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Footballguys Mock Draft 4 - 12 team FFPC Best Ball

Six members of the Footballguys staff, along with six writers in the industry got together and completed a 12-team mock draft using FFPC Best Ball format. 

Six members of the Footballguys Staff, along with six highly regarded writers in the fantasy football community, got together to complete a 12-team, 28-round, Best Ball draft using FFPC scoring and format. Before the draft, each of the participants answered questions regarding strategies, players they coveted and how they plan to attack the draft. To top it off, Footballguys' Will Grant will provide an evaluation of each team's roster strengths and weaknesses, chronicling the strategies and decisions that were made by each participant.

The goal of this article is to give you a look into the minds of fantasy experts throughout the entire draft process. This includes preparation, decision making, and execution. What was their plan? Did they follow it? Why did they make the decisions they made? Some drafters had similar strategies and players of interest, but how they executed their plan and built their roster, varied from person to person.

We hope you will uncover or discover a strategy that might work for you in your draft(s) this year. Learn what players the experts are targeting and why. At Footballguys, when you win, we win! If we can help give you the tools and know-how to build a winning team, we've done our job.

LEAGUE PARAMETERS

Best Ball format - Each week, your top scoring players on your roster automatically start and will count toward your season total. The team with the most points at the end of the season wins. Top scores from the starting positions will count for your weekly score.

  • 12 teams
  • 28 roster spots
  • Starting Lineup
    • 1 quarterback
    • 2 running backs
    • 2 wide receivers
    • 1 tight end
    • 2 flex (either a running back, wide receiver, or tight end)
    • 1 Defense
    • 1 Kicker

LEAGUE SCORING

  • Offensive Players Only
    • 4 points - Passing Touchdown
    • 6 points - Rushing/Receiving Touchdown
    • 0.05 points - Passing Yard
    • 0.1 points - Rushing/Receiving Yard
    • 1.0 point - Reception (QB, RB, WR)
    • 1.5 point - Reception (TE)
    • -1 - Interception Thrown
    • 2 - Two-Point Conversion (rush, pass or receive)
    • 3 - Length of field goal made 0-29 yards
    • 3 - Length of field goal made 30 yards and then 0.1 for every 1 yard after 30.
    • 6 - Offensive recovery for Touchdown
    • 6 - Number of Defensive and Special Teams Touchdowns
  • Defense scoring
    • 2 points - fumble recovery
    • 2 points - interception caught
    • 1 point - sacked quarterback
    • 5 points - safety
    • 12 points - 0 points allowed
    • 8 points - 1-6 points allowed
    • 5 points - 7-10 points allowed
    • 0 points - 11-99 points allowed
    • 6 points - Defensive or Special Teams Touchdown

DRAFT PARTICIPANTS

  1. Clayton Gray, Footballguys
  2. Jody Smith, FantasyPros
  3. Eric Moody, FantasyPros, Rotoviz
  4. Aaron Rudnicki, Footballguys
  5. Jeff Haseley, Footballguys
  6. Alex Miglio, Footballguys
  7. Pat Thorman, ProFootballFocus
  8. Pete Davidson, Rotobahn
  9. Justin Howe, Footballguys
  10. Michael Rathburn, LineStar
  11. David Dodds, Footballguys
  12. Eric Balkman, High Stakes Fantasy Football Hour

DRAFT GRID

DRAFT SLOT 1

Clayton Gray, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

I'm more willing to overlook duplicating bye weeks at the same position early in the draft. With an extra roster spot or two allocated to each position, it's easier to cover that one week when multiple players are out.

I'm also far more likely to avoid wide receivers early and then build that position with quantity. There are nice options throughout the draft at wide receiver. Since we only have to start two in a week, I might even draft eight or nine and bank on at least two of them having good games each week.

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

  • Quarterbacks - 3
  • Running Backs - 6 to 7
  • Wide Receivers - 7 to 9
  • Tight Ends - 4 to 6
  • Kickers - 3
  • Defenses - 3

3. What is your plan for the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

I'm going to pound the crap out of the running back position early. I'll be shocked if I don't have four in my first seven picks, and I might get them in my first five. If there is a decent running back available in the first half of this draft, I'll probably select him. I'll likely be finished with the position by Round 20.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

I'll likely get one (maybe two) the first five rounds and then slowly add to the position as the draft unfolds. As I mentioned in Question 1, my norm is to fill wide receiver using quantity. I like getting one solid option in Rounds 2 through 4. Then I mind bye weeks if possible and just add live bodies.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

My first quarterback will likely come on board at the 8/9 turn. My second quarterback will likely come on board at the 8/9 turn as well. There are 27 quarterbacks (everybody ranked ahead of Tyrod Taylor) I wouldn't mind rostering, and I plan to have three of them by the 12/13 turn.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

Tight end is my biggest see-how-the-draft-unfolds-and-adjust position in FFPC leagues. There are drafts where the position starts flying off the board in the second round. If so, you better catch the wave and get yours earlier than expected. Other drafts see a more measured approach to drafting the position.

  • I also don't like the tight end landscape from the 1.01 spot:
  • Rob Gronkowski is a borderline first-round tight end. But not worth the 1.01 spot.
  • Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce are second-round tight ends. But rarely last to the 2.12 pick.
  • Greg Olsen is a borderline third-round tight end. But not worth the 3.01 selection.
  • Jimmy Graham is a fourth-round tight end. But rarely lasts to the 4.12 pick.

So from the 1.01 pick, you're usually left hoping Kyle Rudolph drops to the 4/5 turn. And then you don't feel awesome about him. I try to have three tight ends by the 10/11 turn. If I only have two at that time, it's hard to say when the third one will be selected. If you want into the mid-teen round, you have to take kickers and defenses. When that happens, I end up just throwing more bodies at the issue.

7. How many tight ends and kickers are you planning to draft?

I will draft exactly three kickers. I'll likely be one of the first to have three. I'm guessing this was supposed to be defenses rather than tight ends. If that's correct, I will draft exactly three defenses. I almost certainly will not take the first one, but I'll be one of the first to have three. If it is about tight ends, I'll likely take five. But if I get four pretty early, I'll run with those guys. If I only get two early, I'll pad the position with six in total.

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

I don't have a lot of primary targets anywhere in the draft, but at this stage, I'd like to get some of these guys:

9. Discuss drafting from the #1 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

I don't like it. It pretty easy to make an argument for any of Todd Gurley, Le'Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, and David Johnson for the 1.01 pick. But there's no reason to NOT take Gurley, so I feel pretty handcuffed from the start. And I already talked about the early-round tight-end ADP issues above.

Getting the 1.04 would be better on both fronts:

  • You get a stud running back
  • You're in a better position to get a second- or fourth-round tight end.

Plus, the middle of any draft is more advantageous for scooping value. No matter how talented the rest of the league is, there will always be a player dropping a few spots below where he should be taken. If you're in the middle, you are more likely to be in a position to grab that value. Waiting 22 picks between selections, that value doesn't always drop.

Still, there are advantages to being on a turn and at the top of the draft in particular. Despite being able to make a case for four players at the 1.01, the easiest case to make belongs to Gurley.

Being on a turn allows the double-dip at a single position with the hopes of starting a run. Go QB/QB at the 8/9 turn, and you're likely to see quarterbacks fly off the board. A good number of the other players you were looking at will still be there when the 10.12 pick arrives.

You can also double-dip from the same position from the same team. Are you desperate for a tight end? Go for Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson super late. Sure, they might both be terrible, but that's the case with any player taken in the 22nd round. With Griffin and Anderson, however, you'll have a nice option if the Texans offense produces anything from the tight end position.

10. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I don't have a specific approach to rookies. They are just guys. If they have starting jobs, let's go! If they don't, my approach to them is like any veteran backup. If they have a path to touches, they are draftable.

Injured players, however, I'll generally downgrade. Usually, if a guy is ailing in the summer, he's already behind schedule and won't produce at 100 percent during the season. There are exceptions, of course, but there are too many other players I'm more willing to draft.

Suspended players can be excellent targets. You'll get a discount due to the suspension, but once they get back, they provide production a few rounds better than where you had to draft them. Since their suspensions are before the bye weeks hit, you should have enough quantity on your roster to cover for them.

11. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

  • Quarterbacks - 3
  • Running Backs - 4 to 5
  • Wide Receivers - 3 to 5
  • Tight Ends - 2 to 3
  • Kicker - 0 to 1
  • Defense - 0 to 1

12. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

13. Give the reader some FFPC best-ball truisms that you try and do nearly every time to dominate this format.

The runs at quarterback and kicker can be brutal. Most people will want three of each. Three times 12 is more than the 32 starters in the NFL. And there aren't 32 quality options at either position.

As mentioned above, there are 27 quarterbacks entrenched as their team's starter AND without a highly-drafted rookie right behind them. The kicker position is similar because there are a few teams hosting kicker battles right now. Plus, there are some teams who will hire and fire at the position before September is over.

You don't have to three each at kicker and defense. But you have to get really lucky if you don't.

Also, it might seem like it's too early to take that tight end, but he probably won't be sitting there the next time you pick. Rare is the draft where I tried to squeeze another round out before taking a certain tight end and then didn't watch someone else draft him. And it's not the same tight end nor the same stage of the draft every time. Early-ish, it might be someone like Jordan Reed. He won't make it back. In the middle of the draft, it might be a Vance McDonald. He won't make it back. Even late, it might be Virgil Green. Same story - he won't make it back. If there is a tight you like, you better get him.

DRAFT selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.01
1
RB
LAR
2.12
24
RB
SFO
3.01
25
RB
CIN
4.12
48
WR
Demaryius Thomas
DEN
5.01
49
RB
NOS
6.12
72
WR
DET
7.01
73
TE
SFO
8.12
96
QB
NEP
9.01
97
QB
PHI
10.12
120
TE
PIT
11.01
121
QB
ATL
12.12
144
WR
BUF
13.01
145
RB
Jordan Wilkins
IND
14.12
168
WR
Calvin Ridley
ATL
15.01
169
PK
Stephen Gostkowski
NEP
16.12
192
Def
Houston Texans
HOU
17.01
193
PK
Jake Elliott
PHI
18.12
216
TE
Luke Willson
DET
19.01
217
TE
Tyler Kroft
CIN
20.12
240
Def
Atlanta Falcons
ATL
21.01
241
WR
Michael Gallup
DAL
22.12
264
PK
Zane Gonzalez
CLE
23.01
265
RB
Wayne Gallman
NYG
24.12
288
TE
Blake Jarwin
DAL
25.01
289
Def
Cleveland Browns
CLE
26.12
312
WR
Terrelle Pryor
NYJ
27.01
313
WR
SEA
28.12
336
RB
Kyle Juszczyk
SFO

post-draft questions

1. You selected four running backs in the first five rounds. Did the value at other positions reflect that or was Mark Ingram II too much to pass up at pick 5.01? What other running backs would need to be on the board to pass on Ingram there?

My strategy going in was to grab lots of running backs early and was thrilled to see Jerick McKinnon and Joe Mixon both available on the 2/3 turn. I was so intent on loading up at running back, I would also have taken Jordan Howard at the turn.

With regards to Mark Ingram II, I see him as a fourth-round value who should provide second-round production when he plays. When he returns from suspension, I'll have three running backs providing second-round numbers along with Todd Gurley. The rest of the league won't be able to keep up with that.

Of the running back who went ahead of Ingram, I would have passed on Jay Ajayi and LeSean McCoy. I would have taken Kenyan Drake and every back drafted before him instead of Ingram.

2. You selected three quarterbacks between rounds 8 and 11. What made you decide to go that route?

I planned to double up on quarterbacks at the 8/9 turn. In the average best-ball draft, the number of quarterbacks taken between Pick 9.01 and Pick 10.12 is enormous. If you don't get at least one signal caller on the 8/9 turn, you're behind the league at the position.

Another reason for taking two quarterbacks there is to try to induce a run. I don't think it was overly effective in this draft, but it can be.

I took Matt Ryan to kick off Round 11 because I think he will be a top-10 quarterback this season. At that spot in the draft, he held the best value and was a relatively easy selection.

