Fantasy Football Draft Strategy 2014: Tips and Tricks

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Aug 23, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) calls a play against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at the Georgia Dome. The Titans defeated the Falcons 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

When Is The Best Time To Pick A Quarterback?

The best time to pick a quarterback is debatable. Some choose to stick with the “safe” or proven contributors like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, or Aaron Rodgers. Those guys are great to have on your team, I would never argue that. However, they come at a cost.

Peyton Manning was the highest scoring fantasy player last season after throwing for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, so he will go in the first-round 99 percent of the time, (1.08 ADP) sometimes as early as the number one overall pick.

Brees and Rodgers are the next quarterbacks off the board, and their ADP suggests that they will be second round picks, (2.05 and 2.07 ADP, respectively) but don’t be too surprised if they too go in the first.

Taking these guys in the first, in another year when the quarterback position is deep, may not be the best approach.

My personal fantasy football draft strategy for the 2014 season was to wait until after the sixth-round to draft a quarterback. By doing so I was able to get my starting running backs, wide receivers, and tight end.

Here are some great late-round options:

Matt Ryan, 6.10 ADP

  • Ryan is projected to throw for over 4,700 yards and add 30 touchdowns for 289 points, which would be good for top 10 in most fantasy leagues.
  • The question remains in Atlanta though, will Julio Jones stay healthy and will the offensive line get the job done?

Jay Cutler, 8.03 ADP

  • Cutler heads into the season with the best wide receiver tandem in the league in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
  • Cutler started 11 games for an offense that scored the second most points in the NFL last year.
  • With a solid running game led by Matt Forte, Cutler could squeak into the top 10 this year.

Philip Rivers, 9.12 ADP

  • Rivers finished as the sixth best quarterback in most formats last season after tossing 4,478 passing yards and 31 touchdowns.
  • He has a deep backfield, a standout receiver in Keenan Allen, who produced five 100-yard games and caught eight touchdowns, and one of the best tight ends in the game (Antonio Gates).

Don’t be afraid to take this approach. Draft two of these three and play the hot hand week-to-week.