An Expert's Cheat Sheet to Dominating CBS Fantasy Drafts
I say this every year, but it is always worth repeating: There is no singular perfect draft strategy for fantasy football. Successfully navigating a fantasy football draft requires preparation, foresight, quick-thinking, and the ability to adjust on the fly. This article will focus on that first quality, preparation, as I have used our mighty 4for4 rankings and the ADP Bargains tool to help provide you some strategic angles for attacking drafts on CBS.
Before I get into all of that though, I have two general strategy reminders:
1. Know your league
2. Know your scoring system
Rankings, analytics, and strategy are all well and good, but if you have a die-hard fan of a team in your league who is going to overdraft that team’s top players, that’s going to change the flow of the draft. Knowing your league mates and their draft-day tendencies can be just as important to drafting successfully as studying rankings and sleeper articles all offseason.
Standard CBS leagues feature PPR scoring, and require a starting lineup that features: one QB, two RBs, two WRs, one TE, one FLEX, one K, one D/ST.
Now that we have cleared that up, below you’ll find several strategy tips for CBS drafts. Remember: these are not ironclad. These are ideas and strategies to keep in mind as your draft progress. By watching out for these players, trends, and opportunities, you should be able to acquire a title-contending 2020 squad.
PRINT: Jump to 16-Round Cheat Sheet
Wait on a Quarterback
It is a fantasy tale as old as time: wait until the later rounds to draft your quarterback. It’s as true in 2020 as it has been pretty much every year since the idea became part of mainstream fantasy strategy. Per CBS ADP there are nine quarterbacks going within the first six rounds of 12-team drafts. That is ideal for those looking to wait at the position while stockpiling running backs and wide receivers—a strategy that could be even more important as we wade into the unknown of a fantasy season in the midst of a global pandemic.
Cam Newton, Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford, and Daniel Jones can all be had around Round 9-10. Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Tannehill, and Gardner Minshew can all found a few rounds later. You can set yourself up to really pull away from the pack in your CBS league if you wait on a quarterback and land 1-2 of these high-upside passers in the later rounds.
Don’t Be Afraid to Target Running Backs Early
Per the 4for4 ADP Bargain’s tool, many of the best early-round values in CBS drafts are running backs. If you might normally grab a wide receiver, be sure to check with the bargains tool to see if a running back might be a better overall value. But, this doesn’t mean you have to open up RB-RB-RB. If you look at the cheat sheet below, you’ll find that Rounds 2–6 are loaded with value backs to build your squad around.
Draft Allen Robinson and/or A.J. Brown
Robinson and Brown are among 4for4’s top-10 ranked wide receivers. For some reason, both aren’t coming off the board in CBS drafts until the fifth round. Pairing this with the other nuggets in this strategy article, you could conceivably pick up an elite wide receiver early, nab a few running backs, and then secure a second top-10 receiver in 4for4’s rankings. That sounds like a pretty ideal start to a dominant fantasy team. Regardless, Robinson and Brown are being overlooked in CBS drafts right now, so bake taking one or both of them into your draft strategy, however makes the most sense to you.
Draft an Elite Tight End Early, or Wait Until the Late Rounds
This strategy is pretty much the same across all platforms, and for good reason. The truly elite tight ends (Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Mark Andrews) offer a sizable enough weekly positional advantage to justify their second to fourth round price tag (in CBS drafts). There are talented tight ends in the middle rounds, but the opportunity cost of drafting them there and missing out on a starting wide receiver or running back is too high to warrant the pick. Instead, it is more prudent and advantageous to wait several rounds and take one or two fliers on high-upside players like Jonnu Smith, Mike Gesicki, Chris Herndon, Blake Jarwin or even Irv Smith.
The Bottom Line
These recommendations are not gospel. Use which ones you agree with or fit the way your draft is flowing. Or tweak these strategies to match your own philosophy. As your draft approaches, be sure to utilize 4for4’s Draft Analyzer tool. It uses your league’s scoring settings and 4for4’s rankings to help you strategize. For more information, check out Jennifer Eakins’ Draft Analyzer Walkthrough.
Lastly, this handy 16-round cheat sheet is compiled both by using 4for4’s ADP Bargains tool and my own general feelings on some players. Use it as much or little as you’d like. I put some player names into rounds to reflect where they should be taken, even if that round is ahead of the current ADP.
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