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Plan by Position, Not by Player


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A lot of fantasy footballers advocate against planning out your draft, however I am all for it! Mock drafts help, but analyzing average draft position (ADP) lists are far more reliable. You shouldn’t assume that you will get a certain player with each pick, but you should go into a draft knowing what position you are targeting in each round (at least for the first six rounds). Obviously, if you have one of the early picks in the first round you can target one single player. Things get crazy during a draft - Tony Romo could go in the third round and Roddy White could fall to the fourth round. Be prepared and have a plan to help guide yourself through.

Planning is much easier if you already know your draft position. I will be using the ADP list on www.myfantasyleague.com for a 12-team point per reception (PPR) leagues.

Scenario 1 :

You have the eighth pick in your draft. You are more than happy waiting on a quarterback until the later rounds and you are not comfortable spending a high pick on Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham. With the eighth pick, you will also have the 17th, 32nd, 41st, 56th and 65th pick (we’ll only do six rounds for this). Now is when you compare players on the ADP to your corresponding draft picks to see how your team can pan out.

Option 1:

Round

Position

Possible Players

1

WR

Larry Fitzgerald

2

RB

Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles

3

WR

Roddy White, Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace

4

RB

Ahmad Bradshaw, Fred Jackson

5

QB/WR

Steve Johnson, Antonio Brown, Eli Manning

6

TE/QB

Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, Tony Romo

Option 2:

Round

Position

Possible Players

1

RB

Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden

2

RB

Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles

3

WR

Roddy White, Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace

4

WR

Miles Austin, Marques Colston, Jeremy Maclin

5

QB/WR

Steve Johnson, Antonio Brown, Eli Manning

6

TE/QB

Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, Tony Romo

Option 3:

Round

Position

Possible Players

1

RB

Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden

2

WR

A.J. Green, Hakeem Nicks, Andre Johnson

3

RB

Darren Sproles, Steven Jackson

4

WR

Miles Austin, Marques Colston, Jeremy Maclin

5

QB/WR

Steve Johnson, Antonio Brown, Eli Manning

6

TE/QB

Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, Tony Romo

From analyzing these three options, Option 2 looks like the way to draft with the eighth pick as of today. I would most likely draft a wide receiver in the fifth round and hope to get either Jason Witten or Antonio Gates in the sixth round since Matt Schaub, Jay Cutler and Ben Roethlisberger are still on the board.

Scenario 2 :

You have the eighth pick in your draft. You want Tom Brady or Drew Brees. Not only is it a good idea to run through scenarios where you select them in with the eighth pick, but it’s an even better idea to see if it’s worth the gamble in hoping they fall to you in the second round (or even worse, in case they are drafted before your first pick).

Option 1:

Round

Position

Possible Players

1

QB

Tom Brady, Drew Brees

2

RB

Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles

3

WR

Roddy White, Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace

4

WR

Miles Austin, Marques Colston, Jeremy Maclin

5

RB

Doug Martin, Reggie Bush, Michael Turner

6

TE/WR

Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, Brandon Lloyd

Option 2:

Round

Position

Possible Players

1

WR

Larry Fitzgerald

2

QB

Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford

3

WR

Roddy White, Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace

4

RB

Ahmad Bradshaw, Fred Jackson

5

RB

Doug Martin, Reggie Bush, Michael Turner

6

TE/WR

Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, Brandon Lloyd

Option 3:

Round

Position

Possible Players

1

RB/WR

Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew

2

QB

Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford

3

WR

Roddy White, Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace

4

WR

Miles Austin, Marques Colston, Jeremy Maclin

5

RB

Doug Martin, Reggie Bush, Michael Turner

6

TE/WR

Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, Brandon Lloyd

I would go with Option 1 in this case and not risk losing Tom Brady or Drew Brees. I don’t think the players you could get in the first round with the eighth pick are that much better than the ones you can get with the 17th pick. Most running backs are a dice roll this year anyway.

Running through these different scenarios will help you navigate any curve balls that come your way on draft day. Doing your own player rankings and comparing them to the ADP will also make drafting much more fun and a little bit easier.