Fantasy football drafts make or break fantasy football teams every year. It's so crucial to be almost flawless during the draft that otherwise if you aren't, your team may not have a chance.
This is a list of the top five mistakes, in no specific order, made in fantasy football drafts.
1. Overvaluing players
I see this happen all too much in fantasy football drafts, people drafting players way earlier then they should be. To name a few for example, in some mock drafts I've seen Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson taken first overall, Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson drafted in the middle of the 1st round and New York Giants Eli Manning drafted at the beginning of the 2nd round.
Now everyone has their own perception of specific players and it can be understandable when they feel the need to assure that they get that desired player. What needs to be remembered though is that the position you draft a player is the value bar you are setting for them. The earlier they're drafted, the lower their ceiling becomes and the higher the expectations are set.
2. Drafting a kicker too early (or at all)
I don't think I will ever understand why some people find it crucial for them to draft a kicker in the 8th or 9th round. When asking you'll always get the response that they'll be one of the best kickers this year.
Well yes they may be one of the best kickers this year, but not by much. Last season there was only about 30 points that separated the number 2 fantasy football kicker and the number 16. That not only means that you should probably be waiting until the last round in your draft, you could probably forget about drafting one altogether. Pick one up off the waiver wire and save those rounds for sleeper picks.
3. Drafting a defense too early
This is the similar reason as the kicker but not as drastic; there was about a 40 point difference between the number 2 and number 11 fantasy football defenses last year. The logic in drafting the San Francisco 49ers in the 7th round this year doesn't make sense.
Wait until one of the very last rounds and you'll be fine. You could even wait to grab one off the waiver wire if you want. I did so last season and grabbed the 49ers off waivers and that worked out great.
4. Failing to load up on RBs
The passing game is on the rise, being utilized more and more each year. In response, the depth for fantasy football running backs is beginning to thin. That being said it's ideal to try and draft as many solid running backs as you can, without overvaluing any of them of course.
I've found that the 2nd and 3rd are ideal for targeting your RB1 and RB2 and then grabbing RB3 in the 5th or 6th. After that I like to wait until the later rounds to snag my sleeper backs. With a little luck I've been able to roster players like Matt Forte, Jamaal Charles and Darren Sproles all on the same team without sacrificing value at the quarterback and wide receiver positions.
5. Being unprepared for the draft & setting your draft date too early
Fairly obvious but felt it still needs to be addressed. You can never be over prepared for your fantasy draft, it is where you're league will most likely be won or lost anyway. Just check out some of the credible sources available around the internet, but take each one with a grain a salt.
Wait until the last minute to have your fantasy football draft. A lot of players like Maurice Jones-Drew, Ryan Mathews and Mike Wallace just don't have the same fantasy football value as they did when fantasy football drafts first started this season.
On a related note, avoid fantasy football magazines. A lot of them are published months before the season starts which makes them outdated. It doesn't make sense to take fantasy football advice on Jones-Drew from a magazine that was published in mid-July.
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Jake has played fantasy football for years and has won numerous leagues. Follow him on twitter,@JGilfix, for his latest sports news, fan perspective articles, or just to talk sports or fantasy sports.