NFL training camps have already started, and a new season without a salary cap opens up with the defending champion New Orleans Saints hosting the Minnesota Vikings at the Superdome on September 9.
If you're like most Americans, you probably play fantasy football.
If you're like most Americans, you probably want to win your fantasy league.
Every year, there are different strategies to win at fantasy football that evolve because of league trends. In previous years, the focus was to take a big running back who would likely get 300 carries that year. The prototypical successful back gets over 1000 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Now, many running backs achieve over 1000 yards easily and sometimes break the 15 touchdown mark by Week 12.
Plus, many teams no longer use a single workhorse running back. Yes, all teams have a No. 1 running back who will get the bulk of the carries for his team, but more and more teams are specializing running backs similar to the way MLB teams specialize relief pitchers.
A team rarely has an every-down back anymore, one who will get over 25 carries per game and will stay in the game on third downs and goal line/short-yardage situations.
In fact, the number of running backs who have gotten 300 carries has decreased over the years, while the number of backs who have gotten at least 100 carries has gone up.
Because of the specialization of running backs, some backs don't deserve a first round pick anymore.
Wide receivers are getting more and more attention these days, because of their reality shows, speed, and endorsements.
However, there does not seem to be as much specialization within the wide receiver position, so an elite wide receiver should be easier to find. But that is not the case.
With the abundance of wide receivers in the league who couldn't catch a cold if they tried, an elite wideout is much harder to get than an elite running back.
But since many people are still following a workhorse running back strategy when it comes to fantasy, you could still get elite receivers in your draft if you focus on that position first.
Bottom line? Try and get two elite receivers early, such as Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, or Randy Moss.
Then work on your running back spot, trying to look for a few sleepers whose stocks are rising, such as Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Mathews, Shonn Greene, or Ryan Grant.
But, if you can get a Top Five running back early, such as Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, or Steven Jackson, take him!
And after you have your running back and wide receivers, a good quarterback should be able to fall to you if your doesn't have more than 12-15 teams in it.
Here's some advice about quarterbacks: don't necessarily take two quarterbacks for your starter's bye week. You should be able to pick up a decent quarterback off the waiver wire when your starter's bye week comes around.
After you have your quarterback, receivers, and running backs, take a tight end. Tight end is a pretty deep position deep this year, so you should be able to find a very good one pretty quick.
So have fun with your fantasy season this year.
One last thing: please, please, please, please don't take a kicker until the last round.
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