The startup draft in a dynasty fantasy football league is critical to your success. You cannot win your league in the draft, but you can seriously set yourself back by making poor decisions.
Plan Your Board Ahead of Time
Before the draft, establish a game plan. There is a good two-step process to do this. First, look at each position starting at the end of the draft and work towards the beginning, identifying players you like at their cost. Second, use different strategies to see how your roster would look with your target players. How do you feel if you select four running backs in the first six rounds compared to four wide receivers? Likewise, how do you feel if you wait on a quarterback and/or tight end instead of selecting one early?
This exercise will give you benchmarks and pivot points to identify when the unexpected happens during the draft.
Chose A Contending Window
There is no one size fits all strategy in dynasty fantasy football. Some owners aim to win in year one, while others look to build a long-term team. While reasonable minds can differ on the proper strategy, once you decide on a time frame for your team, every decision you make should be aimed at executing that strategy. Your player selections and trade decisions should all reflect the strategy you choose. Like oars on a boat, your decisions should all pull in the same direction.
If you are taking a win-now approach, you should avoid rookie wide receivers who rarely produce earlier in their career. Instead, you should favor veteran wide receivers with at least one top 24 seasonal finish in their career. If you are going to mix veterans with rookies, the optimal route is veteran wide receivers paired with rookie running backs as both are capable of short-term production.
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