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Fantasy Football 101: the draft

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Draft day is the most exciting day of the season, because it's time to create your team. If you have prepared for your draft by reading up on players and strategy, and doing several mock drafts, you're ready. Take a deep breath and relax. You've got this.

To make everything go as smoothly as possible, be sure to follow these handy rules:

  • Beforehand, print off your rankings/cheat sheets and go over them so you're sure it all looks the way you want it to.

  • Once the draft starts, cross off each player who is drafted, so you know who remains when it's your pick. This can be helpful as an extra line of defense, so that you don't forget any players during the draft frenzy.

  • Go ahead and put some players you want into your queue. This acts as a safety net in case your clock runs out or you get bumped offline, because the system will pick the top one for you.

  • When you are on the clock, stay focused, don't let others distract you and don't panic. Use the entire clock if you need to.

  • If possible, keep an eye on the rosters being drafted by other teams to see which positions they may be targeting in the upcoming rounds. In other words, if every other team already has a starting quarterback, you may be able to wait an extra couple of rounds to take yours, while targeting better values elsewhere.

  • Keep your focus all the way until you make your last pick. You don't want to make any mistakes just because the draft is winding down.

  • When the draft is completed, wish everyone good luck, then commence talking trash!

For more details on the draft room, check out our detailed overview of mock drafts.