Fantasy Football Draft

FantasyFootballDraft

Background:

I am a fantasy football fanatic, and many of my friends call me the fantasy football “guru.” I have been playing fantasy for 15 years and I have been in 5 leagues for the past 5 years and I have only not made it to the playoffs once! All of my leagues cost $200 or more so the players I play with take it seriously.

Strategy: 

Always go into the draft with some kind of strategy. Obviously things will change as the draft progresses, but it is good to have an idea of what positions and players you want in certain rounds. My strategy this year is to take a RB early (round 1 or 2), load up on WRs in rounds 1-4, then wait for my RB2 in the later rounds (6-9). Take a lot RBs with potential in the later rounds and hope for one of them to breakout. Injuries seem to plague the RB position and you are usually able to work the waiver wire to find a RB2 or a slot guy as the year goes on (much more so than WRs). I usually wait on a QB or TE in the mid-to-late rounds unless if one of the top guys drops, then I will adjust my strategy to fit that. I like to fill up my lineup before I take bench guys, but I would much rather take value at a certain position and have him on the bench rather than reach for somebody just so I can fill up my lineup. Your lineup will change from the beginning of the season to the end, and you can always make a trade mid-season to fill in your lineup. 


 

Round1

  1. Todd Gurley
  2. Le’Veon Bell
  3. Ezekiel Elliot
  4. David Johnson
  5. Alvin Kamara
  6. Antonio Brown
  7. Saquon Barkley
  8. Kareem Hunt
  9. DeAndre Hopkins
  10. Leonard Fournette

Analysis:

The first four picks seem to be a consensus and I have no disagreement there. The only argument is in which order should the first four picks be drafted. One could argue David Johnson should be even higher. The guy was a beast 2 years ago, and could replicate that year again. Remember, his injury was to his wrist not his legs or back. He will come back strong. Even with PPR, running backs are going early this year; there are only a handful of RBs that receive significant touches on a weekly basis. I suggest trying to get one of the workhorses early and then waiting for your RB2. You won’t win your league in the 1st round, but you can lose it. I highlight more players in the later rounds, but know that safer is better in the first 2-3 rounds. Alvin Kamara and Saquon Barkley fit this mold. What if Kamara can’t replicate his insane yards-per-touch? What if Barkley is not the stud everyone thinks he is? I love both of these players and I think they are worthy of 1st round picks, but I prefer to take proven players in the first couple of rounds. Take your risks later, which I will talk about.


 

Round2

  1. Melvin Gordon
  2. Odell Beckham Jr.
  3. Dalvin Cook
  4. Julio Jones
  5. Michael Thomas
  6. Keenan Allen
  7. Devonta Freeman
  8. Christian McCaffrey
  9. Davante Adams
  10. A.J. Green

Analysis:

After this round, the talent level drops significantly. Anybody that knows me knows that I love me some AJ Green, he is lower than previous years and is a steal at the end of round 2. He has had some injury issues, but can win you games by himself some weeks and consistently gets double-digit targets. I think Christian McCaffrey’s role is going to expand this year and he could be poised for a top 5 RB year. Dalvin Cook is coming back from an ACL injury, but isn’t even wearing a brace in practice. Go look at his numbers prior to his injury; he could easily sneak into the first round. Davante Adams scares me. Even with Jordy Nelson gone and the best to ever do it throwing him the ball; he did not put up numbers 2 years ago when Jordy went down with a season ending injury: be careful. If you did not get a RB in the first round then you should target one of these second round RB’s or else your RB1 will be weak.


 

Round3

  1. Jerick McKinnon
  2. Jordan Howard
  3. Rob Gronkowski
  4. Mike Evans
  5. Joe Mixon
  6. Aaron Rodgers
  7. LeSean McCoy
  8. Travis Kelce
  9. Tyreek Hill
  10. Adam Thielen

Analysis:

I do not get all the love for Jerick McKinnon. He got a big deal with the 49ers and will be given the chance to be the lead back, but he has had opportunities due to injuries to Cook and Adrian Peterson in the past and has not delivered. I am avoiding him. Mike Evans could return to form if Winston can figure it out. He has the talent to be a top 5 WR and should see plenty of targets; I would gladly take him in the 3rd round. Curious to see how Mahomes performs as Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce go off the board in round 3. Both players are ridiculously talented and Mahomes has the arm for them to put up some big numbers again. Adam Thielen could be a steal at the end of round 3. He is finally getting a talented QB throwing to him; he could put up some big numbers. Again, if you did not draft a RB in the first two rounds, then here are your low-level RB1’s. All come with some question marks, but you can still get very quality WR’s in this round. Scoop up a stud RB early and pass on the Jerick McKinnon’s.


