10 Unorthodox Tips to Win Your Fantasy Draft

Nolan Arenado

“Don’t overspend.” “Don’t reach.” “Stick to your projections.”

Any set of tips regarding drafts – snake or auction – will include the standard guidelines. Whether selecting players one-by-one as if assembling a schoolyard dodgeball team or raising wooden paddles to up the bid on an available asset, the concepts used in most draft rooms follow the conservative approach. While this limits the opportunity for catastrophe, it also will likely result in a draft that largely resembles the rest of the league’s.

We want to be above the league. If most people are following a specific set of rules – and if those rules could be identified – there are always opportunities to use this to our advantage. It is the same reason why we pay close attention to the ‘obvious’ football games, or shy away from some ‘popular plays’ in daily fantasy sports’ lineups – we don’t simply want to tread water with our predictions, we want to win the race.

Every move in a draft should be strategic, and it is amplified for auctions. Where snake drafts afford less opportunity for one owner to separate from the pack, auctions are hundreds of tiny opportunities spread out to form pieces of a greater whole. From when to nominate a player to how much should be offered to all-out bluffs, every action deserves complete attention. Yet, in a twist, it doesn’t – even showing up late to an auction is considered a strategy, in itself, as it prevents early spending.

All of the typical strategies studied and employed for drafts and auctions are relatively sound, but their main strength is to simply prevent disaster. Here are the unorthodox methods to go all-or-nothing in your fantasy draft or auction and come out on top.

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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola