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 [...]

First look at the RBs

As the draft quickly approaches, we’re trying to bang out as much of the magazine writeups as we possibly can, and I’ve just completed about the top-50 RBs. Of course, the draft will change a lot of things, so it’s hard to rank any player for certain. We have also not yet plugged in projections, which can change things once you see the raw numbers. But I do have some rankings and comments on the top-50 guys now, and I’m pretty comfortable with this list, knowing it’s very early.

So here’s what I got at this early stage.

1. Adrian Peterson, MIN – Has to be top dog this year given youth and talent but more action in the passing game would be nice.

2. Michael Turner, ATL – Carried the load all season with great effectiveness in run-heavy offense and was money near the goal so a no-brainer.

3. Maurice Drew, JAC – Major jump in receptions key for 3rd straight strong season and now he truly carries the load plus Holt will help their shaky team.

4. Matt Forte, CHI – Addition of Cutler should help them move the ball and create more opportunities for the slick and productive runner and receiver.

5. LaDainian [...]

RB Keeper Overviews

It’s been a few weeks since I broke out my QB Keeper Overviews here, and it’s already time to update them. But before I do that I’m going to try to bang out the other key positions within the next week and catch completely up.

Next up, it’s the RBs.

At first glance, while there is good depth, I notice a little bit of a void when it comes to true studs at the position. So if you’re in a keeper league that retains only 3-4 players, I advise your approach your keepers much like you should have been approaching a standard redraft league the last two years: don’t take a RB just because he’s a RB and take the best players, period. Keep in mind, of course, the pool of attractive options will increase after the draft.

That said about the lack of quality at the top, I’m personally ranking some young guys who I do think are for real very high, even though they’ve really only “done it” for one year.

Let’s take a look at the top guys.

There aren’t many RBs who are clearly their team’s workhorse, so if you have one on your team, and he’s a young stud, then [...]

A Buffalo Wing and a Prayer

I was in New York this past weekend with my wife to check out a couple of shows when I received the message on my blackberry that the Bills had signed mercurial – check that, insane – wideout Terrell Owens.

My initial reaction was, wow, what a fall from grace for Owens, and why would the Bills be interested in him?

Ah, but that was at dinner, with four Dewar’s in me (and a beer). Once I was no longer encumbered by alcohol and began thinking about this move, I quickly arrived at the conclusion that it’s pure genius for both parties. Owens is a complete embarrassment at this point, but so are the Buffalo Bills. His career is going nowhere, and neither are the Bills – unless you’re talking about Canada.

Terrell Owens makes perfect sense for the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Bills make perfect sense for Terrell Owens

From Buffalo’s perspective, at least people are talking about the Bills again. More importantly, this T.O. game has played out so many times before that we should be very familiar with how the storyline will unfold, kind of like how we know an episode of “Three’s Company”  will be based on a [...]

About John Hansen

John Hansen

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

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