Over the past few years, I’ve read quite a few draft strategies. Some are pretty run-of-the-mill, while others make some pretty radical claims (“You’ll never believe what happened when he drafted a kicker in the first round!”). While you want to be the one who drafts the perfect team complete with elite players and diamonds in the rough, sticking with the basics during the draft will help you in the long run.
I’m a numbers guy so it’s only natural for me to look at data from previous years. I came up with what I call Point Total Averages (PTA) and this is how I arrived at these numbers:
I took the Top 20 players from each position (quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, kicker, defense/special teams) from the past 10 years (2007-16) and averaged their point totals (standard league numbers). Then, I averaged all those values and came up with the PTA.
The chart below shows each position’s point total per year:
Point Total Averages
PTA – 257.93 points
It should be no surprise that quarterbacks have the highest PTA. In the past 10 years, they’ve averaged 258 points for a season. In the past five years, though, they’ve averaged 276 points. And they’re still on the rise. Several quarterbacks have more than 300 points for a season and some flirt with 400 points. Go after a quality quarterback early and you’ll be set for the rest of the year. So who should you go after? The usual suspects – Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford. These players have cracked the Top 10 at least three times in the past five years. Drew Brees is the only one to make all five years. A lot of emphasis is placed on running backs and wide receivers in the early round so if you have a late first-round pick, take an elite quarterback. You won’t be sorry.
PTA – 198.38 points
Running backs are like seasons. They’re mild one year and the next, harsh. Running backs are second-highest in PTA and remain steady around 200 points for a season. But consistency in Top 10 players is hard to come by. The only players who have three or more seasons in the Top 10 in the past five years? Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson, DeMarco Murray, Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte. DeMarco Murray is the only player to have been in the Top 10 last year. Also, look at the ages of these players – all over the age of 30 (except Murray at 29). It seems that young blood is the way to go when picking your running backs. Names like David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman and Ezekiel Elliott are the names that should be in your lineup at the start of the season. If you have an early first-round pick, no doubt you’ll be looking to take one of these players.