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Fantasy Football Champs: Final Week Pre-Draft Thoughts from the Champs

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Fantasy Football Champs (FFChamps.com), will be live on Patriots.com Radio each and every Tuesday from 4pm-6pm. FFChamps can also be heard with hot off the press information and strategy in our Football Nation Live show, each Thursday from 4pm-6pm, also on Patriots.com. Tune in, call in, and if you miss it live, catch it via the podcast or on demand. From the draft to your Fantasy Football Super Bowl, we bring you up to the moment coverage and strategy all season long at FFChamps.com.

At FFChamps.com, you can bathe in our award-winning, trophy-touting Fantasy Football Champs Performance Index (FFCPI), our Rest of the Way Rankings, our Strength of Schedule tool (SOS), one on one advice, live game day programming and everything else you need to win your league bragging rights. We even have a special deal for the next few days for our Patriots fan friends if you visit www.FFChamps.com and join before the opening night kickoff on September 5

Here's some quick and final pre-draft thoughts as you head into the big day.

First of all, remember, championships aren't won at the draft, but they are born there. So don't get too hung up on the perfect draft. Just don't blow it. Craft a plan, maybe script out an overall ranking for your first round or two and then stick to the FFChamps' system.

At FFChamps.com, we've garnered some fame for creating the "10 Commandments of Fantasy Football." You can see them starting with Commandment 1 at http://www.ffchamps.com/content/2555/1-know-thy-scoring-system/.

The 4th Commandment – Thou Shall Draft Players From the NEXT Great Offenses

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If you've been to our site you know we've told you to avoid players on bad teams. We also like to draft players from good teams. Taking it one step further, we really look to draft players from the NEXT great offenses. Here's a list of some of the offenses that we are targeting:

Target
NE
PHI
NOS
ATL
GBP
DET
CIN

Along the same lines, we avoid players on teams with bad offenses. Obviously some of these offenses may have one or two good players and there is a chance we draft them but if on the fence with two guys, we will not be drafting any players on any of these teams:

Avoid
MIA
NYJ
PIT
IND
JAX
KC
STL
SF
MIN

If we didn't mention a team it means we feel so-so on it and will draft guys from that team if they are the best guy on the board.

Our Guys

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Okay, so here's a list of some of the Our Guys which is basically is our way of saying these are guys we have a good feeling about and we believe will outperform their draft value. Basically you want as many of Our Guys on your rosters as possible.

WR Antonio Brown
WR Desean Jackson
WR Marques Colston
RB Stevan Ridley
WR Eddie Royal
WR Brandon Lloyd
RB Doug Martin
TE Aaron Hernandez
WR Titus Young
WR Eric Decker
QB Matt Ryan
RB DeMarco Murray
RB DeAngelo Williams
RB Jacquizz Rodgers
WR Jeremy Maclin
WR Demaryius Thomas

QB Plan
One of our other rules has always been not to draft a quarterback too early. We are not looking to entirely get away from that strategy, however, with the risks at running back this year, we are prepared to take one of the top quarterbacks earlier than we normally would.

We still would look at taking the big three running backs and even Megatron first. However, in six-points per pass TD leagues, we are taking the stud quarterbacks early and even in four point per TD pass leagues we are now prepared to take quarterback potentially in the late-first and even the second round.

RB depth
Running backs are a position we are a bit concerned with this year as they seem to be less deep than they've been in quite a while. With that in mind we are prepared to take some of the big receivers a little bit earlier and are also making sure to try and get a few extra running backs late, some flier-type guys, if we can.

It is also more important than ever to handcuff your running back if his backup is capable. This is also the position in which we believe we will have the most waiver wire gems this year.

It feels like there's going be a lot of guys getting hurt and new guys emerging out of nowhere. So be sure to start working the waiver wire early and often, starting with Week 1. If you see guys getting hurt, be sure to grab any running backs off the waiver wire early. FFChamps.com members have waiver pick up strategy recommendations each week of the season.

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1st Round**
We would be starting off with either Arian Foster or Ray Rice and following up those two with Shady McCoy if you are picking in the top 3. We actually may be looking at Calvin Johnson right after that, followed by Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden and from there it gets tougher and we have to start making a decision; is it time to look at quarterback?

Depending on league scoring, Rodgers deserves to go there, and maybe even Brady if it's a six points per TD league, but we are sticking with running backs and wide receivers in all likelihood after that. Julio Jones is your 2nd drafted WR right now.

Random Thoughts

We kind of get a really good feeling about Aaron Hernandez this year (great for us Pats fans) . We thing he's going to potentially outperform even Rob Gronkowski. We also think Antonio Gates is going to have a great bounce-back year but are a little bit concerned about most of the other tight ends so we are trying to make sure we get one of those top four.

Our goal is to always get as many studs as we can. FFChamps' philosophy at fantasy football is that you don't necessarily need to score the most points (although in the end of course that's what you are trying to do); you really just need to score more points than the team you are playing.

So if you put a better team on the field, at least on paper, than the team you are playing each week, the odds are strong that you are going to win more games than you lose and make the playoffs.

As always, depending on your scoring, unless kickers and defenses score a tremendous amount those are generally going to be two of your last four picks. The only reason they aren't the last two rounds is because at that point it's pretty obvious to everyone and depending on where you draft you may get last choice of both kicker and defense, assuming the rest of your league has a similar strategy. Instead of waiting the last two rounds to do it, we try and use the third and fourth to last round for kickers and defenses. This way you are probably jumping ahead of a lot of people and getting your choice of the top five kickers and defenses.

Position by Position thoughts
At quarterback, we see that there are a number of serviceable quarterbacks you can start. So if you don't get one of the big ones early, we recommend getting back to the commandment No. 5, Thou Shall Wait on your Quarterback.

We would consider Rodgers or Brady in the late first, but then we would wait until the next round and consider guys like Brees, Newton and Stafford.

Then we would want to land either Ryan, Romo or Eli a round or two later. If you miss them, settle on the likes of Rivers, Romo, Roethlisberger or Cutler in rounds 6, 7, 8, 9 and have a top 10-12 quarterback.

At running back after Rice, Foster, McCoy, Chris Johnson and McFadden, we still kind of like DeMarco Murray and Matt Forte but are concerned about Forte's holdout having a carryover affect and are somewhat concerned that the Cowboys basically falling out of bed last year will carry over and hurt his season.

As a result, you should not waste an early pick on anyone other than our top seven or so runners. The next five or seven are guys you should not be taking until the second, third or later round, and after that point a bunch of fliers.

At wide receiver we have Calvin Johnson obviously first on our board and we really believe Julio Jones could be the second WR that we would take in any league format.

We still think you're great with the rest of the top-tier or two WRs that we have given up to 10-12 but it starts to really thin out at about 15, so make sure you get at least one of the top 15 wide receivers and hopefully two.

Get some depth, back up your running back and maybe quarterback if they are viable.

Grab some fliers, some of Our Guys and have some fun. The FFCPI will steer all to the playoffs and provide you with extraordinary results for fantasy football dominance.

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