If you're picking 11th, the bad news is that, well, you're picking 11th. No stud running back for you, probably no stud receiver either. The good news? You're guaranteed two top-15 players.
That's two beautiful tentpole studs to build your roster around. So, with that in mind, it's probably a good idea to create a list of your personal top-15 players.
What else should you do before you pick? How about answer these questions?
- Would you feel crummy if you missed on the top-8 receivers?
- Would you feel crummy if you missed on the top-10 running backs?
- How badly do you want a stud tight end?
The first thing you should know is that there is a drop-off in talent among receivers from the first eight to the rest of the pack. If you feel a certain way about Antonio Brown or Keenan Allen or one of the Vikings guys, maybe you'll disagree. But I prefer to get at least one of those receivers in drafts, even non-PPR drafts.
The second thing you should know is that the top-10 running backs typically do not make it to late Round 3. That means your only chances to get one or two of them are with your first two picks. A bummer, I know, but a predictable one. Running backs typically roll off draft boards every year.
Finally, there are only three stud tight ends, and two of them are regularly going after your second-round pick (you'd be reaching) and before your third-round pick (you'd be really lucky). The only one to consider is Travis Kelce, who happens to be the one with the highest ceiling. If you don't want him, you're running the risk of potentially streaming tight ends unless you specifically focus on one of Evan Engram, O.J. Howard or Hunter Henry with your Round 4 or 5 pick.
A lot to think about. No one said Fantasy Football was easy! But it is supposed to be a lot of fun, so let's have some fun. Here's my team from pick No. 11:
- 1.11 Davante Adams, WR, Packers
- 2.02 Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
- 3.11 Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
- 4.02 Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys
- 5.11 Tevin Coleman, RB, 49ers
- 6.02 Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
- 7.11 James White, RB, Patriots
- 8.02 Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
- 9.11 Devin Singletary, RB, Bills
- 10.02 DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles
- 11.11 James Washington, WR, Steelers
- 12.02 Eric Ebron, TE, Colts
- 13.11 Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts
- 14.02 KeeSean Johnson, WR, Cardinals
- 15.11 Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
I was stunned to find Adams available in Round 1. Chances are he was there because running backs gain value in non-PPR formats, and many running backs went ahead of him. Still, I couldn't pass him up for anyone else. Don't be surprised to see a receiver there, but not one of the top-three receivers.
As for tight ends, I value the studs. I want one who can be a difference-maker and perform like a top-15 receiver. Kelce is perfect for that -- I took him in Round 2 and hopefully will never have to stream the position for another year. I also think Kelce gives my lineup a decided advantage over everyone else in the league.
I used a little strategy I like to call "spy on your neighbor" in Round 3. I noticed that the drafter at Pick 12 began his draft with two receivers. I figured he'd take at least one running back with his back-to-back choices. So I decided to grab a running back I wanted before he picked. That's why I took Jacobs then. Sure enough, Devonta Freeman went off the grid before I was up again in Round 4, so I felt like I made a smart move. I even used the same move in Round 5 when I took Tevin Coleman ahead of Pick 12, who had just one running back on his roster.
The rest of my draft was a breeze. Matt Ryan fell to me in Round 8 and felt like an absolute steal. Devin Singletary is one of my favorite stash running backs and was thrilled to get him in Round 9. And how can you go wrong with Tom Brady in Round 15?! How did that happen?!
All told, I have three wideouts I'm comfortable starting each week (in this format we had to draft as if we're choosing three receivers), two running backs with plenty of potential, the best tight end in the NFL and one of the best quarterbacks on the board. I also have great depth.
The analyst drafts I'm in always see quarterbacks slide. The ones most people are in see quarterbacks rise. Don't let the takeaway here be that Ryan is only good as a Round 8 pick. Rather, be on the lookout for a quarterback steal on Draft Day. You want to land a quality, proven passer who can put up big Fantasy points without having to spend a big-time pick. So while others might get Patrick Mahomes in Round 1 and Aaron Rodgers in Round 3, you should target one of the top eight or nine quarterbacks with a pick as late as possible. If you're up and a passer is there who you think shouldn't be there, draft him. Then that quarterback will be your favorite pick, too.
Before he hurt his foot, I believed Cooper could cement himself as a near-elite receiver with 1,300-yard potential. Now? I think it's still possible, but I'd rather draft him as a 1,000-yard candidate. Cooper played better with the Cowboys last year and should keep it going when he hits the field this year, but a foot injury like his is definitely concerning. On the plus side, an early Round 3 talent fell to me in early Round 4, so there was some value in picking him. Hopefully I don't have to boot him off my roster because of an injury.
Last year, the amazing duo of Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin combined for almost 1,300 total yards and seven touchdowns with the Raiders. They're out of the picture, and Jacobs is ready to replace both of them. Jon Gruden has a consistent track record of utilizing his running backs to the max and getting amazing numbers out of them. That's what I am hoping for from Jacobs -- but if the Raiders' game scripts aren't good and if his O-line struggles, he'll be a waste of a third-round selection.