2011 Fantasy Football Drafts Have Players Frazzled After NFL Lockout

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:
2011 Fantasy Football Draft

Matt Koesters of The News and Tribune this weekend points out the chaos caused to 2011 Fantasy Football leagues post-NFL lockout, specifically as they apply to draft picks. 

“It wasn’t just about whether or not there would be football this year. It’s about who’s going where.” Noted Koesters.

The draft and trade frenzy that followed the long drawn out NFL lockout’s conclusion has made it difficult for most fantasy players to keep up.

“While the biggest names in free agency are mostly signed, there’s still plenty of teams looking to fill gaps, and that means there could be some major trades before the first snap of preseason is played,” Koesters points out.

He offers useful tips on preparing for the upcoming NFL Fantasy season.

Throw out those magazines.  These are printed well in advance of the season start and, this year more than any previous year, the information contained in such publications is likely to be quite dated already.

Don’t put much stock in preseason play, Koesters advises

“Week 1 of the preseason has ugly written all over it. The players who worked out together during the offseason did so without the benefit of their coaches, and the ones who didn’t, well, didn’t.”

One of the main things to look for:  ‘Try to draft players from good teams.’

The concept is simple:  Players working under the same head coach and the same offensive coordinator are going to have a solid advantage over those defenses attempting to learn a new coordinator’s system. 

Koesters points out that the underperforming teams typically end up with the new coaches and that these coaches tend to have bad first years. 

David Sabino of CNNSI.com offers some helpful Fantasy Football drafts.

He suggests drafting an elite NFL quarterback earlier than you normally would.  The reason: 

“Players like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Michael Vick are all the unquestioned leaders of veteran teams who will have most of their offensive talent from 2010 back.”

Some other useful tips:

The more running backs you have the better, as there is a greater likelihood of injury due to the limited team activities during the spring and summer months. 

Consider five fantasy football rookies most likely to produce:  1. Mark Ingram, Saints, 2. Daniel Thomas, Dolphins, 3. Mikel Leshoure, Lions, 4. Julio Jones, Falcons, 5. Delone Carter, Colts.

Sabino adds:

“There are more than enough tight ends to go around. No fewer than 13 tight ends had 50 or more catches last year and 14 scored at least five touchdowns. With playbooks bound to shrink in the early part of the season, look for even more liberal use of the quarterback's favorite safety valve.”

His personal favorite team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which just happens to be one of the teams Gambling911.com is studying closely in arguably the league’s most competitive division.  The Bucs would pay out $500 for every $100 bet to win the NFC South at Bookmaker.eu.

Sabino says of the Bucs chances to succeed for NFL Fantasy players: 

“Josh Freeman, LeGarrette Blount and Mike Williams may not have the name recognition yet, but they have the potential to be the NFL's next "Big Three." Freeman will be a great backup while Blount and Williams are every-week no-brainer starters.”

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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