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 16, 2013

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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. 

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Last week, I outlined a draft plan for owners picking at the end of the first round. Today, I'll discuss strategy for picking from the #4-#6 spots.

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

Keep in mind that these picks are for PPR scoring formats (with 4 pt per pass TD), but I will outline a standard scoring strategy as well. For PPR, I'm going to assume a starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR and 1 TE. If your league allows you to start three RBs, you'll probably want to draft a minimum of three RBs in the first five rounds. Conversely, if your league only requires one starting RB, you can focus more on the other positions.

If you want to take a look at the Full Impact Value Based Rankings as we go along, choose PPR - 4pt PaTD and enter 1-2-3-1 as the roster requirements. For the standard strategy, I'll use ESPN's standard roster requirements, which include 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE and a flex, so enter 1-2.5-2.5-1 in Full Impact. (CBS and Yahoo standard leagues both use 1-2-3-1 with no flex, so a similar strategy can be used with a bit more emphasis on receiver.) Rankings will change over time as we gain more information, but this is how I'd attack the draft at this point in the preseason.

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 a select few 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 continue to roll in on myfantasyleague.com.

Let's jump right in...



Typically, I'll draft whoever is left of the top tier of RBs: Doug Martin, Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles and C.J. Spiller (100%). Matt Forte, Ray Rice and LeSean McCoy are also solid picks in this range if you're picking 1.06 and our top 5 RBs are gone by the time you're up. Let's assume we draft Spiller.

In most circumstances I'm going to be drafting a RB in the first round, but I realize that there are a lot of owners who like to draft Calvin Johnson with their first pick, so I'll put together a strategy called Team Calvin as well.

Standard Scoring: WRs are generally devalued in standard formats, so I'd definitely take a RB here. Let's take Foster, since he has been slipping some in recent weeks.



The bad news is that Jimmy Graham is only available at 2.08 about 9% of the time. The good news is that Darren Sproles is usually there (81%). Regular readers know that I'm a huge Sproles fan in PPR formats, so even given his 3rd-round ADP, I wouldn't recommend passing on him in the 2nd unless you have inside knowledge of your league and how the other owners will draft.

If Sproles and Graham are gone, I would probably go with Alfred Morris, Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson or Reggie Bush (97%), as I find these players to be a significant upgrade over those RBs available in the middle of the 3rd round.

Conversely, owners could go with a WR: A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones or Demaryius Thomas (65%).

But for our purposes, we're assuming Sproles here.

Team Calvin: Sproles!

Standard Scoring: In standard formats, I'm definitely looking to start RB/RB, so take the best one left on the board. You'll probably be looking at someone like Forte, S-Jax, CJ?K or Stevan Ridley, who has more value in standard. Let's assume we get Johnson.

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