Some guy named Mark Twain once said, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”, and although Twain died over 50 years before Fantasy Football was created, you’ll be hard pressed to find better fantasy draft advice.
Every year, people spend weeks (months in some cases) and countless hours on research – from mock drafts, to crunching stats, to analyzing trends, to draft strategies – all in preparation for their draft. Ultimately, the goal being to “win” the draft, and rightfully so. While it takes much more to win your league than a great draft (waivers, trades… luck), a bad draft is a surefire way to lose it. So then the question becomes, how do you avoid a bad draft? The answer is simple –
Look for consistency.
Whether you’re reading an article from your favorite fantasy analyst, watching ESPN, or having a conversation with a friend, you can’t avoid hearing about all of the “sleepers” and “breakout” candidates, or the rookie who’s going to take over the league, or the guy that went to someone’s High School who is 3rd string now but dominating training camp… Don’t believe the hype. Nothing wrong with taking a gamble late in the draft, but spending an early draft pick on a rookie/sleeper will lead to frustration more often than not. Yeah, there will always be exceptions – anyone who took Cam Newton in 2o11 looked like a genius, and probably won their league, but ask anyone who drafted Melvin Gordon in the 3rd/4th round last year how their season went – and for every Cam, there’s 20 Gordons.
More often than not, the guys who consistently put up numbers year in and year out, will continue to put up numbers. Passing teams will be passing teams, running teams will… run. So why not build your team around historical data? And no, I’m not saying to not draft rookies, or draft all old guys, or don’t take any risks, but I am saying be weary of when you take that sleeper, and weigh the risk/reward as these are the decisions that will potentially break your season… Before it even starts.
The 2016 Fantasy Football Draft Rankings: