Perfect Draft Series: Drafting 8th in a 16 Team PPR
Every year on the Discuss Your Team forum here at 4for4, someone asks me if there will be articles dedicated to the toughest fantasy football players on the planet – those is 16 team leagues.
When I got the question this year, the person called them “Man Leagues,” which I kind of like.
As someone who runs his own league, every year I struggle to find nine friends for my ten-team league. All I ask of them is to show up, sit around and drink my beer, names some guys for their team and get a night away from wives and kids. I can’t even imagine trying to find 15…
But I’ve always liked the challenge of a league with more than 12 teams, and I’m never against doing something different when it comes to fantasy football formats and rules. The most I have competed against has been 14. However this year, a former co-worker of mine asked me to join his now-expanded 16-team league. When he told me about some of his rules, and what seemed like great dedication to running his league, he had me sold. Now that I’m in what I’m dubbing The Brotherhood of Man Leagues, I figured why not use this platform to do a Perfect Draft in a 16-team league - not only for practice, but also to show those in the brotherhood I got their backs.
Once again, I’ll be using 4for4’s free-with-a-subscription draft software, Draft Analyzer, to run the mock. It was very easy to set up a 16-team league, specify my rules and scoring system, and soon I was on my way to begin the mock. In this league, a PPR league, I’m drafting eighth in 15 rounds of action with a starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WRs, 1 flex (TE, RB, WR), 1 TE and 1 defense and kicker. As far as roster limitations, I usually like to keep all teams drafting just one kicker, one defense and sometimes one tight end, but in a league this deep I allowed teams to take two tight ends. I did limit QBs to no more than two.
Most drafts I’ll stick with one QB and one TE, but, again, in a league this deep I figured it probably wouldn’t hurt to have two of each depending how the draft went, especially because I can potentially play two TEs in this lineup with the flex.
Round 1, Pick 8
Maybe I should have challenged myself a little more and picked at the end of the round, but I figured smack in the middle was a pretty good place to get my feet wet. With your typical group of RBs off the board, I was already thinking about a WR here. Only Team 6 took a WR and that was Dez Bryant, leaving me a pretty easy choice in Antonio Brown. The Steelers offense wants to score 30 a game, and Brown sure draws the targets from QB Ben Roethlisberger. DA wanted this pick too. It was nice to start with a no-brainer.
The Pick: Antonio Brown WR
Round 2 Picks 9
I just missed out on RBs Melvin Gordon and Justin Forsett who I was very excited about adding as my top RB to go along with Brown, so that was a bummer. Some good WRs are here in Alshon Jeffery and TY Hilton as well as Emmanuel Sanders. The highest rated RB is Frank Gore and that was my pick. It’s hard not to be excited by his potential in the Colts offense. Despite their line still being a work in progress, the hope for Gore owners is that Andrew Luck’s arm creates the holes. As you may have read in my Drafting 9th in a 10 Team PPR article, Colts RBs struggled against eight-man fronts last year, while Gore had some success with the 49ers. Gore shouldn’t see too many of those with the threat of Luck and his WRs. Mark Ingram was also a serious option for me here, but DA wanted Gore.
The Pick: Frank Gore RB
Round 3, Pick 8
A lot of RBs went off the board since my last pick – Ingram, Lamar Miller, CJ Spiller and Latavius Murray. I was looking at WR Brandin Cooks with this pick, but he was snagged just two picks before mine. Having a WR-RB start to my draft, I was open to taking the best available player. With Luck and Aaron Rodgers and Rob Gronkowski off the board, it probably wasn’t going to be a QB or TE here. There were some RBs I liked: Jonathan Stewart, Andre Ellington, Todd Gurley and Ameer Abdullah, but I thought there was more of a drop off at WR. Jordan Matthews, Martavis Bryant and Julian Edelman were the available guys here, and my pick was Edelman, another DA suggestion. Edelman caught 92 balls last year missing four games. Even with Tom Brady out the first four games, I think Edelman still gets his targets.
The Pick: Julian Edelman WR