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Fantasy Drafting 101: Tips to Win Your League


During the dog days of training camp, fantasy owners are searching for valuable insight to determine this season's sleepers, busts and breakout candidates.

Before all of that, though, are the basics.

ESPN's Field Yates, who was at Chargers training camp on Monday, offered four simple rules for fantasy owners ahead of upcoming drafts. Follow, and they could be the difference in winning your league.

Take a look through the top photos from Monday's practice as the Chargers continue into week two of camp.

Positional value matters

Early-round picks should be dedicated to the Melvin Gordons and Keenan Allens of the world. Build your roster with that bell-cow back or all-everything receiver before thinking about other positions.

"Take your running backs, take your wide receivers early," Yates said. "If you're going to take a tight end, it's got to be someone like Rob Gronkowski, who is such a difference-maker at that spot."

According to ESPN, Gordon and Allen are considered top-15 players in both PPR (points-per-reception) and non-PPR formats. Allen was the third-highest scoring wide receiver last season in ESPN standard-scoring leagues.

Wait on a quarterback

Several quarterbacks will post monster passing numbers in 2018, which is why Yates advises fantasy owners to pump the brakes on signal callers.

"There are so many good quarterbacks," he said. "Philip Rivers, who could be one of the top five fantasy football quarterbacks this year, is being drafted in like the 10th, 11th, 12th round."

In Yates' preseason quarterback rankings, Rivers was No. 16 – a testament to just how deep the position is. Other quarterbacks outside of his top 10 include Matt Ryan (ATL), Matthew Stafford (DET) and Ben Roethlisberger (PIT).

Take some calculated risks

"Incorporate some lottery tickets," Yates said. "… A player that you think 'Hey, I don't know for sure what the role is right now, but I'm going to take a flier on him and see if he proves to have a lot of upside.'"

One of those "lottery tickets" could be wide receiver Mike Williams, who is currently the 69th-ranked wide receiver, according to ESPN's fantasy football draft kit. Williams has impressed in training camp and is worth monitoring during the preseason.

Don't draft a kicker, defense too early

While sound advice, there always tends to be a fantasy owner who can't help themselves in this department. Stay disciplined.

"I prefer to take them in the last three rounds – kicker in the final round, defense in the last three rounds," Yates said.

Listen to the entire interview with Yates in Tuesday's episode of Chargers Weekly and subscribe on Apple Podcasts. A five-star rating/review is appreciated and will help spread the word to other fans this offseason. Chargers Weekly is also available on Stitcher, TuneIn or Google Play.

The Chargers' 2018 training camp schedule is official, so mark your calendars to watch the Bolts prepare for the upcoming season! The team will hold 14 practices open to the public between July 28 and August 23. For more information, please visit

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