Perfect Draft Series: Drafting 4th in a 12 Team Standard League
Each year, the Perfect Draft Series is one of my favorite times as a Scout with 4for4. Not only do I get a chance to scour fantasy rankings (my favorite hobby), but I also get the opportunity to run multiple draft scenarios using powerful drafting software that helps me get ready for the several leagues I enter every season. This year, that software is Draft Analyzer. While new to the site this season, Draft Analyzer already seems like an exciting tool to use that comes free with your 4for4 subscription.
I started by importing the ESPN standard settings, which allowed me to avoid manually entering the scoring and roster rules and get right to the mock draft. Because I do a combination of standard and PPR leagues, I chose to look at a standard league for this mock. Specifically, I’ll be breaking down a strategy for picking fourth in a 12 team standard scoring league.
The 4th position is a unique spot this year, because it’s the first slot where I’m truly tempted by an elite wide receiver. In previous seasons, I wouldn’t think to depart from taking a running back in the first round, but with so much talent at the position, a change of strategy may be in order. In a standard league, that change is less obvious and I thought picking fourth would provide an excellent test for my running back convictions.
I didn’t allow teams to draft more than 2 QB’s or TE’s, nor did I allow more than 1 Kicker or Defense, but I otherwise kept fairly standard scoring and roster rules. My starting lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 Flex, 1 TE, plus a Kicker and a Team Defense.
Round 1, Pick 4 – Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay
Old habits die hard I guess. I walked into this mock expecting to take Antonio Brown with my first pick, but looking at the talented backs on the board, I just couldn’t help myself! With Adrian Peterson, LeVeon Bell and Jamaal Charles off the board, I was considering Lacy and Marshawn Lynch with this pick. Either option would be a great get at the number four spot, but I favor the younger Lacy who was fantastic last season after a slow start to the year. Lacy plays for a competitive team, gets enough touches to warrant elite back consideration, and is a load to try and tackle for opposing defenses, especially around the goal line. I feel good hinging my fantasy season on Lacy, and in a 2 WR standard league, going RB early makes a lot of sense.
Round 2, Pick 9 – A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati
I was happy to see Green and Randall Cobb still on the board in the second round. This way I could snatch up an elite receiver to go with Lacy. Draft Analyzer suggested I go with the Bengal, and with one Packer already on my roster, I wasn’t going to argue. Green is coming off a down season by his metrics, but he’s still an elite talent and is the top offensive playmaker in the Cincinnati passing game. Melvin Gordon was tempting, as was Justin Forsett, but I felt the drop off at WR would be bigger from this point to the third round so I stuck with Green.
Round 3, Pick 4 – Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis
In the third round, I really wanted to go with the best player available at any position, and the veteran Gore provides a nice combination of safety and upside on my roster as my RB2. Gore enters the season atop the Colts depth chart and should benefit from playing with Andrew Luck. While Gore, Lamar Miller, and Mark Ingram all had similar rankings at this spot, I felt Gore was the best complement to the other guys on my roster and I also liked him more than the WR options that were available, including Emmanuel Sanders and DeAndre Hopkins.