Saturday, August 1, 2009

Fantasy Football Draft Guide: The Snake Draft

The standard "snake" draft has been around for years. Until a few years ago, the snake was all that existed (for the most part). With the inception of the auction draft came an entirely new way to draft your fantasy football team. Yet, the original snake draft remains the most widely used way to construct a team.

So after I compiled my thoughts on the aforementioned auction draft, I figured that doing the same on the more popular style of draft would be necessary. Once again, I'll be pointing out hints to take note of while composing your fantasy football team. Without further adieu, here is my draft guide to snake drafts.

One more thing: To the three of you who magically land upon FRFS, you probably read that we would be releasing a draft kit within the near future. While that remains true, it's taking longer than expected. We've had, er, "technical" problems. Just wanted to clear that up to our throngs of fans anticipating our revolutionary kit.

1. Quarterback+First Round=Bad
A quarterback is a huge piece on a fantasy football team. That is an indisputable fact. Yet, remember that when you have only one starting QB and two/three starting runningbacks. While you take your one starting QB in the first round, the rest of your league-mates are already getting started on picking one of their 4-6 RB's. The difference between the top tier of RB's and the middle tier is quite large, so grabbing the best of the best early is key.

2. Find middle-round values
Matt Ryan will be available in the fifth round in most of your drafts. So will Donovan McNabb, Jay Cutler, Matt Cassel, and others. Instead of reaching for Aaron Rodgers in the third round, take a position player you need and grad a QB later on. If you can't live without Rodgers on your squad, take him and look for a Felix Jones type in later rounds. There are plenty of value picks in this year's player pool, you just have to search for them.

3. Stick to one defense and kicker
Don't be the guy who picks two defenses or two kickers. Oh please, do NOT be that guy. By selecting two defenses or two kickers, you're wasting a valuable bench spot. During your defenses bye week you can simply find the best available team with a decent matchup. Multiple kickers are even more embarrassing. Each week, there will be the kicker who racks up the points and the kicker who sits the bench. Each kicker fluctuates week-to-week, so picking two is pointless. The difference in value from one kicker to another is minimal, at most.

4. Don't be the trend-setter
Once the defenses start going, you keep picking your bench players. Kickers and defenses are meant to be taken in the last few rounds, so that's where you pick them. There will always be a few boneheads that reach for the Ravens or Steelers in the tenth round. All that tells you is that he is the guy to trade with after the draft.

5. Know when to and when not to reach
Having a team with an abundance of players you have faith in is key. The happier you are with your team, the more you will enjoy the season. But don't only try to draft your most beloved players. You aren't going to be able to have your pick at everyone you want, so know when to reach. If the player you have marked down as a must-have is also highly coveted by other owners, don't hesitate to reach 15 rankings to snag him. Any further than 15 picks, and you're stretching the limits. If your player is not a highly coveted player, don't reach as high as 15 rankings. You could pick a higher value at your current pick before selecting your mancrush in the following round.


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