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1. Prepare ahead of time
* Get a copy of the rules, which should include the drafting method, scoring system, and prizes disbursement for the league
* If you're a first timer, learn all the terminology with our FAQ
* Make a cheat sheet / projection sheet (or use ours)
* Read up on who other people think are sleepers (check out our Sleepers Page)

2. Bring your drafting equipment
* Cheat Sheet (no sense in working on it if you're going to forget it)
* Several Pens/ Pencils
* Highlighters (1 color for your picks, another for other's picks)
* Clip Board (do you want to write on your knee for 2 hours?)
* Folder to keep things private (see #6)
* Paper (to jot down trade ideas & notes to yourself)
* Blank Draft Roster Grid -- Print out ours

3. Keep your eyes peeled (and your mouth shut)
* Pay attention to others picks, if everyone else already has 4 running backs and you only have 2, you're in trouble.
* Try not to say too much, you don't want to get a bad label
* Just by watching the other drafters you can get a good idea of what you should (and shouldn't) be doing.

4. Be careful about bye weeks
Never draft a backup QB that has the same bye week as your starter, it defeats the purpose of drafting him. Here's our list for this season.

5. Draft the best player available (don't fill your roster in order)
Some people (not knowing any better) will draft QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, K, D, QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, K, not that it's the end of the world, but (see Joe Bryant's VBD article ) it's much more important to get your third RB before a kicker. In it's simplest form, the value of a player is determined not by the number of points he scores, but by how much he outscores his peers at his particular position. Of course your league's scoring system is important in making these kind of decisions.

6. Keep your cheat sheet to yourself
It doesn't do you a lot of good to "share" your cheat sheet the owner next to you. In 1998, I made this mistake and the he ended up with a better record than I did.

7. Consider trading
In between picks is a good time to think about trades. Maybe you're sure your big sleeper is going to be picked before your next turn, so try trading your next 2 picks for a higher pick. Or maybe you realized you made a mistake like #4, trade that player now and you can still come out ahead by getting 2 lower draft picks. Check out the draft pick calculator on our tools page.

8. Finishing up
Your last few draft picks should be on some long shots. Don't waste these picks on older veteran players that have consistently scored a couple points a game. Take a chance on that rookie quarterback or a backup running back with a big upside.

9. Double check everything
Before leaving the draft, make sure you:
* Agree with the commissioner on your roster
* Check each other's phone numbers and e-mail addresses
* Know what time transactions and lineups are due

10. Have fun
Too often we over-analyze our hobby and suck the fun out of it. Remember that the whole reason we play fantasy football is for fun. Good luck!