The Steelers opened up the 2009 campaign last night with a preseason victory over the substandard Cardinals. With the regular season fast approaching, a lot of people are gearing up for fantasy football drafts. I'll outline some tips to keep in mind when constructing your team. This might not be wise since the people that read this website are my competitors in the Steeler Greats league, but I haven't made the playoffs since the Cowher era, so take it with a grain of salt.
Don't go "All-In" in the first round - The first round is obviously important, but one player is simply a fraction of your team. Good fantasy football teams have depth at key positions and owners of those teams generally draft well in rounds four and beyond. Just look at the players drafted last year that will probably be keepers this season. Michael Turner, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, etc were all drafted in later rounds a season ago and were big difference-makers for their owners. Build a solid base, don't trade everything away for a chance at Tom Brady.
Value, Value, Value - Every year, the first tight end comes off the board way to early and then other TEs quickly get drafted. If five TEs are already gone, don't reach and take a tight end in the seventh or eighth round who in actuality has twelfth round value. It's sometimes better to take a 3rd RB or 4th WR than to reach on a quarterback just because you don't have one. Research players, know where they are rated and where they "should" be drafted, and go from there. Maybe you didn't draft a top five tight end, but you got a solid receiver instead and picked up an under-the-radar tight end in round fourteen that will have a good and surprising year.
Know the Scoring System - Steeler Greats gives an equal amount of points for a throwing TD as it does a rushing or receiving TD. It puts the emphasis on having a top-tier quarterback. I should take this advice, I let the best qbs get drafted and then take Matt Hasselbeck in a later round. When he gets hurt or just plain out sucks, I get screwed.
Injuries - If a player consistently gets hurt every year, Hasselbeck or dare I say Adrian Peterson, is it worth taking him?
Offensive Lines - Healthy and solid lines usually equate to success and health for running backs and quarterbacks.
Bye Weeks - I think some go crazy with trying to side-step bye weeks, but at the same time you don't want half of your team off for one week. One loss during the season could cost you a playoff spot.
Players from same team - There are some differing opinions, I'm not a huge fan of it, but you were golden if you had Brady and Moss two years ago. If a QB/WR combo has a bad week, it could spell double trouble for your fantasy team.
Pay Attention During the Draft - If you are drafting say in the 9th spot in the odd rounds and the 2nd in the evens and you want two players, say a RB and QB, you might want to take the QB first if the guy drafting after you already has 3 RBs and 0 QBs. The RB you want should be available to you on the way back.
That's about all I can think of off the top of my head. Draft Day is important but remember that it is not the end-all. Undrafted players will have big years, and first rounders will be major busts. Fantasy teams in September will look a lot different come January. It's good to think proactively as opposed to re-actively, but that can sometimes to tough. Buy a magazine, do a little research, and root for the Carnell Lake Effect.