Our Fantasy Football cheat sheet for last-minute strategy tips for the 2023 NFL season

This is the biggest fantasy football weekend draft of the year. Your happiness in the fall depends on what happens over the next 72 hours or so. I’m here to help.

General strategy and advice

Any tips should be taken with a grain of salt. Most things are not one size fits all. Everything is contextual.

Any strategy can win if you pick the right players. And what strategy can you lose if you choose the wrong players.

There are some common mistakes that fantasy directors, even good ones, often make. I’ve generally thought planning the Week 17 preseason is somewhat of a fool’s errand. I will start looking forward to the financial weeks in the middle of the season, but my aim now is to be good in the short term, and win in September. I play fantasy football with a microscope, not a telescope.

If the league requires at least three wide receivers, I want to have the best wide receiver in the league, or very close to it. If the league only required two base games at wide, my early running back build would be equal to my wide receiver build.

In those more receiver-based tournaments, I’ll probably look to have one anchor back, and then I’ll come back to that position later. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how strong the RB2/RB3 class is, in part because we don’t expect these slots to carry as much weight as they did in previous seasons. The bell cow has almost died in the NFL, and while you might think that makes the running back more tiring, it actually has the opposite effect. There are more correct answers because we are content with producing less.

I’m not a manager who takes injured players. Wounds will find you, so don’t look for them. If the opponent isn’t that big on draft day, I’ll avoid those who are likely to actually waste time. Sometimes, it’s not fun to play fantasy football like an actuary, but it’s wise to do so.

The longer you’ve played fantasy football, the more you’ll realize the importance of a young team. You want as many players as possible who are still on the escalator, who haven’t had their best season yet. rising talent.

Early in the draft cycle, I thought I might be open to chasing the top tier of quarterbacks, which is where Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts would go. I moved away from this idea. I don’t like the deficit it creates as a running back or receiver, and I see many other paths to getting a potential quarterback into the top five. This remains one of the biggest differences between real life and fantasy football – the NFL revolves around the quarterback, but it’s not the most important position in fantasy football (even when the quarterbacks score the most points). It’s not a stressful situation to fill in for our matches.

If you’re looking for additional help after reading this article, check out our draft collection, full of great tips, and Matt Harmon’s draft day planner.

In the end, listen to everyone you respect and take their advice into consideration, but it’s your team. You own your final decisions. Do what you think is right.

Player tips and tricks

wide future

Garrett Wilson was an instant star last year when the Jets had none at quarterback. Now they have Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is unlikely to compete for the MVP award, but that doesn’t matter – Rodgers and Wilson have shown chemistry in the summer, and Rodgers has a history of nurturing his best future. Wilson is likely to go to the moon.

I thought Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson were about to get washed up before the summer ended – remember, they’ve even been dead for the last five weeks of 2022 – and then McLaurin picked up a turf toe injury. McLaurin, a longtime favourite, is now fading automatically, and even with Dotson’s ADP soaring he’s someone I’d like to include on the list.

Somehow, Patrick Mahomes won MVP last season without a wide receiver in the imagination. I suspect someone in that parlor will at least make it into the top 30, but I don’t see a clear indication of who that person is. If you have a corner, share it with me.

Better to be a year early than a year late when it comes to players in the final nine stages of their careers, like DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals were pleased with the success last year. Giants are always exhausted. Hopkins has a small cap for 2023 and it’s clearly fading to me.

Anthony Richardson’s senior year will be mixed with athleticism and more than a few puzzling throws and errors on the field. Michael Bateman is a fine receiver and is unlikely to hit his ceiling this season.

When it comes to Denver’s passing game, I can’t believe it but I’m back at Cortlandt Sutton. Most of his competitors in this target tree have been hurt this summer.

“Upside” is the keyword for most of your picks, especially as the draft progresses, but I suspect Adam Thielen has another boring season up for grabs. You don’t want it to be one of the newbies, but you can probably put it as a WR5 in a lot of rooms.

I understand the excitement surrounding Calvin Ridley’s new Jaguar cars, although I can’t quite catch up to the second round. But I’m also okay with targeting Christian Kirk, last year’s Splash player, at cost. Ridley is destined to be the hero, but they’ll find plenty for Kirk to do.

running back

It’s encouraging to see Javonte Williams back on the football pitch, but I can’t proactively recruit him until he’s had another year of physical problems. I don’t see much difference between Williams and Smaggie Perrin, and Perrin is by far the better value.

The Lions have changed their back line but almost everything else in their offensive infrastructure is the same – including the solid line and respected OC Ben Johnson. We have to assume that the D’Andre Swift/Jamaal Williams usage pattern from last season is likely to continue with Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery. Gibbs is the flashy pick and a first-round rookie, but Montgomery’s value at 77.3 ADP is much greater.

Travis Etienne is a good NFL player who might have been pulled short in the first round. I’m worried he might lose a lot of the highly valued Bigsby Tank touches.

I feel comfortable with Nick Chubb in the second half of any first round, and if he moves into round two, it’s a quick call.

It’s hard to tell how much Justin Fields will withhold from his backcourt, but Khalil Herbert is set to return a profit on his reasonable 98 Yahoo ADP.

Comparatively speaking, Alexander Mathison and AJ Dillon seem to be both regular talents. But Matteson’s potential workload could see him warrant a fifth-round selection. Even at a cheaper cost, Dillon is not someone to interest me; Without an injury to Aaron Jones, there is no ceiling.

tight end

TJ Hockenson wasn’t popular when he joined the Vikings, but he was loud. Solving a usage problem is always a big part of imaginative success.


Daniel Jones is priced to outpace his ADP even if his receiving room is the same as last season. If anyone turns up – or if TE Darren Waller is successful – Jones can sneak into the top five at the quarterback position.

We can’t say that Gino Smith has no risk to pumpkin, but in my opinion the risk is very low. I’ve proactively drafted DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett all summer.

I wanted to see Deshaun Watson show some intensity this summer, and it just never happened.

Kenny Pickett has improved as the 2022 season continues, with defining moments in December. And this summer has been impressive – five touchdown runs on five pre-season possessions. There are many possible correct answers in this passing game, and backup RB Jaylen Warren is also the pick of the destination.

General team notes

If you want to proactively go after Lamar Jackson or Mark Andrews, who are excited about the Ravens offense and the new OC Todd Monken, I’ll sign out. But I didn’t feel comfortable proactively chasing any of the options in the ample room, and JK Dobbins seems like an overdraft.

Everything about the Reds makes me nervous

The Cardinals don’t seem to be trying. Stream against these guys as often as possible, starting with Washington’s defense in Week 1.

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