Utilizing the Draft Planner: Drafting from the #1-#3 spots


Note: All percentages are for last two weeks as of time of publishing. The ADP Draft Planner is constantly being updated as real drafts complete on myfantasyleague.com.


Welcome to the first of a four-part series that is intended to help fantasy owners develop a draft plan based on their position in the first round. 

We'll start with those owners picking #1-#3 in 12-team drafts. Using the ADP Draft Planner, I'll go round-by-round (through the 8th round) and mention a few players at each pick that fantasy owners should be targeting.
Keep in mind that these picks are for standard scoring formats (with 4 pt per pass TD), but when appropriate I will mention players that should be considered in PPR formats as well. I'm going to assume a starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR and 1 TE (along with a kicker and defense). If your league allows you to start three RBs, you'll want to focus a little more on the RB position as the draft wears on. Conversely, if your league only requires one starting RB, you can focus more on the other positions.
Let's jump right in...



In standard formats, there isn't a big difference between 1.02 and 1.05. If you have the #1 overall pick, we're recommending Arian Foster. After that, you have your choice of Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice and possibly Rashard Mendenhall. AP seems to be the next most dependable pick in the top 6, but things can change pretty quickly in this tier. At this point, 4for4 is recommending Foster, Peterson, C. Johnson, Mendenhall, Charles and Rice, in that order. Pick your favorite.
PPR: Substitute LeSean McCoy in for Mendenhall in the above paragraph. His value shoots up in PPR formats.



There's only a 10% chance that Aaron Rodgers or Michael Vick slip to 2.10, so owners should be focused on picking the best RB or WR available.
There's an 82% chance that one of the following group -- Darren McFadden, Matt Forte, Michael Turner, Frank Gore or Peyton Hillis -- slips to 2.12, so barring an exceptional value at WR (i.e. Calvin Johnson or maybe R. White), it would be wise for owners to lock up their RB2 in the second round. Steven Jackson also fits into this group. The depth is a bit better at WR in the 3rd/4th than it is at RB, so the ol' RB/RB strategy in the 1st/2nd makes a lot of sense.
PPR: Michael Turner's value takes a hit in PPR leagues since he doesn't catch many passes, so don't start thinking about him until the 3rd. There is a 68% chance in PPR formats that one of Forte, Jackson, Gore, DMC or Hillis slips to 2.12. Jahvid Best should be available in the early 3rd (86%), so you may want to grab the best available WR and plan on Best at 3.01-3.03.



With your first two RB slots locked up, it's time to look at WR. Luckily there are likely to be some great options that slip to the 3.01-3.03 range. In fact, 75% of the time one of this group -- Hakeem Nicks, Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Wallace or Vincent Jackson -- will slip to 3.03. 
If you are thinking QB here, Tom Brady makes the most sense, but there is better value at WR now and QB later.
PPR: The chances of one of those four WRs drop to 61% in PPR formats. If you went RB in the 2nd, grab the best available WR. If you went WR in the 2nd, then this is a great spot for Jahvid Best (or Ahmad Bradshaw) as he should have a big year with Mikel Leshoure injured.



With two RBs and one WR on the roster, you could go several different directions here. If Antonio Gates is available, give him serious consideration as he actually holds early 3rd round value. After that, look WR -- Mike Williams, Dez Bryant, Steve Johnson, Santonio Holmes or Mario Manningham -- one is bound to be there. Jeremy Maclin is another option depending on how you feel about the recent news about his illness.
PPR: Don't deviate too much here. One of these WRs will be available. If you want to build up some RB depth, Felix Jones is a nice pick here. He's available at 4.12 68% of the time.
Or you could nab a TE like Jason Witten, Dallas Clark or Jermichael Finley here if you think one of those WRs will last until the 5th.



Time to round out that WR corps. One of the trio of Steve Johnson, Santonio Holmes or Mario Manningham should be there at 5.03 (98% of the time, anyway). Don't be fooled by Manningham's ADP. He's probably not going to be there at the end of the 6th unless you are in a league with a bunch of dolts.
PPR: This format extends the depth at WR and makes TEs more important, which is why it's a good idea to nab Jason Witten, Dallas Clark or Jermichael Finley here. One has been available 67% of the time.
If not, look for one of the aforementioned WRs.



At this point, you've nabbed two RBs and three WRs, so it's time to start thinking QB, TE and RB3. At QB, four names jump out: Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman and Matt Schaub. One of the four has been available 66% of the time at 6.12, though I'd expect Ryan's ADP is on the rise after word leaked that the offense will be much more aggressive this season. 
If you miss out on all four, or don't see much of a difference between Matt Schaub and, say, Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford or Jay Cutler, then go RB here -- Mike Tolbert, Cedric Benson, Marshawn Lynch or Fred Jackson (98%). Tim Hightower is another option if you can tolerate Mike Shanahan's shenanigans. Joseph Addai is worth consideration as well.
PPR: You probably nabbed a TE early in the 5th, so you are thinking WR, QB and RB3 here. If Mario Manningham, Percy Harvin, Kenny Britt, Austin Collie or Brandon Lloyd slip this far, jump on them (58%, but Manningham's stock is rising). Chad Ochocinco is another option.
If they're all gone, look for one of the aforementioned QBs (77%).



If you went QB in the 6th, grab a RB3 (like Tolbert, Benson, Lynch, Jackson or Addai -- 98%), or Hightower, whose stock is on the rise.
If you went RB because you missed out on a QB, it's probably time to pick your QB1, though you could wait another round. Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning are most likely the next two QBs off the board (85% availability at 7.03). If you want to go QBBC, Jay Cutler should be available in the 8th. Stafford and Eli are also often available in the 8th.
PPR: Assuming you went QB in the 6th, look for a WR3 here. Mike Thomas or Santana Moss should be there (96%).
If you went WR in the 6th, it's probably time to look for a QB (77%), unless you are okay with Stafford or Eli in the 8th or Cutler in the 9th.



This is why we waited on a TE -- one of Jimmy Graham, Owen Daniels, Rob Gronkowski, Marcedes Lewis or Kellen Winslow should be available (97%). 
PPR: You have a QB, two RBs, three WRs and a TE, so look for a RB3 and a WR on this turn. Fred Jackson, Mike Tolbert or Reggie Bush should be available (72%). Tim Hightower is another good option.



Whew! So there's the first eight rounds for both standard and PPR formats. Here's a realistic sample team for each.
Both of these teams are built around the strategy of waiting on a QB. The quarterback position is a bit more important in standard formats but as I've shown, it's not too difficult to build a strong roster utilizing this approach.
Filed Under: Preseason, 2011

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