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Footballguys Mock Draft 9 - 12-team non-PPR Scoring

Ten members of the Footballguys staff, along with two writers in the industry got together and completed a 12-team mock draft using a standard scoring format.

On August 15th, ten members of the Footballguys Staff, along with two highly regarded writers in the fantasy football community, got together to complete a 12-team, 18 round mock draft. Before the draft, each of the participants answered questions regarding strategies, players they coveted and how they planned to attack the draft. Additional questions were asked at the conclusion of the draft based on the decisions they made. 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, execution, and follow-up. 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

  • 12 teams
  • 18 roster spots
  • Starting Lineup
    • 1 quarterback
    • 2 running backs
    • 3 wide receivers
    • 1 tight end
    • 1 Defense
    • 1 Kicker

LEAGUE SCORING

  • Offensive Players Only
    • 6 points - Passing Touchdown
    • 6 points - Rushing/Receiving Touchdown
    • 0.04 points - Passing Yard
    • 0.1 points - Rushing/Receiving Yard
    • -1 - Interception Thrown
    • 3 points per field goal 0-39 yards
    • 4 points per field goal 40-49 yards
    • 5 points per field goal 50-99 yards
    • 1 point per extra point
  • Defensive scoring
    • 2 points - fumble recovery (from opponent)
    • 2 points - interception caught
    • 1 point - sack
    • 5 points - safety
    • 10 points - 0 points allowed
    • 7 points - 1-6 points allowed
    • 3 points - 7-14 points allowed
    • 0 points - 15-20 points allowed
    • -3 points - 21-99 points allowed
    • 6 points - defensive or special teams touchdown

draft participants

  1. Jeff Haseley, Footballguys
  2. Devin Knotts, Footballguys
  3. Keith Roberts, Footballguys
  4. Sigmund Bloom, Footballguys
  5. Danny Tuccitto, Footballguys
  6. Phil Alexander, Footballguys
  7. Brandon Gdula, NumberFire
  8. Andy Hicks, Footballguys
  9. Chad Parsons, Footballguys
  10. Justin Bonnema, Footballguys
  11. Jeff Tefertiller, Footballguys
  12. Denny Carter,

DRAFT GRID

DRAFT SLOT 1

Jeff Haseley, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

A best ball league is all about having depth and capable producers over the course of a season. It's important to have players who are capable of scoring, even if you don't know what week they will score. In-season leagues require you to start the best lineup each week, so consistency is more important. I will focus on drafting more consistent players in this draft and take a gamble on some high-upside players. If they fail to produce, they can be replaced with a waiver claim.

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

Running backs are going to be heavily targeted in the first round which should mean a decent wide receiver may be available at the 2-3 turn for me. There are not many running backs who are valuable without the ability to gain points via receptions. My goal is to try to get two of these backs in the first three picks. I have the 1-slot, so my target will be Todd Gurley at 1.01, a wide receiver at 2.12 and another running back at 3.01, unless the backs are so thin at that point. If so, I may go after a top-flight tight end or take my second wide receiver at pick 3.12. Running backs who thrive on receptions and receiving yards will drop in this draft and if the right one is available in round 4 or 5, I may pull the trigger.

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

The no-flex rule is a challenge. My goal will be to nail down two strong backs and perhaps a tight end, securing wide receivers later, which has more options to choose from.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

  • QB 0
  • RB 2
  • WR 2
  • TE 1

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

I'm not sure my approach will change much at quarterback. I want to secure my core starting positions first before selecting a quarterback. The players on the board will dictate who I pick.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

New England running backs. I may target Jeremy Hill later in the draft, as a flier, but it's difficult to know which Patriots back will produce week to week. I don't want to have to deal with that headache. It's easy to say Christian McCaffrey here because he thrives on his ability as a receiver, but I'm also a bit wary on Jarvis Landry and his low yards per carry. Julian Edelman is another I will probably shy away from.

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

Mark Ingram II. If Ingram is available at pick 3.01, I may take him, despite the 4-game suspension. I can find someone to fill the void for the first four weeks and then reap the benefits later on. Another player I'll be targeting is Jimmy Graham. He may lead all tight ends in touchdowns, which is a key factor when drafting players in a standard league.

