Succeeding in fantasy football is all about how you draft.

Of course the waiver wire is important and knowing when to play which players is also integral, but it all goes back to the draft.

Today we are going to dig deep into a strategy guide that will prepare you for 2017’s fantasy football season. Get on your boots, we’re taking you to fantasy football boot camp.

There is no time of the year that is as exciting as the NFL preseason. Of course, we don’t actually care about what is happening on the field — so long as star players aren’t getting hurt — but this is the time where we get to pretend to be scouts and do some major research.

Drafting in fantasy football is all about outsmarting your opposition while sticking to your own core rules.This brings us to our first piece of advice for fantasy football drafting enthusiasts:

1. Don’t put too much stock in the preseason.
If we had a dollar for every time some rookie flashed in the 4th preseason game, only to be drafted too high a day later, we’d be relatively loaded.

The preseason is the preseason for a reason: it’s just practice.

If a scrub QB like Blake Bortles is lighting it up against the Chiefs’ third string defense it doesn’t mean you need to reach up and grab him.

If you can successfully disentangle yourself from the hype that invariably comes around every preseason you are already a step ahead of the majority of your competition.

People flock to preseason football because it’s their first taste of the game all year. Don’t let that enthusiasm sway you.

Instead, focus on being logical with your decisions. This point brings us to our next piece of advice:

2. Don’t take risks in the first round.
The first round of your fantasy football draft, whether on DFS sites like DRAFT or in your season long league, is where your money is made. Your 1st round pick is your moneymaker.

They are the player you slot in every week without thinking twice, fully expecting at least 80 yards and a TD.

Why do we tell you this?

So you know not to take a risk.

LeSean McCoy is currently being drafted at #6 overall in fantasy drafts. We wouldn’t touch him there.

Between an abysmal QB and a franchise in shambles, he’s simply not worth the risk.

Go one pick lower and grab DeVonta Freeman who will get the lions share of carries on a high paced Atlanta offense.

This is a no brainer but still some people are stuck in the ADP way of thinking.

Once you’ve locked in your first round pick you can start to focus on how you are going to build the rest of your team.

Typically if someone goes with a running back in round one they’ll want to jump for a wide receiver in round two.

It makes sense, right? Well, not really. Here is our third and final piece of advice:

3. Focus on value over the position.
Let’s say that we selected Devonta Freeman at #5 overall.

When our next selection comes around we have the chance to grab Michael Thomas from New Orleans or DeMarco Murray.

Last season Thomas put up great numbers but he’s still a lesser value compared to Murray, due to the shallowness of the running back selections.

Grab Murray and get your first wide out in round three.

This is a paid post for Draft by special guest author Fran L