2014 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy

Jeff Hanish - USA Today Sports
Every year I write up my fantasy strategy going into the draft. I learn something every year and this year is no different when it comes to how I will be approaching my drafts this year.

Round 1: I always like to target a top 5 RB in the first round (Jamaal Charles, Lesean McCoy, Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, and Eddie Lacy) if those are gone then I would go for Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. Recently I wrote an article about drafting a top QB in round one.

Round 2: Can never fault you if Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas or AJ Green is a WR you take in round 2, but honestly a running back in round 2 is really a safer choice due to the fact that running back is really shallow this year. Give me Marshawn Lynch, Le'Veon Bell, Alfred Morris or Demarco Murray. If you are in a league that requires a tight-end and Jimmy Graham is there in round 2, then he will give you a huge competitive advantage. If your league doesn't require a tight-end then stick with a running back or wide receiver.

Round 3: In round 3 it's time for a wide receiver if you don't have one already. Most likely you will be looking at Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, Randall Cobb, Andre Johnson, Pierre Garcon, Keenan Allen or Victor Cruz. Give me Antonio Brown as he seems to be a very reliable threat annually.

Round 4: Round 4 is more of the same at wide receiver and I would target the group in round 3 if they are still around and if all are gone then I would target Larry Fitzgerald or Michael Crabtree.

Round 5: Round 5 belongs to a quarterback if you didn't get one in round 1. Give me Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Nick Foles or Matt Stafford.

Round 6: If you have to have a tight-end in your league then round 6 would be time to target Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron or Jason Witten and if all those are gone then Jordan Reed would do too. If you don't have to have a tight-end then a running back is where you need to focus due to lack of depth at running back (Ray Rice, Rashad Jennings, Toby Gerhart, Alfred Morris, Ryan Mathews or CJ Spiller).

Round 7: At this point you should have a quarterback, three running backs, two wide receivers or a tight end instead of three running backs. If you drafted a tight end already then go for a running back from the list on round 6. If you have three running backs then go for another wide receiver in this round (Desean Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Jeremy Maclin, Cecil Shorts, Sammy Watkins, TY Hilton).

Round 8: Round 8 should also be a running back or wide receiver but I would favor a running back because wide receiver is much deeper this year Steven Jackson, Darren Sproles, Lamar Miller, Trent Richardson, Bishop Sankey, Frank Gore, DeAngelo Williams or Ben Tate.

Round 9: Round 9 should go to the wide receiver like Cecil Shorts, Terrence Williams, or Anquan Boldin

Round 10: Round 10 goes to your back-up quaterback which for me this year is Carson Palmer unless a top 15 ranked quarterback is available and if Palmer is gone then Ben Roethlisberger who is just as good as Palmer this year.

Round 11: Round 11 can be your backup tight-end if you have to start tight-end or another wide receiver or running back.

Round 12: Typically a good time to target a team defense and a top 5 team defense typically can be had in round 12.

Round 13 and 14: Time to go after sleepers like Justin Hunter, Kelvin Benjamin or start going after hand-cuffs to your drafted running backs. It's important to target backup running backs to the running backs you drafted because if your starter goes down then you will be ready.

Round 15: Always save your kicker for the last round; it's never a good idea to reach early and most likely a top 10 kicker will be there based on your draft guide.

If you need draft assistance then check out the Hatty Waiver Wire Guru Draft Guide

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