Fantasy Football 101: the draft

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Note for leagues drafting this weekend: Any player whose NFL team has begun or completed his Week 1 game will be locked as a starter or reserve as soon as your draft is completed.

That means that if you want to have Kareem Hunt's stats for Week 1, he must be in your starting lineup before your draft is completed. If you don't want to use Tom Brady in Week 1, you must move him to your bench and insert a different quarterback into your starting lineup before the last pick of the draft is made.

You can do this by clicking the "Team Summary," then under "Action," click MOVE and place the player in the slot where you want him to be locked for Week 1.

Also note that if you intend to replace any players from the postponed Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Miami Dolphins game with players whose Week 1 game already is underway or completed, you will need to do so during the draft.

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.