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

The clear answer here is running backs, but after my top two running backs are selected, I'll be drafting for depth and potential at the position. I definitely want strength at running back, but my roster requires three wide receiver starters. I want to be sure I have at least four good receivers. Three I can start and one I can sub in for bye weeks and potential injuries. Running backs are important, but wide receiver depth should not be ignored. Another strategy I can use is to draft a stud at running back, wide receiver and tight end and later secure an RB2 with promise, like Marshawn Lynch, Kerryon Johnson or even Isaiah Crowell, I can then focus on my receiving depth. So much depends on the players who will be on the board for my turns.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

I want to draft a top-flight defense, namely Jacksonville, Los Angeles (Rams) or Minnesota. As for kicker, I just want a player who is secure in his role, who won't be a surprise cut. If I decide to wait longer than most, I'll target Vikings kicker, Daniel Carlson, who I think is going to be a strong rookie kicker this season. It's a risk, but it's a calculated risk that could pay big dividends.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.01
1
RB
LAR
2.12
24
WR
T.Y. Hilton
IND
3.01
25
RB
NOS
4.12
48
WR
Allen Robinson
CHI
5.01
49
RB
DET
6.12
72
TE
GBP
7.01
73
RB
IND
8.12
96
WR
WAS
9.01
97
QB
HOU
10.12
120
WR
Keelan Cole
JAC
11.01
121
Def
Jacksonville Jaguars
JAC
12.12
144
RB
T.J. Yeldon
JAC
13.01
145
TE
O.J. Howard
TBB
14.12
168
QB
ATL
15.01
169
WR
Mike Wallace
PHI
16.12
192
WR
Ted Ginn Jr
NOS
17.01
193
PK
Wil Lutz
NOS
18.12
216
WR
Cole Beasley
DAL

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You predicted that you would take Mark Ingram II at 3.01 and you did. What is your plan for filling his spot in the lineup in Weeks 1-4? How should others strategize this if they pick Ingram in drafts?

I later drafted Kerryon Johnson and Marlon Mack in this draft as Mark Ingram II insurance. Johnson will likely be my Week 1 target as he continues to impress for Detroit in the preseason. Any back that has the possibility of starting is a good replacement. I would recommend that you draft Ingram as your RB3, which at least would give you two backs that you can start in his place. In my case, I selected Ingram at 3.01 knowing he probably was not going to make it back to me for the 4-5 turn. I was fortunate to select Johnson at 5.01 and went back to that position again with Marlon Mack the next time around at 7.01

2. You selected Jimmy Graham with pick 6.12. You indicated that you would probably have a tight end by the fifth round. What made you decide to forego tight end in the fifth round and wait until round six to take Graham?

The decision to take Mark Ingram II at 3.01 where running backs were flying off the board meant that I needed to have some insurance in the first four weeks due to his suspension. I debated taking a tight end with pick 5.01 but I needed to have Ingram insurance, so I selected Kerryon Johnson and passed on tight end. Luckily, Graham was available as one of my picks on the 5-6 turn.

will grant'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Balanced at every position. Haseley did a decent job letting the draft come to him and hit the running back and wide receiver spots early and often, taking full advantage of his spot on the turn. He scored a decent tight end at the end of round 6 in Jimmy Graham and Deshaun Watson at the top of round 9 was decent value for a QB. Well done.

WEAKNESSES
It's hard to knock the running back position when Jeff started out with Todd Gurley but it’s the weakest point on this team. Mark Ingram II is suspended for the first four games of the season, Kerryon Johnson has a lot of competition and Marlon Mack will lose touches to Nyheim Hines this season. If Gurley goes down to injury, this team could struggle.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
If Gurley stays healthy, this team will make the playoffs. Haseley has enough balance and depth at wide receiver and tight end to keep him competitive while Gurley pulls this team to victory week after week. Deshaun Watson looks good so far this season, and even if he goes down, Matt Ryan is a serviceable backup. If Kerryon Johnson can become the running back that Detroit wants him to be, this team is going to be tough come week five when Mark Ingram II is back.

DRAFT SLOT 2

Devin Knotts, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

In-season management changes everything as you can't just draft for upside. What it does is it makes you take a more focused look at the running back position as with Best Ball leagues you can get away with quantity over quality at times if those running backs get enough carries or score enough touchdowns, but in an in-season management you really have to force yourself to have quality

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

Standard scoring is all about the touchdowns, elite running backs skyrocket up my draft board while receivers such as Julio Jones fall just based on previous history. At the tight end position outside of Rob Gronkowski, they all fall down pretty significantly as the difference becomes smaller when not factoring in volume of the catches that a receiver makes and it is purely based on touchdowns.

