It’s your buddy Mitch Staniger checking in and proving to be a real five-tool asset to Razzball and the fantasy sports community. OK, maybe five-tool is a stretch, so let’s just agree to agree on two-tool; DFS baseball and fantasy football advice. Now that that is out of the way and I am done patting myself on the back, I am ecstatic to introduce my first fantasy football article for Razzball. This foray into football will be a two-part write-up so tune back in next week for Part II.
As the title alludes, I will discuss a short list of Do’s for your upcoming fantasy football drafts. We are about five weeks from the start of the NFL season, so you have some time to tailor your strategy and I hope the information provided below will help you be successful during the 2022 fantasy football season. Look for Part II next week which will cover the Do Not’s.
For context, the Do’s are based on Best Ball format since we are still a few weeks away from most home league drafts and some of the long-time readers are prepping for next week’s RazzBowl 4 slow drafts. The recommendations below are not solely for RazzBowl and can/should be used in all best ball formats. Starting lineups consist of QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, FLEX, FLEX (RB, WR, TE). Scoring is standard (QB = 6pt for TD pass) plus full PPR.
1. Build player tiers based on the stats you and your league scoring system deem important. As mentioned above, knowing the QB pass TD amount and how that affects your draft strategy is imperative. Same with full PPR versus half-point PPR versus no PPR. Once you have your names ranked 1-N, it is time to build your tiers. Trust me when I say tiers are paramount to a solid draft foundation. Your tiers, if done correctly, will help you make on-the-fly decisions without having to second guess yourself.
2. Have a plan and stick to it until it makes sense to pivot. This usually goes without saying, but it begs repeating until it is part of your process every year. Know your targets, but do not feel married to any of them at any specific point in the draft. Your tiers will address your needs and best value at each draft slot. Allow the draft to come to you while knowing an owner, probably multiple owners, will make mistakes and that is the time for you to pivot. Example: If your normal plan is RB-RB to start, but you are at the bottom turn and all of your Tier 1 RBs are gone, then pivot to your Tier 1 WR and load up there. Your plan should be much more tier-based versus set in stone.
3. Ignore BYE weeks until Rounds 8-9. Based on the Best Ball format (shout-out to Bo Jackson Division of RazzBowl 4), you need to load up early and often regardless of BYE weeks. Now, you do not want to finish 4-5 rounds and only have one position, but that goes without saying. Load up on points regardless of BYE weeks early and fill in backup positions after Rounds 8-9 (all BYE weeks are listed at the bottom of this article for reference). You will thank me later when your first 8-9 picks are primarily from your top tiers!
4. Draft your QB after the Top 10 are gone. Hear me out if you are an owner that normally pays up for QB. Similar to ignoring Bye weeks through the first 8-9 rounds, I think you should avoid QB and load up on skill positions until the first ten QBs have been selected. Consider this…if you are ecstatic with your first 8-9 players based on following my advice above and you can land two of Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Trey Lance, Derek Carr, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Fields, Mac Jones, Zach Wilson, Trevor Lawrence, would you feel comfortable moving forward? Well, the current 2022 Razzball ADP data (consists of Yahoo, BB10’s, NFC, UnderDog, ESPN, and Sleeper ADPs) supports my advice and will place your team in the mix to win your league.
5. Pay up for RB1 and ensure that player is very involved in the passing game. Based on my personal rankings, I have 13 RB slated to have 50+ receptions. Of those 13, only three are not considered their team’s RB1 (McKissic, Hines, Gainwell). My recommendation is to ensure your RB tiers are built with PPR in mind. Do not get me wrong, I do not have anything against names like Taylor, Henry, Chubb, Cook. With that being said, workhorse, run-first backs are put through much more punishment and I prefer to build a roster maximizing the pass-catching abilities of guys like Ekeler, CMC, Saquon, Swift while recognizing the next tier of reception hogs is just below with Fournette, A. Jones, Kamara, and Conner.
6. Loading up on stud WR’s has been my mantra for many, many years and is further solidified by full-PPR and the pass-happy NFL offenses we see each Sunday. Referring back to #2 and #3 above, load up on WR when it makes sense even considering WR-WR to start. There will probably be a handful of WR in the century club (Kupp, Jefferson, Davante, Diggs, Keenan Allen) and there is an outside chance at a few more (Chase, Diontae, Tyreek) that come up just shy of 100. Focus on volume passing games and look at the Top 10 QBs drafted as they are drafted high for a reason…they throw A LOT! Normally the deepest position during the draft and I recommend spending a little more time building your WR tiers as you will have toss-up decisions to make on the fly in the middle rounds with players that all look relatively similar on paper such as Hunter Renfrow, Chris Godwin, Allen Lazard, Brandon Aiyuk, Tyler Lockett, Chase Claypool, Tyler Boyd (all within 30 total points based on my projections), especially if you have loaded up on your RBs early.
7. Draft a Top 5 TE. We all know Travis Kelce is a cheat code. I have no issue drafting him in the first round with full-PPR and knowing he has an opportunity to haul in double-digit TDs, especially with Tyreek gone. I am of the opinion the Top 5 TE are difference maker’s in all fantasy football leagues. Tier 1 should absolutely consist of Kelce alone. Tier 2 includes Andrews and Pitts (keep an eye on his connection with Desmond Ridder leading up to draft day). Tier 3 rounds out our Top 5 with Waller and Kittle. If you miss out on these Top 5 TE’s do not panic. Look to grab 1-2 Tier 4/5 guys in/around Rounds 8-9 (Hockenson, Goedert, Schultz, Ertz, Gesicki).
Remember, fantasy football is fun. It is even more fun when you win! Take the Do’s listed above and weave them into your plans since there is no one way to guarantee success in fantasy football. Attempt to avoid the Do Not’s as they are the fastest way to an unsuccessful season.
NFL BYE Week Schedule:
Week 6: Lions, Raiders, Texans, Titans
Week 7: Bills, Eagles, Rams, Vikings
Week 8: Chargers, Chiefs
Week 9: Broncos, Browns, Cowboys, Giants, Steelers, 49ers
Week 10: Bengals, Jets, Patriots, Ravens
Week 11: Buccaneers, Dolphins, Jaguars, Seahawks
Week 12: N/A
Week 13: Cardinals, Panthers
Week 14: Bears, Colts, Commanders, Falcons, Packers, Saints