Fantasy Football – Drafting from the Top Spots

Flickr - Keith Allison

By Claude B –

Ok, you’re lucky enough to land a top 3 pick in your fantasy draft, the good news is you’re going to get a stud with your 1st pick, what happens after that though is what will shape your season. We will look at possible outcomes and strategies for drafting from the top, for reference we will assume this is a 12 team ppr with a standard lineup plus a flex.


The 2nd-3rd Round Turn

You’ve already either drafted Le’Veon/DJ or Antonio Brown so now the question is who to pair with them. At this point you are waiting to see what players fall to you, if you see someone you consider a great value you should take them regardless of position. Consider that at least 12-14 wide receivers will probably be selected before your 2nd pick, that could push an rb down to you, maybe a Demarco or Ajayi falls to you and helps make a formidable running back duo or a fine rb to pair with Brown. You could draft Lamar Miller or Gurley here as well, but you can also drink water out of a toilet. Out of those two scenarios, I prefer the second option.

There is also the allure of Gronk in the second, if you are risk averse this may be too rich for you but the payoff could be huge. Not everyone can have the chance to draft the #1 scorer at their respective position with their first 2 picks (i.e Le’Veon and Gronk). The dearth of quality rbs at this point will most likely make you go WR-WR or Gronk-WR/RB. A 2nd rd. pick on a qb is too costly here, but if Brady or Rogers is available in the top of the 3rd they merit serious consideration. There is the possibility of trying to pair Gronk and Brady with your 2 picks, incredibly risky and would probably leave you with no depth at your rb/wr positions but if Gronk plays the whole season that could lead to a championship. Picking 2 Wr’s from the group of Cooper, Hopkins, Cooks, Keenan, and Baldwin etc…would probably net the most value unless a quality rb falls to you in the second round.


The 4th-5th Round Turn

You’ve hopefully gotten 3 quality players by this point, and solid options can be found here in both the rb and wr positions. If in need of an rb, solid rb2’s like Hyde, Ware, Fournette or Ingram can be had. If you wanted to gamble rb’s like Gillislee, Dalvin Cook, or Joe Mixon with uncertain roles but higher ceilings can also be had. You can find warts with every player here so it’s probably going to come down to who you are most comfortable taking. I mean let’s face it when it comes to fantasy rbs both Belichick and Sean Payton are kind of dicks. Can’t you see Sean Payton thinking he can get 2200 yards and 12 tds from Peterson or Belichick deciding that this year Rex Burkhead will lead the league in rushing td’s? Quality PPR wideouts can also be had here Fitzgerald, Pryor Sr., and even Michael Crabtree could be great values in the 4th. If you’ve gotten 2 rbs and 2 wrs with your first 4 picks, then you have unlimited options with your 5th rd. pick. The 5th rd is where some serious consideration should be given to a QB or tight end. Players like Brees or Luck present great value as well as a quality te, possibly drafting a Greg Olsen or Kelce can start a te run in your draft and eventually push another quality player back down to you. Also, an rb or wr that you love could have fallen to the 5th and you have the flexibility to draft that person.


The 6th– 7th Round Turn

What I said before about a qb or tight end should also apply here. Serious consideration should be given to a quarterback here, waiting until the 90_something pick for your qb may limit your options. Players like Cam, Matty Ice, Jameis could all have top 10 fantasy seasons and be available for you. If I don’t take an elite tight end then I usually don’t take one until the end of the draft so if you pass on te this turn as well I don’t consider it a huge issue, however players like Jimmy Graham and Tyler Eifert present great buy low opportunities at the TE position, if still available at this junction. If your 1st six picks were a qb, and 5 wr/rb in any combination then you have the flexibility in the 7th rd. to do whatever your pretty little heart desires. Feel like your wr or rb core is a little weak? Then, you can bolster it with another pick. This could be where you decide to take a te if you haven’t yet.


As you can see, picking from the top can have various outcomes and still field a quality team. When picking here on the swing sometimes the key is taking a player you like a few picks too early because you know they won’t come back to you. Also, KNOW YOUR LEAGUE, if you know somebody always drafts wr’s early or takes a qb early use it to your advantage. You always want to start a run on a position or end the position run, never be in the middle. The later the draft goes draft spots don’t matter as much as position and team need, also use that to your advantage.

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