ESPN Fantasy Football Expert Field Yates Explains Why Flexibility Should Be Your #1 Rule In Fantasy Drafts

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It’s nearing that time when most 2018-2019 Fantasy Football drafts will take place. If your draft has already been held then that was foolish because there’s still set to be A LOT of preseason injuries before the 2018-2019 NFL season kicks off on Thursday, September 06th.

If your Fantasy Football draft is coming up soon then you’ve probably been prepping by reading up on the latest Fantasy Football position rankings, participating in mock drafts, and reading up on potential draft strategies.

You could spend every waking hour doing prep work between now and your league’s draft on Labor Day weekend and your star players could get injured week 1. Or your draft strategy could crumble to pieces by the 3rd round.

Shit happens. You need to draft for value and not necessarily specific needs because everything can change in an instant even if you draft perfectly.

ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates was a guest on the Golic and Wingo radio show where he talked about his #1 rule in Fantasy Football drafts: flexibility.

He explains how his #1 rule in Fantasy Football drafts is being flexible. If a top running back falls into your lap by chance but you’ve already got 2 RBs drafted you shouldn’t question whether or not you should pick him because you should always draft for the best value.

I’m sort of butchering his explanation so I’ll let you read it in his words instead of mine (via Business Insider):

“Most important rule that I can tell people is drafting is an art, not a science. So many people ask me, ‘Hey, I got the sixth pick in my draft — should I go running back-running back with my first two picks?’ or ‘Hey, I got the third pick in my draft — do I have to take David Johnson if he’s there?’

You have to be nimble. You have to be flexible in the draft room. The best way to maintain an art-versus-science approach is by drafting for value. If there’s a guy that falls to you that has no business being there, you should take him. Remember that your drafted squad is not the squad you’ll finish with. This is the team you will begin the season with — heck, you might even trade players before Week 1 of the regular season.

If my first three picks just happen to be running backs, because I’m sitting in the third round and a player like Devonta Freeman slides for some reason, sure! I’m okay with starting with three running backs. (via Business Insider)

This makes perfect sense, right?

Always draft the best possible player and you’ll likely end up in a better position than if you draft lower ranked players because you’re trying to fill certain roster slots.

This would also explain why there always seems to be some asshole in your Fantasy Football league who finishes in the Top 3 even though the computer auto-drafted for him. The computer’s picking the highest-ranked player in each round which is sort of a dumbed-down version of what Field Yates is suggesting you do. Only you can choose not to draft the players who are injured or pick up a 3rd kicker like the computer might do for you.

I’m by no means a Fantasy Football expert but I make the playoffs in about 80% of my years/leagues and I do the absolute bare mininum when it comes to Fantasy Football drafts. My strategy has always been two-pronged: pick the best players available and crowd source your picks.

The latter is a strategy that has been particularly useful for me on sites like ESPN or Yahoo! where you can sort by how many leagues a player is ‘owned’ in, or you can sort by adds/drops and see which players are trending.

This is also a useful strategy to pick up players off the waiver wire each week. By doing this you can see who’s trending in either direction and let the hive mind make the difficult decisions for you.

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You can listen to Field Yates’ appearance on Golic and Wingo by following that link, or you can check out more over on Business Insider where I found this clip.