Editor’s Note: This is the first installment from Luke Wetta, who you may know on Twitter as @FFGator. We’re happy to add Luke to the writing team and look forward to seeing more from Luke in the future.
The first full week of the NFL preseason has passed and fantasy football drafts are starting to take place. As you go into your draft, have you ever wondered what strategies your league mates will be employing? Wouldn’t be nice to know if they favored Davante Adams over Bishop Sankey? Will they load up on receivers or wait to grab a tight end? If you want the answers to all these questions you just need to simply ask. But it is the ability to ask the right questions and provide enough information yourself that separates valuable intel from nothing but smokescreen. Below are tips on how to extract the necessary data to win your drafts.
Tip #1: Provide obvious knowledge and build trust. The fastest way to shut down a conversation is to proclaim your top rated receiver is Keenan Allen. The second year wideout is solid, but no one is buying this statement, which in turn ruins your credibility. Comment that Sammy Watkins is your number one rookie this season with Mike Evans and Brandin Cooks close behind. Your first statement is true and straightforward, constructing a positive foundation in the mind of your opponent.
[inlinead]?Tip #2: Provide stats to continue to build credibility. Mention how Terrance West accumulated nearly 2,800 yards and 42 touchdowns last year in college and how that kind of success would have to carry over into the NFL. This shows you are knowledgeable and willing to share information your opponent may not know. Of course see Tip #3 before throwing out any name.
Tip #3: Bring up players you have no intention of getting involved with in your draft. If the Patriots backfield scares you too much, bring up Stevan Ridley and how you think he can return to 2012 form when he scored 12 touchdowns. You cannot oversell his position (see Tip #1), but you can get your opponent thinking about grabbing the running back with acute fumbleitis (not a scientifically proven ailment…yet).
Tip #4: Do NOT bring up players you have every intention of grabbing in your draft. If the Cardinals’ Michael Floyd is a top target for you and your opponent mentions his name, provide alternatives for them to consider. “Tough to pass up Cordarrelle Patterson’s play making ability” or “Victor Cruz is primed to flourish under the new offense the Giants have put in place.” You are not disagreeing with your opponent but covering your own intentions and offering viable options. In turn, take note of who they are mentioning as someone they are likely willing to reach for in drafts.
Tip #5: Does your opponent utilize Average Draft Position (ADP)? This is important because ADP shows more involvement in analyzing players by not simply using whatever base rankings are most readily available. Mention you would love Rob Gronkowski on your team, but you are just not sure when you would have to grab him in the draft. If your opponent replies that the Patriots tight end is going in the third round and his stock is rising, you are dealing with and ADPer. People who monitor ADP’s are more likely to use them as a guide in their own drafts over generic rankings. But if your opponent exclaims something like, “I am not sure but if you want a top tight end you will likely have to pay for them,” you are more likely dealing with a rankings slave (mention goes out to the TV show The League on FX for that one). If this is the case see Tip #6.
Tip #6: Find out which site your opponent favors for rankings. If you are holding your draft on ESPN, you will want to know if your opponent is simply going to draft closely to what ESPN rankings are or if they are working from a different site. Rankings can vary quite a bit depending on the site, but knowing which rankings are being utilized can help you reach or wait for the guys you want during the draft.
Tip #7: “Don’t skin the sheep.” I may have lost you on that one, but stick with me. If you are able to extract valuable knowledge from your league mates through insightful conversation and end up dominating your draft, do NOT say anything. Yes you would love to revel in craftiness and hang it over their heads all season, but come next year that knowledge will be gone. You no longer will know their targets, sleepers or strategies and be left with worthless comments of disdain. You can shear a sheep every year, but skin him only once.
What tips do you have when it comes to the fine art of talking draft strategy.
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