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8/17/2017 - 12 Teams, PPR

On August 15th, a portion of the FFToday crew got together for our staff league draft. This is a real league that will be played out during the season. Team-by-team results and commentary from each owner are below.

12 owners, 18 Rounds, PPR

Starting line-up: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WRs, 1TE, 1 Flex (RB, WR or TE) 1K, & 1 D/ST.

1 point for every: 10 yards rushing, receiving, 20 yards passing, reception, sack, FUM Rec, INT Ret
2 points for every: safety, PAT rushed, PAT received, PAT thrown
3 points for every: field goal
4 points for every: touchdown thrown
6 points for every: touchdown rushed, received, fumble returned, interception returned, kick returned

You can view the Round by Round results here.

Looking to ace your draft? Pickup a copy of the Draft Buddy and get customized projections and rankings for your league.

 Steve Schwarz - Pick No. 1
RB David Johnson, ARI 1.01
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA 2.12
WR Dez Bryant, DAL 3.01
QB Drew Brees, NO 4.12
RB Bilal Powell, NYJ 5.01
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN 6.12
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, TB 7.01
TE Delanie Walker, TEN 8.12
QB Derek Carr, OAK 9.01
WR Ted Ginn Jr., NO 10.12
RB Jamaal Williams, GB 11.01
DEF Houston Texans, HOU 12.12
RB D'Onta Foreman, HOU 13.01
RB Tim Hightower, SF 14.12
RB James Conner, PIT 15.01
WR Braxton Miller, HOU 16.12
K Matt Prater, DET 17.01
DEF Miami Dolphins, MIA 18.12
Pick #1 - Steve Schwarz

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: Having the No.1 selection is obviously very good … and bad. The good is the top choice and the bad is waiting 23 picks before getting another chance to pull the trigger. It’s a PPR league, so choosing a 1000-yard rusher, David Johnson, whose stated goal is also 1000-yards receiving, is perfect for a top pick. Waiting until No.24 means seeing a lot of talent head elsewhere, but the top pass receiver on a pass-first team (Seattle) is a good spot and Doug Baldwin fills the bill, particularly with an extremely favorable schedule to begin the season.

What player(s) did you miss out on? Two players I was hoping would fall a little further, and into my lap, were Amari Cooper and LeGarrette Blount. Cooper was the eighth wideout off the board, though was ranked as the 12th-best in our rankings. I settled for Dez Bryant. Similarly, I was targeting Blount as my No.3 running back, but he went at No.67 (27th RB), five picks before I had planned to grab him. Instead, I took a gamble on Jacquizz Rodgers to start the seventh round, hoping that he’ll play well enough to keep the starting role even after Doug Martin returns from his three-game suspension.

Final thought: As I noted in an analysis piece last week, I think Demaryius Thomas is still going too high in relation to his teammate Emmanuel Sanders (No.32 vs. No.72). They produced similar statistics in 2016 and should do the same in 2017, but Thomas’ higher name recognition forced his owner to choose him four rounds earlier. I love the upside of Tim Hightower at the end of the 14th round, a player who could eventually beat out Carlos Hyde (fifth round), for the starting spot in Kyle Shanahan’s new 49ers offense.

 Antonio D'Arcnagelis - Pick No. 2
RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT 1.02
RB Lamar Miller, HOU 2.11
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB 3.02
WR Julian Edelman, NE 4.11
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA 5.02
TE Martellus Bennett, GB 6.11
WR Cameron Meredith, CHI 7.02
WR Adam Thielen, MIN 8.11
RB Darren McFadden, DAL 9.02
QB Andy Dalton, CIN 10.11
WR Cole Beasley, DAL 11.02
RB Dion Lewis, NE 12.11
TE Julius Thomas, MIA 13.02
K Justin Tucker, BAL 14.11
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA 15.02
DEF Los Angeles Chargers, LAC 16.11
RB Marlon Mack, IND 17.02
WR Allen Hurns, JAC 18.11
Pick #2 - Antonio D'Arcangelis

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: With the first or second pick, I'm looking to not whiff and take a star -- and then build the rest of your team around that player with more risks and reaches. It’s always easier to plan which positions to target when you know you’ll have two picks close together, despite the long delay between those corners. With pick No.2, I had a feeling I’d be choosing between LeVeon Bell or Antonio Brown, and I went with Bell, following up with a high-volume, borderline RB1 in Lamar Miller as my second back, and then Aaron Rodgers – a pick recommended to me by the Draft Buddy. I'm comfortable mixing and matching WRs based on matchup, and I like having two solid backs and a stud QB.

