Your Draft Position Doesn't Suck, You Do
I still remember my first ever fantasy football league. I drafted in the 7 spot in a ten-team league. I waited with great anxiety hoping that CJ Spiller, who was a giant piece of shit that year, would fall to me; instead, he was taken 6th, I grabbed Megatron 7th and a championship was born.
Since then, I have played quite a lot of fantasy football, and I have done more mockdrafts that any human should ever attempt let alone admit to all with one steadfast conclusion:
Draft position DOES NOT MATTER.
From the most bush league of rookie leagues to the highest stakes FFC leagues, titles are won from all draft positions, so as you prepare for your draft, think about these five considerations with regards to your draft position as opposed to complaining about said position.
Adapt your strategy
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” This can apply to Mike Tyson as much as fantasy football. You WILL get punched in the mouth during the draft. That player you had your heart set on will be gone, or your hometown favorite will be taken, or you hoped to start WR heavy but four picks in a row before you were all WR, whatever it may be, you are going to take a punch (or two) to the mouth. Consider having multiple plans/strategies. I tend to have a flowchart in my mind. Simple “if/then” logic can put you in a spot where you don’t have to panic. Airlines create an emergency book for pilots for a reason: so that in the event of an emergency, they don’t have to actually “think” about what to do; the thinking was already done. Prep for your draft the same way--prepare for “in the event of an emergency” because that emergency will happen.
Consider what isn’t happening as much as you consider what is happening
So often in drafts, we start to worry about what IS happening. That five running backs just went or that owners are starting to get their QB or their D/ST, and that prompts us to join in on that run. Panic sets in… “...but I have to get mine now, too because everyone else is.” However, stop and think for a minute, if everyone else is starting to take position X, that means no one is taking position Y. So, instead of always reacting to what IS happening by joining in on the run, be sure to take a minute to consider what isn’t happening--it might allow you to stock up great depth and have outstanding trade pieces for mid-season fun.
Drink the right amount
If you become a regular to our site (and we hope you do), you will know that the Vegas Write-Off team loves to drink and that I will even be writing pieces about “Cocktails of the Week” to help you get through the ups and downs of fantasy football. So, it only seems right that we provide you with some drinking advice for your draft. I often hear of people who chose not to drink at all during the draft in order to ensure a “clear head.” Of course, who am I to say they are wrong; however, I am going to say they are wrong. While I wouldn’t advocate getting hammered before the draft (I have tried that draft strategy with less than ideal success--thanks a lot Tito’s and red wine draft of 2017), we do need to remember that part of playing fantasy football is to have FUN. So, don’t take yourself or the game too seriously. At Vegas Write-Offs, we advocate just enough to help you enjoy the time with the rest of the league and maybe take one risk with a draft pick you wouldn’t otherwise do. It is okay to listen to your liquid courage once during the draft (unless your liquid courage is telling you to take Corderelle Patterson in round 4 circa 2014--that is/was a bad idea).
The draft is just the beginning
This one is easy. Whether you love or hate your draft, always remember (and so don’t talk too much shit in the moment) that the draft is the easy part. The day-to-day moves are where the money is made.
Don’t make excuses
And most importantly, do NOT be the guy who starts using draft position as an excuse. If you pick 1st or 12th, 4th or 9th, do not look at your draft and start in on the “well ya, of course, my draft sucks; yours would, too, if you had to pick in the X spot.” Draft position DOES NOT MATTER, so do not be that guy who tries to say it does. Draft the best you can, make the needed moves, and deal with the consequences with your head held high and your bottle empty!