3. Should owners have a backup plan with Carson Wentz or do you feel he can regain his weekly starter status?

Once Carson Wentz is back on the field, he'll absolutely be an every-week starter, and he should be drafted as such. That said, a backup quarterback is required. And that backup can't be Jameis Winston. You want someone who you can start early in the season if Wentz surprisingly doesn't get the start for the opening kickoff. Alex Smith and Blake Bortles are options here. Each has a nice early-season schedule.

Will Grant's evaluation

STRENGTHS
Gray started off strong at running back, landing Todd Gurley, Jerick McKinnon and Jo Mixon with his first three picks. By the time Mark Ingram II returns in Week 4, Gray is going to have one of the strongest running back groups in the league. While Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, and Carson Wentz are not projecting to be top-three fantasy quarterbacks this season, having all three in a best-ball format will have Gray posting big numbers each week.

WEAKNESSES
Gray faded the wide receiver position a bit in the early part of the draft, and he didn’t land his third one until the 12th round. He also didn’t grab his first tight end until the top of the seventh round (George Kittle) and didn’t add a second until the end of the 10th (Vance McDonald). In a PPR league with tight ends getting 1.5 PPR, this is definitely a contrarian approach. He added a few more tight ends late in the draft, but these guys will have minimal fantasy output for much of the season.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Having the first pick in the draft ties your success to that pick. Todd Gurley needs to be a top-five fantasy back this season if Gray is going to win it all. Gray’s quarterback committee is the strongest in the league and having at least one of them post a big game each week will also be important. With the lack of depth at wide receiver and tight end, Gray needs this group to perform at or above expectations each week. Having three team defenses and placekickers gives Gray a decent committee approach for these two positions as well. If his receivers and tight ends don’t let him down, Gray’s going to be just fine.

DRAFT SLOT 2

Jody Smith, FantasyPros

Jody finished 2012 as Fantasy Pro's Most Accurate Football Expert while writing and editing for GridironExperts. He is now a Feature Writer for FantasyPros and makes contributions to USA Today's Texans Wire, Fanball, Fantasy Sharks and CBS Sportsline. Jody has also written for Bleacher Report, Pro Football Focus, and numerous magazines.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

Select a third quarterback and probably wind up taking a minimum of three tight ends. I almost always end up disregarding tight ends and wind up forming a committee. With the extra roster spots, it makes sense to add a third or even a fourth player to that rotation.

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

Ideally, QB - 3, RB - 8, WR - 10, TE - 3, PK - 2, DST - 2

3. What is your plan at the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

Fortunately, I drew a top-4 pick so I'll happily grab an elite running back to open the draft. Going off the current trends, it's unlikely that I'll find a reliable second runner at 2.11, but if one falls to me, I'll gladly start RB/RB. My expectations are to open running back and most likely end up waiting until Rounds 4-6 to target high-upside, pass-catching backs like Dion Lewis, Tarik Cohen, or Duke Johnson Jr. Ideally, I'd like to have my fourth running back secured by Round 8 or 9.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

Lots of value is to be found at wideout, but I keep finding myself opening very wide receiver heavy in drafts as the current trend around the industry is to attack RB so early and often. If I somehow take two running backs or a tight end in the first four rounds, I'll wind up attacking wide receiver in Rounds 5-8 quite aggressively. I feel like wide receiver is deep enough that I can probably nab a quality WR4 in Round 9 or later, but I would prefer to have him drafted before Round 10.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

I would not target any quarterback in a 1-QB format before Round 5 for Aaron Rodgers at the absolute earliest, and that's only if I wasn't enamored with all the position players on the board at that time. Most likely, I'll be able to target a top-10 signal caller as late as Rounds 8-10, which is what I'm likely to do by loading up on running back and wide receiver depth and then looking for Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees or Matthew Stafford to be available in that area. With 28 spots, I'll probably try to add a third quarterback, a smart move in best ball.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

I'm almost always one of the last to take a tight end and the scoring in this format causes them to go even higher than they normally would go. That means that I'm likely to target running back and wide receiver for the first four or five rounds and try to get by with a pairing of lesser tight ends that I target around the sixth to eighth rounds. A third tight end, if selected, likely won't be added until I'm well into the double-digit rounds.

7. How many tight ends and kickers are you planning to draft?

Three tight ends, with four being an absolute max if a fourth starter somehow slides into the late rounds. It'll feel kind of dirty, but I'll stay true to the best ball format and take two kickers with my final two picks.

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

I mentioned the pass-catching backs that I like in that area, with Dion Lewis being a favorite. Most of the value in that area is at wide receiver, where guys like Larry Fitzgerald, Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb, Pierre Garçon, and Jamison Crowder all make excellent targets.

9. Discuss drafting from the #2 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

I drew the No. 2 spot, so I'll definitely take an elite running back between Todd Gurley and Le'Veon Bell. Normally that results in two wide receivers at the 2/3 turn, but I'll be ecstatic if one of my top-15 PPR running backs is still on the board at 2.11.

10. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

In this format, I'll take some chances on minor injuries that I don't think will linger but the rookie running backs have generally been going higher than I feel comfortable targeting them. Sony Michel is a guy I love but don't get the chance to target much.

11. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

I think a lineup of 2 QBs, 4-5 RBs, 5-6 WRs and 2 TE is perfect at that point.

12. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

Danny Amendola, Lamar Jackson, T.J. Yeldon, Darren Sproles, Cole Beasley

13. Give the reader some FFPC best-ball truisms that you try and do nearly every time to dominate this format

Make sure you're watching those bye weeks. Sometimes when you see a value pick slide further down than you were anticipating, it's easy to hurry and make your pick without first verifying that his bye week differs from other players you've already secured.

Also, it's important to take some chances on players in the mid-to-late rounds to differentiate your squad from the common players. Diversity is important, especially when assembling multiple best-ball teams. Having too many shares of the same players repeatedly can lead to a disastrous season if one of those players has a season-ending ailment.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.02
2
RB
Le'Veon Bell
PIT
2.11
23
RB
ATL
3.02
26
WR
TBB
4.11
47
TE
WAS
5.02
50
RB
NEP
6.11
71
WR
TEN
7.02
74
WR
KCC
8.11
95
TE
BUF
9.02
98
WR
LAR
10.11
119
QB
MIN
11.02
122
RB
Javorius Allen
BAL
12.11
143
RB
Theo Riddick
DET
13.02
146
WR
CAR
14.11
167
Def
Minnesota Vikings
MIN
15.02
170
QB
BAL
16.11
191
WR
DEN
17.02
194
QB
NYJ
18.11
215
RB
Doug Martin
OAK
19.02
218
WR
CIN
20.11
239
PK
Ka'imi Fairbairn
HOU
21.02
242
WR
Geronimo Allison
GBP
22.11
263
QB
ARI
23.02
266
WR
NEP
24.11
287
RB
PHI
25.02
290
Def
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
TBB
26.11
311
PK
Aldrick Rosas
NYG
27.02
314
RB
Justin Jackson
LAC
28.11
335
TE
Jacob Hollister
NEP

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You waited until round 10 to select your first quarterback, Kirk Cousins as the 14th quarterback off the board. You later selected Joe Flacco in round 15, Sam Darnold in round 17 and lastly Sam Bradford in round 22. How important is it to draft at least one Top 10 quarterback in a best-ball draft?

You've got to have a signal-caller capable of having some strong weeks to keep up with the surplus of other QBs in the league now that are regularly producing 20-plus points per week. Ideally, you'd like to grab two QBs capable of producing QB1-2 numbers each week, which is something I failed to do in this draft. The larger roster spots caused teams to target their second and third quarterbacks earlier than I'm accustomed to. I'll need Cousins to stay healthy and post top-10 numbers once again to remain competitive.

2. You have a good mix of veterans and youth on your squad, especially at wide receiver. Explain why it's good to have a balance of known talent and a blend of upside in best ball drafts.

You have to be willing to take chances on unknown commodities or who offer a ton of upside. Every year there are diamond-in-the-rough types that post top-20 fantasy numbers from a late-round ADP. In best-ball, those are the difference makers. I felt like it was necessary for me to take those shots with younger players because of the quality of my opponents in this draft. I wasn't going to sneak much by this group, so taking calculated risks was important in an all-or-nothing format.

3. Talk about why you like rookie receivers D.J. Moore and Courtland Sutton this year.

Good examples on taking shots with risks. Normally rookie receivers aren't worth targeting but I think D.J. Moore has Carolina's WR2 job wrapped up and has the athletic profile to post a handful of big games--exactly what you're looking for out of a WR4-6 in a best ball format. Sutton is going to be Denver's WR3 and will benefit from the arrival of Case Keenum. I don't think he offers the same ceiling as Moore but Emmanuel Sanders has had some trouble staying healthy, so there's a pretty good chance that Sutton is going to see WR2 targets share for a handful of games.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
You could make a case for taking Le’Veon Bell as the No. 1 overall running back in this format. Having him and Devonta Freeman on the field each week gives this team a solid base to start. Mike Evans is the man in Tampa and his point totals from week to week will be a nice complement to Bell and Freeman. Corey Davis, Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods should all push for time in the starting lineup in this Best Ball format that allows for two flex positions. D.J. Moore and Courtland Sutton are rookies, but both have solid upside potential with their respective teams.

WEAKNESSES
Jordan Reed’s stock is rising, but he’s still a risky pick given the fact that’s he’s never played more than 14 games in a season. Having him in a Best Ball format negates some of that risk, but you need to surround him with other tight ends who can get you through the injuries. Maybe Charles Clay is that guy but if he’s not, there’s no one else on the roster to help. Clay has only one full season out of his first seven, and if both Reed and Clay go down, this team is in trouble.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Jordan Reed playing a full 16 game season would be a huge step in the right direction. Even if he misses a game or two, if his per-game performance returns to 2015 levels, the gamble will have paid off. Smith has a few new-team guys like Kirk Cousins, Eric Decker, and Sammy Watkins. If these guys integrate well in their new home, it will more than make up for Smith’s weakness at tight end. He also has a lot of upside rookies on this team, and if one or two of them pan out, this team is primed to complete.

DRAFT SLOT 3

Eric Moody, FantasyPros, Rotoviz

Eric is a featured writer at FantasyPros and contributor to RotoViz, Gridiron Experts, and Two QBs. He is also the Social Media Co-Manager at RotoViz and member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). Eric has a lifelong passion for the game and played at the collegiate level as an offensive lineman. He also participated in Dan Hatman's Scouting Academy in order to learn the process of player evaluation at an NFL level by using game film.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

One thing I will do differently is to create of a list of players to target late in this draft who could see significant touches or targets by backing up the new starter in the event of an injury or demotion.

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

My plan going into this best-ball draft is to take select two quarterbacks, eight running backs, 11 wide receivers, three tight ends, two kickers, and two defenses.

3. What is your plan at the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

My plan at the running back position is to select the receiving back in timeshares, backups in really good offenses, and potential breakout players. I do not plan to draft my first running back until the fourth or fifth round. I will be monitoring the supply and demand of running backs very closely during the draft. My strategy going into the draft is to roster at least four before entering the 18th round.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

My plan at the wide receiver position is to target wide receivers who are projected to see a target share of 18 percent or more this upcoming season. My strategy going into the draft is to roster at least four wide receivers during the first five rounds.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

I plan on selecting my first quarterback well into the double-digit rounds but may alter my strategy depending on the supply and demand at the position. It does not give me any heartburn going into Week 1 with Matt Ryan, Jared Goff, Dak Prescott, or Alex Smith as my QB1.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

My plan at the tight end position is to draft my first tight end in the first five rounds. I anticipate having three rostered tight ends prior to entering the 15th round. I could see a scenario considering my draft position where I miss out on the big three (Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz) and may have to adjust my strategy. I’d prefer to wait on the position instead of reaching for a player simply because it is a TE premium format. I prefer to use my flex spots on wide receivers as opposed to tight ends.

7. How many tight ends and kickers are you planning to draft?

My plan going into the draft is six between the two positions.

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, C.J. Anderson, Emmanuel Sanders, Jamison Crowder, Randall Cobb, Kelvin Benjamin, David Njoku, and Charles Clay are players that immediately come to mind.

9. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I am comfortable drafting rookies if they are tied to a productive offense and are in a position to see significant touches at some point during the season. I am not hesitant to draft injured players, but I use various resources to research that player’s specific injury to determine if I have the capacity to take on the risk with my roster. Suspended players often provide a very good value depending on their ADP. The key is to execute a game plan during the draft so your team can survive during their absence.

10. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

I anticipate having one quarterback, four running backs, seven wide receivers, and two tight ends.

11. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

Taylor Gabriel, John Kelly, Trent Taylor, Jalen Richard, and Kendall Wright.

13. Give the reader some FFPC best-ball truisms that you try and do nearly every time to dominate this format.

The truisms that come to mind include to wait on drafting a quarterback, pay less attention to positions early in drafts, be prepared to reach for players by not being constrained by ADP, and target offenses (not just specific players).

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.03
3
WR
PIT
2.10
22
WR
CIN
3.03
27
WR
SEA
4.10
46
WR
CHI
5.03
51
RB
HOU
6.10
70
RB
CAR
7.03
75
WR
WAS
8.10
94
WR
SFO
9.03
99
TE
ARI
10.10
118
TE
OAK
11.03
123
QB
LAC
12.10
142
RB
Matt Breida
SFO
13.03
147
QB
NYG
14.10
166
TE
PHI
15.03
171
RB
Austin Ekeler
LAC
16.10
190
Def
Denver Broncos
DEN
17.03
195
RB
C.J. Prosise
SEA
18.10
214
RB
MIA
19.03
219
WR
Tyrell Williams
LAC
20.10
238
WR
BUF
21.03
243
PK
Steven Hauschka
BUF
22.10
262
WR
Quincy Enunwa
NYJ
23.03
267
PK
Sebastian Janikowski
SEA
24.10
286
RB
DET
25.03
291
Def
New York Giants
NYG
26.10
310
WR
Rashard Higgins
CLE
27.03
315
RB
OAK
28.10
334
TE
Tyler Higbee
LAR

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You drafted four straight wide receivers and six in the first eight rounds and didn't draft a tight end or quarterback until round nine. Explain why you chose that strategy and share why you like those wide receivers this year.

I decided to implement this strategy because of the FFPC Best Ball format and the ability to start four wide receivers with the flex spots intrigued me. The top-30 PPR receivers will generally score more points on average than running backs who finish in the 20 to 30 range.

The number of viable fantasy quarterbacks is deep this season, in my opinion, and this factored into my decision to wait on the position since this is a 1-QB format.

I would have drafted Rob Gronkowski in the second round if he were available, but did not want to reach on another player early simply because it is a premium format. Travis Kelce could see some target regression in Kansas City with the arrival of Sammy Watkins. Zach Ertz was impressive last season, but Dallas Goedert will have a role this season and the Eagles do run a high number of two TE formations. Outside of those three players the average fantasy points per game in PPR formats were eerily similar last season from TE4 to TE20.

What’s not to like about Antonio Brown? He has finished as the No. 1 fantasy wide receiver the last four seasons. Brown is also the only player in the top-12 every season since 2013. A.J. Green is undervalued. He accumulated 143 targets last season with a 29.2 percent target share. Doug Baldwin has been the WR13 or better for three consecutive seasons. Allen Robinson is in a prime position to see a sizeable target share with the Bears under new offensive-minded head coach Matt Nagy. Jamison Crowder should see a high number of targets per game with Washington while Alex Smith under center. He excels at running short to intermediate routes and has a quarterback in Smith who does not have a tendency to attack defenses vertically. Pierre Garcon was on pace for 134 targets in 2017 before his season-ending neck injury. He is in line for a large target share in the 49ers pass-happy offense. All of these players could finish as a WR1 any given week in 2018 and that is precisely why I aggressively targeted the position and these players.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
An upside-down draft that would make Matt Waldman proud. Moody pounded the wide receiver position, six of his first eight picks on the position, giving him one of the strongest groups in the league. Having Antonio Brown, A.J. Green and Doug Baldwin on the field gives Moody three potential top 15 fantasy wide receivers each week. If Allen Robinson takes off in Chicago….

WEAKNESSES
Waiting until the 9th and 10th rounds to add his first and second tight end was probably too long in this format. Ricky Seals-Jones and Jared Cook are both mid-range backup quality players in a tight end bonus PPR league, and that puts him at a disadvantage. Only two teams have just two quarterbacks on a 28-man roster. Having Philip Rivers and Eli Manning as his only two potential starters will put this team in a hole every week.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Either Rivers or Manning has to get hot. Rivers is a backup in most traditional fantasy redraft leagues and Manning is going undrafted in many leagues as well. But projections can be wrong, and everything changes when the games count. Moody needs both to outperform their current ADP. Likewise, with any draft that fades running backs, the guys you take need to hit as well. Lamar Miller and C.J. Anderson are good candidates for that, especially in a PPR league, but having another guy like Frank Gore or Ameer Abdullah exceed expectations will certainly help.

DRAFT SLOT 4

Aaron Rudnicki, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

I will normally wait longer to grab a quarterback since I hope to land at least three starters at the position. When you don't need to pick a starter each week, it's perfectly reasonable and sometimes preferable to build a roster with high variance players that are capable of putting up big numbers in any given week. The same strategy applies to team defense. The extra roster spots also allow you to grab an extra kicker to protect against an unexpected injury or release.

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

I plan to draft at least 3 quarterbacks, 6 running backs, 7 wide receivers, 3 tight ends, 3 kickers, and 3 defenses. That leaves me with three available roster spots to dedicate towards any positions that might seem weaker than the rest, to back up a key starter somewhere, or just to grab a high-upside sleeper late in the draft. I like to build a balanced roster that allows for maximum flexibility throughout the draft.

3. What is your plan at the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

While elite three-down running backs are extremely valuable and warrant an early selection, the position overall is devalued in this format. Running backs are more susceptible to injury and tend to catch the ball less so they lose relative value with the points awarded for receptions. Given the lack of depth at the position, however, I think it's hard to win if you ignore the position too long so I plan to grab one in the first two rounds to rely on as an anchor. If the value is there, I would still take them early on but most likely I wouldn't have 4 running backs until round 9 or 10.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

I tend to think receivers are the key as they have more weekly variance so you want to have plenty of quality depth at the position. I value them very highly as I think they are more predictable than tight ends and will often fill the flex spots in any given week. Most likely, I will have four receivers after the seventh or eighth round.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

In most expert leagues, everybody waits to draft a quarterback because it is the right thing to do. This is a very deep year for the position so you can normally wait until the low teens and still get a very good starter and backup. This also allows you to build great depth at the other key skill positions before most of the talent dries up. If I sense my fellow owners are letting quarterbacks fall too far, I may pull the trigger to draft a strong QB1 earlier than I otherwise would. My preference would to wait until round 10 or later and then look to draft at least two good starters plus a decent QB3 option in the next four or five rounds.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

This feels like perhaps the shallowest position of the year so I won't allow myself to wait too long and miss out on a run that I know is going to come early. I would prefer to land one of the top-3 elite options at the position, and then I can relax a bit knowing any other tight ends would most likely contribute to my flex. If I miss out on one of the elites, then I would make certain to grab a top-10 option at least. After that, the pickings get pretty slim but I have some late-round ADP guys I prefer to fill out my roster with. I expect to have 3 tight ends by the 20th round, which is likely later than most.

7. How many tight ends and kickers are you planning to draft?

At least three tight ends with a good chance for a fourth depending on how the draft goes. I most likely will take three kickers given the added roster space to protect against one being injured or released by his team. Placekicker isn't a high scoring position though so I would also probably be okay with just two provided I felt confident they were in no danger of being cut.

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

If I look at some recent ADP data, that suggests running backs like Mark Ingram II, Dion Lewis, and Tarik Cohen could be available in that range before there is a clear dropoff at the position. At receiver, I'd be pretty happy with Marvin Jones Jr or Michael Crabtree early in that range and maybe a player like Kelvin Benjamin or Jordy Nelson closer to Round 10. After the tight ends get past Kyle Rudolph and Delanie Walker, I start to get pretty concerned.

9. Discuss drafting from the #4 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

I think there are seven elite players that I'm happy to start out with this year and five of them are running backs. So, in the fourth position, I know that I will get to start out my draft with one of the top-rated running backs. Most likely that will be David Johnson, but I'd be comfortable with Ezekiel Elliott or Alvin Kamara there as well. After that, I would look towards drafting the best possible receiver or tight end in the next two rounds to give my team a well-balanced start. If I was drafting later in the first round, it's more likely I might try a WR-WR strategy to start.

10. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I am fully on board with a player like Mark Ingram II around his current ADP as he's proven he can be a top-five producer despite sharing the backfield with Alvin Kamara. Would also not shy away from players like Julian Edelman or Jameis Winston since we know what they can do and the added depth in these leagues give you plenty of chances to build around those multi-week absences to start the year. I am probably less likely than most to draft an injured player as I think there's a greater chance they wind up having a lost season that offers little value in return. Rookies tend to get over-drafted and last year's running back class was likely the exception so I don't want to chase them too much. Most of the top options this year were drafted into crowded backfields and likely need some time to emerge so I will take a cautious approach.

11. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

I think it is likely I would have at least 2 quarterbacks, 4 running backs, 5 wide receivers, and 2 tight ends with one spot up for grabs. If I draft running backs early, then I will want to spend less draft capital on that position in the middle rounds and would most likely take an extra receiver or vice versa.

12. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

That is a tough question as I'm not sure what to expect that late in the draft and my targets could change depending on how the rest of my roster shapes up. I may be filling in team defense and kicker spots around that time as well. At the running back position, I would most likely look at some handcuffs to the elite players like a James Conner in Pittsburgh or John Kelly with the Rams. At receiver, I think guys like Zay Jones and Corey Coleman are flying well under the radar. Lastly, at tight end, I'd certainly be interested in some longshots with upside like Jake Butt and Virgil Green.

13. Give the reader some FFPC best-ball truisms that you try and do nearly every time to dominate this format.

I believe wide receivers are the key, so make sure you draft players from that position early and often. Don't get sucked into overdrafting running backs either since most are sharing the workload and likely to miss time with injuries. Lastly, remember to draft a third defense and kicker to give yourself the best chance to win. Most of the late-round darts at other positions will not contribute anything to your team.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.04
4
RB
ARI
2.09
21
TE
PHI
3.04
28
WR
MIN
4.09
45
WR
OAK
5.04
52
WR
DET
6.09
69
RB
ATL
7.04
76
RB
CHI
8.09
93
WR
LAR
9.04
100
QB
NOS
10.09
117
TE
ATL
11.04
124
QB
LAR
12.09
141
QB
TBB
13.04
148
RB
DEN
14.09
165
Def
Los Angeles Rams
LAR
15.04
172
PK
Greg Zuerlein
LAR
16.09
189
WR
NOS
17.04
196
PK
Chris Boswell
PIT
18.09
213
WR
DeSean Jackson
TBB
19.04
220
WR
Mohamed Sanu
ATL
20.09
237
Def
Arizona Cardinals
ARI
21.04
244
PK
Caleb Sturgis
LAC
22.09
261
TE
LAC
23.04
268
RB
ARI
24.09
285
WR
Tyler Boyd
CIN
25.04
292
Def
Miami Dolphins
MIA
26.09
309
RB
LAR
27.04
316
RB
DAL
28.09
333
RB
Robert Turbin
IND

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You indicated that you would prefer to wait on a quarterback, however, you made the decision to select Drew Brees as the seventh quarterback off the board at pick 9.04. That pick sparked a run that included seven quarterbacks in the next 16 picks. In hindsight selecting Brees was an excellent decision. What made you sway from your original plan?

While I suppose that was earlier than I would have liked, I think the ninth round is a reasonable spot to consider taking my first quarterback. The main reason I did so was that I was going to have to wait a long time until pick 10.09 when I was on the clock again and I knew a run at the position was coming. Also, Clayton taking Tom Brady and Carson Wentz at the previous turn was a good reminder that I didn’t want to wait too long and risk missing out on all the good ones. In retrospect, I would have been happy with QB1 options like Cousins, Ryan, and Rivers who were all available with my next pick but I’m not sure the player I would have taken at 9.04 was significantly better than Austin Hooper who I took at 10.09.

2. You said you'd take a tight end early and did exactly that with Zach Ertz as the third tight end off the board at pick 2.09. In this format, how important is it to have a top-flight tight end?