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

It really doesn't affect my draft at all, I'm going to go into a draft whether it is flex or non-flex standard draft. It may impact my decision on waiting for wide receivers a little bit longer and choosing running back depth over receivers but that is about it.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

Four running backs and one quarterback unless Aaron Rodgers is available in round five in which case, three running backs, one quarterback and one wide receiver.

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

Get an elite quarterback, that's always my philosophy.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

Since I already mentioned Julio Jones and Evan Engram, let's go with Christian McCaffrey and Larry Fitzgerald. McCaffrey just worries me on how many touchdowns he will score and with how early he will likely go.

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

Nelson Agholor and Michael Crabtree are both great touchdown threats each time they touch the field and will be targets of mine alongside Jordy Nelson.

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

Easy answer, in a non-PPR give me all the running backs.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

I suspect I will be the first to take a defense and a kicker. Pay for quality.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.02
2
RB
Ezekiel Elliott
DAL
2.11
23
RB
LeSean McCoy
BUF
3.02
26
WR
TBB
4.11
47
WR
ARI
5.02
50
RB
CLE
6.11
71
WR
Alshon Jeffery
PHI
7.02
74
TE
NYG
8.11
95
QB
NEP
9.02
98
WR
Pierre Garcon
SFO
10.11
119
WR
FA*
11.02
122
WR
DeVante Parker
MIA
12.11
143
RB
CLE
13.02
146
WR
Michael Gallup
DAL
14.11
167
Def
Los Angeles Chargers
LAC
15.02
170
RB
Kalen Ballage
MIA
16.11
191
RB
NYG
17.02
194
PK
Stephen Gostkowski
NEP
18.11
215
RB
Joe Williams
SFO

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You wanted an elite quarterback and you got one in Tom Brady in the ninth round as the fourth quarterback off the board. Quarterbacks fell in this draft and it's something we're seeing more of in drafts in general. If the average drafter wants to take an elite quarterback, what should their strategy be? When is it time to draft an elite quarterback?

I think you should look at what you consider an elite quarterback to be. If you consider Aaron Rodgers to be in a class of his own, then you should probably reach for him early. However, if there are four to five players that you consider elite, then tiering them and closely monitoring who is left in that tier is the way to go. Meaning if you have five quarterbacks in the same tier as guys that you are happy to get as an elite quarterback, then just take the quarterback once two or three guys are off the board. Don't wait until the last guy is left as he may get taken by another team.

2. You wanted an elite defense, but you missed out on Jacksonville, who is the preseason favorite as the top Defense/ST unit. You picked the Chargers as the fourth defense off the board. Share why you like Los Angeles this year and what other options should people target if they want a top defense, but miss out on Jacksonville?

The Chargers defensive line is tremendous with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III which provides a tremendous sack floor along with a very good secondary that should be able to force turnovers this season. I've been trying to get Jacksonville in every draft and would have taken them in the round that they were taken. Some other elite defenses if you miss on Jacksonville include the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, and Minnesota Vikings.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Devin built a well-balanced team from the #2 slot, starting with back to back running backs and then back to back with wide receivers with his next two picks. Running back is his strongest position with Ezekiel Elliot having a decent shot at being the top fantasy running back this season. Devin also secured Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb, locking up the bulk of the fantasy points from the much-improved Cleveland backfield.

WEAKNESSES
Tom Brady and Evan Engram are both solid players from their positions, but Knotts has pushed all his chips in on both of them. By drafting just one quarterback and one tight end, Devin is open to risk in the event that one of his players goes down to injury.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Devin has built a strong team, but he’s going to need to play the waiver wire well if he is going to win it all. Having only one quarterback, tight end, kicker and defense, Devin’s going to need to add a few players throughout the season in order to help balance the bye week absences. Kickers and defenses are easy to swap in and out, and quarterback is usually a position that you can add to get you over a bye week, so Devin is in a good position to go far. Knotts has enough depth to carry Dez Bryant for a couple weeks but if he doesn’t sign with a team, he becomes a good candidate to cut.

DRAFT SLOT 3

Keith Roberts, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

Best ball alludes to swinging for the fences for those huge upside players. I am less concerned about injuries and consistent usage/volume in best ball leagues because I know my next best score / healthy player will be used. For in-season management leagues, I will slightly devalue the players with historical or ongoing injury issues (cue Jordan Reed, Keenan Allen, Carson Wentz, etc).

