Can you smell it? That's the odor of pigskin wafting ever closer as the NFL regular season approaches. A huge percentage of fantasy drafts will go down in the next week. If this weekend is your only draft, I hope you've been mock drafting. You can analyze the player pool all you want, but until you've went through the process, you just can't know the ins and outs that each different year brings. To help those of you who haven't taken the time to do some serious mocking, I'll share my five commandments for fantasy football drafts for the 2010 season. Yeah, I know, there are supposed to be 10 commandments, but we're talking about a league with
1. Thou Shall Disregard the Bye Week. -- At almost every draft, someone starts ranting because they've inadvertently drafted a high number of players with the same bye week. Who cares. It might even be a good thing. Think about it. Would you rather run your team at 80 percent for four or five weeks, or toss a week and click on full cylinders the rest of the season. You might even get lucky and catch another owner with numerous byes and squeak out a victory. I'm not saying to plan your byes for the same week, just to ignore byes altogether. If your fantasy team can't absorb one loss, it likely wasn't going anywhere anyway.
2. Thou shalt not draft a defense until the last two rounds. -- Seriously, team defense is the easiest slot to play the matchups. I don't care what defense we're talking about, they're likely to do well if they play the Rams, Seahawks, or Buccaneers. If you get to the last two rounds and a great defense is there, go ahead and grab it. Just don't lose out on high upside sleepers at wide receiver or running back in order to get a defense that may turn out to be worse than they were supposed to be.
3. Thou shalt not covet thy QB. -- Yeah, I love watching
4. Honor thy running backs and wide receivers. -- With the current trend of sharing backfield carries and goal line touches, the running back pool is suddenly filled with question marks. By my count, there are 13 RBs who can be considered primary ball carriers. That's pretty deep when you look at the issues surrounding NFL receivers once you get past the top three or four.
5. Thou shalt not ignore the tight end as a flex option. -- For years, fantasy owners have filled the flex position with extra running backs and generally done well. Unlike running back and wide receiver, the tight end position is loaded this year. Typically, Fantasy owners would sneak out with an
Since many of you will be drafting this weekend I'll share a few of my last minute observations. It's hard to take too much from three preseason games, during which we've seen starters for maybe four quarters, but some players have still stood out.
Looking for running backs that will exceed their ADP?
Many experts considered Best too small to carry a heavy load and were also concerned about the Lions' shaky passing game. Best has been as impressive as any RB in the league this preseason, exploding outside for huge gains, but also running effectively between the tackles.
Jackson has still been going in the first round in public leagues, but he's falling more in the expert leagues I've been a part of. The back injury was a concern and the Rams' offense was pathetic last year. Jackson has looked renewed this preseason and
I've tried to ignore the hype around
One last word on drafting; remember, you can go in with a plan, but every draft is different. Be prepared to take the best player available even if they don't fit into your master scheme. Not only do you need to know the players, but also know the ins and outs of your league setup. Football has a wider range of scoring systems than any other fantasy sport. Be the owner who takes advantage of that and you'll find yourself in the postseason. Once you're there, anything can happen.
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Doug Anderson is the Executive Editor at