What player(s) did you miss out on? Tyreek Hill was on my radar, but Hutchins took him four picks before me, so I’m putting some faith in Julian Edelman and Jarvis Landry (who's a huge question mark based on contract issues, domestic battery charges and Jay Cutler) as my first two WRs. Greg Olsen and Jimmy Graham got snagged before my planned TE pick, but pairing Martellus Bennett with Rodgers could work out nicely given the Packers’ frequent red zone appearances and Bennett’s high ceiling and willingness to focus on the minutiae that Rodgers demands. Krueger scooped up Tyrell Williams near the end of Round 8, so I opted for Adam Thielen as my WR4, who’s also an impressive big body and red zone contributor.

Final thought: I was surprised to see Tyler Eifert taken before target monster Jordan Reed and the steady Greg Olsen, but bold moves like that often pay off. Kyle Rudolph is also going surprisingly early in drafts, and was the 70th pick in ours. As far as filling out my team, I wanted some Dallas pieces who could make up for the anticipated void of Ezekiel Elliott, so landing Darren McFadden (my RB3) in Round 9 and Cole Beasley (as my WR5) in Round 11 made me happy. The Cowboys offense is more than just Dak, Dez and Zeke.

 Eli Mack - Pick No. 3
WR Antonio Brown, PIT 1.03
RB Joe Mixon, CIN 2.10
WR Brandin Cooks, NE 3.03
WR Michael Crabtree, OAK 4.10
RB Carlos Hyde, SF 5.03
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN 6.10
RB Paul Perkins, NYG 7.03
RB Kareem Hunt, KC 8.10
QB Matthew Stafford, DET 9.03
QB Eli Manning, NYG 10.10
WR Jordan Matthews, BUF 11.03
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN 12.10
TE Coby Fleener, NO 13.03
DEF Minnesota Vikings, MIN 14.10
WR John Ross, CIN 15.03
WR Breshad Perriman, BAL 16.10
RB De'Angelo Henderson, DEN 17.03
K Adam Vinatieri, IND 18.10
Pick #3 - Eli Mack

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: Picking third in a redraft in 2017 is the easiest draft position because there really is no decision to make, especially after Ezekiel Elliot’s suspension. David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell are going one and two, in whatever order, and Antonio Brown is the obvious third choice. He is one of the top two or three most consistent fantasy players, regardless of position, in the past half-dozen years. Selecting a rookie RB in Joe Mixon in the second round gives me a little pause. He may not be anointed the starter right away, but I do think he eventually beats out the rapidly declining Jeremy Hill. If Mixon excels as a runner the way many think he can, I think he and Antonio Brown provide a nice foundation for my team.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I wanted Duke Johnson as my RB3 at the end of the sixth round, but he was selected two picks earlier. I ended up picking TE Kyle Rudolph instead, who led all TEs in targets last year. So I guess all is not lost. I also wanted QB Derek Carr at the start of the ninth round, but he, too, was selected two picks prior. In his place, I grabbed Matthew Stafford. Stafford’s not a sexy pick, but I think he can be a quality starter in 12-team formats. My long shot pick—Kenny Golladay—was also stolen from me, even though I had my chance in the 13th round. I thought he’d be there one round later. I took a chance and waited too long.

Final thought: It didn’t occur to me until after the draft that I had selected four rookies—three of which are RBs. My De’Angelo Henderson selection was a complete shot in the dark based on some intel I heard on the radio over the weekend. We’ll see if it pays off at some point. I expect good things from two of my other rookies—Mixon and Kareem Hunt. Over the past 13 seasons, Andy Reid’s RB1 has averaged 19.5 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues, so if Hunt does what most are predicting he will do and ascends to the starting spot, he could pay huge dividends. Additionally, it’s ironic that I ended up with the same two QBs from last year—Stafford and Eli Manning. I even selected them in opposite order this year. That wasn’t the plan going in, but it’s strange nonetheless.