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

Touchdowns are of course of paramount importance in a standard scoring league. I will put a heavier weighting on players I believe will be used extensively in the red zone with higher touchdown upside. I will be more likely to pass on the smaller change of pace and third-down running backs such as Tarik Cohen and Tevin Coleman while targeting the larger guys likely to be used around the goal line such as Derrick Henry or Rex Burkhead. For wide receivers, this format puts a little more pressure on me to be sure and get a team’s top outside receiver who will stretch the field on chunk plays rather than dinking and dunking across the middle of the field. As for tight ends, I will again focus on the larger sized guys with the highest red zone upside.

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

With no flex, I will have to be more cognizant of positional need as opposed to “best player available”. Building equal depth at wide receiver, running back, and tight end will be important to be sure I am covered week in and week out. Loading up on talent at one position in a non-flex league only lends itself to tough lineup decisions on a weekly basis as opposed to ensuring you have at least one rock solid player to slot in at each position, week in and week out.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

  • RB – 2
  • WR - 3
  • TE – 0
  • QB – 0

*If Aaron Rodgers is still available at 4.10, I will jump on him. However, with passing touchdowns worth six points, I fully expect he will be taken earlier in the 4th round.

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

If Aaron Rodgers is available to me late in the fourth round, I will gladly take him. Otherwise, I will wait on quarterback until no sooner than the ninth round as long as a huge run on the position does not begin sooner. The 6 points per touchdown pass also drops my valuation of the dual-threat quarterbacks such as Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. I will not plan on reaching into the 5th / 6th round for those guys in this draft as I can secure nearly as many passing touchdowns from other options later in the draft.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

Christian McCaffrey and Jarvis Landry are two players I will not plan on drafting at or near their current ADP in a standard scoring format. The Panthers simply have too many red zone threats to allow McCaffrey enough touchdown upside to offset the 60-70 points lost from the non-PPR format. Jarvis Landry has always been known as the prototypical PPR receiver who thrives from the slot. Given the talent and potential inexperience of either Tyrod Taylor or Baker Mayfield, I will pass on Landry at his ADP in favor of other options with more big play upside such as Robby Anderson or Corey Davis.

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

With my second pick at 2.10, I honestly hope to see Rob Gronkowski fall to me due to his massive red zone upside in that high-scoring Patriots offense. I understand this is highly unlikely with Sigmund Bloom drafting just one pick before me though, so my fallback option if available there will be Davante Adams. Coming off back to back seasons with 10 or more touchdowns, Adams is a guy who should thrive in this format as the WR1 for the Packers. With a solid quarterback behind him, I love both his floor and ceiling as my top receiver to compliment what should also be a top running back.

Later in the draft, I will be targeting running back depth by adding Spencer Ware. When healthy in 2016, Ware put up very solid numbers and looked great in doing so. He is a powerful runner who very easily could take away not only goal-line carries, but plenty of in-game snaps and red zone work from Kareem Hunt. At Ware’s current ADP, he offers plenty of value with the touchdown upside I am looking for in this scoring format.

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

I’d prefer strength and depth at wide receiver in this format. Yes, I will typically take a running back with my first pick, but with no flex and only two starting slots, I see plenty of opportunity on the waiver wire to pick up quality running backs that will be slotted into very favorable situations due to injuries or lost jobs. With wide receivers, the predictability of red zone usage gets exponentially smaller as you move down the depth chart.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

Kicker will be my last pick. At defense, I will not spend the pick on the likes of the Jaguars of Vikings, but I will be targeting a unit like the Rams or Chargers basically in the round or two after I see someone take the Jaguars off the board.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.03
3
RB
Le'Veon Bell
PIT
2.10
22
WR
LAC
3.03
27
RB
SFO
4.10
46
QB
GBP
5.03
51
WR
DET
6.10
70
WR
NYJ
7.03
75
WR
OAK
8.10
94
TE
Kyle Rudolph
MIN
9.03
99
RB
DEN
10.10
118
RB
OAK
11.03
123
WR
Rishard Matthews
TEN
12.10
142
RB
Corey Clement
PHI
13.03
147
Def
Los Angeles Rams
LAR
14.10
166
WR
Calvin Ridley
ATL
15.03
171
RB
PIT
16.10
190
QB
Patrick Mahomes
KCC
17.03
195
WR
Christian Kirk
ARI
18.10
214
PK
Graham Gano
CAR

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You picked Aaron Rodgers as the first quarterback off the board. In leagues that reward 6 points per touchdown pass, how important is he? Is it worth sacrificing a player at another position to draft him? How would you advise the average drafter to navigate the draft after spending a high pick on a quarterback?