 

Round4

  1. T.Y. Hilton
  2. Stefon Diggs
  3. Doug Baldwin
  4. Zach Ertz
  5. Larry Fitzgerald
  6. Derrius Guice (injury)
  7. Amari Cooper
  8. Kenyan Drake
  9. Derrick Henry
  10. Allen Robinson

Analysis:

If Andrew Luck if fully healthy and ready to go T.Y. Hilton will be back to being a top 10 WR; if not, then steer clear. Can the ageless Larry Fitzgerald have another quality season? I have stayed away from him for the past couple of years, but he is still their best WR and would still be valuable in PPR leagues. Derrius Guice intrigues me. Coaches have praised him for his pass protection and his hands. With “dump down” master Alex Smith as the QB now he could be a very quality RB2. I’m not saying he will be this year’s Kareem Hunt, but he has just as much potential as any other rookie RB out there (Disclaimer- this write up occurred before the injury). Amari Cooper could be in line for a bounce back year. He is still only 24 years old and has shown flashes of being a stud. Could Gruden finally get him on the right track and get him the targets he needs. Derrick Henry will finally get his shot to be the lead back, and with the Titans offensive line; he could be in line for a monster year. I like the value of some of the RBs in this round and there are still some quality WRs here too which further strengthens my strategy for this year.


 

Round5

  1. Demaryius Thomas
  2. Brandin Cooks
  3. Jarvis Landry
  4. Deshaun Watson
  5. Golden Tate
  6. JuJu Smith-Schuster
  7. Alex Collins
  8. Jay Ajayi
  9. Josh Gordon
  10. Rashaad Penny

Analysis:

Still some quality WRs here. Sean McVay loves speed and knows how to speedy WRs the ball; this trade and deal with the Rams could be the best thing that happened to Brandin Cooks. He doesn’t just have the coolest name out there; JuJu Smith-Schuster is very young and very talented; definitely a target for keeper and dynasty leagues here. Stay away from Golden Tate; he has had a couple of good years for the Lions, but I would much rather other WRs here than him. Rashaad Penny is an interesting pick, but I do not trust Seattle’s offense and he has competition. At this point, I would have two RBs and three WRs. I want that workhorse RB and in round 1 or 2 and I liked the value of RBs in round 4. Still quality WRs here in round 5, but the talent level is about to drop which is when I will target my QB and TE.


 

RoundTemplate

  1. Russell Wilson
  2. Alshon Jeffery
  3. Ronald Jones II
  4. Tom Brady
  5. Sony Michel
  6. Mark Ingram
  7. Lamar Miller
  8. Jimmy Graham
  9. Marvin Jones
  10. Dion Lewis

Analysis:

Alshon Jeffrey underperformed last year in his first season with the Eagles, but he started getting more comfortable with Wentz towards the end. He could end up being a steal in round 6. I normally stay away from Patriots RBs and this year is no different. Sony Michel has had fumble issues in college and we have seen how Belichick has treated RBs who fumble: “Get in the doghouse.” I like the value of Marvin Jones here. Can a Packets TE finally produce solid fantasy numbers? Jimmy Graham will put that to the test. Playing with the best QB ever to do it (no I’m not a Packers fan) and with Jordy Nelson gone. If Davante Adams can’t get the job done; he could end up being Rodgers’ favorite target and will definitely be a red zone threat. Reports sound like Ronald Jones II is going to get every opportunity to be the starter. Barber and Sims underperformed so it does not seem like his competition is that great. However, will the Bucs defense improve enough to where they’re not throwing the ball every down by the 2nd quarter? Either way, he could be a RB2 option and there are some solid WRs here if you went for one of the top QBs or TEs. Solid QBs and TEs in this and the next round; I’m happy with my options according to my strategy.


 

RoundTemplate7

  1. Evan Engram
  2. Greg Olsen
  3. Corey Davis
  4. Carson Wentz
  5. Cam Newton
  6. Michael Crabtree
  7. Chris Hogan
  8. Sammy Watkins
  9. Tevin Coleman
  10. Will Fuller

Analysis:

Big fan of Evan Engram; he built up a rapport with Manning after Beckham’s injury and has earned his trust. This could be the last year that you are able to draft him this low. Greg Olsen will still be Newton’s favorite target. I am staying away from Crabtree and Watkins. Will Fuller could be an interesting pick here. With Watson back and Hopkins drawing all of the attention; his speed could lead to plenty of big plays. He would be a great slot option. By this point, I would have my roster full besides the Defense and Kicker slot; I like to take risks, and look for sleepers, in the later round rather than have vets that would make good “bench players.” Obviously, if you are in 12 or 14 team leagues than it would be different and you would still need RBs and WRs that you need to be consistent contributors.


