Advice for your fantasy football draft

Why to wait on a quarterback and reach for a running back

written by: joe clark
Photo courtesy of USA Today
Josh Allen is an underrated fantasy football quarterback option this year due to his rushing ability. He also has a new top receiver in Stefon Diggs

The NFL season starts just one week from today, which means this weekend and up until kickoff next Thursday, there will be a lot of fantasy football drafts. To help you prepare for draft night, here’s a guide that will at least ensure you avoid your league’s last place punishment. 

Don’t wait for a running back

This may seem obvious, but this year taking a running back early will be especially important. 

Running back depth this year is lacking to say the least, so making sure you have two good starters will be important this year.

 If you’re picking at the top of the draft, Christian McCaffery and Saquon Barkley are easy picks, but there’s talent in the back of the first round/early second round with Josh Jacobs, Aaron Jones, Austin Ekeler and Nick Chubb. If I have the No. 10 pick or later I would target two running backs to take with my first two picks. 

If you wait until the late third round for a running back, you’re gonna have a very questionable list of guys who all have legitimate injury or playing time concerns.

Wait on a quarterback

Unless Patrick Mahomes falls to you past the second round or you’re in a league with fewer than ten teams, I wouldn’t take a quarterback until you have both running back and receiver spots filled up. 

You can end up with a quarterback like Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson in the sixth or seventh rounds, or if you wait even longer you could get Josh Allen, Tom Brady or Drew Brees. 

Allen is a very solid quarterback option this year in my opinion because he gives you a lot of production in the ground game (17 total rushing touchdowns in two seasons, which in most leagues give you two more points than passing touchdowns). He also has a legitimate No. 1 receiver this year in Stefon Diggs. 

Brady’s been a disappointing fantasy quarterback the last few seasons, but that should change this year given he’s throwing the ball to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin instead of Philip Dorsett. 

In addition, the point differential between a good quarterback and an average quarterback likely won’t be higher than a point differential between a good running back or wide receiver and an average one. 

Quarterbacks have to perform every game, so you’re going to get points from the position. 

Running backs and wide receivers are a lot streakier, especially worse ones, so you won’t get as much value from your draft if you take a quarterback too soon.

Institute a last place punishment

This is more a suggestion for whoever your league commissioner is, but every league should have a good punishment for whichever poor soul finishes in last place. 

It’ll keep teams that fall out of contention motivated all year, because no one wants the humiliation of singing Third Eye Blind karaoke in a bar or being forced to wear a male romper to a Buffalo Wild Wings.