Perfect Fantasy Football Draft: 2nd in a 12-Team ESPN PPR League

Aug 10, 2022
Perfect Fantasy Football Draft: 2nd in a 12-Team ESPN PPR League

Drafting from the top two spots in 2022 ESPN fantasy football leagues offers one of the most significant draft-day advantages of the year, not just because of the upside of the players that you can draft in Round 1 but also because of the flexibility it allows you to have throughout your entire draft.

Assuming a tier one back from the front of the draft, fantasy managers have the option to double down on the position near the 2-3 turn or take full advantage of ESPN’s full-PPR scoring system and load up on an onslaught of pass-catchers, whether it be a top-end tight end such as Mark Andrews or a plethora of mid-round wide receivers that offer tremendous value.

An obvious downside to drafting at the turns is the long wait between picks, but if you have your choice of which side of the board to be on, this is it.

In this article, I will walk through a perfect draft with the second pick in a 12-team ESPN PPR league. Each pick was optimized using projections and value-based rankings from the 4for4 Draft Hero tool. For those new to Draft Hero, be sure to explore this walkthrough of the app.


More Perfect Drafts: 6th in a 12-Team ESPN PPR League | 1st in a 12-Team Superflex League


Draft Hero Settings

  • Roster Settings: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (WR/RB/TE), 1 Kicker, 1 DEF, 6 bench spots
  • No restrictions on when to draft position players: Even though it’s often recommended to wait on drafting some positions, I’ll remove restrictions in case any surprise values present themselves. In the Draft Plan tab, K and DEF are not selected until the last two rounds.
  • No limit on positions: Although limiting less important positions to just one makes the draft a lot more challenging, allowing other teams to draft backup “onesies” more closely mirrors a typically home league draft.
  • Targets: Jalen Hurts, Brandin Cooks, Isaiah McKenzie. Across 50+ drafts so far this year, these are my most rostered players. If I am able to land them, I will elaborate on each player.

Jump to Pick: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | Draft Recap

Round 1, Pick 2 (2) - RB Christian McCaffrey, Panthers

In a full-PPR league, you can make a case for going wide receiver early as Draft Hero does here, but Christian McCaffrey is my top player in any format. When healthy, McCaffrey is the only player in football with 400-touch/100-reception upside, and all indications are that CMC is completely ready to return to that kind of workload, which would provide fantasy managers with a player that simply will not have bust weeks when healthy.

As noted in the introduction, starting with a top-two running back allows for flexibility in the early rounds and the ability to exploit these roster requirements and scoring format.

Suggested alternatives: Cooper Kupp, Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler

My top alternative: Cooper Kupp

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