 Mike Krueger - Pick No. 4
WR Odell Beckham Jr., NYG 1.04
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND 2.09
RB Dalvin Cook, MIN 3.04
WR Sammy Watkins, LAR 4.09
RB Mark Ingram, NO 5.04
WR Pierre Garcon, SF 6.09
RB Derrick Henry, TEN 7.04
WR Tyrell Williams, LAC 8.09
QB Kirk Cousins, WAS 9.04
TE Eric Ebron, DET 10.09
RB Matt Forte, NYJ 11.04
RB DeAndre Washington, OAK 12.09
RB Joe Williams, SF 13.04
DEF Buffalo Bills, BUF 14.09
TE Cameron Brate, TB 15.04
QB Blake Bortles, JAC 16.09
K Dan Bailey, DAL 17.04
WR Mohamed Sanu, ATL 18.09
Pick #4 - Mike Krueger

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: I would have been doing a happy dance a couple weeks ago knowing I had the fourth pick in a PPR league. With DJ, Bell, and Zeke likely going 1-2-3, Antonio Brown would be a no-brainer selection at No.4 and I could focus my pre-draft attention on options in Round 2. Obviously that’s not the case anymore as Elliott is appealing a six-game suspension and his value has taken a tumble leaving me (and anyone) in the 4th slot with a tougher decision to make. With the Bills apparently focusing on the future, I’m getting a little skiddish about LeSean McCoy’s prospects for 2017. So, in a PPR league, I’m going to focus on the WR position with my first pick then consider Fournette, Gronk or my top WR available in Round 2. As it turns out, Fournette and Gronk both went a few picks ahead of my Round 2 selection, so I knew I would be starting the draft WR-WR.

What player(s) did you miss out on? Amari Cooper was my ideal choice in Round 2 and I really wanted to pair him the Beckham. Instead I had a decision between Hilton and Baldwin who have similar values to me. Quite frankly, I have so many shares of Baldwin in other leagues that I wanted to differentiate my portfolio a bit, so I chose Hilton. I was targeting Tyreek Hill in Round 4 but Hutchins nabbed him two spots ahead of me. Instead, I settled for Sammy Watkins at his depressed Round 4 price tag. Thanks Jared Goff! Hutchins did it to me one more time in Round 8 where I was eyeing QB Marcus Mariota. The good thing about the depth of the QB position and so many fantasy owners employing the late-round QB approach is that you can get Kirk Cousins, Cam Newton and Philip Rivers in Round 9 or 10. I chose Cousins.

Final thought: Due to lack of quality running backs and the value of Sammy Watkins taking a nosedive, there seems to be a dead spot in drafts beginning in Round 3. It makes you consider drafting one of the top quarterbacks (Rodgers or Brady)… they feel safer than drafting a whole host of No.1 wideouts that come with legitimate question marks like... DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson and Demaryius Thomas. They just don’t give you that warm, cozy feeling anymore. And, the running backs typically going in Round 3 (Ezekiel Elliott, Ty Montgomery, Isaiah Crowell, Marshawn Lynch) don’t inspire a lot of confidence either. Watch out for Round 3 in your draft… it could be the source of a lot of raised eyebrows and immediate buyer’s remorse.

 Andy Swanson - Pick No. 5
WR Julio Jones, ATL 1.05
WR Amari Cooper, OAK 2.08
RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL 3.05
WR Golden Tate, DET 4.08
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN 5.05
RB Duke Johnson, CLE 6.08
RB Rob Kelley, WAS 7.05
TE Zach Ertz, PHI 8.08
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 9.05
WR Mike Wallace, BAL 10.08
QB Tyrod Taylor, BUF 11.05
RB Jonathan Williams, BUF 12.08
DEF Seattle Seahawks, SEA 13.05
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN 14.08
WR Robby Anderson, NYJ 15.05
K Matt Bryant, ATL 16.08
RB Branden Oliver, LAC 17.05
WR J.J. Nelson, ARI 18.08
Pick #5 - Andy Swanson

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: With the fifth overall pick, I was guaranteed one of the top three wide receivers or one of the elite running backs, making my selection of Julio Jones a no-brainer in a full point PPR league. Assuming that Jones can play a full 16-game slate (An optimistic assumption considering his history), I am a lock for 100 catches and close to ten touchdowns from my first pick.

