Today MyFantasyLinks.com asks some of the industry’s top Fantasy Football experts to name the biggest Fantasy Football draft mistakes they see being made year after year. As you’ll see, the answers were all over the place.
One great thing about running this site is that I don’t have to compete against all the great sites we feature here. Our only goal is to make it easy for Fantasy players to find the very best content to further their efforts in our shared obsession. A byproduct of that process is that we also help the sites that are pumping out that great content. If we do well, they do well. As Stephen Covey would say, “It’s a win-win!”
In addition to all the great links and tools you’ll find here on MyFantasyLinks.com, occasionally we’ll also get to pick the minds of some of the industry’s top personalities. That’s what we get to do today.
Draft day is huge for Fantasy football enthusiasts. It goes a long way in dictating the success (or failure) of your entire season. One or two small slip-ups and you might be the one carrying around the forty-ouncer in a paper bag at the end-of-season party. How can you avoid these Fantasy Football draft mistakes? Well, the first step is in identifying them. Nine Fantasy Football experts are here to help you do that… Well, they’re not here really, they just emailed me, but you get the idea.
Here is the question as I proposed it to each expert: What is the biggest mistake you see fantasy football players make in their drafts?
Below I’ll share a bit about each expert and give you their answers word for word. Let’s get to it!
Biggest Fantasy Football Draft Mistakes
Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy (@fightingchance)
Ryan’s a good friend I’ve worked with at several sites. He runs things over at Fighting Chance and also hosts the Fighting Chance Fantasy Show every Wednesday night at 10pm est. Here’s what Ryan had to say:
“One of the biggest mistakes I can see is not paying attention to head coaching and coordinator changes. Coaching philosophies are so important in fantasy football because it will completely control the play calling. A team that was run heavy one year, could be passing much more the next season if they changed coaches and philosophy. This is a great way to identify guys who may really improve or regress from year to year.”
Matt De Lima, Scout Fantasy (@mattkdelima)
“It’s a classic move! The Reach. We’ve all done it. The excuse is always that you have to go get your guy sometimes, right? Well, whether it is a kicker before the draft’s final round or an aging stud RB or WR that you overvalue, you need to stay on top of average draft position values. Get a feel for your league’s scoring and how to appropriately value each position. You should be participating in one or two mock drafts per week. This will help you understand the range for where certain players will be drafted. Let’s say you really like Jamaal Charles this year as a late sleeper. Well, not everyone agrees with that point of view so you don’t need to take Charles in Round 6. Believe me, you can wait. Practice makes perfect so use mock drafts to your advantage before we get closer to late summer’s drafting season.”
Joe Bond, Fantasy Six Pack (@FantasySixPack)
Joe worked for us over at SoCalledFantasyExperts.com and heads things up for Fantasy Six Pack, where Kevin Huo recently examined this same topic in his article Fantasy Football Draft Mistakes: Don’t Ruin Your Draft. Joe hits on one of the Fantasy Football draft mistakes I know I’ve made a time or two:
“The biggest mistake I see fantasy players make in the last couple of years is drafting too many rookies. I get it, they are exciting, they have major upside. But they have proven nothing. Some of these players pan out, but many more do not. You will have a lot more success in Fantasy Football if you draft the proven vets of the NFL. You can sprinkle in a couple rookies later when it is OK to take the risk for the potential upside. However, to take these guys in the first few rounds is crazy to me. It is highly unlikely you will find another Zeke Elliot, so just stop trying.”
Anthony Aniano, RotoBaller.com (@AAnianoFantasy)
Anthony somehow stays on top of things at RotoBaller.com, where there’s a lot of stuff going on. He also hosts RotoBaller Fantasy Sports Radio where they cover MLB, NFL, and NBA for seasonal and daily fantasy players. Anthony sees the biggest mistake being made in drafts as more about neglecting value:
“The biggest mistake I see in fantasy drafts, outside of the obvious of taking a quarterback before round 5 or a kicker before the last round, is drafting for position instead of best player available. Fantasy football is a simple game in theory, whomever scores the most points wins the game. The position in your lineup that scores those points is irrelevant. However, often times we see owners approach their next pick with a “I need a RB” or “I need a TE” approach. This often leads to the selection of a player with less point potential than someone from a different position who will outscore the selected pick. For example, it is round 5 of a draft and the team has three wide receivers and one running back. The team owner feels the need to select his second running back and chooses Jeremy Hill of the Bengals. When asked why he bypassed players like Brandon Marshall, Jordan Reed and other high performing non-running backs the owners answer is, ‘I needed a running back.’ Leaving points behind, especially earlier in a draft, to fill positions,is one for the biggest mistakes and often leads to underwhelming fantasy seasons.”
