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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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