Fantasy Football Draft Day Do’s and Don’ts

Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (L) runs past San Francisco 49ers cornerback Shawntae Spencer for a touchdown during the second quarter of their NFL football game in San Francisco, California October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Regular TSR readers may have noticed that I haven’t written much (any) fantasy football content here this season. That’s because I’ve launched my own site ( and have also joined as Contributing Editor.

I thought I’d put together a quick list of do’s and don’ts that fantasy owners should keep in mind on draft day. These are meant for fantasy owners in 12-team drafts. If you’re in a 10-team league, you can typically wait longer than the rounds I’ll mention.

DO utilize the ol’ RB/RB draft strategy in the first two rounds if your league requires two starting RBs (or has a RB and a flex position). The depth at RB is pretty thin this season and I’m not too confident in the guys that are available in the 3rd/4th rounds. Ahmad Bradshaw is an exception, as is Jahvid Best in PPR leagues. Meanwhile, the depth at WR is solid, so it makes sense to go RB/RB/WR/WR in the first four rounds.

If you’re in a PPR league, DO consider LeSean McCoy amongst the top six RBs (the others are Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles and Chris Johnson). In standard leagues, Rashard Mendenhall is a solid pick at 1.06. If you’re outside the top 6 in PPR formats, DO draft Darren McFadden, who has the most upside of any RB in the second tier.

In the second round, DO consider Peyton Hillis and Matt Forte, especially in PPR formats.

In the late 2nd or early 3rd, DO consider Mike Wallace and Vincent Jackson. Both players are good bets to finish in the top 10 at WR.

In the 4th/5th rounds of PPR drafts, DO look to grab Felix Jones, who should make a fine RB2 for those owners who drafted a WR or QB early.

DON’T draft a QB early, not when you can get Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan or Josh Freeman in the 6th/7th rounds. Even if you miss out on those guys, Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning and Jay Cutler are good lead QBs in a Quarterback By Committee.

DO try to get Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford or Ryan Fitzpatrick as your QB2. Also, Colt McCoy is shooting up my rankings due to his fine preseason play. Kevin Kolb is another decent option due to his strong job security.

If you’re in a PPR league, DO draft a stud TE in the 4th (Antonio Gates) or 5th (Jason Witten, Dallas Clark or Jermichael Finley). There is a lot of depth at TE this year, so if you miss out on these guys wait until the 8th or 9th and pick Rob Gronkowski, Marcedes Lewis or Kellen Winslow.

Jacksonville Jaguars Don Carey cant stop New York Giants Mario Manningham from diving into the end zone for a 26 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter at New Meadowlands Stadium in week 12 of the NFL in East Rutherford, New Jersey on November 28, 2010. The Giants defeated the Jaguars 24-20. UPI /John Angelillo

DO target Mario Manningham in the 5th/6th round. He should be a very solid WR2 in all formats with Steve Smith gone, and is one of my favorite middle-round value picks.

DON’T draft Marques Colston or Anquan Boldin before the 6th and 8th rounds, respectively. Colston is dealing with a knee injury while Boldin has lost a step.

DO target Mike Thomas, Santana Moss and Lance Moore in the middle rounds. In PPR leagues, DO look for Danny Amendola and Davone Bess as your WR4.

DO target Mike Tolbert or Tim Hightower if you need a RB3 in the 7th/8th rounds. Both players are likely to outperform their current ADP (Average Draft Position).

DO spend a 12th/13th rounder on Terrell Owens — he’ll land somewhere early in the season and get WR1/WR2 targets the rest of the way.

DON’T waste a pick on Randy Moss. He may very well come out of retirement, but he proved last season that he can’t acclimate to new teams very well.

DO look to snag Greg Olsen, Jared Cook or Brent Celek as your TE2. DON’T draft Chris Cooley, who is dealing with a troublesome knee injury. DO think about his backup, Fred Davis, in the later rounds.

If you’re in a league with many/unlimited transactions, DON’T draft a defense before the 13th round. Target the Patriots if the Packers, Eagles, Jets and Steelers are all gone. If you miss out on NE, DO utilize Defensive Team By Committee or Defensive Team By Waiver Wire (which will be a weekly feature at 4for4).

DON’T pick a kicker before the 15th round. Target guys who kick for teams with good offenses like Stephen Gostkowski, Alex Henery, Garrett Hartley and Adam Vinatieri. Josh Brown, Matt Bryant and Neil Rackers are good sleepers.

Finally, DO sign up at, where I’ll be posting my waiver picks, DTBWW and more on a weekly basis. Readers who use this link to subscribe will have a better chance of getting their questions answered during the season. Click here for details.

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