When drafting your fantasy team, what do you look for? What do you value?
Certain players have become more “valuable” than others based off personal encounters and history. If you draft someone who doesn’t deliver, there’s a good chance you won’t draft them again. But why? Players get hurt. But more importantly, they bounce back. Just ask anyone who drafted Jamaal Charles two years ago only to see him tear his ACL in game-1, then come back the next year and go off. Or consider someone like Andre Johnson, who is as consistent as they come. But what happened last year? Sure, he played well…but not as well as you’d expect someone who was considered one of the top two receivers.
My point is, the value of players is not static. It changes. Don’t get comfortable drafting, or not drafting, the same players because of the value that others or you put on them. If you don’t believe in them one year, don’t take them. If you want a receiver in the 2nd round, don’t feel like you have to draft Larry Fitzgerald if you don’t believe he’ll bounce back.
If you believe Cam Newton is still worth that 1st round pick, go get him! Don’t wait until it’s “acceptable” to take him. If you think he’ll throw for 4000 yards and rush for 800 more and 10 TDs, then he’s absolutely worth that first rounder. There’s no such thing as overdrafting.
Just take a guy like Percy Harvin. ESPN has him projected to go 26th. Everybody and their mother knows what Percy Harvin brings to the table. At any moment, he could go off and turn a 5 yard screen pass into an 80 yard jailbreak for a touchdown. He has the potential to end the season as the top fantasy receiver, which I believe is very possible for him this year. He’s a stud receiver, one of the best returners in the game, and also can run the ball. Heck, he didn’t drop a pass last year. With all this, he’s projected to go 26th. It’s a fair prediction, but with the potential value he brings to the table, what’s stopping you from taking him higher? People say he could get hurt and not play. If that’s the case, then you shouldn’t draft him at all! What difference would it make if you draft him in the 3rd round instead of the 2nd round if he doesn’t play. If you draft him at all, it means you’re taking the gamble on his health, so you may as well get him when you can.
If you have the first or last pick of a round, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to reach for any player, or hope he drops back to you after nearly two full rounds of drafting. Are you really confident that after 20 picks (maybe more depending on the amount of teams in your league) he’ll still be there? If he’s your guy, go get him.
Now, I’m not saying to go draft Ryan Tannehill in the first round. But if you have confidence that Michael Vick is going to have another heaven-sent season, why wouldn’t you take him? Sure you could hope that nobody else takes him before it gets all the way back to you, or you could draft him confidently, and start planning your next pick.
If you have a sleeper in mind, and you plan on waiting until the end to take him, it’s probably not the best idea. If you believe he’ll break out, then make sure you get him. Last year I drafted Julio Jones early in one of the first picks of the 2nd round and it paid off. If you know about a player that you think others don’t, you’re probably wrong. You probably heard about him on ESPN, at the same time as a couple million others were watching the same thing. Everyone knows that Danny Amendola is supposed to have a huge year. Everyone knows about Tavon Austin and Alfred Morris. Don’t think you can steal them late this year.
Like I said, don’t be stupid and draft someone with your second pick that you can get in round 7. But don’t be afraid to take someone a round or two above where they’re “supposed” to go. It could come back to bite you, but if you believe in the player, it’s worth the risk.