CFB Fantasy: NFL vs. NCAA

How does strategy change from a NFL to NCAA fantasy draft?

How does strategy change from a NFL to NCAA fantasy draft?

Athlon Sports recently held its first college fantasy football mock draft for 2011. As expected, there were many interesting observations and questions raised during the draft. Over the next couple of days, the drafters will give their thoughts on some of the hot topics.

With the season right around the corner, Athlon Sports will be releasing its 2011 college fantasy draft kit throughout the summer. Everything you need to win your college fantasy league this year will be covered in Athlon's preseason draft kit, including player profiles, rankings, strategy pieces and more.

Athlon Sports May college fantasy football draft for 2011

Team-by-team look at the May college fantasy mock draft
Strategy talk: What was your plan going into the draft?

How does your strategy change in college drafts, as opposed to a pro draft?

Todd DeVries, College Football Geek (@CFFGeek on Twitter)
In the early rounds of pro drafts, owners gobble up running backs like they're going out of style each and every year.  It makes sense as the position is woefully thin.  That's not the case in the college game, especially if you play in an All-FBS format.  The positional value fluctuates from year to year.  Some years, running back is the way to go.  Other years, it makes sense to stock up on wide receivers and a tight end early.  You draft where the value is, and it's not always at running back like in the NFL.

Joe DiSalvo, The College Fantasy Football Site (@theCFFsite on Twitter)
Even though I attempt to draft the best player on the board in the first three rounds, I will not balk at selecting a top-level wide receiver with my first pick, especially when the scoring system awards points per reception.  I value wide receiver more than any other position in college fantasy football because it is easier to find quality undrafted running backs and quarterbacks during the season than receivers.  Implementing this strategy during the draft, I was able to secure Ryan Broyles in round one and Lance Lewis in round two.  Together, the two combined for 220 catches in 2010, and at .5 PPR, 220 receptions is equivalent to 18 touchdowns.

Alex Esselink, College Fantasy Football Insider (@CFFInsider on Twitter)
You can play NFL fantasy football? Never tried it.

Braden Gall, Athlon Sports (@AthlonBraden on Twitter)
In this case - two-QB, 120-league - it actually doesn't differ much at all. I want to solidify my tailback position with 2-3 early options, snag best available wideouts if the value is there and work the QB rankings as it falls to me. Defense/Special Teams might be the biggest strategy difference between NCAA and NFL fantasy. I will take a solid NFL team defense in the mid-to-late rounds. In the college game, I will wait until the last few rounds. This is due to the scheduling discrepancies in the college game. There is always a great waiver wire match-up between a power BCS school and Little Sisters of the Poor-U every week of the college season. 

Michael Hurcomb, CBS Sports
 (@CBSHurc on Twitter)
Quarterbacks change the game in college fantasy football, especially the dual-threat options and the QBs that are in spread offenses. Finding those highly-productive dual-threat QBs in the college game are vital because basically you are getting both QB and RB points at one position. The unique aspect about the college game is that you can find QBs that average 35 or more fantasy points per week, which is a rarity in pro fantasy football.

Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports (@AthlonSteven on Twitter)
There’s not a whole lot that changes in terms of strategy. I always try to load up on running backs in both formats, even in a league that starts two quarterbacks every week. If you have a NFL league that requires two starting quarterbacks, you might go earlier on your second starter than you would in a college draft. I think the biggest difference is simply the player pool that surrounds both. With 32 teams and a 53-man limit on the roster size, the pool for the NFL drafts is limited. Considering there are 120 college teams, the door is open for more wildcards to be found on draft day and certainly more unpredictability on when players might go off the board.

Drew Smith, Fantasy College Blitz (@fcbdrew on Twitter)
In the college game I pay a lot more attention to the team's schedule because it plays a huge factor in the overall stats but only rarely does it play a big factor in the NFL game.  Also, there are true "sleepers" in the college game and it is important to not to ignore that in my research. In NFL fantasy you can do more research than anyone out there and it isn't going to help you uncover a 'sleeper' as in someone people don't know a lot about.

Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports (@AthlonSnowman on Twitter)
There are so many more options in a 120-college draft. I think you can worry less about position scarcity and just grab the best performer.

Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports (@AthlonCorby on Twitter)
Of course it being a two-QB league changes a lot of things, but even outside getting a QB early, I find myself loading up on receivers more often than not in college drafts; whereas they are down my priority list in the pro game. To me that is the biggest difference: Would you rather load up on RBs or WRs?

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<p> With the first college fantasy mock draft in the books for 2011, it's time for a review session. The drafters discuss strategy and how it changes from pro to college fantasy drafts.</p>

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