Perfect Draft: 5th in a 10-Team Yahoo PPR League
Normally my preferred spot is on or close to the turn, but this season the heart of the draft is an advantageous place to be. Most likely the first pick will be the top WR in the league unless one of the elite four RBs happens to fall. From the five-hole, you’re less likely to be the victim of a crazy positional run and can stay on top of the draft in a very balanced manner.
Editor's Note: Click here to see all our Perfect Draft series entries.
In this Perfect Draft article, I will walk through a perfect draft from the fifth slot in a 10-team Yahoo PPR league. Each pick was optimized using projections and value-based rankings from the 4for4 Draft Analyzer tool.
Draft Analyzer Settings
- Roster Settings: 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1Flex (RB/WR) ,1 kicker, 1 D/ST, six bench spots.
- No QBs until the seventh round: In a single-quarterback league, I don't think about drafting a signal-caller any earlier than the seventh round, unless someone like Russell Wilson or Tom Brady happens to fall. With such a deep QB pool this season, it’s more advantageous to grab positional players early as those points are tough to make up later in the draft.
- No TEs before the third round: There are only three guys I’d even consider taking this early—Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, and Zack Ertz—as their potential output is on par with the other guys being drafted around them, otherwise known as opportunity cost. The drop-off after Ertz at TE is massive, so if none of these guys fit my roster at the time, I’ll most likely wait until at least the fifth, most likely the seventh to look at the position again.
- No Kicker or D/ST until the last two rounds: I let my league mates jump the gun for the top-rated D/ST, and grab plenty of depth in those later rounds. Kickers do matter, but should not be taken ahead of your handcuffs and possible streamers.
No way I can pass on Brown here, as he’s projected to have the highest PPR point total of any WR this season, and post 20 more fantasy points than Alvin Kamara, Draft Analyzer’s top recommendation. Pittsburgh’s star wideout has finished as the WR1 in PPR points per game in each of the past three seasons and checked in among the top three in targets at the WR position in that same timeframe.
I happily click that draft button and move on to the second round. If I feel there is a running back worthy of a selection here, I’ll pull the trigger, but may decide to go for a Zero-RB variation, depending on who’s available.
While both McKinnon and McCaffrey are tempting, I chose Thomas based on overall worth. Looking at his value-based draft (VBD) score of +80, which is his value compared to the worst starter at the wideout position, he sits a solid 30 slots more than both of Draft Analyzer’s recommended RBs. I feel that I will get more fantasy points from Thomas over the course of the season, and the pool at RB is a tad deeper in that second tier of guys.
The third-year WR was among the top seven in PPR points in both of the past two seasons, and I welcome his projected 266 fantasy points in 2018. Since I get to draft again in just eight picks, I like the odds of a similar back being there for me in the third round if I choose to go that route.
This pick could have gone a number of ways, but my focus was on Kelce and Larry Fitzgerald. When analyzing opportunity cost, RBs were off the table since this is a smaller-team league and there are five or so backs in the same value range who’ll most likely be there on my next turn. Normally I’d go for projected points, which would be Fitzgerald’s 244 to Kelce’s 216, but with the TE position so unevenly skewed after the elite three, that sometimes I like to get a piece of that sweet top tier.
Kelce has ended the past two seasons as the TE1 in total PPR points, with 233.5 in 2017 and 221 in 2016. He was also first among TEs in targets last year, averaging 8.1 per contest. He’s a solid fixture in the Chiefs offense and I’m excited to have him on this roster.
I was really close to going with a WR here to stay with a Zero-RB philosophy but decided I didn’t want to risk who would be there for me in another eight picks, considering the amount of RB hoarders there seem to be this season. Drake is 4for4’s No. 15 ranked RB in 2018 and should see feature-back touches in Miami, with Frank Gore providing a backup role. After taking over for Jay Ajayi last season, Drake was sixth in targets from Weeks 9–17 at the running back position and he was the RB7 in total PPR fantasy points during that same timeframe.
With my next pick, I’ll look to grab another back if the value is still there, or perhaps select my third receiver, depending on who is available. I have my eye on Jay Ajayi and Rex Burkhead in the RB department, along with wideouts Golden Tate and Demaryius Thomas.
Continue reading to see how the rest of Jen's roster shakes out and to see which picks she deemed to be the best and worst values of the draft, as well as any final takeaways that may help you on draft day...
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