Aaron Rodgers is in a tier alone even in standard scoring systems. Increase the points per touchdown pass, and this tier is magnified even further. Rodgers can easily be projected for at least 10% more passing touchdowns than the next closest quarterback. The Packers have offensive weapons galore combined with a suspect ground game and bottom-half defensive unit. As long as he is healthy, Rodgers should be passing early and often. When you spend a pick that early on quarterback, it is important to have built some stability earlier in the draft. Had I not been near the top of the draft to land one of the top tier running backs, it would not have been as easy to make the Rodgers pick this early. Given the standard scoring format, I would advise trying to take a couple running backs to complement a wide receiver in the first three rounds. After selecting Rodgers in the fourth, spend the next few picks building depth at running back and receiver. I would also advise waiting as long as you can for a tight end. It will be important to build depth at receiver since you would be particularly weak there given this strategy.

2. You indicated the wide receiver depth is more important to you than running back depth. You proved this by taking three wide receivers in rounds 5, 6 and 7 after starting the draft with two running backs in the first three rounds. Explain why it's important to fill your roster first for an in-season league with no flex, before adding depth at any position.

Lack of a flex can make for some tricky lineup decisions on a weekly basis. While I agree that depth is important in any fantasy league, without a Flex position, it is wise to prioritize those early picks with addressing positional need. Definitely take advantage of significant values if they appear, but the default approach should be to spend those critical earlier picks on guys you plan to start week in and week out. Sacrificing a pick to add a third or fourth running back before a third receiver, for example, could mean the difference between grabbing a team's top target versus a lower end option with less touchdown and yardage upside--both of which are critical to success in a standard scoring format. In this league, you can see that 32 running backs were already taken off the board by the end of the fifth round. In my case, I saw the opportunity to select three receivers who could each be top red zone options for their respective offenses in lieu one of these running backs who may or may not even be the primary starter for their team. Having this talent in your starting slots is a big advantage, especially for an active in-season owner--as talent will no doubt be available throughout the waiver wire as the season plays out.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Keith drafted Aaron Rodgers almost three full rounds before the next quarterback was taken in the draft. However, in a 6-pt passing league such as this, Rodgers could be fantasy fold. He has looked good in the pre-season so far, and has a whole new stable of weapons to choose from this season. Patrick Mahomes was a decent value pick in the 16th round, and Roberts will have plenty of time to see if Mahomes emerges as a legitimate fantasy threat. Roberts only needs him for week seven unless Rodgers goes down and after that, Mahomes can be cut for depth at other positions.

WEAKNESSES
It seems a little silly to call a team with Le’Veon Bell weak at running back, but Keith didn’t add much depth behind Bell after taking him #3 overall. Jerick McKinnon has an injured calf that will cause him to miss the rest of the pre-season. That’s more important this season since McKinnon is trying to learn a new offense and working to prove he is the top back on a new team. The rest of the crew are all #2 backs on their respective teams and will need the primary back to be injured or fall out of favor before they can really contribute from a fantasy perspective.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Roberts needs his second-tier wide receivers to really over-perform if his team is going to compete. Consistent points from Keenan Allen are a given, but guys like Robby Anderson and Jordy Nelson all have question marks surrounding them this season. Marvin Jones Jr had a great season last year, and if that trend continues, Roberts will do well. Roberts could also use a little more depth at running back and picking up a decent one off the waiver wire will help. If Bell stays healthy, Roberts will have a chance. He just needs a couple of the other pieces to fall in place to really put together a playoff run.

DRAFT SLOT 4

Sigmund Bloom, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

I care a lot more about the quality of my starting lineup when i manage my roster and set my lineup. I care a lot more about weekly ceiling and depth in a best ball league.

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

Running back is king in the early rounds and an upside-down strategy becomes less advisable between the advantage of the stud wide receivers over later options get smaller. A running back like Jordan Howard who doesn't contribute as much in the passing game regains RB1 status. Big play, lower volume wide receivers become closer to the value of the high volume wide receivers and red zone roles are more important. Tight end doesn't change much.

