Perfect Draft Series: Drafting 8th in a 16-Team PPR League
During Perfect Draft Series season here at 4for4.com, we often get requests for mock drafts for larger leagues. Last year, someone on the Discuss Your Team forum referred to them as “Man Leagues,” because they were only for the toughest of fantasy football players.
Deep leagues aren’t for everyone, and that’s OK. But there is no denying they are challenging. Once you hit the middle of the draft, the talent starts to dwindle. The free agent wire is usually bare most of the year, so drafting the best possible guys, as well as guys later in the draft who turn into key parts of your roster, is obviously a big key to winning a deep league.
So once again I’m going to dive into a 16-team mock using Draft Analyzer (DA). This is going to be a PPR league with a starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB, WR, TE), 1 TE and 1 defense. Quarterbacks get four points for a TD and all other scoring is typical with one point for every 10 yards. Even with a 16-team league, I only allow teams to take one defense and the max for QBs and TEs is two per roster. As I’ve said for other mocks, DA is pretty good as far keeping things real, but we still don’t want to see teams loading up on positions that aren’t typical.
As you know by now, DA is a great draft day tool as well as a way to practice for your draft going against computer owners. There are lots of gadgets to help you plan your draft including targeting players, avoiding players, reminders to draft handcuffs at running back and complete control of what round you do or don’t draft a certain position.
For my first two mocks, I took advantage of a lot of these options. For example, I didn’t want to draft a QB before round six. However, in a 16-team league, I decided not to limit myself to avoiding any position at any point in the draft – other than defense last. Drafting eighth and with a lot of players coming off the board between picks, draft strategies can change.
I did decide to target some specific players, however. My targeted WRs were Donte Moncrief, Marvin Jones and Rishard Matthews, while at RB I looked to target Rashad Jennings. I'm not opposed to a top QB, but figure I may not get one, nor be willing to take him early, so I also targeted Kirk Cousins for this mock. He’s a top-12 QB going very late in drafts and presents great value.
Draft Analyzer in Action
Round 1, Pick 8 – A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati
What’s nice about the first pick in this draft is at eight you know you’re going to get a good player. I was pretty sure I was going to take a WR here based on the two mock stories I did leading up to this one and using what I learned. If I waited to pick a WR in the second round I knew I wasn’t going to get someone in my first tier. Nothing against guys like Amari Cooper or Jarvis Landry, but there has a bit of a drop off after Brandon Marshall in our rankings, at least in my opinion.
Round 2, Pick 9 – LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo
Taking a WR first was the way to go. I could have taken Ezekiel Elliott or LeVeon Bell with my first pick, but now I’d be looking at Jarvis Landry or Kelvin Benjamin as my top WR. So I like my Green/McCoy vs. Elliott/Landry. McCoy doesn’t have a whole lot behind him with Karlos Williams suspended and coming into camp out of shape. Eventually, Williams will have a bigger role but McCoy will always be a factor in the passing game and he was the best option as well has the highest projected point-getter at RB on the board. He’s also ranked 10th on our RB list coming into this season. Last year, McCoy finished #17 in standard formats and #19 in PPR, but was a low-end RB1 in both formats on a weekly basis. He averaged 19.6 touches for 98.9 total yards per game, and should continue to see that type of workload.
Round 3, Pick 8 – Eric Decker, WR, NY Jets
Cam Newton went off the board two picks before this one so QBs are now in play. Even in a 16-team league, however, I think you can wait it out at QB and still get value while stocking up on the other skill positions. I had some pretty good options at this point:
DA suggested Decker and I felt it was the right call now that Ryan Fitzpatrick is back in the fold. We had few scouts here at 4for4 who saw a nice season coming from Decker last year and I think it continues this season as well. He was the most consistent fantasy WR last year, posting 80-plus yards and/or a TD in each of his 15 games.
Round 4, Pick 9 – Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis
It was nice to see Moncrief making his way back to me for this pick. Moncrief was a guy I had targeted and so this was a pretty easy selection because it just so happens this was DA’s suggestion as well. Although it’s not really a secret, he’s shaping up to be bust-out player for 2016 and a healthy Andrew Luck will only help. In seven games with Luck, Moncrief averaged 4.6 catches 50 yards and 0.71 TD (on 7.7 targets per game), which extrapolates to a 73-802-11 season. Fantasy-wise, that’s about what Michael Crabtree scored as the #19 receiver in standard formats.
Continue reading for round-by-round analysis and a value pick in Round 9.
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