Draft Strategy: Five top tips

There’s an old saying among draft managers, whatever sport it is you play: “you can’t win the league on draft night, but you can lose it!”

In our latest draft kit article, we give you our very own approach to draft night so that you can see how we navigate our way through it. We will be sharing a few of our secrets to ensure you don’t panic and go into the new season with the strongest possible squad!

Tip 1: Don’t panic, stick to your plan

If you’re serious about your draft league, you will have invested hours of preparation prior to the big day. The reason for this is that in the heat of a live draft, the mind has a habit of playing tricks on you and will tell you to do things that you don’t want to when that clock starts to tick down!

If all is going to plan and the draft is going as you expected, don’t deviate from your own. The temptation is to take too much notice of ADP (average draft position) in the draft room which can put you off picking someone you like. If the player you planned to take at pick 78 now has an ADP of 102, that’s fine. Still take him as planned! Don’t be put off by what others think of your choices. You’ve go then there in your ranks for a reason…

Tip 2:…but also, be flexible!

Having said that, be ready to take those fallers! In a recent real draft, I’m drafting from 6th and was all set for Luis Diaz but Harry Kane fell to me and I didn’t hesitate to take that better option. It’s easier when the faller is in the same position but if Kevin De Bruyne had fallen, he would’ve been straight in the team too.

Keep a close eye on what others need for their own rosters in order to predict what may come round to you in the next round. You may be at the point where you’re thinking of boosting your defender options but have no one particular in mind. If all those around you have three defenders already, the chances are you can wait an extra round to get a defender spot filled yourself.

Tip 3: Draft the best available, not by position

…which brings me on very nicely to my next point! I’ve been guilty on plenty of occasions of letting elite defenders go by so that I can get in another decent midfielder.

Last season I passed on Andy Robertson to get Harvey Barnes and regretted it for several months! Remember, part of draft strategy is collecting capital/stock/whatever you want to call it.

If you’re short of midfielders, don’t worry. There will be another manager in the league stacked with midfielders but they’re lacking in defenders or forwards. Target them immediately after the draft for a trade. It may be that you offer your3rd pick for their 4th in the end but if it balances out your team it should be worth it.

Tip 4: Look for potential transfer candidates late on

Don’t fall asleep from round 10 onwards! You should have got the core of your team by now and a lot of managers will probably be filling up on streamable players ready for the first weeks, knowing that these exact player will be ditched by GW3.

I love to gamble on those players already in the Premier League who are angling for a move. Before your draft, check the gossip in the papers and see which players are rumoured to be in transfer talks. I once won a league by picking up Christian Benteke in round 14 the week before he sealed his Crystal Palace move!

There’s gems to be had that aren’t even on the radar of others!

Tip 5: Get involved in mocks, make your ranks!

There’s no substitute for preparation! Read our ranks, make your own and get involved in mocks. Have all of this data out in front of you as you draft so that there’s no chance of panicking on the day.

Also, have your strategy ready before you draft. It’s possible to have your full strategy planned out which ENABLES you to take a big league winning risk. You may think that taking a risk involves doing something on the spur of the moment BUT the best risks are the well planned, calculated ones!

Got any draft related questions? Feel free to get in touch…good luck!


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