Perfect Draft Series: Drafting 10th in a 12 Team PPR League
My first Perfect Draft article this year was drafting 4th in a 12 team standard league. This time, I wanted to try drafting later in the order and using PPR scoring. Once again, I used the powerful drafting software Draft Analyzer, free with your 4for4.com subscription, in order to determine the best draft strategy for the position. I chose the 10th spot in a 12 team league, and I think this is an interesting draft slot because it’s the first point in the draft where I really think fantasy owners could look in just about any direction. With the very top players at running back and wide receiver gone, owners picking in the last few picks will be faced with a choice between their secondary options at the key positions, or perhaps the top options at quarterback and/or tight end.
Typically I like drafting toward the back in snake style drafts, as it gives me the opportunity to draft two impact players in the first 15 picks. As I did before, I made things easier on myself by importing the ESPN standard settings into Draft Analyzer to avoid having to manually enter the information manually, and then made a quick adjustment to the scoring for 1 point per reception.
Also, in the general settings, I didn’t allow teams to draft more than 2 QB’s or TE’s, nor did I allow more than 1 Kicker or Defense, but I otherwise kept fairly standard scoring and roster rules. My starting lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 Flex, 1 TE, plus a Kicker and a Team Defense.
Once I launched Draft Analyzer, I used the Draft Plan option to modify the suggestions that would come from the software with the following concepts:
Defense and Kicker
Most draft software tools start to suggest doing something crazy like taking the top ranked kicker or defense in the 9th round. With the volatility at the position, I used the draft planner to eliminate the possibility for any such suggestion and only allowed recommendations for these two positions in the last two rounds of the draft.
Waiting on a Quarterback
I unchecked the QB position from my draft planner until the 10th round. With this, I was still able to see if there was excellent value at the position as the draft went along, but this setting helped me keep focus on the key fantasy positions in the early and mid-rounds.
I wanted to experiment with targeting some of my favorite players this season. This year, I like DeAndre Hopkins and Ameer Abdullah and I wanted to see if the software would still take value into account as I listed players I wanted to target.
I wanted to avoid drafting Kevin White and Arian Foster. White because I’m concerned about his injuries and I think his ADP is going to fluctuate wildly as new information comes up, and Foster because I gambled on him in my last Perfect Draft article and didn’t want to be terribly redundant.
I highly recommend experimenting with this exciting software feature. I ran countless mocks, fine-tuning these settings and had a blast with it.
With all my settings in order and my draft plan laid out, I was ready to begin!
Round 1, Pick 10 – Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver
By the time it got to my first pick, the top six running backs were gone, as well as three of the top five receivers. In most drafts, this is going to be typical. Whether it’s Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, or Odell Beckham that slid to this spot, I intended to take an elite receiver with this pick and was excited to grab the explosive Thomas, who was second in the NFL last season with 1,619 yards. Even if the Denver offense regresses a little this year, the talented Thomas should remain an elite fantasy option and I feel confident anchoring my lineup with the sixth year veteran out of Georgia Tech. I could’ve looked to Rob Gronkowski or Andrew Luck with this pick, but ultimately decided to wait on those two positions.
Round 2, Pick 3 – C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver
I gave strong consideration to doubling up on receiver at this spot and taking Jordy Nelson after Calvin Johnson went one pick before me. However, I doubled up on Broncos instead and took C.J. Anderson, the third year back who emerged late last season as the best player in a crowded backfield. This season, Anderson should be the lead back from the start of the year and if he can be anywhere close to as good as he was towards the end of last year, then he’ll be a solid RB1 for me. I considered DeMarco Murray and Jeremy Hill here, and I think any of the three would be valid options, but I prefer the Bronco.
Round 3, Pick 10 – DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston
I was hoping to get DeAndre Hopkins in the fourth round, but with a run on receivers before my pick, I didn’t want to take any chances. Draft Analyzer took Hopkins from my target list in my Draft Planner to recommend that I take him at this spot, and I appreciated the alert to help keep me on pace. Hopkins quietly had over 1,200 yards last year despite very shaky quarterback play and playing opposite Andre Johnson. While Brian Hoyer isn’t an elite player, he should provide the Texans with more consistent play that they had last year throwing the ball, and Hopkins is now unquestionably the number one receiver with Johnson now in Indianapolis. He could be in for a big year and the late third round is fair value for the talented Texan.