10 Draft Tips for 2013

The NFL and fantasy landscapes change quickly these days, so if you have a draft strategy, it had better be year-specific. I have already done several mock and real drafts for various publications, and the 2013 trends are pretty clear – so they dominate the following 10 draft tips.

Try to hold off a little before drafting a QB – To summarize the best 2013 draft approach in a word, it’s “patience,” and that specifically applies to the QB position. Just 2-3 years ago, I was all about getting as many impact players as possible, regardless of position, and QB was a big part of that approach. After the passing game bonanza that we saw in 2011, you’d think that I’d be all over the signal-callers as rock-solid early picks. I do still believe in the BPA approach (best player available), and the top QBs are almost always safe and extremely productive options. But in 2013, it doesn’t make nearly as much sense taking a QB early as it did even just one year ago. There are many paths to a championship, and there’s nothing wrong with using a No.1 pick on Aaron Rodgers, or a 2nd-round snag of Drew Brees. [...]

RB Keeper Overviews

Note: Ages are accurate as of midseason 2010.

What’s interesting about this position is how watered down it is. Because so many backfield are utilizing two (even three) players in a rotation, the number of clear studs is low. And while there are more players these days than usual who do have some value now due to a fairly large role, they’re still in situations that prevent major fantasy production. We’ve also seen fewer legitimate developmental prospects at the position and a lot of players who are kind of in limbo, with little long-term potential and even questionable short-term potential.

I’ll start off this section with the (surprisingly few) players who are clearly slam-dunks for those in keeper leagues: Adrian Peterson (Min, 25), Steven Jackson (Stl, 27), Chris Johnson (Ten, 24), Maurice Jones-Drew (Jac, 25), and Ray Rice (Bal, 23).

It's probably a little early to proclaim Ray Rice as a legit fantasy stud for the long-term, but the guy was incredibly impressive in 2009 – and he's very young

These five players are clearly the cream of the crop, and with youth on their side. Rice may not be a legit top-5 overall RB over the next few years, as the [...]

Fallout from the Mike (Liberty) Bell addition in Philly

Now that RB Mike Bell is officially an Eagle, it’s time to discuss how the move affects both backfields.

First up, for the Saints, the move is good news for Pierre Thomas. Granted, it’s not a bonanza for Thomas, but it helps. We heard repeatedly last year from league sources that the Saints weren’t comfortable with Thomas as their main power guy, thus the serious emergence of Bell. The Saints do still have Lynell Hamilton at their disposal, and Hamilton appears capable of handling a decent portion of Bell’s power role from last year, at the very least the short-yardage carries inside the five yard line. Thomas isn’t a terrible inside runner, but he’s not big and sturdy enough to consistently do the dirty work inside, so for those in TD-only leagues Hamilton needs to be on the radar. He could score 7-8 TDs this year in this great offense, easily.

So right now it looks like the Saints will roll with Thomas and Reggie Bush carrying probably about 85% of the load. These two are interchangeable in some ways, but Thomas is clearly the better pure runner, with Bush being more of a moveable chess piece. Both guys take some fantasy [...]

Rookie keeper rankings overall

In case you haven’t noticed, we posted on Friday our “Post-Draft” Rookie Report. We did so after our annual pow-wow at the FantasyGuru.com nerve center on Friday. Each year, we gather our main contributors and go over all 32 teams and their key players to prepare for our magazine and the whole season.

Speaking of the gathering, we did so in our new office building. I’ve been looking to buy a building for quite some time, and with this current economy and real estate market, this year was the time. We literally just moved in officially last week, and the building is awesome. We’ve got high-speed internet, of course, but also Direct TV with TIVO so we don’t miss a thing during the season. This is a big relief for me, since I’ve been going out of my mind the last 3-4 months coordinating the building improvement and doing a lot of work myself. But it’s now done – just in time for the magazine push.

Here's a shot taken from the FantasyGuru.com nerve center on 5/1. Each year after the draft we gather with our key staff members to go over all 32 teams, their players, and everything else. It's [...]

Sneak peek at this year’s rookie class

Just got off a long conference call with our guys Greg Cosell and Adam Caplan and went over most of the rookies in this class. Adam’s been at the Senior Bowl and Combine, as has Greg, and Greg’s broken a lot of these guys down on film. He still is, but he’s seen most of the guys.

We’re using their info and analysis as the foundation of this year’s rookie content, along with opinions from Tony Pauline from TFYDraft.com, so rather than rush to put up rankings and analysis in March, which is meaningless to most, we’re taking our time to make sure we have these players scouted correctly.

Of course a lot of the real analysis for 2009 will be catered to the teams these players get drafted by, but here are some initial thoughts that will wind up being the foundations of our scouting of these players. If a skill player is truly worth mentioning, he’s mentioned below.

Quarterbacks

Matthew Stafford is clearly the best prospect at this position this year, and it’s not really close. He has all the necessary throwing tools to be high-end NFL QB, including a [...]

About John Hansen

John Hansen

Specializing in football, Hansen is one of the most connected fantasy writers in the country.

About the author

RSS Staff Commentary

  • Player Notes: Sanu, Cook, Gates, Housler August 12, 2013
    We spent some time watching 2012 game tape on some of the more intriguing fantasy players for the upcoming season. The players we chose to watch weren’t necessarily marquee fantasy players in 2012, but they could be key players this upcoming season. We tried to pinpoint some of the strengths and weaknesses of each player by watching a couple games. We decide […]
    Tom Brolley
  • Player Notes: Blackmon, Streater, Jeffery, LaFell August 9, 2013
    We spent some time watching 2012 game tape on some of the more intriguing fantasy players for the upcoming season. The players we chose to watch weren’t necessarily marquee fantasy players in 2012, but they could be key players this upcoming season. We tried to pinpoint some of the strengths and weaknesses of each player by watching a couple games. We decide […]
    Tom Brolley
  • Player Notes: Hillman, J Bell, Turbin, Harris August 8, 2013
    We spent some time watching 2012 game tape on some of the more intriguing fantasy players for the upcoming season. The players we chose to watch weren’t necessarily marquee fantasy players in 2012, but they could be key players this upcoming season. We tried to pinpoint some of the strengths and weaknesses of each player by watching a couple games. We decide […]
    Tom Brolley