and Jon Millman
Last Updated: Jul 05, 2013 12:46 PM
This is the ninth in a series of articles geared toward winning your college fantasy football leagues.
9th Commandment - Thou Shall NOT Draft a Kicker or Team Defense Too Early
Do not select a Defense until at least half of the owners in your league have selected one, unless Defenses play a huge role in your league (and even then try and hold out as long as possible).
There are always one or two teams that feel the need to go out and get the best Defense. They think that the team with the best D from last year did great, and he's going to do that this year. The problem with that is predicting the top Defense can be harder than it looks.
If you go back over the last decade only a few teams have consistently been great Fantasy Defenses. It's generally hard to repeat as the top fantasy D. So we prefer to play the odds and NOT take a Defense early and instead look to get any one or two of our top 10 Defenses. Sometimes we follow this strategy and end up getting a D we want in nearly the last round.
Looking back to last year; even the top Defenses were not THAT special. In a typical league scoring system there were a number of teams that were within a couple points a game of the No. 1 team. There is no viable reason to reach for a Defense. Our point is that you can still get plenty of value if you do your homework and go in with a handful of “Value” or “Sleeper” Defenses, and just make sure you get one of them.
The fact is, I almost always pick up a solid Defense from the waiver wire each season that outperforms what everyone expects, so I refuse to overpay for a position I can easily improve from the waiver wire.
As for Kickers, honestly the reasoning is almost identical. Kickers are just hard to predict. I usually wait until the very last couple of rounds to grab one, and I still always wind up with one of my Top 10 kickers anyway. No need to reach here.
Here are a couple pointers for taking kickers:
1. The first thing I look for is a powerful offense that typically plays in good weather conditions.
2. Next, I look for the best offenses that play in windy and cold environments.
3. After that I try to find the teams with good defenses, as I think their Kicker tends to decide a lot of games, and their coaches are usually more content with settling for field goals as they have faith in their Defense.
We take all of this into account for you in our Kicker rankings, but the main thing I want you to remember is DO NOT take your kicker until the last few rounds of the draft, trust me you'll thank us later.