Utilizing the Draft Planner: Drafting from the #4-#6 spots

J. Charles

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.


This is the final installment of a four-part series that is intended to help fantasy owners develop a draft plan based on their position in the first round. To see the first (#1-#3), second (#10-#12) or third part (#7-#9), click the appropriate links.
Now we'll turn our attention to the #4-#6 spots. Using the ADP Draft Planner and Value Based Rankings (VBR), 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 I'll also build a PPR team. 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.
Off we go...


In the first round, we recommend you take the best available RB. Check the rankings for the latest, but 4for4 currently has the position ranked like this: Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles, Rashard Mendenhall and Chris Johnson.
PPR: 4for4 ranks the top PPR RBs in this order - Foster, Rice, Peterson, LeSean McCoy, CJ2K and Charles. Given what's going on with Johnson's holdout, I'd move him down to #6 and perhaps take Darren McFadden ahead of him.


Things get a little tricky in the 2nd because there is no clear plan of attack without knowing who will be available to draft. VBR says that Calvin Johnson (29%), McFadden (35%), Frank Gore (42%), McCoy (11%), Roddy White (29%), Michael Turner (37%), Maurice Jones-Drew (16%) and Larry Fitzgerald (52%) hold the most value, in that order. The percent of time that each player is available at 2.09 is in parenthesis. 
There's a better chance (69%) that a good WR like Hakeem Nicks, Mike Wallace or Vincent Jackson falls to you in the 3rd than a RB like Peyton Hillis or Matt Forte, so I recommend taking your favorite RB in the 2nd and look to go WR in the 3rd.
PPR: There is a 46% chance that a top 5 WR slips, and if one does, that's your best value per VBR. Next up is Vincent Jackson, who has been available at 2.09 80% of the time. If you decide to go with V-Jax, you probably need to be thinking RB in the 3rd. You have a better chance of landing Jahvid Best, Ahmad Bradshaw or Hillis at 3.06 than you do V-Jax, Wallace or Reggie Wayne.


With two RBs on the roster, it's time to look WR (V-Jax, Nicks, Wallace, Fitzy or DeSean Jackson) and one has been available 84% of the time. If they're all gone, I'd recommend Antonio Gates or Tom Brady and then look for an extra WR in the rounds where I suggest taking a TE or a QB.
PPR: With a RB/WR in the first two rounds, look for Best/Bradshaw/Hillis (93%). Or perhaps add Felix Jones to that list if you are a believer, because with all the hype he has been getting of late, he may not be there in the 4th. Over the last week, he has made it to 4.09 66% of the time, but do you want to take that chance on your RB2?


If available, Gates offers the best value here, but chances are that he'll be gone by 4.09 (27%). If you want to build RB depth (or can start three RBs), Felix has a pretty good chance (74%) of being there.
If you're looking WR, which is probably the smart play considering you have to start three WRs, look for D-Jax, Wayne, Mike Williams, Miles Austin or Dez Bryant (69%). If they're all gone, you could go with Steve Johnson, Mario Manningham or Santonio Holmes, one of whom will definitely be there (99%), but it would be nice to save them for the 5th. Instead, think about a TE like Jason Witten or Jermichael Finley (90%) and nab one of those WRs in the 5th.
PPR: Felix is a very good value in the 4th so if he's there (67%), then you may want to think about taking him as your RB3. M. Williams, S. Johnson and Dez are right there with him, though you may want to save Stevie for the 5th. Dez, Williams, D-Jax and Brandon Marshall have been available 69% of the time.


This is a great spot for Johnson, Holmes or Manningham (97%).
PPR: S. Johnson (56%) is a very good pick here. You can consider Witten/Clark here (50%) if Stevie is gone. Otherwise, look for Holmes or Manningham (93%)


With two RBs and three WRs on the roster, this is a good spot to nab a QB if Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman or Matt Schaub are available (75%). Otherwise, I'd be looking RB -- 4for4 recommends Beanie Wells, Mike Tolbert, Marshawn Lynch, Joseph Addai and Tim Hightower (99%). Cedric Benson is another good option.
PPR: The Romo/Big Ben/Ryan/Freeman/Schaub crew hold more value than TEs at this point, so if Romo, Roethlisberger or Ryan slip to you in the 6th (53%), I'd pull the trigger. If only Freeman or Schaub are left, I'd go best value RB here (Wells, Addai, Tolbert, Reggie Bush, Hightower) and look for Freeman/Schaub next round. Let's assume a RB here.


If you don't have your QB by now, I'd recommend the best of what's left here. If you went QB in the 6th, snag Wells, Tolbert, Lynch, etc.
PPR: Assuming you went RB last round, let's grab Freeman or Schaub here. If they're both gone, maybe grab Jimmy Graham or Owen Daniels here and look for Eli Manning or Matthew Stafford next round.


We need a TE and Daniels, Graham or Rob Gronkowski should be here in the 8th (75%). If not, grab another RB/WR and look for Marcedes Lewis next round and perhaps back him up with Greg Olsen or Jared Cook later on.
PPR: You're looking for the same group of TEs (Daniels, Graham or Gronkowski; 78%). If they're all gone, add some RB/WR depth and look for Lewis, Olsen or Kellen Winslow in the 9th.


Here's a reasonable representation of how each team might turn out:
Standard: Charles, Hillis, V-Jax, Dez, Manningham, Big Ben, Tolbert, Graham
PPR: McCoy, V-Jax, Best, Marshall, Stevie, Wells, Freeman, Gronkowski
In standard formats, it's wise to grab a couple of RBs in the first two rounds and look WR for the next 3-4 rounds depending on your starting lineup requirements. In PPR leagues, there are some attractive options at RB (Best, Bradshaw, Felix and sometimes Hillis). It makes some sense to grab a very good WR in the 2nd and look RB in the 3rd. Depending on the quality of your league, you could even wait until the 4th to grab Felix, but be careful -- he has generated a lot of buzz lately and is not a sure bet to be there in the 4th.
In both formats it's not a bad idea to grab Mike Vick or Aaron Rodgers in the 2nd if there isn't a RB or WR available that you like, but it's not often they make it that far. Tom Brady in the early 3rd also represents good value, especially in standard scoring formats. However, we typically recommend waiting until the middle rounds to draft a QB because the difference between a 2nd round QB and a 6th round QB (like Big Ben) is smaller than the difference between 2nd round RBs/WRs and 6th round RBs/WRs.
That wraps up this Draft Planner series. Happy drafting!
Filed Under: Preseason, 2011

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