Ezekiel Elliott was in play for me at pick 2.08, as the upside of even a half season of Zeke and a replacement level player at the middle of the second round was almost too enticing to pass up. People against drafting Zeke in the mid-second or third round need to consider the fact that the first quarter of the season is filled with tough games for the Cowboys, with road games against the Broncos and Cardinals, and two home games against the Giants and Rams. Zeke’s full value may not have been realized until after the bye, regardless of the suspension, and getting him at a discount in the second or early third could be a steal.

The one player on my board who forced me to change my strategy was Amari Cooper, another 140-target wideout in a great offense that is a difference maker in PPR leagues. Count me in as a Cooper 2017 truther and someone who thinks this is the year that Cooper comes into his own. As luck would have it, I was able to have my cake and eat it too by grabbing Zeke at 3.05 after the turn.

What player(s) did you miss out on? My strategy to take PPR-friendly wide receivers with four of my first five picks and a suspended running back put me behind the eight ball when it came to the running back position. Using my sixth and seventh round picks on Rob Kelley and Duke Johnson, gave me a viable traditional running back and a possible PPR stud in Johnson to help ease the pain of Zeke’s suspension. However, the opportunity cost filling those two spots caused me to miss out on Matt Ryan in the seventh, the quarterback I was targeting to double-dip with Julio Jones. I was able to overcome that loss by going with Big Ben for home games and Tyrod Taylor, but in hindsight, I would prefer to have Matty Ice.

Final thought: I was surprised to see how many people went RB/RB in the first two rounds of a full PPR draft, considering the fact that they passed on premier wide receiving options. Also, a couple of owners selected their second quarterback before the end of the ninth round, which seemed like a stretch considering the depth of the QB position and the fact that this is not a Superflex league.

 Joseph Hutchins - Pick No. 6
WR Mike Evans, TB 1.06
RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR 2.07
RB Ty Montgomery, GB 3.06
WR Tyreek Hill, KC 4.07
TE Tyler Eifert, CIN 5.06
RB LeGarrette Blount, PHI 6.07
WR DeVante Parker, MIA 7.06
QB Marcus Mariota, TEN 8.07
RB C.J. Prosise, SEA 9.06
WR Corey Coleman, CLE 10.07
RB James White, NE 11.06
QB Deshaun Watson, HOU 12.07
WR Kenny Golladay, DET 13.06
RB Charles Sims, TB 14.07
TE Evan Engram, NYG 15.06
WR Travis Benjamin, LAC 16.07
DEF Carolina Panthers, CAR 17.06
K Brandon McManus, DEN 18.07
Pick #6 - Joseph Hutchins

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: Ha! I don't have the time, the organizational chops, or the decisiveness to formulate much in the way of a pre-draft strategy these days, so it's read and react all draft long for this guy. That anti-strategy hasn't borne much fruit in this league yet, but...I'm pretty excited about my draft haul, nevertheless. If I had any sort of plan for our one-point-per-reception league, it was to grab guys who can snag passes and rack up YAC. Mission accomplished. In fact, at some point, I was playfully accused of "exploiting" our scoring system by drafting RBs who play more like receivers. Guilty. As. Charged.

What player(s) did you miss out on? Oddly, the one guy I really wanted to grab isn't much of a receiver at all and is, in fact, about as one-dimensional as they come: Derrick Henry. But, man do I like that dimension (potential goal-line beast) and especially in that offense. It came down to him or LeGarrette Blount in the 6th round and I opted for the latter, wanting to add a guaranteed touchdown-maker at a position that was shockingly scarce at that point in the draft. Speaking of which....

Final thought: I took some ribbing, mostly good-natured, for selecting Christian McCaffrey in the second round. Maybe he's a reach. Maybe he isn't. I can tell you this, though: I'd have felt more self-conscious about that pick if the running back options available just four rounds later hadn't been so dicey. If we're truly entering the era of a position-less NFL, McCaffrey is what that new multi-dimensional stud looks and plays like. Get 'em while they're hot because guys like him won't last as long as you think in most drafts, especially in PPR leagues.

