Perfect Fantasy Football Draft: 3rd in an ESPN 12-Team Full-PPR League

Aug 22, 2022
Perfect Fantasy Football Draft: 3rd in an ESPN 12-Team Full-PPR League


The beauty of fantasy football, for me, is drafting. This year more than any I can really remember, I have a specific range in mind where I want to draft. I need a top-five pick. The tier break after the top five is steep and I want to be in those elite first five picks in PPR drafts.

My favorite spot in the top five is the third pick. It allows you the most flexibility if one of the elite running backs falls and if they don’t you get your choice of one of the three elite wide receivers. Win-win, right? There is also another big tier break in the third round which you’ll get to take advantage of as the top running backs drop off shortly after your draft spot if you happen to go elsewhere with your first two picks.

In this article, I will walk through the perfect draft from the third spot in a 12-team full-PPR ESPN league. Each pick was optimized using projections and value-based rankings from the 4for4 Draft Hero tool.


More Perfect Drafts: 6th in a 12-Team ESPN PPR League | 1st in a 12-Team Superflex League | 2nd in a 12-Team ESPN PPR League | 1st in a 12-Team Yahoo! Half-PPR | 9th in a 12-Team ESPN PPR League


Draft Hero Settings

  • Roster Settings: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE), 1 Defense, 1 Kicker, 6 Bench Spot
  • No Kicker or D/ST until the last two rounds: I will almost certainly stick to this unless a massive value presents itself, but I don’t want to create a ton of restrictions.

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

Round 1, Pick 3 (3) - RB Christian McCaffrey, Panthers

This is a home run. McCaffrey is slowly creeping up within striking distance of Jonathan Taylor for the number one pick. Since redefining expectations for what a running back could do in fantasy football in 2019, he’s had two injury-plagued seasons and people are cautious.

Let others be cautious. You’re here to win. When McCaffrey plays, he is the best fantasy asset on the planet. In five of the seven games he played last year he was a top-15 RB in five and that included an RB1, RB3, RB4, and RB5 finish. He averaged 23.4 touches per game in 2021 with 5.3 of those touches being receptions. He is the best draft pick here, hands down. Draft Hero’s suggestion made this an easy selection.

Suggested Alternatives: WR Justin Jefferson, RB Austin Ekeler, RB Derrick Henry, WR Ja'Marr Chase

My Top Alternative: WR Justin Jefferson

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