There are three tight ends in the top-tier this year so I was very happy to land one of them. Given the scoring bonus of 1.5 points-per-reception they receive, they are certainly worthy of consideration in the second round. I expect Ertz to post similar numbers to last year when he averaged over 23 points/week, which would have ranked him fourth among all wide receivers or fifth among all running backs. I considered passing on Ertz at 2.09 and hoping to get him at 3.04, but decided he was probably not making it back to me. Taking him there left my options open to take the best available running back or receiver in round 3 to give my draft a balanced start.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
After securing a solid running back in David Johnson and tight end in Zach Ertz with his first two picks, Rudnicki hit the wide receiver position with four of his next six picks. Guys like Adam Thielen, Golden Tate, and Amari Cooper will excel in a best-ball format this season and Cooper Kupp looks like he’ll improve on an impressive rookie campaign. Adding pass-catching running backs like Tarik Cohen and Tevin Coleman into the mix will give Rudnicki a solid foundation of points each week in a PPR format. His quarterback committee of Drew Brees, Jared Goff, and Jamis Winston should also outperform many of the other teams who spent higher draft picks on quarterbacks as well.

WEAKNESSES
Taking Ertz early was smart, especially in a tight end bonus PPR format. However, while Rudnicki was building up his running back and wide receiver groups, the tight end talent was drying up fast. Austin Hooper is a serviceable No. 2 in this format, but in a league that lets you start three tight ends each week, it’s this team’s weakest position.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
If Zach Ertz stays healthy, Aaron has drafted a playoff-quality team. His running backs will all benefit from a PPR format and his later-round wide receivers all have big game potential which makes them extremely valuable in a best-ball format. Rudnicki also added three placekickers and team defenses, balancing their bye weeks to give him two solid starters every week. Rudnicki built a great team from the No. 4 slot, and I would not be surprised if he wins the whole thing.

DRAFT SLOT 5

Jeff Haseley, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

Extended roster size gives me the opportunity to stack a particular team's running game or tight end committee. Such examples include Jacksonville's trio of Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon and, Corey Grant. I like the combination of Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron at tight end, as well as George Kittle and Garrett Celek. Extended roster size also means I'll have the opportunity to take some chances on rookies and veterans who fill a scoring niche. One veteran I like who I normally wouldn't consider in a 20-round draft is Panthers wide receiver, Torrey Smith. The Norv Turner offense will feature an increase in play-action passes, that Smith can thrive in. He could be their version of Ted Ginn Jr, with better hands.

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

  • QB - 3
  • RB - 8
  • WR - 8
  • TE - 4
  • Def - 3
  • K - 2

3. What is your plan at the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

The 1.5 PPR scoring for tight ends in this draft will likely mean I'll have at least one tight end by the end of the fourth round. I generally like to have a balanced draft of top running backs and wide receivers and my goal is to select a running back with the fifth pick - either Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson or Alvin Kamara. I would prefer to go wide receiver in round two, but if Christian McCaffrey or Devonta Freeman is available at pick 2.08, I may decide to go with back to back running back picks to begin the draft. I imagine I'll have four running backs by Round 8 or 9.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

My plan is to have a balanced attack of running backs and wide receivers in the first eight or nine rounds. Wide receiver is a much deeper position than running back, so I may elect to go heavy at running back with three backs in the first five rounds while hitting the receiver position after I have a good baseline of running backs. The players available at pick 2.08 will dictate whether I go wide receiver or double-up on rushers with my first two picks or take a tight end before selecting even one wide receiver. I would much rather find wide receiver options in rounds five through eight, than running backs.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

I am completely fine with waiting until round eight or nine to select my first quarterback. Possibly even round ten. I will most likely select three quarterbacks in this draft while paying attention to bye weeks and favorable matchups for my QB2. I'm not necessarily concerned with bye weeks for my QB3, as my goal is to select a quarterback with high potential like Lamar Jackson or Sam Darnold.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

If the right tight end is available at 2.08 (Gronkowski or Kelce) I will definitely pull the trigger, especially in this scoring format. Jimmy Graham is a possibility at 3.05, but it depends on how many other tight ends are taken by that point of the draft. I don't want to reach for a tight end in the third round if it looks like there will be other decent options in round four. One of the benefits of having a mid-draft slot is the ability to estimate when a run might occur, so I can draft accordingly. I could have two tight ends by round 10 and possibly sooner, depending on the value on the board. My third tight end may not come until Round 13 or 14, or even later.

7. How many tight ends and kickers are you planning to draft?

In Best Ball leagues, I like to have decent coverage at quarterback and tight end. My expectation is that in this extended roster-size draft, I will have four tight ends and three quarterbacks.

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

I like Lamar Miller and/or Mark Ingram II in the sixth round. I would also feel comfortable taking Royce Freeman while following him up with Devontae Booker later on. At wide receiver, I like the value of Chris Hogan and Corey Davis, but both seem to be rising up the ADP ranks. Jamison Crowder or Cooper Kupp are other players I'll be targeting.

9. Discuss drafting from the #5 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

Drafting from the 1.05 slot gives me a more accurate ability to estimate if a particular player will be available in the next round. I also have a greater chance to determine if a position run is going to start, so I can get ahead of it or bypass it completely and focus on a different position.

10. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

In this draft, that includes 336 players selected, there will be plenty of rookies taken. I'm sure I'll have three to five rookies on my squad. As for injured players, I am more inclined to select a player who has participated in mini-camp after being out for an extended time in 2017. That tells me they are healthy enough to resume football activities and it also suggests the player is eager to get back on the field and return to prominence. I may wind up selecting a suspended player like Julian Edelman or Mark Ingram II, especially in Best Ball leagues where it's easier to fill a vacant spot while that player is suspended. The value on talented, suspended players tends to be greater, and often the return is much greater than taking a lesser player at the same draft spot.

11. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

  • 2 Quarterbacks
  • 4 Running Backs
  • 5 Wide Receivers
  • 3 Tight Ends

12. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

The last five rounds of this draft will include a lot of players who may be waiver wire fodder in leagues with fewer roster spots. Some guys that interest me include, Keke Coutee, Mike Wallace, Taywan Taylor, Torrey Smith, Trent Taylor, and Jeremy Hill.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.05
5
RB
DAL
2.08
20
WR
LAC
3.05
29
RB
CHI
4.08
44
TE
MIN
5.05
53
WR
LAR
6.08
68
WR
BAL
7.05
77
RB
CLE
8.08
92
QB
CAR
9.05
101
RB
CLE
10.08
116
QB
Patrick Mahomes
KCC
11.05
125
TE
NOS
12.08
140
Def
Jacksonville Jaguars
JAC
13.05
149
WR
SEA
14.08
164
WR
CHI
15.05
173
WR
NOS
16.08
188
QB
BAL
17.05
197
Def
Carolina Panthers
CAR
18.08
212
PK
Ryan Succop
TEN
19.05
221
RB
JAC
20.08
236
WR
Tavon Austin
DAL
21.05
245
PK
Phil Dawson
ARI
22.08
260
WR
PHI
23.05
269
RB
NEP
24.08
284
TE
Jonnu Smith
TEN
25.05
293
RB
PIT
26.08
308
WR
J\'Mon Moore
GBP
27.05
317
WR
HOU
28.08
332
TE
Jordan Akins
HOU

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You followed your plan of having a balanced team after the first five picks. What made you select Michael Crabtree as your WR3 in Round 6 as opposed to an RB3?

I am of the belief that there is no better WR3 than Michael Crabtree this year. Crabtree comes to Baltimore as the primary receiving threat on a team that has no other main identity at receiver. The tight end position is likely going to be rookie Hayden Hurst, but that's not a foregone conclusion. The other receivers include an oft-injured John Brown, but he's more of a deep threat that will keep defenses honest. His presence will help Crabtree. Willie Snead IV, Chris Moore, and Breshad Perriman round out the remainder of the Ravens wide receivers. Crabtree may finish with 8-10 touchdowns and lead his team in receptions by 35-40 over the next closest player.

2. You wound up drafting three players that you indicated were an interest to you in the last few rounds of the draft. Mike Wallace, Jeremy Hill, and Keke Coutee. Talk about why you like them this year.

Mike Wallace - People are quick to forget about him. He will fill the void for the departed Torrey Smith, but he can do much more than Smith, especially crossing routes and contested catches. Wallace should reach five touchdowns this year, which is great for a best ball league as a WR5 or later.

Jeremy Hill - I would not be shocked to see Hill see the goal line carries for New England this year. He has always had a nose for the end zone and New England is a perfect place for him to establish that identity. The goal line carries that went to Rex Burkhead last year may be given to Hill if he performs well in his audition for the role.

Keke Coutee - His luster has dulled some since a hamstring strain has limited his action in the preseason, but that just adds to the intrigue for when he does have a chance to show his abilities. I like the Texas Tech connection that he and wide receiver coach, Wes Welker share. If anyone can show Coutee how to operate out of the slot in the NFL, it's Welker. Coutee can also go deep if needed and could find himself taking over some of the routes that Will Fuller V ran last season. He's a sleeper, but he could finish with the third-most receptions on the team.,

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Ezekiel Elliott could be the top fantasy running back this season, and Haseley landed him at No. 5 overall. Elliott and Jordan Howard will be a point fountain that will drive this team forward each week. Adding Keenan Allen, Brandin Cooks and Michael Crabtree give Haseley a nice balance for a starting core and guys like Tyler Lockett, Cameron Meredith, and Anthony Miller all have the potential to get hot from week to week, pushing the point floor on the team even higher. Cam Newton is a top five quarterback, and young guns like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are both guys with decent upside.

WEAKNESSES
The biggest knock on this team is the weakness at the tight end position in a league that awards 1.5 points per reception. Kyle Rudolph has been serviceable in the past, but Kirk Cousins could change that pretty quickly if he locks in on his top-shelf wide receivers. Ben Watson might turn into a nice surprise in New Orleans, but his production could just as easily fall off a cliff. There could be several weeks where this team’s tight end position posts low single-digit scores.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
The weakness at tight end isn’t a factor because the depth at running back and wide receiver carry the day. Haseley handcuffed the Cleveland running game with Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb and the Browns are expected to improve this season. Cameron Meredith wasn’t bad in Chicago before his injury and he could return to being a solid performer with Drew Brees throwing him the ball. Speaking of Chicago, early reports on Anthony Miller show him performing well and his stock is on the rise. Jacksonville should be one of the best defenses in the league as well, giving Haseley a lot of different ways to beat you from week to week. If his tight ends don’t torpedo him, this team could be a playoff contender.

DRAFT SLOT 6

Alex Miglio - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

As I suspect everyone will do, I will take a minimum of two kickers and defenses and consider a third at either position if the pick is right. I have also pseudo-adopted the zero-RB strategy in that I take one or two quality starters and mostly use the latter half of the draft to throw a bunch of darts. This helps me build strength at other positions.

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

My general roster construction plan in FPC goes something like this:

  • QB: 3-4
  • RB: 7-8
  • WR: 8-9
  • TE: 3-4
  • K: 2-3
  • D: 2-3

3. What is your plan at the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

I drew the dreaded No. 6 pick, which means I will be going with the flow for much of the draft. If teams go running-back-heavy in the first few rounds, I will probably look toward other positions first, and vice versa. Having said that, I try to grab one or two running backs early and wait a bit before grabbing them. I will probably not have my fourth running back until the ninth or 10th round unless good values present themselves.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

I should probably have my fourth receiver by the 9th or 10th round as well.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

This being an industry draft, quarterbacks are going to fall. With only one starting position and no significant boost to QB scoring, I am going to wait a long while before drafting one. Unless Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson is available in the sixth or seventh round, I probably won’t take a quarterback until after the 10th.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

Tight ends go extremely early in this format. If Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce is there in the second round, I will be taking one of them. If not, I’m probably going to start in the fifth or sixth round, depending on what other owners are doing.

7. How many defenses and kickers are you planning to draft?

Some teams really like to take three defenses and three kickers. I generally take two of each. That means watching out for kicker runs early, otherwise, I’ll be stuck with suboptimal kickers, some of which may be on roster bubbles. I like to plan to start taking kickers and defenses around the 17th round, but the fantasy gods might call for a run earlier than that.

