Fantasy Football: Does Draft Position Matter?

Looking at a few of the posts in a recent fantasy football post here on Dawgs By Nature, I noticed the topic of draft position in a snake draft come up.

If you've never heard of a snake draft, imagine there are four teams in the league. This is how the draft order would be set up:

Round 1: Team 1, Team 2, Team 3, Team 4
Round 2: Team 4, Team 3, Team 2, Team 1

The patten continues after that, with every odd numbered round being the same order as Round 1, and every even numbered round being the same as Round 2. Imagine a similar concept in the common 10- or 12-man leagues. If you're the first pick of the draft, you won't be picking again for awhile -- near the 20th overall pick. If it's a 12-man league and you have the last pick, you're upset that you missed out on the Top 11 projected players, but you also get back-to-back picks.

Depending on your draft position, you have to be extra-careful in terms of which players you select. With the first overall pick, it's hard to defend drafting a quarterback. Since running backs always go off the board first, being stuck with a quarterback and having to wait that long means that you'll have missed out on even the half-way decent running backs before you've even drafted your first one. Likewise, the final draft position in round one, which presents a back-to-back opportunity, might offer you a crack at a decent running back and either a top receiver or top quarterback.

2 years ago, I had the No. 11 and No. 14 picks in a 12-man league. I took receivers with both picks, which left me a bit depleted with respect to the running back position. With that said, I ended up making two great picks at No. 35 (Michael Turner) and No. 62 (LenDale White) for that season, which made up for my unconventional selections.

Last year, I had the No. 9 and No. 16 picks in a 12-man league. I took a receiver and a quarterback with those picks, again leaving myself vulnerable to not having a decent running back. I didn't have as much luck drafting backs late as I did two years ago, as I took backs with No. 33 (Joseph Addai) and No. 57 (Larry Johnson). Both were either injured often or tanked. I scrambled for a good running back every week, and luckily fell into Jamaal Charles late in the year.

Both seasons, I finished with the first seed before losing in the playoffs. It's been awhile since I have had a high draft choice, and quite frankly I don't know if I'd be comfortable with it. I'm always concerned that an early running back I draft might be a "bust" that season.

Feel free to share your experience and/or research regarding this topic in the comments section below!

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Also, don't forget that if you're interested in a CBSSports.com Fantasy Football Commissioner League and you register through this link, you can receive a huge discount of 50% off for a total of $89.99. If you are running an office pool and want to split the cost between 12 teams, that means it would only be about $7.49 per person. Considering the features and flexibility that CBSSports.com offers in terms of flexibility, it's well worth it for serious fantasy football players.

CBSSports.com is an SB Nation partner and paying sponsor of the SB Nation football communities. This post is one of a series of sponsor endorsed posts related to the CBSSports.com Fantasy Football Commissioner League.

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