Fantasy football 2016 draft strategy: Marcas Grant

This might come as a shock to some of you, but there's no scientific method that will lead you to a fantasy football championship. For all of the amazing analytics work done by the myriad fantasy writers out there, we've yet to come up with the one formula that will guarantee that you take home your fantasy championship at the end of the season.

And even if there was, what good would it do you if everyone had access to it?

Similarly, there isn't one overarching strategy that should apply when it comes to attacking your fantasy football draft. Every draft is a little bit different. With different leagues come different scoring systems and different draft philosophies. Instead, I tend to rely on a series of principles to guide me toward picking the best team possible. Follow these and you'll be guaranteed to celebrate a title at the end of the season.*

*Offer not valid anywhere in the known universe.

Mock it up. Remember when I wrote that different leagues often feature varying draft strategies? I mean, it was just in the previous paragraph. I'm going to need you to stay with me.

Since you can never be completely sure you know how a draft will go, it makes sense to get plenty of practice so you can be ready for any number of scenarios. How might the draft go if you're picking second versus seventh? How about if you go running back heavy in the early rounds? Or if you go zero RBs instead? The possibilities are endless. While you might not be able to prepare for every situation, you can at least have a good idea of which players could be available in many instances. That preparation is a major key.

Look out for No. 1. It's rare that you walk away from a fantasy football draft feeling 100 percent confident in every single one of your picks. It's natural. But if there's one selection that you should feel good about, it's in the first round. That's the one that sets the tone for the rest of your draft. Nail that one and you should have a solid foundation for the rest of the proceedings. That's where doing multiple mock drafts comes into play.

Watch the run. At some point in your draft, there's going to be a run on a certain position. This is when you'll need to remain disciplined with your gameplan. If a player you're interested in is still available during the run, go ahead and make the move. But don't reach for someone you're not comfortable with just because several of his cohorts were drafted consecutively. Stay patient and realize that other options will likely be available in the draft. That being said...

Get your guy. You'll probably spend lots of time studying rankings and checking ADPs to figure out when you should make the move to draft certain players. But if there is a certain player you really have your eye on, don't hesitate to make the move when you feel it's appropriate -- regardless of what the analysts say. Whether it's about trusting your gut or just having a player that you enjoy watching, go get your guy.

Risky business. Fortune favors the bold. That means you shouldn't be afraid to occasionally do something unconventional. It doesn't necessarily mean drafting Stephen Gostkowski in the fifth round, but maybe you take a chance on a rookie a couple of rounds earlier than expected. If your deep sleeper pick doesn't work out, you're not really going to be out very much. But if you hit on the selection, you'll be the envy of everyone in your league. In this case, the reward far outweighs the risk.

Go wire to wire. Understand that the team you have entering Week 1 isn't likely to be the team that you start the playoffs with. In order to be successful, you'll have to make some moves during the season whether it's on the waiver wire or through trades. This is less of a draft strategy and more of a general fantasy football ideal, but it's a good thing to remember as you move your way through the draft. If you're not completely happy with a pick, there are always options.

There you have it -- a foolproof plan that will leave the rest of your league mates jealous of your superior drafting abilities. Thank me later.

Why wait? CLICK HERE to get your 2016 NFL Fantasy season started.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarcasG.

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