My Recommendation: 3 Quarterbacks What the Autodraft gives you: 2
I've seen to many fantasy seasons go by the wayside because my stud quarterback went down to injury. You don't want to be in that position starting Alex Smith or hoping Christian Ponder can produce. Autodraft in most cases will give you a backup but I prefer 3 and actually 3 early so you can dangle trade bait. Most casual fantasy players who know below average about the sport will only recognize QB names anyways and therefore a Tony Romo can appear much more attractive than he really is.
My Recommendation: 5 Runningbacks Autodraft: 3
This is where autodraft starts to burn you. Only 3 Runningbacks? That could turn into a murderous row if 2 of those share the same bye or worse are on the same team like a Jonathan Stewart-DeAngelo Williams or for this year's sake David Wilson-Andre Brown. Take a look at most autodrafted people that look at their team for the first time and unless they were lucky enough to score the top pick or two, they'll drop their second kicker for another tailback. Another reason to stockpile is for the handcuffers (not me: see a previous post), as well as for the fact that some of the best value in drafts come with the late round runners who turn into splash fantasy producers.
My Recommendation: 4/5 Wide Receivers Autodraft: 4
This might be where I initially agree with the autodraft IF at least 2 of your 4 wideouts are studs. For example in my first draft this summer I locked up Brandon Marshall and Dez Bryant. At that point there's little to no reason for me to reach high if at all for a 5th receiver. However if my starters include the likes of T.Y. Hilton or Tavon Austin I might need some reassurance. That 5th WR will be a passcatcher if he's a tight end of a WR.
My Recommendation: 1 /2 Tight Ends Autodraft: 2
Tight Ends are so hit and miss. I have no problem drafting a backup as long as you draft your TE2 late as in the last round. Unless you have one of the top 4 or 5 Tight Ends you really never feel great about them as they can go games with only a catch or two. But as stated before I also would only snag a second tight end if I felt pretty comfortable with my receiver crop.
My Recommendation: 0 Kickers Autodraft: 2
Have we met? I'm your fantasy blogger that laughs at kickers. I actually prefer Yahoo's format which will let you field a 14 position (1 empty) roster and then if you need that kicker you pick up a Monday Night Special who wasn't ever gonna be added anyways. In addition to being an erradic position that can score 0 or 15 points in a given week, there is no definitive rankings of a kicker. People love Stephen Gostowski because he was on that historic Patriots offense that kicked lots of extra points, but go compare Gostowksi to Janikowski. 2 massive boots a game will usually outproduce your blowout offenses. So with no rankings and the ability to pick up another the day of, you have NO business drafting a kicker. Even if my philosophy seems to ricky to you. Pick one up after the draft with the player you think you'll use the least.
My Recommendation: 1 Defenses Autodraft: 2
I also have a strange (but sly) way of playing defenses. Unless I can snag one of the top 4 defenses I just play matchups. For instance, few people will draft the Colts defense or the Raiders defense and for obvious reasons. Their stop units aren't good. But if the Colts are playing the Jaguars who will throw picks in bunches or the Raiders are playing the Chargers who surrender sacks like candy - then you have the formula for a plug and play that is more reliable than if you're vaunted 49ers defense is playing Drew Brees who can put up 35 on them. If you subscribe to this method you have to commit for the year and it means usually dropping a defense each week. But someone told me this trick and I've seen it work for me!