FFL: Draft Dos & Don'ts

Updated: August 29, 2005, 12:20 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN Fantasy Games
Draft day is right around the corner in most leagues, and with the countdown clock ticking, here's a handy tip sheet of the important dos and don'ts at the draft table:

Don't draft a wide receiver in the first round. Some say Randy Moss is a talented enough player to be worthy of your first selection, but the truth is that fantasy leagues are rarely won building around receivers. Last year, Muhsin Muhammad had the 18th-most FFL points in performance scoring, while Moss finished 17th at his position, thanks in part to missing games. Unless you're convinced Moss is going to enjoy one of the best years of his career -- something like his 1,632 yards and 17 TDs of 2003 -- he's simply not that much better than the rest of his brethren to warrant that early a pick. Why should we assume a guy who played just 13 games and had 49 catches a year ago is guaranteed to return to his career-best form, especially when that same guy just switched teams in the offseason?

Do get at least two quality running backs with your first three picks. We've talked a lot this preseason about the depth at running back, but even in a year rich in runners, can anyone really argue that there are more than 20 top-notch options? In a 12-team league, that's still less than two per team, meaning someone is going to get stuck taking chances. Fantasy owners all know how quickly reliable running backs fly off the board, and they'll litter the first two rounds of your draft with picks at this position. No matter how confident you are in picking sleepers at running back, wait until the fourth round to pick your second starter and you'll have to take a big chance on someone like Michael Bennett, Warrick Dunn or DeShaun Foster. In addition, you'll have to spend many of your later picks building depth at the position in case your starters don't pan out, while the owner with two solid backs can use those picks to strengthen him or herself in other areas.

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