Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bad Draft Survival Guide

Bad draft order, impetuous decisions, that person before you taking every single one of your picks, or if you’re like me, having you internet kick you out of the live draft room for five of your picks resulting in auto-draft selections, all of these very common problems, among others, can take a serious toll on your fantasy draft leading to an unbalanced team (position wise), questionable selections, and a copious amount of profanity. So what do you do now? Well, don’t panic, while off to a rough start your fantasy season is not doomed to failure just yet; with some work, and perhaps a little luck, you could put yourself back in contention for a league championship and what follows is a list of ways to do just that.

Free Agency/Waivers: The most obvious route to recovery from a bad draft is to take advantage of the free agency/waivers. Root out players overlooked during the draft or undervalued in preseason rankings due to injuries last season, mega-hyped teammates/players in the same position, etc. Basically, if you have a hunch about someone, take the risk, if your draft was really that bad how much could it hurt. Besides you could always have them ride the bench a few games to see how it works out.

Trade: Look at your roster, do you really need six wide receivers when you only have one decent running back? Well, maybe you situation isn’t that bad you get the idea. Start looking over other teams in your league and figure out either (a) what other player you are willing to trade for or (b) what other owner is stuck in a similar position. Just keep in mind that when other owners also have either an overflow or dearth at one position you’re more likely to get an equitable trade than from someone well balanced, so make that your first plan of attack.

Scouting Reports: Scouting reports, or just general knowledge of various teams, will be your best friend this season. Every team has strengths and weaknesses and it is now, more than ever, your job to exploit them. For example, say you did not get a top defense in your draft, well, chances are there is a maximum of twelve teams in your fantasy league meaning that there is up to twenty available defenses in free agency/waivers per week. More than likely, at least one of these available defenses will have a favorable match-up each week. Same thing applies to Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Runningbacks, etc. For instance, someone like Trent Edwards, who is not a top quarterback and therefore more likely to be available from week to week, will be a more valuable fantasy pickup during week 5 against the Cleveland Browns than during week 1 against the New England Patriots.

Injury Updates: I cannot say this enough, PAY ATTENTION TO INJURY UPDATES! When a player gets injured it opens up opportunities for other players to shine and, if you’re on top of things, for you to pick up fantasy points. For example, New England is stacked with tremendous talent but only two WRs will be worth drafting: Wes Welker and Randy Moss. However, what happens if one of these guys gets hurt? Either Joey Galloway or Greg Lewis will be stepping into one of the two main slots. Given their preseason performances so far and the fact that Tom Brady will be throwing to them, both of these guys have the ability to put up respectable numbers if given the chance.

Rookies/Questionables: Like injuries and scouting reports, you’ll want to keep your eye on rookies this season. Many talented rookies go undrafted in fantasy leagues because, well, they are just so unpredictable. However, as the season progresses you’ll want to pay attention to rookie players and assess their reliability or likelihood of overtaking a starting position. While high profile rookies such as LeSean McCoy and Knowshon Moreno were more than likely taken in your draft, you can still pick up less hyped but potentially high producing rookies such as Giant’s WR Hakeem Nicks and Vikings Percy Harvin from free agency/waivers. (I’m counting Percy Harvin as less hyped because of his drop in the Draft due to his Pot smoking tendencies) Likewise, now is the time to take a chance with players considered “questionable.” These are those players who have bi-polar fantasy production from week to week or have a history of injuries. Just be familiar with their strengths and weaknesses and carefully look at who they are playing against before starting them.

Related Posts by Subject