Thou Shalt Not Draft Stupidly
By Dan O'Donnell
The NFL season officially starts tonight, and that means only one thing: Falconio will not leave his apartment save for grocery shopping and work for the next five months.
It also means that, if you haven't already, you'll soon be drafting your fantasy football team and, as a public service to you the listener, Jeff and I created the Ten Commandments of Fantasy Football Drafting a few weeks ago.
Since then, I've gotten a number of emails requesting them, so here they are:
I. I am the Draft, thy priority. Thou shalt have no other priorities before me.
Clear your schedule, baby! Turn off the cell phone, tell the wife you'll see her in a few hours, and concentrate on the task at hand--drafting the best team you can and making fun of your friends who don't.
II. Thou shalt not go into thy draft unprepared.
Read the latest Athlon guide, study the Yahoo! rankings, and have a plan before your draft starts. Nobody wants to be the guy who asks "Is Thurman Thomas still playing?"
III. Observe thy Cheat Sheet, keep it holy.
A heavily researched, detailed position-by-position ordering of the top players is (pardon the pun) a godsend when just you're not sure if Eli is a better pick than Kitna.
IV. Honor thy Tomlinson and thy Steven Jackson.
These are the big dogs amongst running backs, and running backs are the big studs on any fantasy team. Make sure to get the best possible RBs you can as early as you can or your team's backfield will look like the Packers'.
V. Thou shalt understand thy league's scoring system.
How many points is a receiving touchdown worth? A passing touchdown? Are interceptions worth negative points? Will punt return touchdowns count for my team defense? All of these questions should be answered well before draft day.
VI. Understand thee the most current injury reports.
Call this the Fred Taylor rule. You never want to be the guy who thinks he's getting a steal in the fifth round and then realizes the player's been in traction since mid-July.
VII. Do not covet thy home team's players.
This rule seems to be especially important for Packer fans. I took a call last weekend from a dude who drafted (no kidding) Bubba Franks and Mason Crosby. I love Favre as much as the next guy, but you've got to be objective in your drafting. This is 2007, not 1997.
VIII. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain, unless you've just taken Tony Gonzalez in the second round, Baltimore's defense in the third, and Adam Vinatieri in the fourth.
Tight ends, kickers, and team defenses should never be taken before the fifth round. Sure, Antonio Gates scores points like a wide receiver, but so do, I don't know, WIDE RECEIVERS?!?!? Chances are a good second receiver will outscore a great tight end every week. Draft accordingly.
IX. Thou shalt not draft an entire team that has a bye in Week 8.
Believe it or not, you should take into consideration when your players have bye weeks. Most people overlook this, but it's importance can't be understated. Think about it--if your quarterback and two starting running backs all have a bye in week 7, and your two wide receivers, tight end, kicker and defense are all on bye the following week, you're likely looking at two straight losses.
X. Remember always to have thee some fun.
This is the happiest day of the fantasy football year. You and nine buddies get together, drink some beer, make fun of one another, and talk football for three hours. What could possibly be better than that? Sure, you want to take your draft seriously, but don't be so serious that you don't have any fun while you're there.