Jack Delaney, SoCalledFantasyExperts.com (@jackbmore13)
Jack is the lead NFL writer for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com and has authored several top selling Fantasy Football books, with his latest being The Early 2017 Fantasy Football Overview. I think Jack had me in mind when he thought about the biggest Fantasy Football draft mistakes:
“The biggest mistake I see Fantasy players make is trying to get too cute in their drafts. Some players focus too much on deep sleepers and care more about looking smart than trying to win. In MFL10s especially, you’ll win when you find players in the last few rounds of your draft who can have a meaningful role. That was the case with Kenny Britt last year. Add guys like Robert Woods and Quincy Enunwa instead of Curtis Samuel.”
Jake Ciely, RotoExperts.com (@AllInKid)
Jake is one of the good guys in Fantasy Sports, seemingly always at the top of FantasyPros Expert Rankings, and the host of On Target, this year’s FSTA Fantasy Sports Show of the Year Winner. Jake says too many people are wasting their picks at the end of the draft:
“Drafting bench players with no upside. Stop drafting waiver wire level players that would never see the starting lineup, possibly even during byes. There is no point in drafting a yearly WR5 that averages five Fantasy points per week. Fill that bench with running backs that could become the workhorse due to injury, skill, etc. or receivers with the same potential. That’s how you end up with the Jordan Howard’s of the world.”
David Gonos, DavidGonos.com (@davidgonos)
David of course runs his namesake site, but also founded SoCalledFantasyExperts.com, and in his spare time likes to edit things over at The FNTSY Sports Network. None of this should be too surprising as he is also largely responsible for inventing Fantasy Sports and the internet as well. He’s also one of the biggest advocates for the Fantasy Sports industry and sheds a lot of light in his latest article, Top 47 Free Fantasy Footbal Draft Tools Winners Use In 2017. Not surprisingly he thinks people make a huge mistake when they neglect to use the tools at hand:
“People don’t realize that they can take advantage of the predraft rankings inside the draft room by using FantasyPros Consensus ADP as a comparison. If ESPN has one player going off with an ADP of 52, and CBS Sports has that player lower, with an ADP of 81, then that’s easy value! If you’re drafting on ESPN, you’ll have to take that player a couple rounds earlier than you would on CBS because he’ll be at the top of the draft queue for a long time. But if you’re drafting on CBS, then you can wait until Pick 65-70 before you pull the trigger, figuring others are subliminally being told he should be drafted later.”
John Tuvey, FanBall.com (@jtuvey)
If you’ve been playing Fantasy Football for any length of time you know the name John Tuvey. He’s a former Senior Analyst at TheHuddle.com, Co-Host of The Fantasy Football Party Podcast at 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, and also shared some huge news with me. If you remember Fanball.com from the formative days of the fantasy industry you’ll love the news that Fanball is being resurrected as a daily fantasy platform and killer content site. Information and game play that level the playing field; get your Fanball Number now at Fanball.com! John sees a lot of people ignoring potentially big sources of value in their drafts:
“If ADP is to be believed, fantasy players are ignoring some teams’ WR1s. In particular, whether you think Jeremy Maclin (WR39) or Mike Wallace (WR49) is Baltimore’s WR1 the fact that neither wideout in an offense that threw more than any other team last year cracks the starting lineup even if you’re starting three receivers… well, that’s just criminal. The same case can be made for San Francisco’s Pierre Garçon (WR36), the WR1 in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, or Cleveland’s WR1, especially if it’s the dramatically undervalued Kenny Britt (WR59).”
There you have it. Eight different experts and eight different answers. I was a little surprised at the variety. I figured we’d see a little more overlap. I was also alarmed at how guilty I am of making some of the biggest Fantasy Football draft mistakes.
Do you agree with this panel of industry veterans? Do you think they missed any Fantasy Football draft mistakes? Let them hear it in the comments below.