 Nick Caron - Pick No. 7
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF 1.07
RB Leonard Fournette, JAC 2.06
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU 3.07
WR Alshon Jeffery, PHI 4.06
TE Jordan Reed, WAS 5.07
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS 6.06
QB Matt Ryan, ATL 7.07
RB Theo Riddick, DET 8.06
RB Terrance West, BAL 9.07
RB Thomas Rawls, SEA 10.06
WR Kenny Britt, CLE 11.07
RB Samaje Perine, WAS 12.06
RB Chris Thompson, WAS 13.07
QB Carson Palmer, ARI 14.06
WR Devin Funchess, CAR 15.07
DEF Pittsburgh Steelers, PIT 16.06
K Mason Crosby, GB 17.07
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ 18.06
Pick #7 - Nick Caron

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: I came in with the assumption that I'd be going WR in Round 1, but that changed when LeSean McCoy fell to me at No.7. I believe RB is as thin as ever this season and while I have McCoy on a tier below David Johnson and Le'Veon Bell, he is the top of my second-tier of running backs. I was very much hoping to land DeMarco Murray, Rob Gronkowski or Michael Thomas in Round 2, but I had to call an audible when all three of those players were selected in the five picks before I was back on the clock. I decided to opt for a player who is perhaps one of the most polarizing on the board, Jacksonville's Leonard Fournette. I rarely recommend going this aggressive with a rookie RB, but I believe Fournette has the physical skills to be an All-Pro player. I've wavered between he and McCaffrey in my PPR rankings, but I think Fournette has a clearer path to more significant playing time to start the season.

What player(s) did you miss out on? This draft reminded me that completing mock drafts against average rubes does not always prepare you for what it's like to be in a draft with other people in the fantasy football industry. Simply put, the other members of this league were not going to allow me to wait and draft a potential stud at or below his ADP. Missing out on Ezekiel Elliott, Brandin Cooks and Dalvin Cook in Round 3 was brutal for me. Then missing out on Tom Brady and Marshawn Lynch the following round was enough to almost put me on tilt. My draft would've been very different if any of those players had fallen just a couple more spots into my waiting arms

Final thought: Ezekiel Elliott's fall to the third round (29 overall) could be an absolute steal. Even if he does end up serving a full six-game suspension, he plus a replacement-level RB should still produce solid RB1 numbers overall this season. I also noticed that a good number of the "PPR running backs" like Danny Woodhead, Duke Johnson and Bilal Powell went higher than their usual ADP's. This highlights just how confusing the running back position is this season in fantasy football – there just aren't many "bell cow" backs anymore and there are a lot of crammed backfields where two or more players are fighting for most of the carries while another player has more of a locked-in role as a pass-catching back. In those scenarios, particularly in PPR formats, it can be wise to bank on the more solidified role. I did that with my selections of Theo Riddick and Chris Thompson later in the draft, both of whom I expect to exceed 50 receptions this season.

 Mike Davis - Pick No. 8
WR A.J. Green, CIN 1.08
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE 2.05
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN 3.08
RB Marshawn Lynch, OAK 4.05
RB Spencer Ware, KC 5.08
RB C.J. Anderson, DEN 6.05
RB Tevin Coleman, ATL 7.08
WR Eric Decker, TEN 8.05
WR John Brown, ARI 9.08
QB Philip Rivers, LAC 10.05
WR Rishard Matthews, TEN 11.08
RB Jamaal Charles, DEN 12.05
WR Taylor Gabriel, ATL 13.08
DEF Philadelphia Eagles, PHI 14.05
RB Devontae Booker, DEN 15.08
WR Kenny Stills, MIA 16.05
WR Anquan Boldin, BUF 17.08
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK 18.05
Pick #8 - Mike Davis

