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2020 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Biggest Draft Mistakes

Sep 2, 2020

With fantasy football drafts approaching, participants need more than rankings, ADPs, sleepers and busts – they need to know how to tighten their draft day approach so that they’re ready for anything that happens. Our experts have chimed in with their top draft day preparation tips and strategies; next up: the biggest mistakes they and others make at the draft.

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Q1. What is the biggest mistake you make in your live drafts?

Looking for too much value rather than reaching a little bit to snag the players I really want on my team. You want a player? Who cares if you reach a round or two to get him? In the end, you have to look at your team and like it.
– Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

Getting too caught up in other conversations to the point that I lose track of what’s going on in the draft. At that point, I go on the clock and I’m scrambling to try and get re-acclimated. With the clock and the pressure, I tend to make rash decisions instead of staying honed in on the draft board.
– Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

Getting caught up in the camaraderie. It’s one thing to draft on a computer with only the chat room serving as your ability to interact with others. But it’s an entirely different story when you’re in the same room as your friends, regaling each other with stories of your youth while also drafting. It’s nearly impossible to maintain focus in those situations and, even now, I struggle with it.
– Dan Harris (@danharris80)

I tend to stray away from rookies too often in redraft leagues. I like proven commodities in fantasy football, perhaps a bit too much. That strategy sometimes caps my team’s overall upside.
– Matt Barbato (@RealMattBarbato)

With so much going on during the draft day from trash talk to snacking, it’s easy to miss a specific target player of yours getting drafted, especially if you’re on one of the turns and there are a lot of players going off of the board in between two picks. Every so often I won’t see one of my targets getting drafted, and then I’ll be on the clock spending too much time searching for the player only to realize he’s gone and settle for a less-than-ideal pick.
– Sam Hoppen (@SamHoppen)

I tend to put too much stock into rookies and young players and write off veteran players a year too early. I very much have the Bill Belichick philosophy when it comes to fantasy players, I would rather sell on veteran players a year early than rely on them a year late. It has served me well, such as when I had Alvin Kamara as the back to own in New Orleans back in 2017, not Adrian Peterson. Unfortunately, relying on too many young players that are sleepers and writing off veteran players also has its downside.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

Q2. What is the biggest mistake other people make in your drafts?

Going in with some set strategy on what they want to do. You must remain fluid, as all drafts are different. Don’t ever say I’m going to start RB/RB/WR or some variety of that. Instead, take value as it’s presented.
– Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

Once you have a few too many beers, you lose your ability to make the smartest decision while on the clock. It might make for a great story the next day for how you took a kicker in the fourth round, but it’s not going to lead to a fantasy football championship.
– Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

Playing to the crowd. Nobody likes to make a pick and be jeered. Everyone loves to make a pick and have his league-mates say, “Great pick!” That’s even more true in a live draft. And it’s entirely irrelevant. There are no prizes for most well-received draft or for the participant who receives the fewest boos. Yet so many drafters get caught up in it. Just ignore the noise and draft the players you think work for your team.
– Dan Harris (@danharris80)

I see way too many people taking quarterbacks and tight ends within the first six or seven rounds of a draft. Unless someone like Patrick Mahomes or Travis Kelce falls way too far, I’m always waiting to nab a starter at those two positions.
– Matt Barbato (@RealMattBarbato)

It’s not necessarily what they do during the draft but in the days leading up to the draft. Specifically, not keeping an eye on player news in the week or so before our draft. I had someone draft Jerick McKinnon in the second round of a draft the day after he tore his ACL – pay attention to the news, folks!
– Sam Hoppen (@SamHoppen)

Taking multiple kickers, defenses, and tight ends or taking those positions too early. There are only a handful of kickers, defenses, and tight ends that you play regardless of matchup. No fantasy owner in their right mind is going to play two tight ends in the same week and no fantasy owner in their right mind is going to sit Kelce for Higbee. A tight end also has very little trade value. It just ends up being a dead roster spot and a wasted pick. The backup defense and the second kicker are just as bad.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

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Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – which optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football draft season.


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