Utilizing the Draft Planner: Drafting from the #9-#12 Spots

Utilizing the Draft Planner: Drafting from the #9-#12 Spots

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last updated Aug 11, 2014

John Paulsen's picture

John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in both 2012 and 2015 for a total of five Top 5 seasons in the last six years. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-15 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

Follow John on Twitter: @4for4_John.

Welcome to the first of a three-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 owners picking #9-#12 in 12-team drafts since those owners probably have the toughest decisions to make in the early rounds. Using the ADP Draft Planner, I'll go round-by-round (through the 10th round) and mention a few players at each pick that fantasy owners should be targeting.

Keep in mind that these picks are for PPR scoring formats (with 4 pt per pass TD), but I will outline a standard scoring strategy as well. For PPR, 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 probably want to draft a minimum of three RBs in the first five or six rounds. Conversely, if your league only requires one starting RB, you can focus more on the other positions.

If you want to take a look at the Top 200 Rankings as we go along, choose PPR and enter 1-2-3-1 as the roster requirements. For the standard strategy, I'll use ESPN's standard roster requirements, which include 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE and a flex, so enter 1-2.5-2.5-1 in the drop down boxes. (CBS and Yahoo standard leagues both use 1-2-3-1 with no flex, so a similar strategy can be used with a bit more emphasis on receiver.) Rankings will change over time as we gain more information, but this is how I'd attack the draft at this point in the preseason.

Note: Since there is far more draft data for PPR in the Draft Planner, I'm going to use it for both formats. ADP doesn't change all that much between formats, unless you're talking about players like Shane Vereen or Danny Woodhead. All percentages are for last two weeks as of time of publishing. The ADP Draft Planner is constantly being updated as real drafts continue to roll in on myfantasyleague.com.

Let's jump right in...


1.09-1.12 / 2.01-2.04

Take a quick look at the ADPs of the players in the top 12 – which one doesn’t belong?

Antonio Brown is PPR gold. The #3 receiver in PPR last year, he has caught five-plus passes and/or a TD in 21 straight games going back to 2012 and he’s going to continue to see a ton of targets, especially since there was some turnover in the Pittsburgh receiving corps. Since he’s coming in with a top 10 Relative Value (RV) in PPR formats and has an ADP of 2.10, I’m targeting him in the early 2nd round in every PPR draft I’m in. And he should be there at 2.04 around 75% of the time. Add A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant and Julio Jones to the query (all top 15 in RV) and the number jumps to 85%. So even if Brown is gone, you’re very likely to get one of the elite wideouts in the early 2nd.

So are you the type of owner who would draft best available player in the 1st (even if it’s a tight end or receiver) knowing you’ll likely be drafting Brown in the 2nd? Are you comfortable drafting Jimmy Graham or Bryant at the end of the first knowing that Brown will be by far the best player available (in my humble opinion) in the 2nd?

To show how both scenarios might play out, I’m going to build a “WR/WR” team and a “RB/WR” team in PPR. What route you go will largely depend on how comfortable you are with starting a couple of the running backs available in the 3rd-6th rounds.

WR/WR: A.J. Green, Antonio Brown

RB/WR: Eddie Lacy, Antonio Brown

Montee Ball Tangent: You can see from my rankings that I’m quite fond of Mr. Ball. His ADP was already on the fringe of the 2nd round, so he’s very likely to be available in the middle of the 2nd now that he’s going to miss most of the preseason after undergoing an appendectomy. If Brown is gone or if you want to draft a running back in the 2nd round, he’s a good one to target. Giovani Bernard and DeMarco Murray are also good options.

Standard: One look at the standard rankings shows that running backs get a big boost in value so we’ll start RB/RB here. Let’s go with Murray and Ball.


3.09-3.12 / 4.01-4.04

4for4 Premium Content

There's more, but it's available only for 4for4 subscribers.

Subscribe Now - Get Premium 4for4 Content

If you are a current subscriber, please login here

Filed Under: Preseason, 2014

We are your friend's secret weapon.

  • Get 4 FREE downloads
  • Receive breaking news alerts & analysis.
  • BONUS: Learn how to play DFS.
  • Battle-Tested by 40,000+ fantasy football diehards since 1999.