 

RoundTemplate8

  1. Delanie Walker
  2. Julian Edelman
  3. Kyle Rudolph
  4. Tarik Cohen
  5. Drew Brees
  6. Devin Funchess
  7. Emmanuel Sanders
  8. Marshawn Lynch
  9. Kerryon Johnson
  10. Robert Woods

Analysis:

I would easily take Julian Edelman at this point. I would not need him while his suspension is in place and could be in my starting lineup when he gets back. Avoid Chris Hogan in the earlier rounds, because once this guy is back his role will be reduced. Kirk Cousins likes his TEs and Kyle Rudolph is very talented and a very solid red zone threat. Tarik Cohen is the next Darren Sproles. I love watching him play but not a big fantasy threat. He got off to a hot start last year, but nothing more than a plug-in hoping for a big play that game. Robert Woods had a nice season last year, but with Cooks and in town and Kupp on the rise; I will be staying away. Marshawn Lynch is an example of what I had stated previously. Why take a vet who will be a consistent bench player over a rookie or a young player who has the potential to be a break out player? Kerryon Johnson has some competition, but he is a rookie that could break out rather than a vet that you know will probably sit on your bench. Take a risk!! If you could get a couple of players to break out in the later rounds, then you are going to compete for a championship.


 

RoundTemplate9

  1. Pierre Garcon
  2. Royce Freeman
  3. Jamison Crowder
  4. Jordan Reed
  5. Rex Burkhead
  6. Marlon Mack
  7. Kirk Cousins
  8. Carlos Hyde
  9. Isiah Crowell
  10. Randall Cobb

Analysis:

There is some value in this round. Royce Freeman will get some work in Denver, but I do not see anyone becoming the workhorse in that backfield, but maybe I’m wrong? Does not hurt taking a rookie and hoping for the best in the later rounds. Jamison Crowder can be a poor man’s Tyreek Hill, and with Alex Smith in town; he could have some value here. Marlon Mack will start at RB for the Colts, but their line will be just as bad and they drafted 2 RBs in the draft. But still, hard to get a starter this late in the draft. Did I say it was hard to get a start this late? Enter Carlos Hyde! With this revamped Browns offense, Hyde could be a steal this late (if he can stay healthy). If you waited on a QB you could do worse that Kirk Cousins. He has a lot of talent around him and just got paid; he could be in line for a big season (You Like That!!). Side note: avoid the Jets backfield.


 

RoundTemplate10 

  1. Duke Johnson
  2. Devante Parker
  3. Andrew Luck
  4. Cooper Kupp
  5. Robby Anderson
  6. Jamaal Williams
  7. Trey Burton
  8. Jimmy Garoppolo
  9. Matthew Stafford
  10. Marquise Goodwin

Analysis:

Even with the Browns signing Hyde and drafting Chubb; Duke Johnson has some value in the 10th round. He is a PPR machine and reports have it that they will be working him in the slot a lot more this year. With Landry gone and Tannehill healthy (for now), maybe Devante Parker can finally have his breakout season. He has the talent to do it. I like Cooper Kupp over Robert Woods; he has a good rapport with Goff and going into his second year. Plus, you get him 2 rounds later! If I am drafting any Jets players, it will be Robby Anderson; a solid deep threat with potential, especially if Darnold comes in and proves he is the real deal. Reports have Marquise Goodwin taking over the WR1 spot for the 49ers. If Garoppolo can prove he is the real deal; this could be a steal in round 10. Side note: avoid the Packers backfield.


 

RoundTemplate11

  1. Jordy Nelson
  2. Ben Roethlisberger
  3. Sterling Shepard
  4. Matt Ryan
  5. Nelson Agholor
  6. Jaguars D
  7. Kelvin Benjamin
  8. Jared Goff
  9. CJ Anderson
  10. Philip Rivers

Analysis:

If Amari Cooper underperforms again, Jordy Nelson could reap the rewards. It feels weird calling Nelson a “sleeper,” but Gruden loves his veterans and Carr is a very good quarterback. Who better to throw it to than Rodgers’ old favorite target. This is why you wait for QBs. Matt Ryan is still around in round 11. In his second year with this offense and with a plethora of talent around him he is a very very serviceable fantasy QB (same goes for Jared Goff). Kelvin Benjamin wanted a more accurate QB, but I do not think he is going to find one in Buffalo. Not bad value here in round 11, but I do not see him producing much. However, he should be a solid red zone target.


