Not all fantasy football positions are created equal. Some are overflowing with options while others are thinner than Heidi Klum.
A fantasy draft is an artform because simply taking the best player available is not optimal. We have to fill roster spots, so we have to extract value from the deeper positions. Familiarizing yourself with position scarcity is Step 1 as we continue to prepare for the greatest day on the calendar.
Toning the tight end
Even though the tight end spot has become the en vogue position in the NFL, it's really thinned out from a statistical perspective. The health of Rob Gronkowski and the legal troubles of Aaron Hernandez have left Jimmy Graham in a tier all by himself. He's so much better than every other tight end that he's worth a first-round pick. If you pass on Graham, then waiting for the sleeper tier of Jordan Cameron, Dennis Pitta and Jermichael Finley is the best play. There's little difference between the No. 2 tight end and the No. 12 tight end.
The waiting game
It's no longer an expert play to hold off on a quarterback, but it's still the right play. Last year, 11 signal-callers threw for at least 4,000 yards — and that list didn't even include Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick or Eli Manning. You can rest easy knowing you got a sure thing in Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, but there's very little risk in tier two, three or even four. Ending up with Tony Romo or Andrew Luck as your starter in Round 9 will allow you to build the deep talent we need at other positions.
Running up top
In most leagues, running backs will make up 11 of the first 12 picks. That's going to thin a position out real fast. There's more mid-round running back talent this year than most thanks to the likes of David Wilson, Montee Ball, Le'Veon Bell and Eddie Lacy, but we also know this position sustains more injuries than all others put together. A strong fantasy roster has at least four solid running backs. The only way to achieve that is to attack the position early and often.
MLB News »Marinating
Tom Wilhelmsen is going through the kind of struggles most closers endure in a season. Over his last eight outings, he has a 14.14 ERA and has blown three saves. Still, the Mariners don't have any logical alternatives on the roster. Look for them to dial down his pressure situations for a little before getting him back in the closer's role. Stay the course.
Josh Rutledge, 2B, Rockies: With the injury bug biting Troy Tulowitzki yet again, Rutledge is batting leadoff and playing every day.
Nick Franklin, 2B, Mariners: The No. 27 overall pick in the 2009 draft is up and flashing a nice power/speed combo.
Alexi Amarista, OF/2B, Padres: Everth Cabrera's hamstring injury is devastating for owners. Amarista can soften the blow slightly.