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

Guys I really like in that range:

9. Discuss drafting from the #6 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

The No. 6 hole has some challenges. You can’t really strategize around what teams are going to do like you would near the turns, and you cannot count on any players coming back to you. You really have to go for your guys and take fewer chances in terms of waiting on players.

10. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

It depends on what their role is going to be when they get back, but suspended or injured players present nice values in best-ball formats. Mark Ingram II, for example, would probably be a second-round pick if he wasn’t suspended. Getting him in the fifth could be a boon. But we know what his role is going to be.

11. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

By the 14th round I expect to have a roster that looks something like this:

  • QB: 2
  • RB: 3-4
  • WR: 5-6
  • TE: 3
  • K: 0
  • D: 0

12. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

Some players that I like really late:

13. Give the reader some FFPC best-ball truisms that you try and do nearly every time to dominate this format

Keep calm, and don’t panic. These drafts tend to produce some unusual picks or runs. Anticipate or avoid them. That is why having a plan in place to draft kickers at a certain point works well. If you know that kickers start flying off the board after the 17th round, then you won’t be worried when you’ve picked yours and the run starts. Also, if it’s best-ball, go for gold. Don’t draft a high-floor roster, go for the upside.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.06
6
RB
NOS
2.07
19
WR
GBP
3.06
30
WR
KCC
4.07
43
RB
BUF
5.06
54
TE
Trey Burton
CHI
6.07
67
WR
CLE
7.06
78
TE
CLE
8.07
91
WR
CAR
9.06
102
TE
IND
10.07
115
QB
SFO
11.06
126
RB
SEA
12.07
139
QB
JAC
13.06
150
QB
CLE
14.07
163
RB
James White
NEP
15.06
174
PK
Wil Lutz
NOS
16.07
187
WR
Paul Richardson
WAS
17.06
198
PK
Matt Bryant
ATL
18.07
211
Def
Kansas City Chiefs
KCC
19.06
222
RB
LeGarrette Blount
DET
20.07
235
WR
Keelan Cole
JAC
21.06
246
PK
Cody Parkey
CHI
22.07
259
Def
Buffalo Bills
BUF
23.06
270
TE
HOU
24.07
283
RB
Joe Williams
SFO
25.06
294
WR
Equanimeous St. Brown
GBP
26.07
307
Def
Indianapolis Colts
IND
27.06
318
RB
Jonathan Stewart
NYG
28.07
331
RB
CIN

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You selected LeSean McCoy at pick 4.07 as your RB2. He is under the microscope for some off the field troubles this offseason and may face a suspension from the league. How should owners approach drafting McCoy and when is a good time to pull the trigger?

Interestingly enough, Austin Lee and I discussed drafting McCoy as our RB1 in the FFPC Pros vs. Joes league after we started WR-WR-WR. It's definitely a risk considering the off-field allegations, but he could be a huge value if he stays on the field. The fourth round is a great spot to draft McCoy -- I think he should have second-round value in PPR leagues were it not for the threat of suspension.

2. Chris Carson was your pick at 11.06 as your RB3 and 44th running back off the board. The hype for Carson has picked up steam in the preseason. How do you see the Seattle running game shaping up?

I have been slow to warm to Carson throughout the offseason -- after all, we've seen this from Seattle before with other backs -- but he does seem to have a legitimate shot at a starting role. His ADP is going to continue to climb with the hype, so getting him in the 11th now is probably not going to be anywhere near possible in a few weeks. That said, I probably wouldn't take him higher than the eighth round or so unless there is a setback for Rashaad Penny. At best, Carson and Penny are going to share the workload.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
While Miglio didn’t hit the tight end position right out of the gate, he did spend three of his first nine picks on the position, landing him decent depth in a league that allows you to start three of them each week. Having Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Jarvis Landry and Devin Funchess as his starting wide receivers each week is going to give Miglio a nice boost in a PPR format.

WEAKNESSES
Quarterback isn’t as important this season, especially in a best-ball format. Having three of them will definitely smooth over some of the rough spots. But at first glance, having a committee of Jimmy Garoppolo, Blake Bortles, and Tyrod Taylor is not very exciting. Garoppolo was decent value, landing him in the 10th round when his ADP has him going a full round higher but Bortles and Taylor both have the potential to underperform this season. If LeSean McCoy misses any time due to his offseason issues, this team is going to be really thin at running back.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
McCoy still has plenty of gas in the tank and if he can put the off-the-field distractions behind him, that will be enough to give Miglio some juice. Garoppolo finished last season very strong and if he continues that pace for a full year, Bortles and Taylor won’t be needed. The depth and talent at wide receiver and tight end is real enough with this team that Miglio will be solid every week and downright competitive if his quarterbacks and running backs come through

DRAFT SLOT 7

Pat Thorman, Pro Football Focus

Pat Thorman is a Featured Writer with PFF Fantasy. He is an FSWA award-winning writer and has placed top-six in the FantasyPros in-season rankings contest twice in the last four seasons. Thorman joined PFF in 2013 and has over 25 years of experience playing fantasy football.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

Due to the deep rosters, I will almost definitely take three each at quarterback, tight end, kicker, and defense. It is a luxury we don’t have in best-ball leagues with 18-20 roster spots. I’ll also begin drafting them earlier than I usually would, mostly due to necessity/availability.

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

Three each at QB/TE/PK/DST, and, depending on my relative strength of at either spot, roughly seven running backs and nine wide receivers.

3. What is your plan at the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

I have been going running back heavy in the early rounds of most best-balls this offseason, due to the increased demand for them and ample supply of quality mid-round wide receivers. With a sharp draft like this, however, I’m going to go with the best player available during the first several rounds and not lock myself into a single strategy. The extra Flex spot also favors this approach. I typically have four RBs by the sixth or seventh round.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

Unless there are screaming values available – unlikely in a draft full of analysts – I don’t see myself having my fourth wide receiver until the ninth or 10th round. The importance of tight end is elevated in this format, so that may push wide receivers down a bit further. I typically have four wide receivers by the double-digit rounds, but not much before that point.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

I’ll take quarterbacks once I’m satisfied with my depth at running back, wide receiver, and tight end. I’m fine with getting a couple passers ranked in the QB14-QB20 range if their styles complement each other (a Philip Rivers with a Patrick Mahomes, or a Marcus Mariota with an Alex Smith). I’ll likely take three of them in total. Hopefully, Lamar Jackson winds up as my QB3, although he’s increasingly expensive.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

I’d like to get at least one of the top seven or eight tight ends (tier ending with Kyle Rudolph), especially with the tight-end-premium format, but I’m not going to force it. The scoring difference isn’t worth passing on premium players for third-tier tight ends. If I get one of the top-eight options, I probably will wait and backfill with a couple of cheaper tight ends mid-draft. I don’t see myself having three until the draft rounds are in the 20s.

7. How many tight ends and kickers are you planning to draft?

Three tight ends and three kickers.

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

Kyle Rudolph, Lamar Miller, Rex Burkhead, Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb

9. Discuss drafting from the #7 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

Drafting from the seventh hole is a blessing and a curse. I miss out on the top-four RBs, sadly, but I generally prefer to draft in the middle instead of near a turn – especially in sharp drafts. A vicious positional run won’t crush me, and I can take whatever value is falling as it gets back to me more frequently. If I were picking from one of the ends, I’d need to be more balanced/conservative each turn.

10. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I’m almost completely injury agnostic and gladly take whatever discounts result from injury-prone labels. Suspensions are a little different, in that we have something concrete to factor in – a specific number of games we know a player will miss. I don’t weight whether a player is a rookie very heavily since it’s usually baked into ADP anyway. It matters more what his opportunity is. The key to managing all of these types of players is to buy some when the value is favorable, but not to go overboard on them in a single draft.

11. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

2 QB, 4-6 RB, 4-6 WR, 2 TE, 0 PK, 0 DST

12. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

Cole Beasley, Corey Grant, Rod Smith, Jaron Brown, Chris Moore

13. Give the reader some FFPC best-ball truisms that you try and do nearly every time to dominate this format.

Use the super deep roster to your advantage. You can throw one or two extra picks at a position you’re weak at, so don’t force a selection too early if there’s strong value still on the board at other positions. There are two flex spots, so even if a roster looks a little lopsided early in the draft, all of them can be starters in a given week. Don’t be pressured into a sub-optional pick early in the draft in the name of filling a certain position. You can make up some of that ground later on through quantity.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.07
7
RB
NYG
2.06
18
WR
NOS
3.07
31
WR
MIN
4.06
42
TE
TEN
5.07
55
RB
SEA
6.06
66
RB
NEP
7.07
79
RB
OAK
8.06
90
WR
HOU
9.07
103
WR
DeVante Parker
MIA
10.06
114
RB
GBP
11.07
127
QB
TEN
12.06
138
QB
CHI
13.07
151
TE
MIA
14.06
162
WR
Rishard Matthews
TEN
15.07
175
RB
Peyton Barber
TBB
16.06
186
Def
New Orleans Saints
NOS
17.07
199
PK
Robbie Gould
SFO
18.06
210
PK
Brandon McManus
DEN
19.07
223
WR
Chris Godwin
TBB
20.06
234
PK
Daniel Carlson
MIN
21.07
247
Def
Tennessee Titans
TEN
22.06
258
WR
TEN
23.07
271
TE
LAR
24.06
282
WR
MIA
25.07
295
Def
Oakland Raiders
OAK
26.06
306
WR
Deon Cain
IND
27.07
319
QB
NYJ
28.06
330
RB
Charles Sims
TBB

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You indicated that you like to fill your roster with running backs, wide receivers, and at least one tight end before targeting a quarterback. You followed that plan to a tee. You picked Rashaad Penny, Rex Burkhead, and Marshawn Lynch in the 5th, 6th and 7th round. Share your thought process behind these picks and why you made those picks when you did.

I was playing a little catch-up at running back because the wide receiver value was better at my picks in the second and third rounds, and I needed a tight end before the tier cliff in the fourth. Usually, I’m running-back-heavier in the first four rounds.

Penny slid a little and I grabbed him as a value play. I don’t have a lot of him. Burkhead I’ve got a ton of, and sixth-round-Rex is an auto pick for me, especially with Michel looking like he’ll start slow. Reports on Lynch are all positive, I’m not all that threatened by Martin (might be a mistake), and he still looked spry late last year.

2. You waited until 17 quarterbacks were off the board until you drafted Marcus Mariota (11.07) and Mitchell Trubisky (12.06) followed by Teddy Bridgewater at 27.07. Explain why this strategy can work in a best-ball draft.

Mariota and Trubisky have schedules that mesh nicely, can both add with their legs, will be in more innovative offenses than last year (understatement!), and have upgraded weaponry. Getting them as late as I did allowed me to strengthen my running back and wide receiver depth. The catch to waiting that long for your first quarterbacks is there’s less of a chance to grab a quality QB3. I got one super late, but likely need a trade for him to pay off. Minor detail!

3. You have a stack of Marcus Mariota and Delanie Walker. There were not many stacks created by the people in this draft. Is this a strategy that could be helpful in a format of this type? Why or why not?

Stacking is not one of my primary goals, and it’s more useful in a large tournament than in a 10/12-team league, to create more variance/upside during the playoff weeks. This was more of a case of me liking the value of both players and the trajectory of their team. Layering multiple pieces of the best offenses (Saints, Patriots players, for instance) is never a bad idea.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Five of Thorman’s first 10 picks were running backs, and he’s built a decent mix of rookie and veteran runners. Saquon Barkley is the real deal, and he could turn into big value at No. 7 overall. Rex Burkhead’s stock is already on the rise now that rookie Sony Michel will mist the rest of the pre-season and maybe even a game or two of the regular season as well. Adding guys like Michael Thomas and Stefon Diggs early give Thorman some great RB/WR strength every week.

WEAKNESSES
While the taking a tight end or quarterback by committee approach in a Best Ball format can overcome a weaker draft at either position, this team has some serious challenges at both. Marcus Mariota is projected as a backup quarterback for most redraft leagues, and Mitchell Trubisky and Teddy Bridgewater are both going undrafted in a lot of ‘normal’ leagues. Delanie Walker will be a decent pick in a 1.5 PPR for tight ends league, but Mike Gesicki and Gerald Everett are likely going to dead weight for most of the season.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Thorman bet heavily on rookie runners Saquon Barkley and Rashaad Penny and he’ll need both of them to come up big for Thorman to succeed. With the lack of depth at quarterback and tight end, Mariota and Walker connecting like they did in 2015 (94 receptions for 1088 yards and 6 touchdowns) would also be a big help. Thorman has enough depth at team defense and place kicker to take advantage of the ‘surprise’ points that always seem to come out of these positions as well. If the Titans have a good year throwing the ball, this team will benefit.