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

Once again, the starting lineup will be greatly emphasized. Taking 2 or three shots at an RB2 as an approach can be rewarded in a flex league because if you land multiple hits, you can use both. In this league, I'd rather invest two picks in running backs early.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

3 RB, 2 WR. maybe 1 TE instead of a WR

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

Quarterback is still deep enough that I'll likely wait on Alex Smith. If I take a quarterback before everyone has their QB1 it will likely be Ben Roethlisberger.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

Chris Thompson, Christian McCaffrey

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

Jordan Howard, Jimmy Graham

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

Running back. The pool is smaller with receiving backs not giving you the solid weekly floor. Wide receiver is less important with matchup plays and big-play receivers providing more value week to week when the ceiling at the position is much lower.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

I may take a defense like Baltimore or Denver early because of a strong Week 1 matchup and season outlook. Kicker will be my last pick.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.04
4
RB
ARI
2.09
21
WR
CIN
3.04
28
RB
BAL
4.09
45
RB
MIA
5.04
52
WR
SEA
6.09
69
WR
Sammy Watkins
KCC
7.04
76
TE
WAS
8.09
93
RB
WAS
9.04
100
WR
Will Fuller
HOU
10.09
117
QB
PIT
11.04
124
WR
Mike Williams
LAC
12.09
141
RB
Javorius Allen
BAL
13.04
148
RB
NEP
14.09
165
QB
WAS
15.04
172
TE
CIN
16.09
189
WR
Taywan Taylor
TEN
17.04
196
Def
Denver Broncos
DEN
18.09
213
PK
Chris Boswell
PIT

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You drafted A.J. Green over Keenan Allen, whereas many have their rankings reverse. Why is Green someone people should consider in the second round of drafts and what other wide receivers would you rather have over him?

In a PPR league, I would have taken Allen because I think it is within his range of outcomes to lead the league in targets and catches. Green is worth consideration in the second because the Bengals offense should be greatly improved with upgrades at left tackle and center on the problem offensive line unit of 2017 and 2017 first round pick John Ross stretching defenses with his speed. Green was sometimes a top-five pick in 2016 and he was delivering on that ADP until he got hurt.

2. You drafted Rob Kelley as your RB4 in the 8th round (RB42). Explain why others should target him in drafts and when is a good time to pull the trigger?

In a PPR league, I would probably wait at least 2-4 rounds later, but in a nonPPR, running back is king and any player with a semi-likely outcome of leading his team in carries and rushing scores has solid value. From outward indications, Kelley is ahead of Samaje Perine, and he should have more success as long as the Washington offensive line doesn't experience injuries in the epidemic proportions they endured in 2017. He'll have matchup RB3/Flex value at worst unless Washington adds another quality running back before the season.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Three of Bloom’s first four picks were running backs, and the strength of his team starts with them. David Johnson looks to be back to full strength and he’s an easy guy to cement into the starting lineup up each week. Kenyan Drake and Alex Collins may not be the stud that Johnson is, but both will see the bulk of the carries for their respective teams, giving Bloom a solid base each week. Rob Kelley and James White are firmly entrenched in a committee situation with their teams, but they will both see their share of touches each week as well.

WEAKNESSES
Jordan Reed has been recovering nicely from the injuries that sidelined him for a big chunk of last season. But Reed is still a risk, having never made it a full season and only playing in 18 games over the last two years. Bloom’s only protection against another Reed absence is the consistently disappointing Tyler Eifert, who has also missed a significant amount of time over the last two seasons due to injury. Free agency is always an option, but the odds of Bloom being able to start Reed or Eifert every week this season are pretty slim.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
The strength of Bloom’s running backs is the key to his success, and a strong showing from David Johnson will be paramount. Sig has a pretty decent quarterback by committee with Ben Roethlisberger and Alex Smith, and if Bloom can rotate the right starter into place he’ll outperform the quarterbacks taken much higher than the 10th round. Doug Baldwin is still nursing an injured knee, but the hope is he’ll be ready for week one. If Baldwin and Jordan Reed can stay on the field, Bloom’s going to have a seriously competitive team.

DRAFT SLOT 5

Danny Tuccitto, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

In this format, I'm taking fewer fliers near the end of the draft because they'll be available on the waiver wire. Not else much, as I'm always taking the best player available somewhere within a round of his ADP.

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

Because I tend to adhere pretty strictly to my draft lists and those lists are about as math-based as it can get, I don't have a different strategy once the draft starts. Whoever the list says to consider based on my projections and the scoring system is who I take. The only influence it might have in rare circumstances is that I'll err toward goaling running backs over third-down running backs when forced to chose between two closely ranked players (usually later in the draft).