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: When I took A.J. Green with the 8th pick, there was only one other wide receiver available whom I considered likely to finish in the top 5 at the position: Jordy Nelson. I would have been equally happy with Nelson, but I was flirting with the idea of taking Aaron Rodgers if he fell to the 4th (he went in the 3rd), and I didn't want to be too Packer-dependent. If any of the five RBs on my 2nd tier (Ajayi, Murray, Freeman, Gordon, or Howard) had made it back to me in the 2nd, I would have taken one. Since none fell that far, I was perfectly happy grabbing Gronk 17th overall.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I used mock drafts to target five players in certain rounds and expected to land at least 2 of them: Dalvin Cook (3rd), Pierre Garcon (7th), Jeremy Maclin (8th), Jonathan Stewart (9th), and Jacquizz Rodgers (10th). I snagged exactly zero. Mike Krueger beat me to Cook and Garcon; Doug Orth vultured Maclin from me by one pick in the 8th; I passed on Stewart because my roster was RB-heavy and WR-light; and Steve Schwarz surprised me (among others) by nabbing Rodgers in the 7th.

Final thought: I ping ponged between risk assessments in this draft. For example, after taking the safety of Demaryius Thomas over the upside of Keenan Allen in the 3rd, I felt compelled to gamble on Marshawn Lynch in the 4th. Lynch in the 4th is fine for anyone who already has a solid RB1, but I didn't--so it was pretty risky. We'll see how it works out.

 Doug Orth - Pick No. 9
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL 1.09
RB Todd Gurley, LAR 2.04
WR Allen Robinson, JAC 3.09
QB Tom Brady, NE 4.04
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR 5.09
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA 6.04
WR Martavis Bryant, PIT 7.09
WR Jeremy Maclin, BAL 8.04
RB Frank Gore, IND 9.09
TE Hunter Henry, LAC 10.04
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR 11.09
RB Darren Sproles, PHI 12.04
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG 13.09
DEF New England Patriots, NE 14.04
WR Kevin White, CHI 15.09
RB Alfred Morris, DAL 16.04
WR Cooper Kupp, LAR 17.09
K Wil Lutz, NO 18.04
Pick #9 - Doug Orth

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: My preference is going RB-WR or WR-RB in drafts, but best player available trumps preference, especially in the first few rounds. Picking from the No. 9 slot is not ideal because it takes you out of the range of the elite tier of running backs and wide receivers, but I had a feeling Devonta Freeman - my third-ranked running back - would be available given the threat of Tevin Coleman stealing some touches. From there, the only question with my second pick was whether or not Michael Thomas would unexpectedly fall into my lap. If he didn't, it was important for me to get another bell-cow running back and take advantage of the great depth of mid-tier receivers.

What player(s) did you miss out on? In all honesty, my draft was defined by how long some of my middle-round players remained on the board. Fumbleweed selected Larry Fitzgerald - the highest player remaining on my board - right before my pick in the sixth round, but I had already decided on Jimmy Graham at that point because I liked the value remaining at receiver. Sure enough, I landed my WR19 (Martavis Bryant) and WR26 (Jeremy Maclin) in the following two rounds.

Final thought: In the interest of full disclosure, part of the reason Bryant fell in my lap was due to a slight glitch in the draft software, as he sometimes goes as high as the third or fourth round. To answer the original question, I'm becoming increasingly confident Tom Brady will have a Peyton Manning (circa 2013) kind of season. Picking quarterbacks in the third or fourth round is not usually sound strategy, but it can make sense to do so IF a player like Brady is about to go supernova and you don't see much separation between the talent available with your current pick (4.04, in my case) and next pick (5.09). As it turned out, Kelvin Benjamin was the other player I was eyeing at 4.04, so I feel like I got the best of both worlds.

 Kirk Hollis - Pick No. 10
WR Jordy Nelson, GB 1.10
RB Jordan Howard, CHI 2.03
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE 3.10
WR Keenan Allen, LAC 4.03
TE Greg Olsen, CAR 5.10
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI 6.03
RB Doug Martin, TB 7.10
QB Jameis Winston, TB 8.03
WR Randall Cobb, GB 9.10
QB Dak Prescott, DAL 10.03
RB Eddie Lacy, SEA 11.10
WR Corey Davis, TEN 12.03
TE Austin Hooper, ATL 13.10
DEF Arizona Cardinals, ARI 14.03
RB Alvin Kamara, NO 15.10
WR Josh Doctson, WAS 16.03
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, NE 17.10
K Cairo Santos, KC 18.03
Pick #10 - Kirk Hollis