DRAFT SLOT 8

Pete Davidson, Rotobahn

Pete’s been playing fantasy football since 1996. His first draft took place in the old Jets locker room at Shea Stadium when he was working for the New York Mets, and he’s been hooked on the game ever since. Pete is an avid dynasty, redraft, best-ball and DFF player. You can find his writing at Rotobahn.com and at WEEI.COM. Pete also hosts podcasts at Rotobahn and WEEI on a weekly basis. On Sundays, Pete co-hosts the Fantasy Football Hour with Jim Hackett. Their show can be heard live in Boston and throughout New England. You can find Pete on Twitter @Rotobahn.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

I’m more willing to indulge in risky players, at least in some cases, because I can backfill in the later rounds. For example, I might go after Will Fuller V a round earlier than normal, thinking I can get a guy like Keke Coutee later on, to protect the investment a bit. I might go after a back like Fournette, knowing I can afford to roster either T.J. Yeldon or Corey Grant later on without it hurting my upside as much as it would in a shorter format. Even if I can’t backfill directly, I can go after sleepers in the later rounds who might normally feel too risky with fewer roster spots. Receivers like Cordarrelle Patterson, Taywan Taylor or Antonio Callaway. Backs like Boston Scott, C.J. Prosise, and Jaylen Samuels. I’m also a near lock to go with three quarterbacks with so many rounds, where that’s a 50/50 proposition in smaller formats.

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

  • QB = 3-4
  • RB = 7-9
  • WR = 9-12
  • DEF = 3
  • PK = 3

3. What is your plan at the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

I’m an early-running back drafter when possible this season. Hopefully four by round seven. Certainly three by then.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

Very willing to wait on wide receiver in this format, but I’d estimate by round 12.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

At least three. First quarterback usually around the ninth round, but willing to go sooner if a really strong quarterback slips enough.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

Yes, three. May go as early as round two if I feel Gronk or Kelce offers better value than what’s left at RB or perhaps WR.

7. How many tight ends and kickers are you planning to draft?

Three of each in a draft this long. A fourth tight end isn’t out of the question.

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

9. Discuss drafting from the #8 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

Slot 8 is not my dream locale by any means, but I want to go running back if I can. Most likely, I’ll be taking Leonard Fournette and praying for health. I am willing to go with Saquon Barkley because it’s full PPR scoring and I think he’s going to catch a lot of passes.

10. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

It’s strictly about how many points I expect to get out of the player. I’ll absolutely go after a guy like Mark Ingram II or Julian Edelman if they drop far enough. Very unlikely to go after injury guys like Tyler Eifert in a format where I have no eraser (free agency) on my pencil. Rookies are a case-by-case consideration. I project and go from there. Definitely into drafting rookie running backs more than any other position.

11. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

  • QB = 3
  • RB = 5
  • WR = 4
  • TE = 2
  • K = 0
  • DEF = 0

12. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

13. Give the reader some FFPC best-ball truisms that you try and do nearly every time to dominate this format.

Don’t wait too long on kickers. That is, don’t wait until you have to guess the winners of camp battles to fill a spot successfully. I want at least two locked in starters. Waiting until your last three picks is a sure way to get frustrated. Stock up on running backs early BUT don’t reach for committee backs with shaky floors. Once the really good running backs are gone, take the best available player on your board. Be prepared to use the 2-WR/double flex to your advantage. I’m not saying to force it as much as understand it and use it when you can. This could mean two early tight ends—knowing that you have an extra flex and tight-end-premium scoring. It could mean waiting on wide receivers for a long while—knowing you only need two. Embrace best-ball scoring in full. A guy who is a roster clogger in typical leagues has excellent applications in this format. There’s a duality and or paradox to best-ball. You must, all at once, embrace risk while mitigating it. No free agent moves means you have to value sustainability while also aiming high, because the payout is mostly at the top in these leagues. It’s a tough thing to pull of, and to me, it’s what makes best-ball so much fun.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.08
8
RB
JAC
2.05
17
RB
CAR
3.08
32
RB
WAS
4.05
41
RB
PHI
5.08
56
QB
GBP
6.05
65
TE
IND
7.08
80
WR
NEP
8.05
89
WR
DEN
9.08
104
QB
IND
10.05
113
WR
PHI
11.08
128
RB
IND
12.05
137
WR
Marqise Lee
JAC
13.08
152
TE
BAL
14.05
161
WR
FA
15.08
176
PK
Justin Tucker
BAL
16.05
185
Def
Los Angeles Chargers
LAC
17.08
200
PK
Dan Bailey
DAL
18.05
209
RB
JAC
19.08
224
WR
BAL
20.05
233
PK
Dustin Hopkins
WAS
21.08
248
WR
DAL
22.05
257
Def
San Francisco 49ers
SFO
23.08
272
TE
CHI
24.05
281
WR
Dante Pettis
SFO
25.08
296
Def
New York Jets
NYJ
26.05
305
WR
NEP
27.08
320
RB
NOS
28.05
329
WR
PHI

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You selected four straight running backs to begin the draft and didn't select a wide receiver until round 7. Explain why you chose this strategy.

As I said in the pre-draft questionnaire, I like to stack running backs early this year in best ball leagues, and I am very willing to wait on wide receivers because I think it works well with best ball scoring. A deep but unspectacular receiving crew is often bad news when you have to choose a weekly lineup, but when your lineup is maxed out after the fact, as it is in best ball, it’s much easier to get by with quantity rather than high-end quality. So, getting the running backs early and getting good ones, allows me to have an extra receiver or two on my roster because I’m not chasing running back points in the second half of drafts. In this draft, I liked the backs that were presented to me, so I went that way. If things had fallen differently, I may have to take a tight end or wide receiver somewhere in the first four rounds. Taking four straight is a tad extreme, even for me.

2. You selected three kickers and three defenses. Explain why this is a good strategy to use in this format.

The reason it makes sense to have an extra kicker and an extra defense in best-ball scoring is that you have a good chance at more spike weeks, and you don’t need to predict these great games, you can just collect them. That helps more, in my view, than a few extra long-shot options at the skill positions

I’m a drafter who tends to go with two defenses in smaller best ball formats, but with 28 rounds, it’s not hard to put a deep roster together, that I feel good about, and still take three at both kicker and defense. The fact that I got both Rodgers and Luck at quarterback made it even easier because I ended up not adding a third quarterback, even though I normally do. There just weren’t many guys left who looked like they would ever get into the scoring column, because Rodgers and Luck both have high floors in my view.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Davidson went old school, taking running backs with each of his four picks. At the time of the draft, Derrius Guice was decent value at 3.08 and that should not be held against him now that Guice is lost for the season. Nyheim Hines should be a decent performer in a PPR league, and he could really turn into a solid starter by the end of the season.

WEAKNESSES
In a tight end bonus PPR league, the talent can dry up quickly. While Davidson was bolstering his running backs, he missed out on most of the talent at tight end. Jack Doyle should perform okay in this format, but Adam Shaheen is on the outside looking into the Chicago offense and Hayden Hurst has the physical skills but may not see many passes thrown his way due to the offense. Davidson only drafted two quarterbacks and both are coming back from major injuries last season.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
By hitting the running back position hard right out of the gate, Davidson put a ton of pressure on his wide receivers to perform well or his team will suffer. While the team has the depth to survive Guice’s injury, it shows just how quickly a major setback and hurt. Dez Bryant is still a free agent and if he lands in a good spot, that will definitely relieve the pressure a bit. If Bryant and a couple of the other later round picks at wide receiver can outperform their draft position, this team could be competitive.

DRAFT SLOT 9

Justin Howe, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

I'll load up on late-round guys with touchdown upside to squeeze as many top-five weeks as I can. I'd normally never care about a guy like John Ross or Ed Dickson, but they figure into my 28-man plans, for sure.

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

Ideally: 3 QB, 6 RB, 9 WR, 4 TE, 3 K, 3 D/ST

3. What is your plan at the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

I'll probably stock four running backs before Round 6 is through. Ideally, I'll scoop 2 of my top-12 guys over the first 3 rounds.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

I'm fine waiting until Round 8 or 9 for my fourth receiver.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

As always, I'll wait until Round 9, 10, or 11 to get quarterbacks. There's just too little difference from QB3 to, say, QB20.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

Unless Rob Gronkowski is the best value play in Round 2, I'll mix-and-match from a bloated group of guys from Round 10 on. The best ball format allows me to do that, since I won't have to predict the unpredictable; I'll just get my best option each week with premium tight end scoring.

7. How many tight ends and kickers are you planning to draft?

I'll have 4-5 tight ends and 3 kickers. Rostering three kickers is crucial; it gives you a better chance each of week of hitting big on that wildly volatile position. Simply drafting a top-three kicker isn't enough.

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

The PPR scoring is favorable to a few undervalued guys from that range. Julian Edelman stands out as a big target for me in Round 7 or so; he'll be a 5-6 catch per week guy when he returns, and I'll have enough wideouts to cover myself for the first stretch of the year. Jamison Crowder is another 80-90 reception threat who'll be around right here. And Pierre Garcon keeps slipping in drafts, despite the same volume ceiling. At running back, the pool here is thin, but there's big value in this range in the Cleveland and Green Bay backfields. No two drafts value them the same, so drafters can catch fried gold from whichever ones fall into 8 or 9.

9. Discuss drafting from the #9 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

The No. 9 slot should net me one of Melvin Gordon III or Kareem Hunt, and I have a decent chance of falling into Dalvin Cook or one of the elite pass-catchers in Round 2. It's a best-player-available slot, for sure.

10. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

There are generally noticeable gaps between the value tiers throughout every draft, and each questionable guy with big upside can settle down into them. For example, Mark Ingram II carries an easy RB1 ceiling but will miss four weeks. So, I bump him down to where the running back value starts to dry up, generally Round 5 or 6 (once Lamar Miller and Royce Freeman are gone).

11. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

Through 14 rounds, I simply expect to have my actual skeleton in place, the foundation I'll tentatively expect to be providing my scoring each week. I hope to have 2 QB, 5 RB, 5 WR, and 2 TE at that point.

12. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

I'll be taking swings at touchdown upside and deep backups with talent here. There won't be a quarterback, kicker, or defense worthy of a pick this late, so I'll be focused on flex-position guys so volatile they'll still be around. Virtually anything at this point is found money - even the world's best drafters will get almost nothing from here - so the goal is to stockpile guys with potential for big, one-off games. I'm thinking unwanted tight ends like Ed Dickson, who steps into the shoes of Jimmy Graham (10 touchdowns last year), and Jesse James, who posts surprising eight-catch games just like the much more expensive Vance McDonald does. There will also be running backs who could vault to the tops of shaky backfields midseason. I have a lot of De'Angelo Henderson shares; he looked great last preseason and has only a ho-hum veteran and a one-dimensional rookie ahead of him. I also like Corey Grant and Chase Edmonds, both of whom look poised to jockey for position behind injury-addled starters.

13. Give the reader some FFPC best-ball truisms that you try and do nearly every time to dominate this format.

Don't chase the tight end runs. Either you land a truly elite guy, or you sit tight and play the value game. Mid-round tight ends don't reach value at a great clip, so reaching for a Kyle Rudolph/George Kittle type is -EV when someone like Marshawn Lynch is still on the board. If you miss out on Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, or Zach Ertz, play the volume game and stockpile as much upside at the position as you can.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.09
9
RB
LAC
2.04
16
WR
Odell Beckham
NYG
3.09
33
WR
IND
4.04
40
WR
PIT
5.09
57
RB
Derrick Henry
TEN
6.04
64
QB
HOU
7.09
81
RB
CLE
8.04
88
TE
O.J. Howard
TBB
9.09
105
RB
Chris Thompson
WAS
10.04
112
WR
NYJ
11.09
129
TE
Tyler Eifert
CIN
12.04
136
WR
Sterling Shepard
NYG
13.09
153
QB
CIN
14.04
160
TE
DEN
15.09
177
QB
ARI
16.04
184
RB
D'Onta Foreman
HOU
17.09
201
Def
Baltimore Ravens
BAL
18.04
208
PK
Josh Lambo
JAC
19.09
225
Def
Seattle Seahawks
SEA
20.04
232
PK
Chandler Catanzaro
TBB
21.09
249
PK
Randy Bullock
CIN
22.04
256
WR
Dede Westbrook
JAC
23.09
273
RB
MIA
24.04
280
QB
Baker Mayfield
CLE
25.09
297
WR
Christian Kirk
ARI
26.04
304
RB
NOS
27.09
321
TE
PIT
28.04
328
WR
BAL

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You drafted Melvin Gordon III at pick 1.09. Explain why you like him over other running backs like Kareem Hunt and Dalvin Cook. Also, why not DeAndre Hopkins there, who is a popular pick in the 7, 8 or 9 slot. He was on the board, why did you pass?

