Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Just like kickers, you’ll want to wait on team defenses too. There might be some situations in drafts where an elite defense is falling and/or you like where your team is at, but the ADP of the Seahawks and 49ers in round eight or nine is just too rich.
Neither was the top defense last year, while the 49ers weren’t even top-five (6th). Fantasy owners also reached for the Houston Texans in round nine last year. They finished 32nd in fantasy football, while the Kansas City Chiefs (not drafted, on average) were the top unit.
Unless the Seahawks come in at insane value in like the 11th or 12th round, just wait until round 14, one round before you get your kicker. Last year the Cardinals, Buccaneers and Browns could all be found in round 14. All three were top-20 defenses, with the Bucs and Browns being top-11 units.
The kicker philosophy is easy. Don’t draft them until the final round. I understand this gets a little tougher the bigger the league is, but for the most part, the position fluctuates way too much to trust any one guy.
For instance, people often reached for Vikings kicker Blair Walsh in the 13th round on average in 2013 drafts, yet he finished the year as just the 15th best kicker. That came a year after finishing fourth in 2012. Sure, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski has finished first overall the past few seasons, but you need to reach for him in round 12 when you could just find the third best kicker (Nick Novak) on the waiver wire.
In fact, Justin Tucker, Dan Bailey and Robbie Gould were all drafted in round 15 on average in 2013 and finished 7th, 10th and 14th, respectively. Use that those 12-14 round picks on gems that could blow up and save your kicker for the final pick of the draft.