There seems to be a building consensus that the 1.01 spot is preferred this season. Excepting the 1.01 spot, what is your preferred draft position for 2017?
Editor's Note: This discussion took place before the Ezekiel Elliott suspension was announced.
Andy Hicks: Anywhere in the top six seems to be a good spot this year, but the actual 6th spot would be the one I would favor. First of all, you get the player left from David Johnson, Le'Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, Odell Beckham Jr, Antonio Brown, and Julio Jones. Then you have options at every position in the 2nd. Depending on the scoring system, you could have a choice between Demarco Murray, Todd Gurley or Leonard Fournette. At receiver T.Y Hilton, Amari Cooper or Michael Thomas could be available or the best QB or Tight End should be there.
Devin Knotts: In a PPR league, 1.02 is my second preferred spot. Anywhere in the top six is great and a huge advantage this season, but the drop off at running back is extremely quick especially with a potential pending suspension for Ezekiel Elliott. Wide receiver is so deep this season with guys in the second round and with the second pick you get the ability to pick early in the third guaranteeing yourself three of the top 25 picks in the draft.
Ryan Hester: I agree with Devin here, but my reasoning is because I actually dislike many of the second-round players. While having the 1.02 means you "suffer" by not having a second-round pick until late in the round, the eye of this particular beholder sees warts with many players starting after the first few picks of Round 2.
For example, T.Y. Hilton may have issues with Andrew Luck's injury; Dez Bryant doesn't get a ton of volume and is touchdown-dependent; Rob Gronkowski plays a less important fantasy position (one starter vs. multiple for backs and receivers); and Todd Gurley and DeAndre Hopkins will get volume but still have issues with efficiency of their offensive units.
You're almost forced to tell yourself a story about how things might go right while totally ignoring the more-than-minimal chance things might go wrong. If you're having to do that as early as the middle of the second round, you may as well hope to have a trump card in Johnson or Bell and pay the small price of waiting until 23 to pick your second player. At least then, you'll have a certain advantage over 10 other teams in your 12-team league. Even if your second rounder is marginally worse than theirs, your first is demonstrably better.
David Dodds: After the hole shot, I like the 6th pick. You get a top running back or wide receiver and are in the middle of the draft the rest of the way. This allows one to grab value every single round. It also allows one to remain flexible with roster construction and zig when others are zagging. You will also be aware of any position runs (2nd quarterbacks, defenses, kickers) which can kill a team drafting from either end.
Justin Bonnema: 100 percent agree with David. The sixth spot gives you a huge advantage in spotting position runs, while also building a balanced roster. It allows you to be flexible with your strategy and adapt to the draft as it changes. And there's always a chance that if, hypothetically speaking, Ezekiel Elliott gets hit with a two or three game suspension, the five people in front of you get nervous and let him drop (opting for wide receivers instead). That may be wishful thinking, but keep in mind that Le'Veon Bell slipped to 10th overall last year because of his suspension. Huge value for those that took advantage of league-mates' fears.
Chad Parsons: My approach this year is to get at least one running back within the first two rounds. The mid-round wide receiver value is vast and having at least a core back already on board means I can wait until the Danny Woodhead zone to consider the position again. If not in the top-3/4 where I can get one of the 'big 3' backs (my second choice), I have liked the tandem start when in the 9-11 range. If LeSean McCoy is there or Melvin Gordon in Round 1, I have no issues. Also, Jay Ajayi sometimes available on the way back in Round 2 is another option. It is worth noting I have seen Ezekiel Elliott slip to 1.05 or 1.06 in recent drafts on the suspension concern. Missed games early in the season do not concern me as the perk of an elite running back is having them in November and December, more than September.
Dan Hindery: I'm with Devin on this one. Give me the 1.02 and Le'Veon Bell and I'm a happy man.
In both PPR and standard scoring, Bell outscored every single wide receiver despite playing in just 12 games. In addition to Bell projecting to outscore the top receivers, starting with a running back makes things easier in terms of roster construction. The wide receiver position is much deeper than running back, so I would feel much better about starting my team with Bell (and filling in WRs later) than getting one of the top receivers and then potentially having to chase running backs later.
Bell also has a real advantage over the other running backs (besides David Johnson). In PPR, he finished as the 3rd highest scoring running back (just 8 points behind Ezekiel Elliott) last season, despite playing three fewer games than Elliott. In PPR leagues, Bell outscored LeSean McCoy and Melvin Gordon by more than 6.5 PPG. That is a massive gap that is hard to make up just by having a slightly earlier pick in the second round.
Chris Feery: If I don’t nab the top spot, you can count me in the camp of those that are perfectly content with the 6th selection. As David mentioned, this position affords you the ability to still secure a pair of studs in the first two rounds. You then have the luxury of seeing how things shake out while being right in the middle. When you’re at the turn, you may have to make a reach at some point in anticipation of any position runs. You can generally avoid that in the middle. It’s a perfect spot for those (like me) that subscribe to a balanced draft approach.
Ari Ingel: I just traded to swap my 1.12 spot for the 1.02 in a redraft league. I actually love the 1.12 spot because you don't really have to anticipate what other people are going to do. You take your two guys and move on. That said, I like the 1.01 and 1.02 even better, for the same reason, but you get Bell or Johnson. Those guys are like having an extra player in your lineup every week. Those are probably my three favorite spots to draft from.
I'm not a fan of the middle round draft slot. You have to anticipate what everyone is going to do with every pick. In more standard or regular PPR leagues it's not as big a deal, but in superflex or tight end premium leagues you can get caught having to reach and guess too much.
Matt Waldman: Whichever one is directly ahead of Sigmund Bloom or Jene Bramel so I can snipe them with evil glee.
But if that doesn't count, then I'd say the 11-hole in a 12-team format. While the middle spot has its merits, I like the end-of-round spots because the early-round talent pool is still strong enough to get players I want and also dictate my terms on the draft with a slightly faster-and-loose approach to ADP. If I can have the 12-hole, then I'll move right down to the 11-hole.
Some may wonder why I wouldn't want to move to the early slot if I can't get the late one. I think the value-talent drop-off of the late second round pick feels greater than the late first and early second rounders. It may not be true, but you're asking for preference which I translate as comfort level.