Fantasy Football: The Art of the Value Draft

Many fantasy owners believe that the key to having a good year in your respective league is to hit on your first few picks in your draft. While itís true that you have to make those first few picks count to have a chance to compete in a league, the real great teams are probably built deeper in the draft, in rounds five or later. This is the area of the draft where you learn who has done their homework and prepared and who just picked up a fantasy magazine on their way to the draft.

This method is almost an art form of knowing not only what player to pick, but when to pick them. To be informed and have a great feeling about a guy, but blowing that homework and picking him in round 3 negates all the work and preparation. Get your studs and stand-bys in the first several rounds, then start picking your spots to take guys you feel, or you have been informed about, that should have great years. Take for instance a couple of receivers from this years crop of value players like Andre Davis (CLE) and Terry Glenn (DAL). These players have been, for the most part, very consistent performers in this young season. These two receivers have been outperforming many players taken, in most drafts, rounds ahead of them.

Put Andre Davisí numbers next to Koren Robinson or Chris Chamberís statistics. Youíll see that Davis has outperformed both of these receivers who were picked higher in most leagues this year. Davis has the advantage on these two in yards and draws even with Chambers in TDís with two. In one of my leagues, Chambers was drafted in round five and Davis in round ten. And Koren Robinson, who Davis out performs in yards and TDís, he was taken in the fourth round. Howís that for value in a tenth round pick??

You can also take Terry Glennís 04í stats and put them up against some other receivers who may have been overvalued in this years draft, like Marty Booker or Jerry Porter. Glenn has more receiving yards and touchdowns than both of these higher picked receivers, but probably only cost his owner no higher than a 9th or 10th round pick. How would you like to have Terry Glennís statistics in your third receiver spot this year?

There are two morals to this story. Moral one is always to be prepared for your draft. Keep up on offseason news such as injuries, free agency moves, NFL draft acquisitions and coaching changes. These little tidbits of information all add up when it comes to fantasy draft time. Take all those bits of info and try to piece them together the best you can to come to some conclusions about some players. Just because Joe Schmoe put up good or bad numbers the year before doesnít mean they are going to do the same this year. Did a new QB come to town via free agency? Or did the teams Joe Schmoe plays for draft a big stud LT in the draft?

Moral two is to pick your spots wisely. Donít jump on players you are high on too early in your draft. If you jump on these guys early and they donít pan out like you think they will, your team is going to be in a world of hurt because the back end of your roster is going to be much weaker than it should be. So make like a good possession receiver in the early rounds of your draft and make nice, safe, sound picks. As the rounds move on though, start taking your shots deep and see if you can come up big, with some not so big name players.

About the Author

Jason is the editor and webmaster for, a respected fantasy football analsis website.

Jason Clarke