Utilizing the Draft Planner: Drafting from the #4-#6 Spots

Utilizing the Draft Planner: Drafting from the #4-#6 Spots

By John Paulsen (Director of Forecasting), last update Aug 18, 2012

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, and has finished in the Top 6 in seven of the last eight years. Cumulatively, John has been the most accurate expert from 2010-17 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

Follow John Paulsen on Twitter: @4for4_John.

This is the second of a four-part series that is intended to help fantasy owners develop a draft plan based on their position in the 1st round. Earlier in the week, I outlined a draft plan for those owners picking #1-#3, so today I'm going to discuss the #4-#6 spots.

Using the ADP Draft Planner and our Value Based Rankings (VBR), I'll go round by round through the 8th round and mention a few players that fantasy owners should be targeting at each pick.

Keep in mind that these picks are for PPR scoring formats (with 4 pt per pass TD), but I will outline standard scoring strategy as well. I'm going to assume a starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR and 1 TE (along with a kicker and defense). If your league allows you to start three RBs, you'll want to focus a little more heavily on the RB position as the draft wears on. (Same thing goes if your league requires three starting wide receivers.) Conversely, if your league only requires one starting RB, you can focus more on the other positions.

Note: Since there is far more draft data for PPR in the Draft Planner, I'm going to use it for both formats. ADP doesn't change all that much between formats, unless you're talking about players like Wes Welker or Darren Sproles. All percentages are for last two weeks as of time of publishing. The ADP Draft Planner is constantly being updated as real drafts complete on myfantasyleague.com.



Assuming Arian Foster, Ray Rice and LeSean McCoy are already gone, fantasy owners have a tough decision to make. VBR says that Calvin Johnson is the best value, but receiver is quite deep this year. Traditionalists will want to draft a running back, but there doesn't appear to be an RB worthy of the #4 overall pick. Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady make a lot of sense as the top two QBs heading into the season; they are very low risk.

Owners that end up drafting an RB can follow a similar plan to the one I outlined in the #1-#3 article. Draft Darren Sproles in the 2nd round and the best available WR in the 3rd before going WR/RB or RB/WR in the 4th/5th rounds. Then look to draft a quarterback in the 6th and perhaps a tight end in the 7th.

I want to focus on two different teams -- one that starts with Calvin Johnson and another that starts with Aaron Rodgers.

Standard Scoring: Rogers and Calvin are neck and neck at 4/5 in standard scoring. Both players are solid, dependable picks. Owners will just have to focus on finding good running backs throughout the draft.



Whether you went QB or WR in the 1st round, you'll probably want to focus on RB here. Darren Sproles is the #10 overall value in PPR and there's an 83% chance that he'll be there at 2.08. You can try to wait until the 3rd round to grab him, but he's only going to be there 32% of the time. That's too risky. 

If Sproles is gone, consider the DeMarco Murray or Jamaal Charles (80%), or perhaps go tight end with Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski (25%). It appears that RB is the most likely scenario here.

Standard Scoring: Look to draft Murray, Charles, or Steven Jackson, or one of the tight ends. If you went with Calvin in the 1st round, you could draft a QB here -- Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford or Cam Newton will be there 67% of the time. Remember QBs carry more value in standard scoring, and with the way that the values of Ryan Mathews, Trent Richardson and Marshawn Lynch have fallen off due to injury/possible suspension, a decent RB should be available in the 3rd round.


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