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Kirk Hollis | Archive | Email  
Staff Writer

Picking at The Turn

Opinions about picking at the “turn” in a fantasy football redraft have always ranged from being ecstatic to being downright discouraged. It is such a long wait between picks, but if two players you really like fall to you, it can feel like you’re in the best spot imaginable.

Truth be told, the value of picking at the turn really depends on the circumstances of a particular season. This article will take a look at “both” turns as if you had the first or last pick in your draft. For the sake of making our points, we’ll assume that you’re part of a 12-team league as that is by far the most common league size these days.

So, how does it shake out from the turn in 2017? Let’s explore all the options:

The 1-2 Turn (Overall picks 12 & 13):

No matter what scoring format you use, the top 3 RBs and top 3 WRs will be gone by the time your pick comes. This season that means you can cross David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham Jr. off your list. If any of those six were to somehow slip to you, by all means grab one, but it isn’t likely to happen. More likely, you’ll be selecting from the “second tier” of players value-wise. This group includes four additional RBs and three-to-four additional wide receivers. It used to also include Rob Gronkowski, but I think his injury history makes him too risky of a pick for the first turn.

So, RB-RB? WR-WR? Or one of each? Picking two from the same position will leave you with a questionable No.1 player at the position you ignore, so the recommendation here is a RB and WR combination. LeSean McCoy/Melvin Gordon/Devonta Freeman would go well with one of Mike Evans/A.J. Green/Jordy Nelson. For some, Jordan Howard or Michael Thomas might be work a look, but my fear of sophomore slumps eliminates them as options at this point in the draft. Regardless of the player, having a true No.1 player at fantasy football’s two most prominent positions makes the most sense.

The 2-3 Turn (Overall picks 24 & 25):

The return of the “stud” running backs this year likely means you spent your first pick on David Johnson or Le’Veon Bell. Although, a case could certainly be made for Antonio Brown, given his consistency over the past several seasons. Assuming the former, there are numerous strategies here that make sense. An elite QB or the previously mentioned Gronkowski are options for one of your picks, but make little sense as a pair as that would leave you ridiculously thin at the WR position. With RB value being so similar beyond the first 8-10 players, that’s probably a position you can wait on unless a Jay Ajayi or DeMarco Murray were to fall in your lap.

That narrows it down to two choices then: QB/TE-WR or WR-WR (unless you opted for Antonio Brown in Round 1). Aaron Rodgers is probably the only QB I would consider this soon, but depending on your scoring system, a case could be made for Tom Brady or Drew Brees as well. It all depends on how much you value the QB position. If a WR run occurred just prior to the 24th overall selection, I would suggest drafting a QB deserves some consideration. But, if players like Amari Cooper, Doug Baldwin, or DeAndre Hopkins are still available, picking a duo from that group would be a very good use of the turn. If a WR run is in full force, Demaryius Thomas and Brandin Cooks are worth a look. However, if all of the names I just mentioned have been selected 23 picks in, a RB has likely fallen way too far and then pairing him with your favorite WR available is the play. As for Gronkowski, if he falls all the way to the 2-3 turn, selecting him depends on your comfort level based on an extensive injury history.

The 3-4 Turn (Overall picks 36 & 37):

Assuming you took my advice at the 1-2 turn and have a RB-WR combo, you can now focus on the two best players available. After 35 picks, most of the top tier talent is gone, but you might be able to grab players with high upside that will go well with your “safe” initial picks. Examples would be Joe Mixon, Marshawn Lynch, or Christian McCaffrey at RB and/or Sammy Watkins, Alshon Jeffery, Tyreek Hill, or Keenan Allen at WR. It does not pay to play it safe with both picks, so at least one of the two should have a high ceiling with respect to possible production. If you’re a person who likes to swing for the fences, two high-upside players isn’t out of the question at the 3-4 turn.