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: These picks weren't difficult as I felt both were too early to take a QB or TE. That left me with running backs and wide receivers to choose from and I was 95% sure going in that I would take one of each. To take two from the same position would have insured that I was extremely weak at the No.1 spot at the position I chose to ignore. Jordy Nelson is one of the safest picks in fantasy football and I like coupling him with the upside of Jordan Howard. Both players scored well down the stretch last year and if they can carry that momentum into 2017, I like my chances of having a top-5 player at each of the two primary positions.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I got greedy and passed on Travis Kelce in Round 3, hoping that he would make it back to me with the third pick of the fourth round. He almost did as he was selected one pick ahead of me. Kelce is in a tier all his own on my cheatsheet as the second best fantasy TE. I did snag Greg Olsen two rounds later, which I was pleased about, but I think there's a drop-off between Kelce and Olsen and I might could have gotten Isaiah Crowell at 4.03 anyway if I had taken Kelce when I probably should have. Elsewhere, I am a big Tevin Coleman fan and wish he would have lasted two more picks so I could grab him in the 7th. I almost picked him a full two rounds earlier.

Final thought: I am always amazed how far quality QBs tend to fall. I guess everyone prides themselves on waiting to address the position until the last possible minute. Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston were two quarterbacks that slid too far. I generally like players from the NFC South as it's the high-scoring division in football and when it became apparent that one of those two would be available to me in the late seventh, I was ecstatic. It seemed like everyone was falling all over themselves trying to find good PPR running backs to the point that quarterback was ignored. Should Jacquizz Rodgers really get picked before Matt Ryan? I say no. Aside from that, though, this was a very good draft and it's become a draft that I look forward to each year because of the overall quality of owners making the picks.

 Bill Anderson - Pick No. 11
RB Melvin Gordon, LAC 1.11
WR Michael Thomas, NO 2.02
WR Terrelle Pryor, WAS 3.11
TE Travis Kelce, KC 4.02
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET 5.11
RB Mike Gillislee, NE 6.02
WR Brandon Marshall, NYG 7.11
RB Adrian Peterson, NO 8.02
QB Cam Newton, CAR 9.11
WR Marvin Jones, DET 10.02
QB Carson Wentz, PHI 11.11
WR Zay Jones, BUF 12.02
RB Rex Burkhead, NE 13.11
DEF Kansas City Chiefs, KC 14.02
QB Sam Bradford, MIN 15.11
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU 16.02
DEF New York Giants, NYG 17.11
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI 18.02
Pick #11 - Bill Anderson

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: As soon as I saw my draft position (11) I knew I wasn’t going to be thrilled with my first two picks. I see a drop-off after the first eight players so I had to hope one of those guys fell, but they didn’t. My ho-hum best player available strategy landed me Melvin Gordon - not someone I’m thrilled about but the best guy for the spot in my opinion. At 2.01 I took Michael Thomas, who I am also not a huge fan of, but in PPR I think his cumulative stats will be too good to pass up early in Round 2.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I missed out on several players I usually target. Isaiah Crowell was taken one pick before me at the end of Round 3. I love him as a RB2 with RB1 upside in an offense that should feature the ground game behind a much improved offensive line. Unfortunately for me, Cameron Meredith (7.02) was taken about a round and a half earlier than his ADP (8.11). I love him this year even at that price. Adam Thielen (8.11) went at least a round and a half earlier than his ADP (10.06) as well, and while that may be a little rich, he’s a player I’m targeting in all my drafts.

Final thought: I was surprised at the amount of QB’s taken earlier than I thought they would be, especially with two owners taking two QBs in the first 9 rounds. Next up on the surprise meter was three rookie RB’s taken in the first two rounds! All three (Fournette, McCaffrey and Mixon) have their own set of strengths but that seems like a few picks too early in my opinion. The biggest reach overall was Jacquizz Rodgers at 7.01, at least two whole rounds earlier than his ADP (9.04) and ahead of some safer players with similar upside (Paul Perkins, Derrick Henry, Rob Kelley). The steal of the draft was probably Martavis Bryant who slid under the radar due to a technical glitch with our league host. Lesson Learned!

