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Fantasy Football – The Best Ability is Availability

A recipe for success is just that.  A recipe.

The following is a recipe, a guide, a road map if you will, that if properly executed without unforeseen circumstances will make you the envy of any office, a future playoff participant, and possibly even a 2021 Fantasy Football League Champion!

But back to that unforeseen circumstance line.

Failing to check the inactive list.  Forgetting to substitute a player during their bye week.  Those are foreseen.

But if the recipe calls for ripe tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and a hint of parmesan.  And you get Christian McCaffrey for only three games, Dak Prescott as your starting QB, and your WR2 is in COVID-19 protocol?  That’s unforeseen.

Round One – There is no magical formula for winning your Fantasy League with the selection of your first overall pick.  As a matter of fact, no pick is more predetermined than round one.  You are taking the best running back available according to most fantasy draft’s analysis – period.  Christian McCaffrey (CAR) is the logical first pick despite an injury-prone 2020, followed by Dalvin Cook (MIN), Derrick Henry (TEN), Alvin Kamara (NO), Ezekiel Elliot (DAL), Saquon Barkley (NYG), Nick Chubb (CLE), and Aaron Jones (GB) in that order.  End up with Jonathon Taylor (IND) and don’t worry.  That just means you’re picking early in round two.

Round Two – I understand that a Patrick Mahomes (KC), Lamar Jackson (BAL), or DeAndre Hopkins (AZ) may still be available, but you need to stay at running back and find someone that will get you 25 carries.  Najee Harris (Pitt) was drafted out of Alabama to be the Steelers’ answer.  James Robinson (JAX) and Gus Edwards (BAL) have secured top billing due to the injuries of Travis Etienne and JK Dobbins.  And I like Melvin Gordon Jr. (DEN) even though the Broncos drafted Javonte Williams in the second round.  But I’m betting on Josh Jacobs (LV) if he’s still around.  Jacobs’ stock has plummeted after the Raiders signed Kenyon Drake to a huge deal in the offseason but based on Jacobs’ 1,000 + season including 12 TDs, I think he’s worth the risk.

Round Three – Unless tight end Travis Kelse (KC) is still on the board, round three is for the best wide receiver available.  Look for an AJ Brown (TEN), Justin Jefferson (MIN), or Mike Evans (TB) type of player.  If you take a quarterback not named Mahomes, Jackson, or Josh Allen (BUF), you are dead to me.

Round Four – It’s receiver time again unless tight end Darren Waller (LV) is available.  I love George Kittle (SF) but not with a rookie quarterback throwing to him, and Kyle Pitts (ATL) may need some time.  There should be plenty of top receivers such as Robert Woods (LAR), Tyler Locket (SEA), or Adam Thielen (MN).  Robert Woods has had back-to-back 90 catch seasons with Jared Goff at quarterback.  That’s like 110 catches in Matthew Stafford dog-years.

Round Five – If there is a quarterback like Russell Wilson (SEA) or Dak Prescott (DAL) that you have to have, I get it.  But I promise you that plenty of quarterbacks will be around later.  Finish your wide receiver trio here by watching value such as a Courtland Sutton (DEN), Kenny Golladay (NYG), or take a flier on Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE).

Round Six – Round six is where I generally pick a quarterback unless a good running back falls this far, or a tight end like Mark Andrews (BAL) is still on the board.  Aaron Rodgers (GB), Justin Herbert (LAC), and probably the two I named in round five will still be around.

Round Seven, Eight, Nine, and Ten – These rounds are all about depth.  You have tons of young wide receivers to bet on such as a Jerry Jeudy (DEN), Jaylen Waddle (MIA), or Laviska Shenault Jr. (JAX).  Grab a tight end like Noah Fant (DEN) or Robert Tonyan (GB) and add two more running backs such as Michael Carter (NYJ) or Phillip Lindsay (HOU).  Finally, keep your eye on wide receiver Michael Thomas (NO) as he is easily worth a roster spot despite the injury and headaches.

Round Eleven – It’s a little early, but I like to have a point-scoring defense.  I like the Baltimore Ravens or Washington Football Team around here.  The Rams play a little too up-tempo, and Pittsburgh is a little down.  Watch for Tampa Bay, Denver, and San Francisco as well.

Round Twelve adds more depth.  Round Thirteen I pick a back up tight end.  Round Fourteen I take a top kicker.  And Round Fifteen is my backup quarterback.

 

Now have a great draft, have a great time, and go out there and break a leg! (Not you Dak Prescott).

Images via nashvillecityclub.com, yahoo.sports.com, latimes.com, thecomeback.com, nola.com, nbcsports.com

Alan Tapley The Athletic Supporter

Alan Tapley is an educator, author, and blogger who has lived just outside of Boulder for the last twenty years.  His published work includes two novels, two children’s books, a series of cartoons in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and multiple sports related articles. His love for family and the state of Colorado is only matched by one thing, his passion for sports.  The first baseball game he ever attended was at Wrigley Field, before there were lights.  At the final Bronco game at the old Mile High, he allegedly cut out a piece of his seat in the South stands.  But regardless of being here for the Avalanche’s last Stanley Cup, the Rockies only World Series appearance, and all the Broncos’ Super Bowl Victories, his wife never fails to remind him that he wasn’t at the University of Colorado in 1990, like she was.  The year the Buffs football team won the National Championship

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