If one of the top 3 previously noted signal callers are available here (Rodgers, Brady, Brees), they would be worth a look. Travis Kelce also has a legitimate shot at being fantasy football’s top TE this season, so give him a glance as well. Beyond those four, it’s too early to consider any remaining players at the QB and TE positions. If you are a drafting conservative and want to play it safe with one of your two picks, players like Mark Ingram, Tevin Coleman, Michael Crabtree, or Davante Adams will do. Just make sure you limit yourself to one “safe” pick here or you’ll regret it as the season unfolds.

The 4-5 Turn (Overall picks 48 & 49):

By now, you’ve got one great player (David Johnson) and at the very least, two additional players (Doug Baldwin, DeAndre Hopkins) you expect to produce a consistent amount of top 12 weekly finishes. It’s a wonderful position to be in. If you took the RB-WR-WR route with your first three selections (my top recommendation), you likely can find a very solid second RB here with one of your next two picks. If you’re into slow and steady wins the race kind of guys, Spencer Ware and C.J. Anderson should still be available. It’s also possible that running backs like Mark Ingram or Carlos Hyde fall this far based on various uncertainties. Or, if you’re in the mood for rolling the dice on some guys with upside, rookie Dalvin Cook would be a very good fit here to pair with Johnson, Bell, or Elliott. I’m not going to recommend Eddie Lacy here having been burned by him in the past, but some may feel otherwise about his revamped potential in Seattle.

Once you’ve acquired your No.2 RB, all other options are on the table for the second pick. If news regarding Andrew Luck improves prior to your draft, he is worth consideration here as are quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson. Greg Olsen is a good value at TE here as well. Beyond that it comes down to value at the other positions. Has a WR you covet fallen farther than you expected? Even though you’ve already got two players at that position, it never hurts to add a “steal” and give yourself additional options, particularly in a league in which you start three wide receivers.

The 5-6 Turn (Overall picks 60 & 61):

First and foremost, if you haven’t addressed the QB or TE position at this point, it’s a great time to look at those options first. Waiting until pick No.84 to do so will likely leave you with a marginal starter at best, particularly at tight end. Quarterback is so deep this year that you could opt to wait until the next turn, but it’s a risk. Players like Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Tyler Eifert, and Delanie Walker fall into the mix here as good values. If Luck, Ryan, or Wilson has fallen to this point, they’re obviously great choices as well. I think Jimmy Graham will be gone at this point, making him a poor target for either turn, but if he slides, he’s a no-brainer given his upside.

If you do decide to wait on QB or have addressed the position already, you’re probably looking at No.3 RBs and WRs, meaning players whose ranking at the position ranges from 25-36. If either position has only one player on your roster come this turn, they become a must for the pick. You can’t wait until the end of Round 7 to grab your second RB or WR. So, the mix of players after six rounds would be: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE…or 1 QB/TE, 2/3 RBs, and 2/3 WRs.

The 6-7 Turn (Overall picks 72 & 73):

Previous advice about quarterbacks and tight ends applies here. You don’t want to grab your first guy at either position 96 picks into the draft. So, if you’ve neglected both to this point, your choice is simple. Remember, after you pick at the turn, two dozen picks get made before you’re up again. You simply can’t afford to neglect a main position beyond this point. If you have both, it means you are painfully thin at RB, WR, or both and again, the choice is simple. Just make sure when you come out of this turn, you’ve got a minimum of 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, and 1 TE assuming TE is a required position in your league. If your first six picks produce this combination, pick seven is about fortifying whichever position RB/WR you feel you are weakest at moving forward.

Hopefully, this article has provided a foundation for what to consider early in your draft as you endure the painful wait between picks known as “the turn.” As the later rounds come and go, draft position is less important as people are adding players they like based on perceived need and value. Also, if you’re picking 2nd, 3rd, 10th, or 11th, most of these recommendations would apply to you as well. Remember, you never need to be discouraged about where it is you’re picking from in a redraft league. There are many paths to a championship for those whose strategy is well-formed.