The Duel

2020 Fantasy Football Snake Draft Strategies to Win Your League

Jason Schandl
Fantasy football snake draft strategies to help win your league in 2020.
Fantasy football snake draft strategies to help win your league in 2020. / Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images
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The 2020 fantasy football season is almost upon us, and that means draft season is rapidly approaching.

In most fantasy football leagues, that means a classic "snake draft" format, in which the person who picks first in Round 1 picks last in Round 2, then first again in Round 3 and so on.

This widespread draft format is relatively simple in how it works, but that doesn't mean it's simple from a strategy standpoint. With that in mind, here are some of the top snake draft strategies that can help you dominate your 2020 fantasy football leagues.

5. Know Your League Rules

Be sure to have a good understanding of the league rules for you fantasy football draft.
Be sure to have a good understanding of the league rules for you fantasy football draft. / Patrick Smith/Getty Images

This one may seem obvious, but that doesn't make it any less critical. It's important to know your league scoring, as whether or not you are playing with point-per-reception (PPR) scoring can make a big impact on strategy. There are also less common variations like tight end-premium scoring that you must know if your league uses. It's also important to know about roster requirements, as some leagues have minimum or maximum roster spots for each position. Other leagues may limit your in-season roster moves. Knowing any and all of the specifics will help give you a big edge.

4. Balance Your Risk

Know when to take risks and when to play it safe in fantasy football drafts.
Know when to take risks and when to play it safe in fantasy football drafts. / Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

We can't predict all the big events in a fantasy season, like injuries, but we can use what we know to understand how risky different players are. There's nothing wrong with gambling on some high-risk, high-reward players, but it's important to balance that out with safe options as well. If your running backs are all boom-or-bust picks, you'll want them paired with some safe, solid top-end receivers.

3. Know When to Ignore Your Rankings

Know when not to trust your fantasy football rankings.
Know when not to trust your fantasy football rankings. / Rob Leiter/Getty Images

Tied to that idea of players bringing different amounts of risk, it's important to know when to ignore your rankings. Rankings are useful, but there's only so much a single number tells you. If you find yourself looking for a high-upside player, for example, it could be worth skipping down past a couple safer but lower-upside options to grab a boom-or-bust player further down in the rankings.

2. Don't Worry About Filling Out Your Starting Lineup Early

Don't draft a fantasy football defense too early.
Don't draft a fantasy football defense too early. / Focus On Sport/Getty Images

Something inexperienced drafters do a lot is fill out their starting lineup as early as they can. It might make sense on paper to grab a top fantasy football defense before a backup running back or wide receiver, but that's usually an unwise choice. The upside of hitting big with an RB or WR is much higher than what you get from even a strong fantasy defense. Let your league mates grab the top defenses in round 7 or 8 while you load up on the huge value at other positions.

1. Don't Draft a Kicker Until the Final Round

Fantasy football kickers should usually only be drafted in the final round.
Fantasy football kickers should usually only be drafted in the final round. / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Going one step further from that last point, there's really no need to draft a kicker until the final round. The position is so unpredictable, and even having a top kicker doesn't give you much of an edge over the rest of your league. Two of the top five scoring kickers in 2019 (Matt Gay and Zane Gonzalez) were even going undrafted in most drafts. If your league allows it, it's even worth considering not drafting a kicker at all, and instead using your last roster spot to hold onto a running back handcuff in case of a training camp injury. You can then add a kicker off the waiver wire closer to Week 1.



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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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