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) on Aug 22, 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. 

Follow John on Twitter: @4for4_John.

This is the second of a three-part series that aims to help fantasy owners develop a draft plan based on their position in the first round.

If you haven’t already read the first installment, be sure to do so, especially if you have a top four pick. Today we’ll cover picks #9-#12, and I’ll go round-by-round and discuss a few players at each pick that owners should be targeting.

For more detail about my overall strategy this season, be sure to check out my annual here’s-how-I’m-gonna-draft article, Draft Day Strategery. I hope to update it before the final draft weekend.

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 high-reception players like C.J. Spiller, Shane Vereen or Danny Woodhead, whom you’ll have to take a round earlier in PPR formats. The ADP Draft Planner is constantly being updated as real drafts continue to roll in on myfantasyleague.com. As August wears on, there should be a larger sample of standard drafts in the system.


1.09-1.12 / 2.01-2.04

Owners picking late have a multitude of options. In PPR, I’m recommending our subscribers draft at least one receiver (or Rob Gronkowski) in the first two rounds.

I like the receivers available in the 2nd round (Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson, A.J. Green) more than the running backs available there (Matt Forte, DeMarco Murray, Jeremy Hill, LeSean McCoy), though I’m actually fine with Forte and Hill. I’ve just been avoiding Murray and McCoy this season. So If I were certain I wanted a running back in the first two rounds, I’d probably grab one in the 1st, so to continue to avoid Murray/McCoy. (Note: Justin Forsett is a solid PPR pick in the early 2nd round if you’re stuck.) Let’s say Team RB/WR starts with C.J. Anderson and A.J. Green.

Starting with two receivers is viable in PPR formats, though there does appear to be a drop off at the running back position after Frank Gore and Lamar Miller go in the early 3rd round. Plus, Julian Edelman is typically available in the early 4th, so starting with two receivers isn’t something I’m necessarily recommending unless it’s a league where we can start three or more receivers. There are still solid RB options around the 3/4 turn (players ranked #14-#21 in our PPR rankings), so let’s assume Team WR/WR starts with Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson and chooses to worry about the running back position later.

Team Gronk drafts – you guessed it – Rob Gronkowski in the late 1st. I think I’d rather have a stud receiver here even though Gronk’s Relative Value is higher in some cases. RV can’t account for the fact that we can get Delanie Walker or Jason Witten in the 10th/11th rounds. But I would certainly think about Gronk in the late 1st, if he were still around (and Tom Brady’s suspension is lifted). Let’s assume Team Gronk takes Jeremy Hill in the 2nd.

Running backs hold more value in standard formats, so Team Standard will go RB/RB.

Team RB/WR: Anderson, Green
Team WR/WR: Dez, Calvin
Team Gronk: Gronk, Hill
eam Standard: Anderson, Hill

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Filed Under: Preseason, 2015

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