 

RoundTemplate12

  1. Jack Doyle
  2. Aaron Jones
  3. Patrick Mahomes
  4. Chris Thompson
  5. Allen Hurns
  6. Ty Montgomery
  7. George Kittle
  8. Nick Chubb
  9. Kenny Stills
  10. Rams D

Analysis:

Now you are starting to see the top defenses go off the board. I used to be against drafting defenses this early and preferred to pick up a different defense every week based on match ups. I do not mind drafting a D early anymore. Most of the players you draft in the later rounds; you end up dropping anyway. If you really do not like any of the players; why not add a top defense that you can count on week in and week out? The Jags D is ready to roll this year. Someone has to catch balls for the Cowboys this year. With Witten and Bryant gone; who will step up? Maybe Allen Hurns. Once again, I am avoiding the Pacers backfield. I do not think that Nick Chubb will supplant Hyde, but if Hyde goes down; someone has to take the early down and goal line work for the Browns.


 

RoundTemplate13

  1. Marcus Mariota
  2. Alex Smith
  3. Chris Carson
  4. David Njoku
  5. Marqise Lee
  6. Dak Prescott
  7. Derek Carr
  8. Vikings D
  9. Greg Zuerlein
  10. Giovani Bernard

Analysis:

Many people are high on Marcus Mariota this year. I’m not buying it. I would rather take Derek Carr here over Mariota, but that’s just me. David Njoku flashed potential last year in his rookie year, and could be primed for a break out season. It’s not if, but when Mayfield will be starting. Tight ends tend to be a rookie QBs best friend. Njoku has the athletic ability to be a force. A kicker this early? You would be a fool to do that! The Jaguars seem to have faith in Bortles with his new contract. It is hard to find a #1 WR this late, but here is Marquise Lee.


 

RoundTemplate14

  1. Devontae Booker
  2. Eagles D
  3. D’Onta Foreman
  4. D.J. Moore
  5. Stephen Gostkowski
  6. Calvin Ridley
  7. Cameron Meredith
  8. Corey Clement
  9. Tyler Eifert
  10. Josh Doctson

Analysis:

Devontae Booker has been given his shot to be the back in Denver; I do not see him finally being able to take that role. Two rookie WRs in Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore go off the board here. Ridley plays in a high-octane offense and Julio Jones will always gain a lot of attention; he could have a chance to make his mark. D.J. Moore has less value. He will be behind Funchess and Smith, and Newton just is not as good of a passer. But in round 14, feel free to take a flyer on a rookie and hope it hits. Cameron Meredith has a chance to outplay his draft slot. He put up some solid games with the Bears. He will be playing with a much better QB and will have opportunities to be a solid contributor.


 

RoundTemplate15

  1. Justin Tucker
  2. Dez Bryant
  3. Theo Riddick
  4. Mike Williams
  5. Rishard Matthews
  6. James White
  7. O.J. Howard
  8. Kenny Golladay
  9. Martavis Bryant
  10. Nyheim Hines

Analysis:

Dez Bryant still does not have a team, but he is still under 30 and has tremendous talent. It is late enough in the draft to take a flyer on anyone. Why not? Mike Williams had a very underwhelming rookie season, but with an injury free preseason and a chance to work with River in the off-season; he could be a steal this late. He was not drafted 7th overall for no reason. O.J. Howard seemed to figure it out later on in the season last year. Not a bad back up TE to have who could possibly break out. New team for Martavis Bryant, he has the size, speed, and talent to be a force in this league. Can Gruden help him figure it out?


 

RoundTemplate16

  1. Texans D
  2. Doug Martin
  3. Chargers D
  4. Mitch Trubisky
  5. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
  6. LeGarrette Blount
  7. Latavius Murray
  8. Eli Manning
  9. Matt Breida
  10. Ravens D

Analysis:

Struggling to find anyone to highlight here. These are the rounds where you take your kicker and defenses if you still need one. But, these are all veterans who will never sniff your lineup. I suggest trying to find a rookie who has potential to breakout. Take a risk. Why take Latavius Murray who will sit on your bench all game just to maybe start him for 1 week when your player has a bye. Take a risk! Go look at Alvin Kamara last year. Drafted very late in many leagues. People took a rookie with upside over some veteran who has no place in your lineup.


 

RoundTemplate17

  1. Anthony Miller
  2. Jameis Winston
  3. Michael Gallup
  4. Broncos D
  5. DeSean Jackson
  6. Tyler Lockett
  7. Paul Richardson
  8. Cameron Brate
  9. Mike Gesicki
  10. Mohamed Sanu

Analysis:

I would rather take a flyer on Michael Gallup or Mike Gesicki than anyone in the previous round. Gesicki is a tall and athletic rookie TE who cold become the next Jimmy Graham. Go watch this guy’s highlight reel; it’s really impressive. Remember, follow your strategy and make the adjustments as the draft goes on. Thank you for taking the time out to read this and good luck! Remember to play it safe early and take risks late. The team’s that win championships are the teams that are able to find those breakout players later in the draft. Go look at your past champions and tell me that’s not true!