How to draft your fantasy football team


As the NFL swings into gear, so’s Fantasy Football leagues. How did your draft go? Kris Liggett, Crusader sports reporter, offers these tips to help get your season started off right.

As the 2019 NFL season approaches many fans are eager to partake in the many traditions that go along with it, the most popular of these being Fantasy football. 

In fact, fantasy football has almost become just as big as the NFL itself. If you’re one of the few who hasn’t drafted a team yet, don’t worry, you still have some time. If you are having some trouble trying to figure out who to draft, here are some tips that will put you over the edge:

Load up on running backs in the early rounds

If the the first four picks in your league’s draft aren’t Saqoun Barkley, Ezekiel Elliot, Alvin Kamara, and Christian McCaffrey, then your league is doing it wrong. Running backs are the most injury prone athletes in football, so at least three out of your first four picks should be running backs.

Guys like Joe Mixon, Dalvin Cook, David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell and Nick Chubb are solid late first round or early second round picks. 

If you have the first overall pick I suggest taking Alvin Kamara. Mark Ingram is gone and Drew Brees isn’t getting any younger. Look for Sean Payton to remove all the training wheels. In 2017 Kamara averaged 12.7 touches per game, according to Pro Football Reference. In 2018 that number rose to 18.3 touches per game. In 2019, expect Kamara to be around 22 touches per game.

Don’t be in a hurry to draft a quarterback early

In the NFL you need an elite quarterback to win the SuperBowl, but this isn’t the NFL and you’re not trying to win the Super Bowl. You should focus on drafting solid position players rather than drafting an elite quarterback early.

The first quarterback that should be off the board is Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes shouldn’t be taken until the third round at the earliest. Guys like Aaron Rodgers, Baker Mayfield, Drew Brees and Russel Wilson should be there in rounds five and six. You should be in no hurry to draft a top quarterback. 

Find your late round sleepers

A key to winning your fantasy league is to find your late round sleepers.  There’s many talented players that have been waiting to break out but just haven’t been in the best of situations. A great example of this is wide receiver Dede Westbrook. He quietly led the Jacksonville Jaguars in many categories in 2018, including total receptions and reception yards. Jacksonville upgraded at the quarterback by signing former Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Look for Westbrook to be given an increase in touches because of this.

If you’re looking to draft a quarterback in the late rounds, and all of the elite quarterbacks are taken, Lamar Jackson is a very solid choice. According to ESPN, Jackson is the only quarterback other than Mahomes to score at least fifteen fantasy points in the last seven weeks. This off season the Ravens made moves that will make Jackson’s job easier, by signing Mark Ingram and drafting Marquise Brown out of Oklahoma in the first round. 

Look for Lamar Jackson to have a breakout season.

Some other guys that you can take a chance with in the late rounds are tight end Mark Andrews, running back Derrick Henry and quarterback Jameis Winston. 

Stay away from these potential bust

Along with drafting sleepers, you must be able to tell who is due for a bad year. One player who I would not draft in the first five rounds is Antonio Brown. Antonio Brown is arguably the best wide receiver in football, but let’s be honest, he’s a diva. Brown and the helmet issue has dominated headlines over the last couple of weeks. Brown was recently fined just short of $54,000 by the Oakland Raiders for missing mandatory team activities. Brown stated his disappointment with the franchise in a social media post. Raiders executive Mike Mayock was not amused by this. The two of them had a meeting which apparently led to a heated exchange according to ESPN’s  Adam Scheftner. Taking Brown early in the draft is a recipe for disaster. Right now his future with the Raiders is up in the air. 

Melvin Gordon is another player that you should be careful drafting. Gordon is currently holding out from the Chargers. There seems to be no progress towards a deal. The Eagles have expressed interest in trading for Gordon. Right now, it looks like Gordon may sit out the entire 2019 season. 

Some other players that could be potential bust are, running back Todd Gurley, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and wide receiver Jarvis Landry, 

These are the tips that will help you win your fantasy league. I hope that these workout for you, and you win your league. Remember fantasy football is never set in stone, so don’t be afraid to take risks. Good luck and may the games begin!