 Jake Gordon - Pick No. 12
RB Jay Ajayi, MIA 1.12
RB DeMarco Murray, TEN 2.01
WR Davante Adams, GB 3.12
RB Danny Woodhead, BAL 4.01
WR Willie Snead, NO 5.12
QB Russell Wilson, SEA 6.01
WR Donte Moncrief, IND 7.12
QB Andrew Luck, IND 8.01
DEF Denver Broncos, DEN 9.12
WR DeSean Jackson, TB 10.01
TE Jack Doyle, IND 11.12
RB Shane Vereen, NYG 12.01
RB Latavius Murray, MIN 13.12
WR Victor Cruz, CHI 14.01
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE 15.12
TE Dwayne Allen, NE 16.01
DEF Los Angeles Rams, LAR 17.12
WR Jeremy Kerley, SF 18.01
Pick #12 - Jake Godon

Strategy: I love picking at the turn because it gives me a chance to double down on a position if I feel the value at other positions isn’t there and that proved to be the case in the 2017 Staff League. Coming into a full-point PPR draft means you better understand the receiver position because you can lose your league if you fumble in the first few rounds. With that in mind, I have a pretty good gap between Jordy Nelson and the next WR tier (T.Y. Hilton and Michael Thomas) as I just don’t feel they are first rounders. I knew that receivers would fly off the board and if Jordy didn’t make it to me I was going to have to go with a zag-zig approach to counter the receiver run. Keep in mind, especially in PPR formats, that every team cannot have a strong receiving corps. When picking at the 1-2 turn you really need to adapt your strategy to move into the area your league mates have left open. I like the group of running backs after McCoy and before Gurley and took two of them to open my draft. I love the upside of Ajayi in Adam Gase’s offense. He’s young enough to handle the workload, has little competition to steal touches and plays a likeable schedule. In pairing him with DeMarco Murray, I mitigated the risk of each player and should be able to get solid production from my starting RBs. If you do go with this strategy, you should still be able to get a potential WR anchor from one of the veteran bounce-back candidates like Keenan Allen, Demaryius Thomas, or Kelvin Benjamin.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I really wanted Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead. I was able to get Woody to continue to build a strong running back nucleus instead of adding a potential low-end WR1. This decision put a hole in my WR lineup but Woody should be an elite FLEX on my team and it’s easier to find receivers than running backs. Derrick Henry was a target of mine for my third pair of picks. But I felt Russell Wilson was a better value at that point (that schedule is ripe!). Even though Henry is an important target for anyone selecting DeMarco Murray, he would have been about a round early. Ultimately, the Commish snagged him (7.04) and I lost out on one of the best backup running backs. I missed on a few of my TE targets as well. But that was the result of taking a gamble on what a healthy Andrew Luck might bring in terms of trade opportunities this season. A non-elite TE or a stud QB? This is how I plan to upgrade my WR position mid-season and the drop-off between say Delanie Walker and Jack Doyle shouldn’t be bearable.

Final thought: I was surprised Tevin Coleman slid as far as he did (7.08) after players like Duke Johnson, (6.08) Jacquizz Rodgers (7.01) and Rob Kelley (7.05). I really like the upside Coleman brings in the middle of the draft considering his offense provides more opportunities than most. Back to Luck, I’m not counting on him to start Week 1, but when you consider the impact Le’Veon Bell had despite missing some time last season and how high Zeke Elliott is still being drafted despite an appealed six-game suspension, Luck should be on your radar. Like the two running backs just mentioned, he is typically a top-five performer at his position and it’s looking like he will back within the first month of the season. Once healthy, he will either become my starter or be traded for a player far better than anyone else I could have chosen after the seventh round. Meanwhile, Donte Moncrief has been serviceable when healthy and the offense shouldn’t have any trouble supporting two fantasy wideouts. Touchdown regression is a tag some have attached to Moncrief in 2017, but where is Luck getting his 30 touchdowns from when T.Y. Hilton’s career high is only seven? Hint, it isn’t Phillip Dorsett.

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