Perfect Draft: 6th in a 12-Team Yahoo PPR League
Selecting from the heart of the draft has its advantages, and a wee bit of downside as well. You’ll most likely miss out of one of the top running backs this season, but a high-end wide receiver is a solid consolation in 2018. From this position, you’re less prone to be victimized by a positional run, but it’s tough to really count on the players around you to tip their hands on strategy like it is on the turns. I refer to the sixth position as the Jerry Seinfeld of draft spots, as rosters tend to be an even distribution of talent, with everything equaling out in the end.
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 sixth slot in a 12-team Yahoo PPR league. Each pick was optimized using projections and value-based rankings from the 4for4 Draft Hero tool.
Draft Hero Settings
- Roster Settings: 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1Flex RB/WR, 1K, 1DST, 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 fifth round: The fifth round is the soonest I’d consider a TE, and that’s only if one of the second-tier guys is sitting there. Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz should all be gone. From the sixth spot, I prefer to load up on players in positions of higher demand and grab a TE much later in the draft. However, if I’m pleased with my first four RBs or WRs, and I see Greg Olsen or Jimmy Graham available, I may grab them, as long as their potential point output is greater than the top WR or RB still on the board.
- 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.
Round 1, Pick 6 – WR Antonio Brown, Steelers
With the owner before me opting for Alvin Kamara after the top-four consensus RBs, letting Brown fall, this was a no-brainer pick. The Steelers' No. 1 WR has the highest-projected PPR total among WRs for 2018. And according to our rankings, he is expected to post 60 more fantasy points than the highest-rated remaining RB, Saquon Barkley.
I can’t click the draft button fast enough here, and I feel confident knowing that he’s the best player on the board. Runners like Barkley, Melvin Gordon, and Dalvin Cook will surely be gone when I get to my second-round selection, but I feel good about value at RB later in the draft.
Round 2, Pick 7 – WR A.J. Green, Bengals
Devonta Freeman is tempting here, but I went with a second top-tier WR instead. Green has finished the season among the top-10 WRs in PPR points in three of the past five years, and when healthy, he is super consistent. His target share is among the top WRs in the league, too, which also bodes well for fantasy production.
Green's value based draft (VBD) score (+71) is three points higher than Davante Adams (+68), and six more than the fourth-recommended player, Doug Baldwin (+65). This amount refers to the value of a player compared to the worst starter at that position. Freeman had a VBD score of (+58), another checkmark for Green at this draft spot.
I’m also hoping that since the first five teams drafted an RB and no top TEs have been selected thus far, that the chances of an RB1 falling to me are decent here. Fingers crossed.
Round 3, Pick 6 – RB Jerick McKinnon, 49ers
I’m always a Larry Fitzgerald gal. But in this situation, what I wanted to happen, happened. Both Gronk and Kelce were taken at the start of the third, along with RB Jordan Howard and WRs Adam Thielen and Doug Baldwin. That left me with an RB with top-10 potential in an upcoming offense. Kenyan Drake was the second recommendation for me at this pick, but I prefer McKinnon based on situation and his nearly 20-point VBD score over the Miami RB.
Balance is my intent with this draft from the six hole, and by taking an RB in round three, I’m creating what should be an equalized roster. Looking ahead to pick four, I see a bevy of my targeted WR options who should still be around, including Golden Tate and Demaryius Thomas, so I grab McKinnon with ease here.
Round 4, Pick 7 – WR Golden Tate, Lions
At the turn, TE Zach Ertz kicked off Round 4, followed by rookie RB Derrius Guice, then four wideouts—Allen Robinson, Brandin Cooks, Josh Gordon, and Amari Cooper. It’s a toss-up between Tate and Thomas with the 43rd overall pick, as their projected points and VBD scores differ by only two points, but I opted for Tate in a securer Detroit offense.
With Eric Ebron off to Indy, the Lions WR should see an increase in targets and I love the consistency of his QB Matt Stafford. Tate is solid in the slot and has produced over 1,000 yards in three of the last four seasons, with an average of 93 receptions per season in that time frame. Peeking ahead to the next round, I have my eye on a few RBs who should still be there to balance out my starting roster.
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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