Perfect Draft: 15th in a 16-Team ESPN PPR League
Being at the turn in a deeper draft can be challenging, but also has its benefits. In this particular draft, I’ll most likely target either an elite WR or TE, or go with a pass-catching RB since it is a full-PPR format.
One disadvantage of being on the turn is the chance to get stuck on the wrong side of a positional run, so evaluating opportunity cost is paramount in these first few rounds. A positive is the ability to implement game theory in this draft, meaning you can look at the manager’s roster in the 16th spot and put off say a QB or TE for another round if they’ve already fulfilled that particular position.
In this edition of the series, I'll be walking through a perfect draft from the 15th slot in a 16-team ESPN PPR league. Each pick was optimized using projections and value-based rankings from the 4for4 Draft Analyzer tool.
Draft Analyzer Settings
- Roster Settings: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (WR/RB/TE), 1 Kicker, 1 DEF, six bench spots
- No restrictions on when to draft positional players: I tend to be one of the last to draft a QB or sometimes TE, but I still like to be aware if players are falling in a specific draft. This feature sets Draft Analyzer apart so I keep no limits on recommendations.
- No K or DST until the last three rounds: I prefer to stream both positions and would rather draft depth for my bench than select either a kicker or team defense before the last three rounds.
- Targets: Tyler Boyd and James White. One of my favorite features of Draft Analyzer is the option to target specific players. The software allows you to select players before the draft and DA will suggest your targets over their top recommendation when their ADP is coming up. I’ll explain why I like these specific targets in their respective draft rounds, assuming I am able to land them. You can also avoid players, but I usually opt against this feature since every player is a value at some point.
For a comprehensive tutorial on setting up Draft Analyzer for your league, read our Draft Analyzer Walkthrough.
The elite WR tier is no longer on the board at my pick, so it’s down to Clyde Edwards-Helaire or George Kittle. They are projected for very similar fantasy points this season in a PPR format, but CEH gets the edge due to recent hamstring tightness for Kittle. It could be nothing, but it’s not exactly a desirable situation for your first-round selection.
There’s a good chance I could get the 49ers TE in two picks, and I also like the idea of securing a potential top-five back in a high-powered offense with the 16th overall pick.
Each round, Draft Analyzer recommends the top available suggestion along with four alternatives, as shown at the top of this section. Throughout the rest of the article, I will note those suggestions as well as my top alternative to the player that I actually selected.
My Top Alternative: George Kittle
Being that this is a PPR league, I wanted to maximize my receiving points right from the start. DeAndre Hopkins is the only non-QB with a higher projected total (by just 8 points), but I happen to prefer George Kittle this season based on situation. Austin Ekeler is a player I considered here due to his pass-catching prowess, but I chose to secure an elite TE and wait for my RB2 for at least another round, probably more.
Kittle was the TE2 in 2019, and may have been first, had he not missed two games with a knee injury. He‘s averaged 81 receiving yards per contest with five touchdowns each season since 2018 and the 26-year old led all TEs and WRs in broken tackles over the past couple of seasons. One reason I am good with Kittle this early is if we look at his 15.9 PPR points per tilt last year, it was right on par with Allen Robinson’s 15.9, who ended as WR7. Given positional scarcity, I like this pick here and hope his hammy is alright.
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