Fantasy football is quickly becoming one of the most popular games in America right now. For those unfamiliar with this game, fantasy football is about drafting NFL players for your team that are most likely to get the best stats for a football week. The players on your team must score the higher number of combined points for the stats they accumulate and the points awarded depend on each league’s scoring system. Players can be drafted in person at a restaurant like your favorite Buffalo Wild Wings or on a computer on a site like NFL.com or ESPN.com. There are a few strategies for 2020 that could work and there are some rankings that will have fantasy owners scratching their heads.
One thing that is wise to avoid is drafting a quarterback early. No one needs to draft Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the first round. It’s better to wait until the fourth or fifth round before drafting a quarterback. One possible outcome is to draft two receivers then two running backs in the first four rounds. Here is one possible outcome that would be great for the first five rounds. Keep in mind this example involves a ten-team league and wouldn’t likely happen in a 12-team league.
Quarterback: Deshaun Watson- Houston Texans (Fifth round)
Running back 1: Chris Carson- Seattle Seahawks (Third round)
Running back 2: Devin Singletary- Buffalo Bills (Fourth round)
Wide receiver 1: Chris Godwin- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (First round)
Wide receiver 2: Julio Jones- Atlanta Falcons (Second round)
Some fantasy football owners may still use the old but usually successful strategy of drafting two running backs in the first two rounds. The result of the first five rounds may look like this:
Quarterback: Russell Wilson- Seattle Seahawks (Fifth round)
Running back 1: Alvin Kamara- New Orleans Saints (First round)
Running back 2: Joe Mixon- Cincinnati Bengals (Second round)
Wide receiver 1: Mike Evans- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Third round)
Wide receiver 2: Amari Cooper- Dallas Cowboys (Fourth round)
Any strategy depends on each fantasy owners’ preferred team building method and even backup strategies in case the players they want are already off the draft board. It is good to come up with alternate strategies just in case. Using one limited strategy for each draft will only lead to frustration.
Botched rankings for two running backs?
Here is a ranking on NFL.com that everyone needs to be aware of: New York Jets Le’Veon Bell projects to be the 14th best running back while Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb projects to finish as the 17th best running back. There are a few issues with this, most importantly that Bell hasn’t done anything to earn a top 15 projection since signing with the Jets. He doesn’t have that Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line to run behind. Granted, the Jets drafted Louisville Cardinals left tackle Mekhi Becton which should help but that doesn’t seem to be enough to earn credibility for the projection. The Jets offense will probably improve but that doesn’t mean it’s wise to take Bell over Chubb. The Browns upgraded their offensive line since they signed free agent right tackle Jack Conklin and drafted Alabama’s, Jedrick Wills. This is an important point because Chubb finished the 2019 season as the eighth-best running back despite a lackluster offensive line. Now the line features Conklin, Wills, Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio, and center J.C. Tretter. Cleveland also drafted Washington Huskies center Nick Harris who could compete for the starting right guard position. Chubb should have better running lanes and might not have to break as many tackles in 2020.
This is just one example of what to look for and what to consider when drafting players. It isn’t enough to base draft selections on stats alone. It’s important to consider other factors such as each player’s team when making choices.