Utilizing the Draft Planner: Drafting from the #5-#8 Spots

Utilizing the Draft Planner: Drafting from the #5-#8 Spots

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), on Aug 26, 2015

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in both 2012 and 2015 for a total of five Top 5 seasons in the last six years. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-15 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 final installment of a three-part series intended to help fantasy owners formulate a draft plan based on their position in the first round.

If you haven’t already read the first (#1-#4) or second (#9-#12) parts, be sure to do so, especially if you’re drafting from one of those ranges. Today, I’ll cover the #5-#8 range and highlight a few players at each pick that owners should be targeting as the draft wears on.

For more detail about my overall strategy this season, be sure to check out my annual here’s-how-I’m-gonna-draft article, Draft Day Strategery. I hope to update it before the final draft weekend.

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 (along with a kicker and defense). If your league allows you to start three RBs, you'll probably want to draft a minimum of three RBs in the first five or six 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 Top 200 Rankings as we go along, choose PPR 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 the drop down boxes. (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 high-reception players like C.J. Spiller, Shane Vereen or Danny Woodhead, whom you’ll have to take a round earlier in PPR formats. The ADP Draft Planner is constantly being updated as real drafts continue to roll in on myfantasyleague.com. As August wears on, there should be a larger sample of standard drafts in the system.



Drafting in the middle of the round can be tricky, but it does allow owners to more easily grab value since they never have to wait too long between picks.

There are options galore in the first round. Owners could start WR/RB, RB/WR, WR/WR, RB/RB or even Gronk/WR or Gronk/RB. If you’re interested in Gronk in the first round, check out the #9-#12 article, as I discuss a Gronk-early team there.

We’ll discuss three teams: Team WR/RB (which could easily be flipped to RB/WR) and Team WR/WR in PPR formats, and Team Standard (RB/RB).

Team WR/RB should have a few receivers to choose from in the 1.05-1.08 range. Those drafting in leagues that are typically RB-heavy in the first may have a crack at Antonio Brown. If not, one or more of Demaryius Thomas, Odell Beckham or Julio Jones should be available. Let’s say we draft Thomas, who is our #2 receiver in PPR. Team WR/WR also takes Thomas.

Team Standard takes the best available running back. Let’s say it’s Marshawn Lynch, but owners may have a shot at Eddie Lacy, Jamaal Charles or C.J. Anderson as well.

Team WR/RB: Thomas
Team WR/WR: Thomas
Team Standard: Lynch



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