Mark’s Remarks: Drafting your fantasy dream team

Mark Lindahl, Editor

As football season is approaching fast, many fans around the nation are gearing up for one of the biggest enigmas in American culture: fantasy football.

Whether you’re a grizzled veteran of the virtual league, or you’re just starting for the first time and need some pointers for your team, this is the column for you.

In this edition, we are going to dive into what your basic draft strategy should be for constructing your fantasy football team.

If you have no clue what fantasy football is or why people are so obsessed with it, here’s a quick break down. Per each yard gained, a player receives .1 of a point, therefor 10 rushing yards equals 1 point. a throwing touchdown equals 4 points, rushing and receiving touchdowns are 6 points.

There also various ways you can lose points, such as throwing an interception or losing a fumble.

The goal is to form a team of individual players from any NFL team that will produced more combined points than your opponent.

With many fantasy leagues trending towards the PPR format, where the receiving player is also given a point from catching the ball, instead of the default format where a reception doesn’t give you any points, a common theme is to draft a wide receiver in the first round.

When it comes to your first round selection, the thought process should be ‘Who here can be my workhorse?’ The player you select with your first pick will be the backbone of your team. Players who fit this mold would be David Johnson, LeVeon Bell, Julio Jones, LeSean McCoy, and Antonio Brown to name a few.

But this player isn’t going to win the league for you, contrary to popular belief. The real strength of your team should be based on the value of the players you draft.

New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount was the seventh highest scoring running back per game overall, per ESPN in 2016, but his average draft position was 91st overall in mock drafts leading up to the season.

In comparison, the Denver Bronco’s running back CJ Anderson’s average draft position was 27th overall, but at the end of the season was the 15th highest scoring running back per game per ESPN.

So if you drafted Anderson in the third round like the average fantasy drafter did, you have a lesser running back than one you could have snagged later.

While it is impossible to tell who will perform the best over the course of the season, one important aspect to keep in mind is how the team plays and how well it is constructed.

Because of the poor quarterback play in Denver, any team that played them could stack more defenders on the line against the run, effectively shutting down Anderson.

With Tom Brady at the helm of the Patriots offense, Blount had many more opportunities for success than his counterpart mentioned above as a result of playing behind a better offensive line and with a better overall team.

With every fantasy season that has passed, and every season to come, there will be players who outplay their projected stats. These are the players you should look to draft for your team.