Fantasy football: The best time to draft quarterbacks, running backs, more

For a good chunk of fantasy football owners, more than half of a team’s roster will be made up of running backs and wide receivers.

But there comes a time in standard drafts when the other positions must be addressed. Standout quarterbacks and tight ends can elevate a good team to a championship, so it’s important to know when these positions — and defense/special teams and kickers — ought to come off the board.

Here are some suggestions for how to draft QBs, TEs, D/STs and Ks.


There’s no passer worthy of a first-round pick this year, and it might be best to wait until rounds 3 or 4 to take even the best QBs — Cam Newton (Panthers), Aaron Rodgers (Packers) and Russell Wilson (Seahawks).

After those three are gone, wait a few more rounds before going for the likes of Andrew Luck (Colts), Drew Brees (Saints) or Tom Brady (Patriots). And yes, Brady is still a top-six option despite his four-game suspension.

Quarterback is exceptionally deep, so it wouldn’t be crazy to draft both a starter and backup between rounds 10 and 14.


Get Gronk late in Round 1, if you can. Rob Gronkowski (Patriots) is so far ahead at his position that could average as many as two more points than the second-best TE — likely Jordan Reed (Redskins) or Greg Olsen (Panthers).

Reed and Olsen could merit consideration around rounds 5 or 6, but the rest are a crap shoot.

My advice: When your turn is up and you don’t like the available RBs, WRs or QBs, select your first tight end. Then, grab a backup in the later rounds.


Once in awhile, there’s a tide-turning defense that is worth drafting in the middle rounds. This isn’t one of those years.

Wait until the next-to-last round to address this, especially if a D/ST run takes the best options off the board too early.

And please, don’t draft two defenses. Totally unnecessary.


In my long-running league, the earliest I’ve seen a kicker drafted was the 11th round out of 16. That’s nonsense. Don’t do that.

Want to draft Stephen Gostkowski (Patriots) in the penultimate round? That works. Otherwise, don’t overthink which kicker to take in the final round.

Do not draft two kickers, either. That’s just silly.