In general, I'm most interested in coming out of the first six rounds of a best-ball draft with four running backs. The tease of 2014-15 looks to be over, and truly ball-dominant backs like Gordon and the guys you listed again project to outscore most of the top receivers. (Maybe not superhuman ones like Antonio Brown, though.) My strategy is almost always to build from my running backs out, so a workhorse like these is essential to kick off with. And I like Gordon the most for his workload, receiving chops, and untapped potential for efficiency. He's much-maligned for his so-so per-carry averages, but he's routinely among the league leaders in elusiveness and breakaway runs, so I think progression is on the menu.

Hopkins is indeed very popular in this range, but I'm mostly passing. At least, I'm not nudging him up past those running backs with ball-dominant outlooks of their own. Hopkins should regress to some degree, with Watson's efficiency coming back to Earth and his wild volume dipping a bit next to Will Fuller V (whom I love).

2. You selected four quarterbacks including the second one off the board in Deshaun Watson. You said you would wait at the quarterback position. What made you change your mind?

Honestly, I just wanted to get a share of the guy. I've avoided him at a Round 5/6 ADP all offseason and wanted to chase his upside here. Not to mention, I misjudged the fervor with which my draftmates would start to leap at quarterbacks. Had I known they'd lay entirely off the position for so long, I'd have followed my usual route of waiting until Round 10 or 11. But ultimately I decided to set a ceiling-driven tone with Watson.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Landing Odell Beckham in the second round of a PPR league where most teams will start three or even four wide receivers each week is big value right from the start. Howe continued to build on it, adding T.Y. Hilton and JuJu Smith-Schuster with his next two picks. While grabbing Robby Anderson at the top of the 10th round wasn’t an exciting pick, it was a decent value and gives Howe a very solid wide receiver group to complement the four running backs he took in the first nine rounds as well.

WEAKNESSES
While it seems a little odd to ding someone for not managing their bye weeks properly, Justin definitely put himself in the hole for Week 9. Ten of Howe’s 28 picks are off in that week, including two of his three kickers and five of his eight wide receivers. While DeShaun Watson looked great last season, an injury setback would leave Howe with Andy Dalton and a couple of rookies at quarterback.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
At first glance, I had serious concerns about this team, but the more that I looked at it, the more I saw the potential. By stacking a lot of players on week nine, Howe reduces his bye week exposure the rest of the season. Howe’s also assembled a decent stable of running backs and wide receivers, all of whom has the potential to go crazy from week to week which is what you want in a best-ball format. When Deshaun Watson was playing last year, he looked pretty good and assuming he stays healthy, this team is going to be strong. Although he only has two defenses, Seattle and Baltimore are two of the better ones to have. This team is competitive and Howe’s going to surprise a lot of people this season. With the right luck, he could find himself sitting on top when the dust finally settles on this season.

DRAFT SLOT 10

Michael Rathburn, LineStar

Eric is a featured writer at FantasyPros and contributor to RotoViz, Gridiron Experts, and Two QBs. He is also the Social Media Co-Manager at RotoViz and member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). Eric has a lifelong passion for the game and played at the collegiate level as an offensive lineman. He also participated in Dan Hatman's Scouting Academy in order to learn the process of player evaluation at an NFL level by using game film.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

I look at the depth charts on top offenses and take shots on the WR3/WR4. Any former first or second round picks like Kevin White will be on my radar. I will take a flier on a tight end in which there is no clear-cut TE1 (like a Dallas/LA Chargers).

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

  • QB 3
  • RB 8
  • WR 9
  • TE 4
  • K 2
  • Def 2

3. What is your plan at the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

I will be going heavy on running back early on. I would expect to have four by Round 8.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

I want as many WR1s on top offenses early. Then I will mix in WR1s from mid-tier offenses and WR2 from top offenses. I will have four wide receivers by Round 9.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

I plan on drafting three quarterbacks and probably not my first until Round 10.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

I am targeting a TE by round 5. I would expect to have 3 TEs by round 20.

7. How many tight ends and kickers are you planning to draft?

I want four tight end and two kickers

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

Royce Freeman, Jimmy Graham, Lamar Miller, DJ Moore, Chris Hogan, Randall Cobb, and Matthew Stafford.

9. Discuss drafting from the #10 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

I have the 10th slot. I’m probably going RB/WR in the first two rounds. I will have to reach on my second pick each team because of the gap between picks.

10. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I have no problem targeting rookie running backs, but rookie wide receivers and quarterbacks will be very selective. I will probably only own one rookie tight end. If a player is injured now, I will probably pass. The fear of the unknown. Suspended players would have to fall several rounds in order for me to consider them.

11. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

QB-2, RB-5, WR-5, TE-2

12. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

John Brown, Darren Sproles, Terrance Williams, Mack Hollins, Terrance West.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.10
10
WR
HOU
2.03
15
RB
KCC
3.10
34
TE
GBP
4.03
39
WR
ARI
5.10
58
RB
DEN
6.03
63
RB
DET
7.10
82
WR
GBP
8.03
87
WR
NEP
9.10
106
QB
DET
10.03
111
TE
Cameron Brate
TBB
11.10
130
RB
CIN
12.03
135
RB
Aaron Jones
GBP
13.10
154
QB
DEN
14.03
159
WR
Mike Williams
LAC
15.10
178
RB
Bilal Powell
NYJ
16.03
183
WR
Josh Doctson
WAS
17.10
202
WR
James Washington
PIT
18.03
207
Def
Chicago Bears
CHI
19.10
226
RB
Chris Ivory
BUF
20.03
231
PK
Kai Forbath
MIN
21.10
250
QB
BUF
22.03
255
PK
Cairo Santos
NYJ
23.10
274
Def
Dallas Cowboys
DAL
24.03
279
Def
Washington Redskins
WAS
25.10
298
WR
Donte Moncrief
JAC
26.03
303
RB
Kenneth Dixon
BAL
27.10
322
TE
Chris Herndon
NYJ
28.03
327
WR
CHI

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You were able to draft several players that you coveted in Jimmy Graham, Royce Freeman, Randall Cobb and Matthew Stafford. Explain your interest in them this year.

I am high on Jimmy Graham and Randall Cobb because I wanted pieces of the Packers offense. I like Matthew Stafford because he has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks over the years and his ADP still reflects one or two rounds of value. I think Royce Freeman can be rookie of the year if everything breaks right.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
This team is pretty solid at the running back and wide receiver position. Rathburn used his early rounds to load up on a solid corps of players including Kareem Hunt, DeAndre Hopkins, and Larry Fitzgerald. He sprinkled in a couple ‘big upside’ rookie runners like Royce Freeman and Kerryon Johnson and also posted a solid tight end option with Jimmy Graham. In a best-ball format, having a group of good guys who turn in great weeks can make you very dangerous and Rathburn definitely loaded up on these guys early.

WEAKNESSES
Quarterback is not as important in a best-ball format because you automatically start your best option each week. Having a committee of decent quarterbacks can outperform the studs each week if the matchups allow a guy to have a big game. Unfortunately, Rathburn waited a bit too long and landed a decent guy with Matthew Stafford and two questionable guys with Case Keenum and Josh Allen. Stafford should perform adequately enough to prevent the team from being dragged down by the quarterback position, but if Stafford has a bad game, relying on Keenum or Allen to pick up the slack is a big gamble.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
If Matthew Stafford has another season like he did last year, and even one of the rookie running backs pan out, this team is going to be dangerous. The wide receiver and running back depth that this team has will be helpful from week to week, and if Freeman and Johnson emerge as starting quality runners, this team is going to win a lot of games. When Edelman returns from suspension, if this team is at least 2-2, they’ll be in great shape to make a mid-season run. Bye weeks are not as big of a concern either, so a player or two exceeding expectations may be all this team needs to make it deep into the playoffs.

DRAFT SLOT 11

David Dodds, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

With so many roster spots, I will make sure I have coverage everywhere. I prefer to use quantity over quality at wide receiver while stockpiling running backs and tight ends early. I start taking quarterbacks after 10 are off the board and usually don't stop until I get three of them. I will have upwards of $5,000 in this format by season start as Clayton Gray and I co-manage a lot of these leagues online now and will draft together in Vegas on opening weekend.

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

I rarely deviate from this approach:

  • 3 QBs
  • 6 RBs
  • 8-9 WRs
  • 5 TEs
  • 2-3 Defs
  • 3 PKs

3. What is your plan at the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

I like hammering this position early. Quality RBs dry up early and it's much easier to find a wide receiver in the middle rounds who is capable of some big games.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

I rarely anchor my team with quality at this position. My first is usually selected in Round 4 or 5. Because of this and the quarterback run that happens in Rounds 10-12, I probably will not have my fourth wide receiver until Round 15.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

I won't draft a quarterback before Round 7 which means the top guys are generally already gone. After 9-10 quarterbacks are taken, I become very aggressive to lockdown my three guys. There are just 32 NFL teams so all drafters can't get three starting quarterbacks. I don't feel this is a debatable topic. You want/need three quarterbacks for this format, and I make sure I am always one of the teams that manage to do that.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

If Gronkowski is available at 11, I will select him there. If Kelce is there on the return in the second round, I will also likely add him as well. If I miss out on the top two tight ends, I am more likely to build a roster that selects tight ends from rounds 5-10. I expect to have two tight ends early but probably won't have my third selection until round 15.

7. How many tight ends and kickers are you planning to draft?

I expect to select five tight ends, but that can flex to six at the position. 98+% of the time I end up with exactly three kickers. I am more apt to with two defenses than two kickers because a defense will always take the field (even if the stars of the defense are injured).

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

9. Discuss drafting from the #11 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

Because of the increased value of tight ends at 1.5 PPR, I am hoping to start the draft off with both Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce. This allows me to nearly always be chasing different positions than the field allowing an easier time to get value with nearly every selection. If that plan is stymied, I will grab the best player available in the early rounds and use the nearly back-to-back selections to start player runs at a position where possible.

10. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

The 28 rounds make it worthwhile to take some chances on these guys in this format in the later rounds. Talent has a way of floating to the top of a team's depth chart. Some injured/suspended guys also come at a steep discount to their talent level making them very smart players to build your roster around.

11. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

  • 3 QBs
  • 4 RBs
  • 3 WRs
  • 2 TEs
  • 1 Def
  • 1 PK

12. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

13. Give the reader some FFPC best-ball truisms that you try and do nearly every time to dominate this format

  1. Draft running back and tight ends early.
  2. Quarterbacks always seem like a value, but resist until about ten have been selected.
  3. In drafts happening now, kickers are way more valuable than defenses. Get three quality kickers who are not in danger of losing their job
  4. Don't be a team that ends up with fewer than three quarterbacks, kickers, or defenses..
  5. Grab speedy wide receivers. The player may only get 650 yards and 4 scores for the year, but in best ball, he can be valuable in those weeks he scores that long touchdown

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.11
11
TE
NEP
2.02
14
TE
KCC
3.11
35
RB
Alex Collins
BAL
4.02
38
TE
NYG
5.11
59
RB
Isaiah Crowell
NYJ
6.02
62
RB
TEN
7.11
83
QB
SEA
8.02
86
RB
Jamaal Williams
GBP
9.11
107
WR
SFO
10.02
110
QB
WAS
11.11
131
WR
MIA
12.02
134
QB
DAL
13.11
155
WR
Allen Hurns
DAL
14.02
158
WR
Kenny Golladay
DET
15.11
179
RB
Corey Clement
PHI
16.02
182
Def
Philadelphia Eagles
PHI
17.11
203
PK
Mason Crosby
GBP
18.02
206
PK
Graham Gano
CAR
19.11
227
Def
New England Patriots
NEP
20.02
230
RB
KCC
21.11
251
PK
Eddy Pineiro
OAK
22.02
254
WR
MIA
23.11
275
Def
Cincinnati Bengals
CIN
24.02
278
TE
SEA
25.11
299
WR
Jermaine Kearse
NYJ
26.02
302
WR
Brice Butler
ARI
27.11
323
WR
Travis Benjamin
LAC
28.02
326
WR
DAL

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You took advantage of the 1.5 PPR format for tight ends in this draft and selected three tight ends in the first four rounds. Why did you decide to go with this strategy and what should others be aware of if they follow this same strategy path?