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

As shallow as the position is, the lack of flex means I tend to take a tight end earlier than usual.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

From the 1.05 slot, I'm guessing two running backs, two wide receivers, and one tight end.

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

I'm targeting Tom Brady likely earlier than most people due to his second-ranked True Touchdown Rate of 5.63%. Only Aaron Rodgers' 6.08% ranks higher.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

I imagine everyone's going to answer Jarvis Landry here, so I'll go with Mohamed Sanu, who has an above-average True Receptions per Route Run, but rates below average in True Yards per Route Run and True Receptions per Route Run.

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

Jay Ajayi and Kenny Stills.

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

Given how devalued pass-catching specialists are in this format, high-scoring running backs are a scarcer commodity than usual. Therefore, I'd rather have a strength at running back.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

I'll take a defense a little earlier than usual, but still wait until near the end for a kicker. The defense I'm targeting is the Chargers.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.05
5
WR
PIT
2.08
20
RB
ATL
3.05
29
RB
TEN
4.08
44
TE
KCC
5.05
53
RB
NYJ
6.08
68
WR
SFO
7.05
77
QB
SEA
8.08
92
WR
GBP
9.05
101
WR
PHI
10.08
116
WR
CAR
11.05
125
TE
TBB
12.08
140
RB
Jordan Wilkins
IND
13.05
149
Def
Minnesota Vikings
MIN
14.08
164
QB
Marcus Mariota
TEN
15.05
173
RB
Chase Edmonds
ARI
16.08
188
WR
Tyrell Williams
LAC
17.05
197
PK
Robbie Gould
SFO
18.08
212
WR
James Washington
PIT

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Only two teams selected a wide receiver in round 1. You were one of them, taking Antonio Brown with pick 1.05. What running backs needed to be on the board for you to take running back instead? Why should the average drafter consider Brown in mid-first and how would you tell them to attack the next 3-4 picks after doing so?

This being a standard scoring format, I seriously considered taking Leonard Fournette, my No. 5 running back over Brown, who I ranked No. 5 overall. In the end, I reverted to my default of "this is what your own math says; take him." I suppose there's also the default of drafting the top of the first wide receiver tier over the top of the second running back tier.

With respect to my strategy after taking Brown, it can go one of two ways depending on how the draft proceeds. If there's running back value available at my second round pick, then I'll go RB-RB in Rounds 2 and 3 (and possibly 4). Similarly, if there's a wide receiver value available at my second round pick, then I'll go WR-WR in Rounds 2 and 3 (and possibly 4). I'm not married to either trajectory. My strategy is simply that, once I have Brown, I'm either going to focus on catching up at running back or solidifying wide receiver.

2. You selected Travis Kelce as the second tight end off the board in round four. Why is it important to target an early-round tight end more for in-season leagues?

It's only more important insofar as people tend to undervalue tight ends, which manifests itself in waiver wire and trade acquisitions. If the need arises, I can acquire a TE2 with relative ease.

Even though it wasn't asked, that specific Kelce pick was because I had him ranked 23rd overall, and I deemed the available running backs or wide receivers available unworthy of No. 40. I only select a tight end (or quarterback) that early if the situation demands it from an expected value perspective.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
In a draft where running backs flew off the shelf in the 1st round, Danny took the top receiver at #5 overall with Antonio Brown. He did hit running backs with three of his next four picks though and he landed a pretty consistent stable of points with his first five picks. Devonta Freeman gets a bump in this format because receptions don’t receiver a bonus point. Derrick Henry and Isaiah Crowell will both be a part of a running back committee this year, but both will see plenty of action. Travis Kelce is still a stud tight end, and he rounds out the solid base that will drive Danny’s team this year.

WEAKNESSES
After taking Antonio Brown at #5 overall, Tuccitto faded the wide receiver position and didn’t take his second until the middle of the 6th round. Marquise Goodwin will be a decent receiver this year, but he’s never going to be a guy who wins a game for you. Randall Cobb and Nelson Agholor can both disappear in games, and that’s going to hurt this team if it happens too often.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Danny has great balance with this team, and if he can get one or two of his second-tier wide receivers to perform above expectations, he’s going to have a dangerous team. D.J. Moore has a lot of upside, and he could be the guy who challenges for a starting role on this team. Tuccitto is going to need a couple waiver wire additions as well – especially a running back for week 8 when two of his top three picks are off. There’s enough talent here to build a solid lineup each week – Danny just needs a little luck with his wide receivers and he will be a playoff caliber team.

