I’ve found that 12-team PPR leagues are becoming the most popular format, so that’s where I settled in. I play in a handful of redraft leagues in which the previous season’s final standings dictate the order of pick selection. That is, the defending champion gets the first choice of where he/she wants to pick. I like this format because you don’t get the clown owner that complains about his/her draft position; if you want a different pick, do better in the league and earn the right to select any pick you’d like! Even in leagues that don’t operate like this, the question of “what draft position is best” is always a topic of debate. Based on where players are currently going, I’m liking the nine spot as my landing place. If I’m drafting today, here is the team I’d field with the ninth overall selection in a 12-team PPR league.
NOTE: Average Draft Position is just that, an average. You are never going to take part in a draft that follows this report to the letter, so I’ve afforded myself a little bit a leeway here. Each one of my selections is of a player that is being drafted no more than two spots ahead of where I’m picking.
WARNING: Do NOT blindly adjust your ranks based on what others are doing. Not today on June 3rd and not the day of your draft. Who is to say the public is right? Average Draft Position should be used as a learning tool, not a pure starting point for your ranks.
Round 1 – Demaryius Thomas (10th overall pick)
Round 2 – DeMarco Murray (15th overall pick)
Round 3 – DeAndre Hopkins (34th overall pick)
Round 4 – Alfred Morris (39th overall pick)
Round 5 – Jarvis Landry (58th overall pick)
Round 6 – TJ Yeldon (63rd overall pick)
Round 7 – Tevin Coleman (82nd overall pick)
Round 8 – Devonta Freeman (87th overall pick)
Round 9 – Ryan Tannehill (106th overall pick)
Round 10 – Antonio Gates (111th overall pick)
Round 11 – Denard Robinson (130th overall pick)
Round 12 – Brian Quick (135th overall pick)
Round 13 – Marvin Jones (159th overall pick)
Round 14 – Michael Crabtree (164th overall pick)
Round 15 – Ronnie Hillman (183rd overall pick)
Round 16 – Tyler Eifert (188th overall pick)
Round 17 – Nick Foles (207th overall pick)
Draft kickers and defenses however you’d like in the final few rounds. I prefer indoor kickers and defenses that play in soft divisions, but I’d be lying if I said I had a foolproof way of ranking these two positions. If it were up to me (and in this mock, it is!), these positions would be left out in favor of another FLEX spot or two. Here’s a look at what my Week 1 starting lineup would be:
QB – Ryan Tannehill
RB – DeMarco Murray
RB – Alfred Morris
WR – Demaryius Thomas
WR – DeAndre Hopkins
WR – Jarvis Landry
TE – Vernon Davis
FLEX – Brian Quick
I’m clearly on the Vernon Davis bounce back train, but by drafting another tight end with high upside, this roster can survive if Davis’ best days are in fact behind him. There is obvious risk at my FLEX spot, but by grabbing both Atlanta/Jacksonville running backs, I’ve assured myself of four starting running backs, which should give me a reasonable third RB during most weeks. Brian Quick is someone that I’ve identified as a player I’m going to own across the board. There’s a bit of a risk given his injury from last season and a new quarterback to develop chemistry with, but again, we are talking a low-risk high-reward investment, my favorite!
I love the stability I was able to grab in the early rounds along with an upside QB/WR combination that was lethal in PPR leagues last season, and should only improve with experience. I was comfortable with my depth through 12 rounds, so I worried less about low floors with my final few selections. Michael Crabtree could flame out again or he could benefit from playing in a system that attempted the fourth most passes last season. Ronnie Hillman could be a clipboard holder or he could be the starting running back in a Peyton Manning-led offense. By handcuffing my secondary running backs, I’m confident that I have eight reasonable RB/WR options and that allowed me to draft these risky options without having to rely on them for anything. I treat my Fantasy Football roster like I do my stock portfolio; invest heavily in stability and take a few chances that could result in big gains but won’t outweigh the gains from my stable assets should they fail.