Draft tips from under my helmet
I'll be giving you inside info based on my film study and NFL game experience
Draft the first five rounds based on need, then take the best players available
My ultimate sleeper for this season is Texans running back Arian Foster
Welcome to my SI.com Fantasy Football column. It'll appear every Friday for the next 16 weeks, but since the season hasn't started yet, I thought I'd use this first installment to tell you what you can expect from week to week and then throw in a few draft thoughts.
Like any good fantasy columnist, I want to give you the information you need to win. So every week I'll roll out my selection of sleepers and studs, breakout players, guys who should get a rest for the week, and anyone who has a favorable matchup.
But unlike any other columnist I know of, all this information will come from inside the helmet of an NFL player. My picks won't be guesses and hunches based on studying stats, but information gathered through professional film study and first-hand experience playing with and against the other guys in the league. I'll break down schemes to determine which offenses and defenses best suit certain players or work best to slow others.
On top of that, I'll have a load of tidbits from around the NFL, so there will be something for everyone, from beginners to expert players. In addition, readers can submit questions to me via Twitter -- @jones_drew32 -- and I'll answer the three best in the column.
As for the draft, my general philosophy is to be aggressive and go with my first instinct. My specific method is to draft the first five rounds based on need and then take the best player available in every round. You may end up with a lot of overlap, but it gives you flexibility to work the best matchups, and a stockpile of good players will give you a lot of trade bait as the season goes on.
A few weeks ago, I had a draft for one of the leagues I'm playing in this year. I had to trade away half my picks to get myself -- because I have to be on my own team -- but I still feel like I built a pretty solid lineup. I have Eli Manning and David Garrard as my quarterbacks, Brent Celek at tight end, Devin Hester as one of my receivers and the Steelers' defense. Which running backs does an NFL running back pick after himself? I grabbed Matt Forte and C.J. Spiller, the Bills' rookie who looks like he's going to start.
There's one guy I didn't take, but I would have liked to. He's my ultimate sleeper for this year's draft. It's Texans running back Arian Foster. I've been hearing for some time that he's the real deal, and he has a chance to be the man in Houston this year.
Who else do I like in the draft? Come back next Friday to find out.