"I'm a casual fantasy football player and I'm increasing the number of leagues I'm playing this year. In years past I didn't really prepare a whole lot and the as a result was middle of the pack. I want to take my game to the next level. What should I do?"
Mock, Mock, Mock - From every different draft slot. Having a good understanding of where played are slotted to go and really grasping ADP (average draft position) will really help you never reach for a player while also finding great value in the draft. The more you mock the more you understand how a draft will play out and what players you will target specifically. I always have lists of players listed in tiers that I will target each round.
It's okay to fall in love with certain players but never reach for them. If that means letting your favorite player fall to someone else who is willing to reach them, so be it. It's a habit you want to break at all costs and is one of the most important fundamental rules of drafting. I may think Miles Austin is going to have a big year but if I'm not drafting 12th then it's not going to make sense for me to take him knowing he won't be available at after my first two picks where it'd be a reach to select him.
It's also important to take advantage of value. This coincides with taking players who you may not necessarily love or be high on just based on the value you they present. An example would be Peyton Hillis this year. You may believe that he'll struggle to replicate the season he had in 2011 but if he is available to you in the 3rd round that provides great value, especially when you begin to compare the other RB's who are also available in the 3rd round. Taking advantage of this basic concept really give you a stacked team. I'm always high on certain guys but I'll rarely target specific players (if I know that's it's not realistic I'll be able to draft them) or almost never reach for a player. Every draft I go into I am willing to take the best player available each round so often my teams might very different if I'm drafting in different positions.
On the flip side if it's a sleeper I might have a lot of the same player on one team. A sleeper being someone who will be available in later rounds. This is really the only time I recommend reaching for a player. With your first 6 picks you really should be drafting based on value. For instance last year in PPR leagues I drafted a guy like Danny Amendola and wound up with him on most of my teams. I might have reached a round early to ensure I got him but at that point in the draft (round 9 or 10) there is no value left, it's such a crapshoot that if you reach for a guy a round early it's won't be detrimental.