Tight ends get drafted as a premium in this format based on the point and a half per reception scoring, the ability to use u to three per week due to the dual-flex scoring, and the fact the pool of capable tight ends is quite shallow. By grabbing two early (and keeping that pressure on in the fourth round), I have created a panic at the position for everyone else. So even if I slightly overpaid for a few of these players, all tight ends drafted after these players also came at an expensive price. In this FFPC format, this is a viable winning strategy from the later draft slots. To win doing this, one needs to stop drafting tight ends at three players (until extremely late) and grab capable running backs in the early rounds. The wide receiver position will be managed through quantity over quality (and can be effective because of the best-ball format where I do not need to know who to play each week).

2. The decision to go heavy on tight ends early in the draft left you thin in other areas. What was your justification for taking those specific running backs and wide receivers?

I actually don't feel this roster is all that thin It's just constructed very differently. I likely will be relying on two to three tight ends every week. My nine wide receivers have defined roles and should score enough touchdowns to fill in as needed in this dual-flex best-ball contest. I expect Marquise Goodwin and Kenny Stills to be their team's top receivers despite their lower draft spots and I have a similar opinion on running backs Alex Collins, Isiah Crowell, and Jamaal Williams. Each of these players represents maximum value if they can sustain their hold atop depth charts.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Know your league format. It’s as simple as that. In a league where you can start 3 tight ends each week and they receive 1.5 points per reception, you want to have a solid stable of them on your roster. Especially in a best-ball format. Dodds opened the draft by taking the two best tight ends in Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce. He added Evan Engram with his fourth pick, giving him three of the top tier tight ends based on this scoring format. Since they all have different bye weeks, unless someone is not playing, the strength of this team will always flow from the tight end position. He also built a solid quarterback stable, with Russell Wilson being the guy who will probably start every week, but Alex Smith and Dak Prescott might also sneak into the starting lineup based on their weekly matchup.

WEAKNESSES
Dodds waited until the end of the 9th round before he took his first wide receiver – Marquise Goodwin. He took his second two rounds later by drafting Kenny Stills. By focusing on tight end and running back so early, Dodds has one of the weakest wide receiver groups in the draft. Even though Dodds will probably flex tight ends or running backs each week, he’ll still need two starting wide receivers each week. His starting two would be a flex on almost every other team in the league.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
In tight end bonus leagues, having two solid options each week is a key to building a strong team. Dodds has three of them, giving him a huge advantage every week. His running backs are okay given how long he waited to take his first two, and he has three team defenses and place-kickers, giving him a great committee approach at two positions that are hard to predict when they’ll have big weeks. The key to victory though will be if his hodge-podge wide receiving corps can turn in enough big games to put him over the top. By consciously choosing to fade the top wide receivers, Dodds took a shotgun approach to the position, hoping he’ll pull enough big-games each week to cover the hole. If even a couple of his receivers post modest numbers each week, this team is going to be hard to beat.

DRAFT SLOT 12

Eric Balkman, High Stakes Fantasy Football Hour

Eric Balkman is the host and producer of The High Stakes Fantasy Football Hour. He is also the host of The High-Stakes Lowdown on RotoViz Rado and co-hosts The Appleton Trophy Fantasy Football Show on 95.3 and 99.1-FM The Score in Appleton, Wisconsin. Balkman was the 2008 NFFC Primetime $100,000 Co-Champion and currently serves as the media coordinator for the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC).

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. The FFPC has a whopping 28 rounds. What will you do differently because of the extended roster spots that you typically would not do in a typical 18-20 round best-ball draft?

The biggest difference is the depth at non-depth positions. In a 20-round draft, I might only draft two quarterbacks, two tight ends, one kicker and one defense. That obviously won't cut it here. I tend to value handcuffs at all positions more as well.

2. How many of each position do you plan to take?

My current plan is three quarterbacks, seven running backs, eight receivers, four tight ends, three kickers and three defenses. I may be more flexible at running back and receiver, but I am pretty dead-set on the numbers at the other positions. Maybe even five tight ends!

3. What is your plan at the running back position? How soon do you plan on having 4 running backs?

I'm sure I won't have four by Round 5 or even Round 6. But having four by the end of the seventh round will really free me up to attack the receiver and tight end positions.

4. What is your plan at the wide receiver position? How soon do you plan on having 4 wide receivers?

I put less of an emphasis on receivers in this format, but I don't totally devalue it like a lot of drafters do. I would imagine that I'll have four receivers as early as Round 9 and for sure by Round 11.

5. When do you plan to select your first quarterback? Do you plan to draft 2,3 or more quarterbacks?

I don't plan on getting an elite one, and the first run on quarterbacks in FFPC drafts tends to happen in Round 10, so that's probably where I'll go for my first one there. My goal is to get three quarterbacks, although I'm much more likely to draft four than two with no plans on getting a top-five signal-caller.

6. When do you plan to select your first tight end? When do you expect to have 3 rostered tight ends?

I don't envision going elite here, either, but I want a top-six player at the position. Round 5 seems right. If I can have three tight ends in this tight-end-premium format by the end of Round 12, that position will be a strength for me.

7. How many tight ends and kickers are you planning to draft?

I will get least four tight ends, and I am going to make a point to not be caught with less than three kickers.

8. Name a few guys in rounds 5-10 that you are looking to build your team around.

Corey Davis, Michael Crabtree, Pierre Garcon and Cooper Kupp are among my favorite wide receiver targets there. I may reach (slightly) on Nyheim Hines, Ty Montgomery, or Giovani Bernard to secure their services in Round 10. I'd really love it if Kyle Rudolph fell to me at the end of Round 5.

9. Discuss drafting from the #12 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

At the 12, you sort of have to be proactive in starting runs so you don't get caught naked at quarterback, kicker or defense. I will probably draft two of that same position back-to-back at least once to make sure they're not depleted by the time the draft gets back to me.

10. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

Rookie running backs I almost treat like vets. I'm willing to take the risk since they're young and the adjustment at their position to the pros is easiest. I've already drafted Winston and Ingram in other best ball leagues, so the suspensions don't bother me. I REALLY dislike drafting players who are banged up coming into the season. Unless they're big-time values, I'll let someone else take them.

11. At the mid-point of the draft (14 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

Hopefully, if everything goes right, I'll have three quarterbacks, four running backs, four receivers and three tight ends.

12. Name five players you are targeting in the last five rounds of this draft.

Taywan Taylor, Keke Coutee, Trent Taylor, J'Mon Moore and Mark Walton

13. Give the reader some FFPC best-ball truisms that you try and do nearly every time to dominate this format.

Positions matter! I never forget about getting three kickers and defenses. A lot of owners don't recognize the importance of this. Don't rely solely on "boom-or-bust" receivers throughout the middle of your draft. I still try and nab three top-35 guys as my anchors. Everything after that is gravy.

Don't rely solely on boom-or-bust receivers throughout the middle of your draft. I still try to nab three top-35 guys as my anchors. Everything after that is gravy. I'm not afraid to load up on running backs early. In this format, you can start four. If you hit on three of them early, that's a pretty nice advantage over a lot of the rest of the league. Don't draft an elite quarterback AND elite tight end. Whenever I've done this in the past, my team has never performed as well as I thought it could be. I need to stockpile those running backs and receivers early on without ignoring tight end.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.12
12
RB
MIN
2.01
13
WR
ATL
3.12
36
RB
MIA
4.01
37
TE
CAR
5.12
60
WR
Alshon Jeffery
PHI
6.01
61
RB
Ronald Jones
TBB
7.12
84
RB
IND
8.01
85
WR
Josh Gordon
CLE
9.12
108
TE
Austin Seferian-Jenkins
JAC
10.01
109
QB
PIT
11.12
132
WR
OAK
12.01
133
QB
Derek Carr
OAK
13.12
156
RB
Latavius Murray
MIN
14.01
157
QB
Ryan Tannehill
MIA
15.12
180
WR
Martavis Bryant
OAK
16.01
181
PK
Harrison Butker
KCC
17.12
204
PK
Matt Prater
DET
18.01
205
Def
Pittsburgh Steelers
PIT
19.12
228
Def
Detroit Lions
DET
20.01
229
PK
Adam Vinatieri
IND
21.12
252
Def
Green Bay Packers
GBP
22.01
253
TE
FA
23.12
276
WR
Ryan Grant
IND
24.01
277
TE
Vernon Davis
WAS
25.12
300
RB
PIT
26.01
301
WR
SFO
27.12
324
RB
Alfred Blue
HOU
28.01
325
WR
CLE

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You selected Ronald Jones and Marlon Mack as your RB3 and RB4. How do you see them performing with their respective team's this year?

I'm encouraged by what I saw, and then even more what I heard from Dirk Koetter following the Bucs' first preseason game. I think everyone down there knows Jones is good, but they don't want to give a rookie too much praise. His pass pro was very good, and I still think Jones is a top-20 back this year.

Mack going down with an injury that is expected to knock him out for the rest of the preseason is no bueno. But I think Hines tops out as a part-time third-down guy, and Wilkins I don't believe is a serious threat to Mack, given his non-pedigreed draft status. Mack won't set the world on fire, but I love having him as a number four running back. As the lead back in an offense led by a healthy Andrew Luck, I think he was a nice little value there.

2. You selected three kickers and three defenses by the end of round 21 giving you position players to pick from in the last seven rounds of the draft. Explain why that's a good strategy for others to use.

Honestly, I wish I could have had my last defense and kicker picks back. :) Drafting on the turn is tough in a best-ball because you're never quite sure how the 23 picks between yours are going to go. In hindsight, I should have waited for another round or two on my last defense and kicker, but I put a pretty big emphasis on getting three of them each, so that took priority.

Even in a 28-round, 12-team league, you're still going to find difference makers all the way up to the end. While everyone else is scrambling for kickers and defenses, a lot of times you can pick off a lot of the guys you targeted late there. The key is the balance, though--you don't want to draft your last kicker or defense too early. It's easier to do when you're not on the turn. I knew I was probably going to leave a little bit of meat on the bone, but I was still pretty happy what I snagged after the last quarter pole.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Drafting on the turn in a shark-filled league like this is tough. The quality of players drops significantly each time you are off the clock. Balkman did a solid job of letting the draft come to him, focusing on drafting the best players available each time he was up. He has depth and balance at every position, including place-kicker and team defense. Balkman’s strength will flow from this balance, and he’ll have a ‘high floor’ of point production from week to week.

WEAKNESSES
I love the pick of Dalvin Cook as his first running back, but the rest of the group on this team has a lot of questions. Kenyan Drake is going to split time with Frank Gore and Kalen Ballage, limiting his upside. Ronald Jones should be the top running back in Tampa this year, but their running game will be one of the weaker ones in the league this year. Marlon Mack is entrenched in a committee in Indianapolis and his other options are mostly backups in case of injury.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
If Balkman has a little luck this season, his team could outperform his draft position. Dalvin Cook looks to be back to full speed, and he can carry a fantasy team from week to week. Julio Jones is back in practice now and he’ll likely be the dominant force he’s always been. If the rest of the wide receivers that Balkman has can exceed expectations from week to week, his team could be pretty strong. This team has some potential, and in a best-ball format, anything can happen. A well-balanced, high-floor team just needs a couple guys to blow up from time to time and this team could really surprise people.

See the full - Draft Grid

Questions, suggestions, and comments are always welcome to haseley@footballguys.com