Of course, the Predictors has the data you really want but you can grab great and reputable data from all over and it’s easy to ingest. Articles, Instagram accounts, podcasts, websites, rankings lists, overall team strengths, o-line strengths, total fantasy points from the previous year, average fantasy points per game from the previous year, injury history and ADP are just the tip of the iceberg when looking for ways to research for your draft. There is so much content the hardest part is knowing where to start. For that I say of course The Predictors is a great place to start and after that pick your favorite high rated fantasy football podcast and then jump into the stats. That will get you on your way and you will fall deep into the fantasy rabbit hole after that.

Knowing Your Strategy

Now that you have done your research and know what the players and teams look like for your season, maybe even watched some pre-season to find out how more rookies and lesser-known players are performing it’s time to look at strategy. This is how your 10,000-foot view looks. You’re not going to get every player you want it’s just not going to happen so it’s important to have the outline of positions you want with a some key names you are shooting for including a few prime 1st and 2nd rounders to anchor your team some mid-level guys and some later round guys that have big upside potential and little downside that you can use for certain weeks or if they get hot for a few weeks. You also need some team strategy based on drafting position and available players. Are you trying to nail down some prime running backs and take a chance with some receivers who have potential but maybe haven’t established themselves as much? Is your draft position later in the 1st round where you can get a prime wideout and stack your receiving corps but maybe need to take a few running backs who are solid but not elite, when do you want to take a quarterback, what round is early and what round is too late? These are all questions that from your research, outside expert opinions, and your own personal feelings as well as what others in your league force you to do based on their picks will force you to answer.

Go With The Flow

I said it before and it bears repeating, you will not get every player you want…it’s a fact. What you can do though is prepare for that. Have players ranked and what round you would take them in as well as their ADP and the homework you did on them so that when it gets to be your pick if others have drafted guys, you wanted you have options of players that you think could thrive in their position at that same level. It’s important to be ready with multiple options especially in later rounds as that’s when people stop knowing as much about the players and you can get a few steals that others don’t really see.

These are the basics to getting ready for draft day. The amount of effort you put into these should correlate with team success barring outside factors you can’t control as well as how good you feel going into the season. After that it’s time to start watching and adjusting as needed. Good luck to everyone out there about to draft and here is to hoping you make the right picks and your opponent’s make the wrong ones!