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Fantasy Football Draft Talk: Analyzing the Top 24 average draft position

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NFL: Carolina Panthers-Training Camp Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The default player draft list in most fantasy platforms derives from the average draft position of the actual drafts already occurring. Hence the early results influence all the drafts conducted late in the draft season, such as those conducted by CSR leagues. In many cases some poor decisions get baked in the cake so to speak. Your task to take advantage of those errors by drafting players who over perform their draft position.

Here’s the top 12. I break my analysis into twelves because we use 12 team leagues. If you use 8 or 10 team leagues then obviously you would adjust this analysis accordingly.

I am one to always value the top RBs in the top of the first round which is also supported in the average draft position (ADP) so far. I have to agree David Johnson, LaVeon Bell and Zeke Elliot are the cream of the crop. So if you have one of the top 3 picks your first pick is simple. I personally like Elliot at the top this year though followed by Johnson and Bell.

LaVeon Bell is too injury prone (and suspension prone) to take #1 but he could be the top RB on the season if he plays 16 games. If you get Bell be sure to grab his handcuff (back-up) though we aren’t too sure who that is at the moment, rookie John Connor or vet Kniles Davis.

The ADP for picks 4 to 6 targets the top 3 WRs: Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham and Julio Jones. I would throw Mike Evans in the that group and extend it to pick 7. My order would be Beckham, Evans, Brown and Jones. It’s a tough call though.

Pick #8 is where it gets dicey this draft. If those top 7 are off the board then you have to look RB again. I’m not ready to put AJ Green up that high coming off an injury like that. So it’s between LeSean McCoy, Jordan Howard, Melvin Gordan and DaVonte Freeman. I’m bearish on the Falcons offense in 2017 so I would take Howard first, then McCoy, then Freeman then Gordon. Gordon has had a hard time staying healthy so I might avoid him.

That leaves the final two picks of the first round. If you end up with one of these picks do not fret, you can still kill the draft but you have get a little lucky too. Someone in that top 10 will fall to you but if they don’t here’s a strategy.

Looking at the 13 through 24 ADP:

You might overlook Green and a couple of the other RBs and instead go for Jay Ajai. He had a couple monster games in 2016 but was also very inconsistent. A safer pick would be WR Jody Nelson or even RB DeMarco Murray. Murray was huge value last season and still looks that way in 2017. He is still the starter in Tennessee and it doesn’t look like it will change in 2017. Let’s talk second round now.

In the era of points per reception (PPR) I am a big advocate of going RB-WR or WR-RB with your first two picks. So if you had one of those #11 or 12 picks then you could grab any of these combos I like:

Nelson - Murray

Freeman - Dez Bryant

Green - Ajai

If you grabbed one of the 2nd tier RBs in picks 8 to 10 then you could pair him with TY Hilton, Michael Thomas or Amari Cooper.

Those who grabbed one of the top WRs in picks 4 to 7 could then grab a decent RB on the board like Todd Gurley or Lamar Miller. I think Gurley is undervalued here and could be a top 5 RB like his rookie season. I also think Miller could be much better than he showed in his first season in Houston. It was a real head scratcher why he didn’t dominant in 2016.

You could also roll the dice here are grab one of the top rookie RBs in Leonard Fournette or our won Christian McCaffrey. I think Fournette is being over drafted but McCaffrey is about right in the 3rd round. Hence in a CSR league you better get him in the 2nd if you want him. I also like Dalvin Cook to play well as a rookie but you can get him a could rounds later.

Now to final three picks of the 2nd round. These teams already got a top RB so they are looking elsewhere. One of the top WRs could slide to here and that would be great. But others with a higher ADP I think are a good pick here include Alshon Jeffrey, Doug Baldwin, and Demaryius Thomas.

The wild card is QB Aaron Rodgers, the 2016 high scorer of the league. You could also target one of the top TE in Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce. I wouldn’t do that but obviously other people have. I would instead stick to RB or WR.

Boom or bust picks at RB here include Joe Mixon, Isiah Crowell and Marshawn Lynch. All three of these could end up being value picks.

So I did a mock draft with the dreaded #8 pick and I thought it went pretty well. Someone drafted McCoy #4 which allowed Odell Beckham to drop to me.

I like the way this one went. Yet the mock draft grader gave me a D! Whatever! That team could rock easily. I admit it has a number of players who didn’t have great seasons last year (Gurley, Graham, Gore, Maclin) but they could bounce back this season. I think they will.


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