Pick-By-Pick Strategy Drafting 1st in a DataForce 12-Team PPR League

Pick-By-Pick Strategy Drafting 1st in a DataForce 12-Team PPR League

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last updated Aug 17, 2015

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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. 

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This article is a little different than the Perfect Draft series that some of my 4for4 colleagues have been tackling the last few days. This is one of my personal leagues that I co-own with a buddy (who we’ll call Joe since that’s his name). I thought readers might like to see how we constructed our roster in a league that devalues the RB position.

It’s a 12-team PPR league that starts 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE and two flex players along with a kicker and a defense. The draft is hosted by DataForceFF.com, which organizes and hosts a multitude of money leagues for any and all budgets.

Note: You can see the entire draft grid here, though it may be a little confusing because we did trade a few picks.

Early Rounds

We drew the first pick, so since we only have to start one running back, we decided to pick the most consistent non-QB in PPR formats, Antonio Brown. Love that guy.

At the 2/3 turn, we decided to take Justin Forsett and T.Y. Hilton. I was hoping for Alshon Jeffery or Randall Cobb here, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m actually higher on Mike Evans, but Hilton gives Joe warm and fuzzy feelings, and compromise is part of being a co-owner.

One of my offseason crushes, Frank Gore, was still hanging around in the late 3rd, so we traded pick 4.12 and 5.01 for 3.09 and 7.09, knowing that we’d likely be able to nab Roddy White or Larry Fitzgerald in the 7th with the extra pick. We felt it was worth it to move up and grab Gore, given the value that White/Fitzgerald represent in the 7th.

In retrospect, we probably didn’t need to make the trade since RBs slid a round later than usual in this draft. Andre Ellington, Jonathan Stewart and Joseph Randle were all there at the 4/5 turn.

Middle Rounds

It ended up working out nicely since Ameer Abdullah was there for us at the 6/7 turn. The offseason buzz is strong with this one, especially after his nasty running in the preseason opener. We took one of my favorite middle round values (Fitzgerald) at 7.01. We used the second pick from the earlier trade on Roddy White at 7.07. I call them the Geriatric Duo.

Our roster so far: Justin Forsett, Frank Gore and Ameer Abdullah at RB, Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton, Larry Fitzgerald and Roddy White at WR. At the 8/9 turn, we could have continued to load up on RB/WR, but we instead elected to take Tom Brady as part of the Angry Tom Strategy (i.e. pair Brady with another QB and enjoy his production when he returns in Week 6 with a chip on his shoulder). It was a bit earlier than we would like, but he was the 12th QB off the board and quarterbacks had been going a round or so early in this draft.

We also pulled the trigger on a TE (Delanie Walker) on this turn. Tight ends were going about a round earlier as well, and we didn’t feel comfortable that he’d make it back to us at the 10/11 turn. That’s one of the downsides of drafting at the turn; there are so many picks between the odd-round and even-round picks.

At the 10/11 turn we took Stevie Johnson and Tyler Eifert. Johnson has been tearing up Chargers camp and with Antonio Gates out for the first four weeks, Johnson could return to fantasy starter status rather quickly. I wouldn’t normally recommend taking a second tight end in the 11th round, but Eifert gives us some upside on our bench. We may be able to trade either Walker or Eifert if they both get off to a good start.

Later Rounds

At the 12/13 turn, we were planning to take Carson Palmer, since he’s one of my favorite QB sleepers this season and he has a favorable schedule if Brady remains sidelined. At 13.01, we debated between Eddie Royal, who is drawing rave reviews in Bears camp, and Reggie Bush, who nearly always produces if he stays healthy. We elected to draft a receiver since the league is tilted that way. (After the news about Kevin White’s stress fracture broke, the Royal pick is looking better and better.)

As it happens, Bush slipped to the middle of the 14th round, so we traded up to get him at 14.08. I wouldn’t be shocked if he out-touches Carlos Hyde if both players stay healthy.

That left us with the Dolphins defense at 15.05 (one of the picks we acquired in the trade). Miami had the 10th-best fantasy defense last year and the addition of Ndamukong Suh should be a game changer. The early season schedule (WAS, JAX, BUF, NYJ) was the clincher.

Down the stretch, we took Dan Herron (to back up Gore), Mason Crosby and our final pick was Cameron Artis-Payne, who was an attrition pick given his likely opportunity in a run-heavy offense playing behind an RB1 (Jonathan Stewart) that has a long injury history.

Here’s our final roster:

QB: Tom Brady, Carson Palmer
RB: Justin Forsett, Frank Gore, Ameer Abdullah, Reggie Bush
WR: Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton, Larry Fitzgerald, Roddy White, Stevie Johnson, Eddie Royal
TE: Delanie Walker, Tyler Eifert
K: Mason Crosby
TD: Dolphins

Overall, my experience through two DataForce drafts has been positive. If you’re looking for an online money league, be sure to check out what DataForce has to offer.

Filed Under: Preseason, 2015

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