So what do I mean by a balanced roster?? Let’s get more advanced, Counselor style!! It means several different things. Stick with me, once you understand this you will be thinking outside the box.
Firstly, balanced means you need to get a balance of players that have upside and players that have consistency and are safe. This balance will give your team boom potential. For example, in the first the 1-4 rounds you really want the safer more proven talent. (Side note: normally we see RD 1-3 talent bust at times!) Bottom line you still want the elite talent that has been performing year in and out ideally. You want to aim for names that are proven and will get the volume. In mid to late-rounds you want to take some chances on upside and rookies. Balance is key. Playing too safe or playing too risky can hurt your fantasy football team.
Secondly, in balance I mean you need to make sure you have a good amount of depth to cover your positions. I have seen it time and time again where a player is hoarding too much of ONE position and then he has no depth at another position. This is not a good fantasy football draft strategy at all. Make sure you have depth at all positions to accommodate for bye weeks, lack of performance, and injuries.
BALANCE IS POWER!
7. Have a backup plan for a backup plan
I live by the belt, suspenders, and then the superglue theory. Meaning I always back myself up!
Imagine you’re in a draft and all of the players you wanted in round 3 have been taken. You’ve done over 1000 Fantasy mock drafts and you thought you had all your bases covered but all the players you wanted are taken in that round. What do you do? Simple, you have a backup plan for a backup plan. In my 16 Round draft solution video training, I discuss which players to draft in each round, and I always make sure I have a TON of options to choose from no matter where I am in the draft.
A quick heads-up tip here is that when in doubt and panic mode, draft the best available player for the position you MOST need to fill. So if you need an RB roster spot filled and you see a solid RB there pick him up. If you have made a list of players you have to have based on your research, work down that list. Now you may be reaching in some rounds, and that’s ok. I find leagues are NOT won by players in the first 1-3 rounds. Late-round steals can sometimes be the league winners!
This goes back to loading up on an RB early on. You need backup RBs and if you load up early on you will have the depth to cover yourself.
Cover yourself and always have a backup plan!
8. Be REALLY picky and use the “CUDDY” System
I created and trademarked a very simple drafting system you can run through your head before you draft any player for your roster. It’s called the “CUDDY” system. It is very easy to remember and I will tell you what it means and how to use it!
CUDDY stands for Consistency, Upside, Durability, Depth, and Youth. I make sure that any player on my team has at least a 3/5 letter of the Cuddy draft system met. Yes, I am picky, but you have to be in order to dominate your leagues! Let’s dive in a little deeper here:
Consistency, what do I mean? To put it simply, the player ideally must up points year in year out, week in and week out, and game in and game out. I am looking for a player that is super consistent and produces often and a lot.
Upside: The player with the high ceiling and upside. I love the U in the CUDDY. The upside is what wins championships in fantasy football. The only problem here is that with upside comes with major risk. This takes us back to the balanced roster. You need players with both risk and safety on your team.
Durability: This really speaks for itself. I rarely draft injury-prone players or players coming off an injury. I understand that injuries do happen and sometimes they are a fluke, but I stray away from injury-prone players and always aim to land durable and consistent players whenever I can.
Depth: A very critical part of the CUDDY system. I see so many players drafting running backs that are backups and RB 2’s on the team. Most people draft these guys because they are well known or have a “name” I almost always tend to aim higher on the depth chart. I NEVER settle for someone who is or could be behind someone on the depth chart. I will even draft a player with less consistency that is WR one on their team, over a guy that is better known and is a WR 2 on his team. Always aim for the TOP of the depth chart and get the big volume and target guys. Like anything in life, you have to be picky and never settle. Set your standards high all the time. This is your team and winning at fantasy football is what it’s all about.
Youth: Man do I love the youth. There are pros and cons to drafting young talent. I tend to stay away from rookie wide receivers and quarterbacks. I tend to gravitate towards rookie Rb’s mainly. The pros are clear, and the rookies are coming in are HUNGRY. They are hungry to succeed and hungry to leave their mark. The cons are that we don’t know what to expect and we don’t know how they will adapt to the speed of the NFL. If I see a young rookie Rb landing on a team where he will get the volume, I am sure to grab him as my Rb 3-4 on my team after I have already secured my proven workhorse backs. I also love youth because you are getting potential breakout talent before anyone else spots it. This is especially important in keeper leagues.
Implement the CUDDY and get the edge in your fantasy football draft. It works!
9. Don’t overpay for Defenses and Kickers.
I wait as long as humanly possible to draft either a defense or a kicker. To be honest most of the time I end up streaming both positions. This is probably the ONLY time I draft based on ADP. I usually just look at the best possible defense and kicker I can get based on last year’s statistics. Based on my experience and data, I find kickers to be more consistent than defense. The offseason moves on team defense and special teams can be drastic. You will not be getting the same team you got the year before for the most part.
That all being said, if I see 2 or 3 defenses coming off the board in later rounds I may be tempted to grab a top 5 defense based on last year. This is not really a deal-breaker. I find most leagues are getting away from defense and kickers all together. I find the volatility to be a pain at times.
On a side note, IDP player leagues are not something that interests me. I have played in leagues with these individual defensive players and I found it annoying. You spend all this time drafting your team and then all of a sudden the CB on your opponent’s team has the game of their lives. IDP players can be extremely volatile and boom or busty. I stay away from these leagues as they really rely on luck.
10. Stray away from the Consensus rankings!
If you follow the herd you will not win, bottom line. BE THE LION AND NOT A SHEEP! Avoid what I call the Consheepsus rankings.
Every year the mainstream sheep analysts bring out the lists of rankings and tell you this is the ADP. This makes me laugh because it’s literally last year’s top finishers, copy and paste to this year. This lack of thinking was what propelled me to create my brand and offer people better advice that works. I know why the sheep do this though. They copy and paste fantasy football rankings because it’s easy and they play it safe. They don’t want to look bad but reach on unproven players or players that underperformed the year before. The funny thing about all this is that they are terribly wrong every single year.
There is so much more to creating the current fantasy football rankings for the year. You can’t just copy and paste. You have to look at coaching changes, injuries, depth charts, draft results and so much more. The problem with the mainstream is that the sheep analysts always tell you to go with the popular players or the players that did really well last year. This advice is very safe and you don’t win your league with safe advice.
The ADP is just a guideline. Don’t be afraid to stray away from the mainstream and think outside the box. Sometimes you maybe reaching on players and taking some risks. People in the draft will laugh at the moment, but at the end of the year you will have the last laugh!
BE A FANTASY FOOTBALL LION!
Go out there and crush your leagues.
Now you have a really solid fantasy football draft strategy to help you win your league. Here are some additional tips to help you get the edge. I am all about giving you as many tools in your utility belt as I possibly can. Bonus tips inlcude:
- Have no fear and take some risks on some players
- Be confident
- Show up to your draft sober and focused
- Stay on top of the latest news
- Stay on top of the latest injuries
- You can get some solid breakout wide receivers and league winners later in the draft
- Watch the NFL draft. You need to be aware of the rookies coming in and how it affects the offense
Also, make sure you are subscribed to my #1 fantasy football podcast as we go year-round! Make sure you check out the Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet as well!