1) Mock Drafts
I can’t stress it enough – run mock drafts and practice adjusting your strategy and approach on a dime. Drafts are unpredictable and a sudden 5-pick run on a position just ahead of your selection is going to force you to change your plan, regardless of where in the draft it happens. No two scenarios are the same across drafts, obviously, but having experienced your plans unraveling before in a low-stakes environment will help you better prepare for the real thing on draft day.
One other point about these mock drafts – do your best to mock against real people, or use Underdog. It can still work if you’re drafting alone against bots, but it’s easy to just close the tab and exit the draft room if your plan doesn’t come together exactly as you envisioned it. I’m speaking from experience here – when you mock, do everything you can to convince yourself it’s the real thing to best simulate draft day. There’s no getting up and walking away from your league’s draft, so practice making the most of being dealt a bad hand – or one you didn’t expect.
2) Don’t Draft Too Many Players from the Same Team
Yes, it can be enticing to do so – especially if a player falls that would be a solid fit on your team. But without diversifying across multiple teams, you’re going to be at the mercy of the team you drafted up. The lows will be very low, but even the highs could be diluted – if you draft a QB, RB, and WR from the same team, and the passing game gets going but the run game is a non-factor, you might end up with dead weight on your roster. The number of times a fantasy team has a QB finish with 25+ points, a receiver with 30+, and an RB with 20+ is very low, and the offense would have to be hitting on all cylinders and follow a shootout script for that to happen.
3) Don’t avoid players because they’re on a team you don’t like
I used to do this when I first started out – as a Cowboys fan, I’d steer clear of Eagles, Giants, and Commanders players. Safe to say I missed out on the best of Odell’s career – don’t be like young me. Look at it this way - when your team plays the other team that you don’t like, your team will either win the game (a win for you) or the player on the other team will have a great fantasy day against your team. In either scenario, you’re either enjoying watching your real team win or tasting the bittersweetness of your fantasy player crushing your real team.