Earlier today I got an Email from from one of our readers who asked me a couple of questions regarding my thoughts on fantasy football. Of the questions he asked, one really made me stop and think because frankly, it’s happened to us all. It doesn’t matter how well you game plan, how well the pieces fall into place, sometimes, a fantasy draft can all of a sudden get away from you.
So what do you do if your draft gets away from you?
First of all, don’t panic, and second of all, don’t throw in the towel.
A couple of years ago I remember a league member completely wigged out because he hit the wrong button and drafted a player he didn’t want. Suddenly, he felt the need to immediately draft another player at the same position to fix the error…and in the process suddenly got away from his game plan. After his two quick picks, he was so frazzled that logged out and let the computer make his picks for him, while he came back later after he cooled off, his draft and his season were over.
Most cases of draft day runaway’s are far less dramatic but they do happen. You hit the wrong button and draft the wrong player, etc…, but there are ways to get out of it.
Nothing spells doom like a run on a position. This is most commonly seen with defenses and tight ends. You have a guy targeted in round 6 and suddenly in round 4 the top 3 come off the board. Picking in the 4th round you panic and click, you just drafted your 6th round pick in round 4. When round 5 rolls your way you realize that the WR talent you were targeting a round earlier isn’t as great as it was…so you decide to draft RB instead, even though you really don’t need to. Or you draft the QB you had targeted in round 6 if your guy wasn’t there. In other words, your off your game plan and the draft is running away from you.
Solution: Stick to your guns. If you have a guy targeted in round 6 or any other round and suddenly the rest of the league go on a tear, use that to your advantage. Remember, if the rest of the league suddenly goes Defense or TE, that leaves WR’s and RB’s or even a top QB. Stick to your plan and don’t give into it. If you really want a player that you simply can’t live without, you should have taken him earlier.
Nothing will make you scream louder than when a league member goes on Autopick. Especially when you know they got bumped out and the guy you want will be taken by that pesky “Your Away” computer droid. So, after autopick is finished, you look to see who the next “auto” guy is and voila, he is your pick. This is seen more with players that are closer to the turn in snake drafts.
Solution: Use it to your advantage. If you know who is coming off the board don’t stress it. Instead, look to see who WILL be there when you pick because you know who won’t be. Use this time to get back on track and formulate a new attack if need be.
Play fantasy football long enough and you will eventually get kicked out of your draft room. A local storm, power surge, sun-spots, and of course, that sucky-ass-POS league site host are all reasons. But make no mistake it’s really easy to miss one or two rounds in any given draft.
Solution: Player Queue. It’s the most frequent cause to go crazy in a draft and the easiest to solve. Add players to your queue. If your queue is full, the computer will not use the “autopick” ranking for you but instead will take off the top of your list in the order you put the players in. Simple.
The One Pick Before Me Slam:
Call it what you want but nothing is more depressing than to have a solid plan in place and the guy before you seems to have the same one. Either one time or what could seem like all the time, the guy you want is taken one spot ahead of you. Leaving you to scramble or throw something at your screen.
Solution: Easy enough. Have two choices ready to go. Or you could simply start wanting the worst players on the board and see if they take those instead…eh, it’s worth a shot right?
It’s your draft:
This is your draft and it’s what you make of it. Sometimes the ball bounces in your direction and you do very well, other times you make the wrong pick here or jump on someone there and the next thing you know, your standing beside yourself shaking your head wondering what the hell just happened. Your draft is over and none of the guys you wanted are on your roster. It happens.
Keep to whatever plan you believe will work for you. If you decide to draft RB, WR, QB, WR, RB in the first 5 rounds, don’t change that. If you have a QB targeted for round 3 and the one you want is not there, take a breath and move on. Swap your QB in round 3 with the WR in round 4 where the value to you may be better.
Never give up. Simply take a deep breath and start over. Look at your roster and if it’s not what you envisioned when you started, look at what you need and make your next pick a need pick. That will reset your thought process and get you back on track. Don’t reach for something that you don’t feel you need have.
Never let the draft consume you. When the players in your queue start leaving to join other teams, use your time to investigate what may be going on. Drafts can be long and cumbersome or they can be fast and furious. It’s easy to get lost in the latter.
Always look at what other have drafted. If you have a 12 team league and in round 4 your trying to decide between a WR and a QB, use your down time to see what’s on the roster of those in front of you. If they all have a starting QB, they are not likely going to draft another one. Same with the teams behind you. So suddenly you can wait a round and draft that WR instead.
Don’t be afraid to draft a guy earlier that his rank. This is different from drafting say a TE in round 4 because there is a run on them. If you want a guy that is 15 spots down on the ranking system, draft him. He won’t be there when your turn comes back up.
This is something that happens quite often with WR’s. You decide to take your WR and when you pull up the list of available you see a bunch of guys at the top your not all that high on. Yet halfway down, or more, is the guy you really wanted. Draft him. If you don’t like those in front of him, don’t take them. Don’t switch off to draft a RB that you don’t need, draft the guy you want. Again, he won’t be there when you make your next pick.
Always plan in two’s. Regardless of whether your on the turn in a snake draft or close to it, always plan your selections in two. See who might be there in the next round. This will help you stay focused on the immediate task of filling your team without losing yourself in a larger picture you can’t control. Have 12 guys ready to go in your mind so that you can stay that one step ahead of yourself.
You are your own worst enemy. Over thinking leads to miscues. Don’t allow yourself to get lost in the “how does my team rate against others” garbage. When you do that, you lose.
Remember, this is your draft. Control it by simply taking a deep breath.