So you've decided to live vicariously through talented athletes! Follow these easy instructions, and you'll be hoisting your home made trophy and drinking your celebratory wine coolers in no time!
As any fantasy expert will tell you, the key to your team is the runningback position. These are the players who get the most touches, be they carries or receptions, and have the potential to score touchdowns both on the ground and through the air. It is essential that you land a quality runningback early in your draft, lest you be mocked for trotting out Kevin Faulk week after week. That shit stings, man. Of course, rumor has it that Faulk is a level four Cleric so he may be worth looking at in the later rounds in deeper leagues.
If you land the top overall draft pick, the runningback world is your oyster. You have your pick of any of the league's top backs, and in all likelihood will wind up selecting Adrian Peterson, a physical specimen brave enough to forego the obvious "AP" nickname in favor of "AD" (for All Day). However, Peterson is not your only option at the top of the draft, and having the number one selection can often be a curse, as you're forced to wait approximately 7.2 hours before you pick again in a snaking draft.
As a sidenote, if you're doing an auction draft, well congratulations, you're buying human beings. Say hi to the Confederacy for us.
Both Michael "Burner" Turner and Maurice Jones-Drew are solid options if you are not able to land Peterson. You may want to select Mo-Jo ahead of Turner, however, as the Burner logged an insane amount of carries in his first full season toting the rock last year and could be due for a bit of a letdown this season. Jones-Drew lacks size, but always remember, what a Hobbit lacks in stature he makes up for with fortitude and determination. And a hearty appetite, of course.
Plus, this year he doesn't have to split carries with Frodo
If you're unable to land one of the top runningbacks in the NFL, do not feel the need to reach just because it's the position experts tell you is most crucial. With the rise of the runningback by committee across the NFL, the worth of lesser backs is quickly diminishing. If you've got one of the final picks in the first round or an early pick in the second round and don't have one of the top tier backs, it's perfectly okay to select Drew Brees or Tom Brady, the top two quarterbacks on the board, or Larry Fitzgerald.
It's difficult to choose between Brees and Brady, because between the weird birthmark on Drew's face and the tremendous buttchin boasted by Brady we find both of them a tad disconcerting, so go with Fitzgerald, who is arguably the best receiver in the league. You can always find a quality runningback like Derrick Ward in later rounds, and if you don't get Fitzgerald, you can snag someone like Anthony Gonzalez in round seven or eight.
At least, we hope it's a birthmark...
One thing to remember is that apart from the top tier receivers and quarterbacks, those positions are pretty much a dime a dozen. The point difference between the 5th best QB and the 10th best is minimal from week to week, unless you're foolish enough to draft JaMarcus Russell or Kyle Orton. If that's the case, well, you'll need more than just this helpful guide to make it a successful fantasy year for you.
Doctor's estimate that malt liquor consumption is
responsible for 75% of all Kyle Orton selections
Another thing to keep in mind is that just like in real life, kickers are the losers of fantasy football. Basically, fuck 'em, you can get one in the last round or on the free agent market after the draft and you'll be no worse for the wear.
Don't fall too in love with sleepers, either. Each year, you hear about some rookie or career backup who is tearing it up in training camp, and you develop an unnatural mancrush. It's okay, it's happened to all of us at some point or another (damn you, Jerious Norwood...you broke our heart).
You also cost us $100. We'll take a check.
And it's okay to have a few sleeper picks up your sleeve. The key is to not jump the gun on selecting them. So you like what you hear about LeSean McCoy out of Eagles camp? Great! We expect some good things. But don't go taking him in the fourth round just because you're afraid of losing out on your super sleeper who will guide you to the promised land. Remember: it's all well and good to want to jump on an unproven sleepers bandwagon, but don't let it get in the way of selecting more proven playmakers who will in all likelihood have more productive seasons.
Draft strategies differ from year to year. As we've already mentioned this year you can expect to see more runningback platoons than in recent memory. You should also take care to avoid drafting receivers from a team that likes to spread the ball around a lot, lest you wind up with your top receiver catching 45 balls and four touchdowns this season. And unless you get points for supporting the AARP, you'll probably want to avoid Brett Favre.
Still, the importance of positional drafting is ever present. To be your most successful, you should target positions in the following order: runningbacks, quarterbacks, wizards, wide receivers, mages, tight ends, healers, defense, hot cheerleaders, that guy who sells the nachos, and, finally, kickers. Follow these simple rules, and the rest is cream cheese!