2017 Fantasy Strategy

With the NFL rapidly approaching, I want to offer my strategy for the fantasy football season based on players’ Average Draft Position (ADP). Considering the growing popularity of Points Per Reception (PPR) as the standard, that’s what I’ll base my strategy off of. Receivers are obviously more valuable, as are running backs who play all three downs and have strong catching abilities. So here are my thoughts, as of July, on how to approach your drafts next month.

Go running back early…

Mid-to-later-round running backs are very shaky this year. In years past, it was easy to skip out on the top backs and take your shot later in anticipation of breakout performances from a very replaceable position. But looking at ADP this year, starting with Round 3 backs, it’s tough to project how these guys will do. RB’s projected to go in Round 3 are Lamar Miller, Isaiah Crowell, Christian McCaffrey and Joe Mixon. Crowell and Miller aren’t reliable/consistent enough for me to take that high, while we don’t know the role McCaffrey or Mixon will play yet. Want to wait until Round 4? You’ll be stuck with guys like Carlos Hyde, Spencer Ware, or Ty Montgomery. I’m not saying these running backs won’t produce, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking them as my #1 back. My suggestion is to snag a #1 back in the first two rounds who has a high floor; wide receivers run deep, especially in PPR, and you can snag a few in the later rounds who can provide consistent numbers on a weekly basis.

Quarterbacks are deep this year… 

I’m always a fan of waiting on quarterbacks, but that’s especially the case for me this year. Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Philip Rivers, Kirk Cousins, Dak Prescott, Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford, are all available after the 9th round. I’d be comfortable with all of these QBs, and it allows me to target the other positions for the first half of the draft. I’m not saying to pass on Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers in the third or fourth round; like I said, the backs projected to go there are shady. But if you want to target receivers or tight ends in that slot, you’ll be just fine grabbing a quarterback in the later half of drafts.

There are some good tight ends late…

Gronk, Kelce and Reed are the top three tight ends, but you have to reach to snag them. I prefer waiting until the later rounds, where there’s some serious value on guys who will see a lot of action. Hunter Henry (9th round ADP) is an intriguing prospect late, while Zach Ertz, Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron can all be had after 10 rounds. Ebron is the guy I’m targeting; he’s still so young and was a force when he was on the field last year. I’m looking to grab him or one of these other guys late as opposed to reaching in the early rounds.

Defense wins championships… 

Ok, maybe not in fantasy football. But defense is important, and it’s annoying having to live week-by-week on the waiver wires. I want to offer a defense that’s going overlooked; the Los Angeles Chargers. They have an incredible cornerback duo that includes the league-leader in interceptions last year (Casey Hayward), plus Joey Bosa is slated to play his first full season in the league after missing a chunk of time last year. They were tied for the 4th-most turnovers last season and led the league in interceptions. You can wait until Round 15 to get them, after just about every other defense.

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