Now that the LeBron James spectacle of arrogance is over and behind us we can finally start to concentrate on what is really important: the great American gridiron. With the upcoming season rapidly approaching a lot of us are getting our leagues back together for our late summer fantasy football drafts. The time of year that brings friends together like no other. It gives us an arena for weekly verbal bashing and relentless facebook trash talking as well as conniving our buddies into picking people like Kyle Boller with the 7th overall pick. (I’m sorry Marc, but it was just too easy) I’m here to get you geared up and to help you high step your way into the playoffs in “Prime Time” fashion.

I have been doing fantasy football for about 6 years and I have never placed outside of the top three teams. I have also topped the league in scoring 2 of the past 3 years. I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I remain consistent and it has a lot to do with debunking the top five myths of drafting your dream team. There’s no guarantee that following my advice will have you holding up the championship trophy for your league come December, but it should at the very least keep you from being a basement dweller.

Myth number one – The Age Old Theory Sucks

Generally the most widely used strategy is drafting back-to-back running backs in the first two rounds. This is a strategy about as outdated as those wind suits your grandma wears. Teams just don’t have workhorse backs the way that they used to and there are no more guys like LT circa 2006 putting up 28 rushing touchdowns. Teams have begun adopting the running back by committee strategy in a big way, and this drastically diminishes the value of star backs. It also almost forces you to snag up the co-star of the backfield. (check myth number two) It is statistically proven that going RB-WR or even WR-WR will drastically boost your point output week in and week out. So don’t be afraid to get your first RB in the third round to grab up two elite wide receivers.

Myth number two – The Backup Plan

Don’t feel forced to chase your number one RB’s counterpart. Usually you are getting him as a plan B if, God forbid, your starter goes down to an injury. You are essentially wasting a pick on someone you hope you never have to start, and if your plan is to start both of these guys every week then you need to reevaluate. Having a two-headed monster from the same team will usually only produce the numbers of one solid guy, and come bye week you’re going to be in a world of hurt. It’s also not uncommon that you reach too soon for the lesser piece of your backfield puzzle just as a safety net. So this year try using that extra pick on developing a deeper WR core early and try to pick up your guy at RB in later rounds for a steal.

Myth number three – I Want My Tight End Not Later, Right Now

You never need to rush into picking a tight end. Even if you watch a few guys fall off the board you don’t need to hitch a ride on that train just yet. Let 8 or 9 fall off the board while you stack up on your three most important positions. (QB/RB/WR) Trust me when I tell you this position is deep, and you will be better off with a solid second or third running back/wide receiver than a star TE.

Myth number four – But He Was Good Last Year

Prevent letting yourself believe a player is going to produce just because you recognize their name or they are coming off of a solid season. You have to evaluate more than just last season’s numbers as draft day approaches. The biggest factor tends to be age, and it generally matters most in RBs. Turning 30 is the kiss of death for any running back in this league. Be very weary of these six guys because age matters more than a recognizable name: LaDainian Tomlinson, Thomas Jones, Ricky Williams, Chester Taylor, Larry Johnson, and Derrick Ward. All six of these guys will or already has eclipsed the 30-year-old mark this season. Secondly, you can’t forget to factor in roster changes. Matt Leinart loses Anquon Boldin to the Ravens and DeSean Jackson has an unproven Kevin Kolb throwing him the ball in Philly this year just to point out a few examples of sticky situations you need to look out for.

Myth number five – If Your Not First, Your Last

If you are in a league, such as mine, that you earn your choice of draft position by turning in your league entry fee then you should know what to do when the first 3 spots are taken. Don’t panic guys; plan B is just a good as plan A this time. Reach for the last pick. The closer to front or back you can be the better. Statistically grabbing a bookend in the first or last slot is your best bet for turning out a good draft day. Will you be the Lions of your league if you fall somewhere in the middle? Not necessarily, but placing yourself on a bookend gives you a better shot at making yourself into the team to beat. Remember that you still have to make solid choices come draft day.

There you have it guys, the five myths of draft day debunked. Check back for my follow-up story listing my top ranked draft board position by position including a brief analysis of the guys I have sitting atop my big board.

—DJ