DRAFT SLOT 6

Phil Alexander, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

There's no need to draft multiple defenses, tight ends, and quarterbacks. Each of those positions can be streamed in-season if the draft doesn't go as planned. I also won't go out of my way to target players with a wide range of possible outcomes on a weekly basis, the way I might in best ball.

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

It doesn't change too much, but I will place an emphasis on players who project for high red zone usage (and the elevated touchdown volume that goes along with it). Running backs who operate strictly in space like Chris Thompson or wide receivers who rack up the majority of their catches close to the line of scrimmage like Golden Tate are less likely to find their way onto my teams in standard leagues.

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

I won't draft quite as many running backs as usual since I can only start a maximum of two each week. I'll probably get two stud running backs out of the way early, so I can focus on building a deep group of wide receivers in the early-middle rounds.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

Two running backs, three wide receivers, and zero anything else unless Rob Gronkowski slips to me in the second round. Even then, I'm likely to pass on Gronkowski for a running back since we start only one tight end, there's no flex, and there are waivers.

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

I'm going to wait and see how the rest of the room values the position, so I won't be one of the first people drafting a quarterback. Once the market has been set I'll probably go after a boring veteran like Matthew Stafford or Philip Rivers, who always seem to finish inside the top-10 in passing scores.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

Golden Tate, Chris Thompson

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

Mike Evans, Derrick Henry

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

Wide receiver. You start more each week. But since it is easier to build depth at wide receiver later in the draft, I still plan on attacking running back first.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

In a league with in-season waivers, if kicker and defense are not your last two picks, you have done it wrong.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.06
6
RB
MIN
2.07
19
RB
CHI
3.06
30
WR
MIN
4.07
43
WR
OAK
5.06
54
WR
CLE
6.07
67
TE
Zach Ertz
PHI
7.06
78
RB
TBB
8.07
91
WR
CAR
9.06
102
WR
SEA
10.07
115
RB
SFO
11.06
126
TE
Jack Doyle
IND
12.07
139
QB
MIN
13.06
150
WR
Donte Moncrief
JAC
14.07
163
WR
Chris Godwin
TBB
15.06
174
QB
TBB
16.07
187
RB
Corey Grant
JAC
17.06
198
PK
Jake Elliott
PHI
18.07
211
Def
Arizona Cardinals
ARI

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You followed your plan of taking two running backs early, followed by three straight wide receivers. Filling your roster first, before adding depth is a good strategy. Talk more about why people should consider that, especially in this format and with no flex.

This one was pretty simple for me. In a standard scoring league, the demand for running backs was going to be sky-high. Wide receiver is deep this year and the third and fourth rounds are littered with guys who could produce top-8 numbers at the position. I feel fortunate to have gotten two of them -- Stefon Diggs and Amari Cooper -- after my starting running backs were solidified. In retrospect though, I wish I would have taken Leonard Fournette ahead of Cook in Round 1. I have Fournette ranked higher, but have grown bored of drafting him all off-season. Here's hoping rumors of a split backfield between Cook and Latavius Murray stay just rumors.

2. I want you to talk about two players in particular. Josh Gordon and Peyton Barber. Why are they on your radar and why should others consider them in their drafts?

The fifth-round is the point for me where the reward outweighs the risk with Gordon. I like guys like Chris Hogan and Corey Davis just fine this year, but is overall WR1 within their range of possible outcomes? Gordon as my WR3 could win me the league. In a worst case scenario, I wasted my fifth-round pick but I'm still more than fine at WR3 with the combo of Devin Funchess and Tyler Lockett.

I'm pretty sure no one else in the industry has drafted Barber as high as pick 7.06. While it may seem reactionary after the results of the Buccaneers first preseason game, I'm convinced Barber is the lead back in Tampa Bay and Ronald Jones isn't good enough to supplant him. While Jones can run really fast in a straight line, he's an abomination in pass protection, can't catch the ball out of the backfield, and has had fumbling problems in training camp. Barber might not be an elite physical talent, but he's a Matt Waldman favorite from his days at Auburn, has lost weight this off-season (usually a good thing for a running back's explosiveness), and is dominating first-team snaps. Even if Jones improves, Barber will hold down the goal-line role for Tampa Bay all season, which should be good enough for RB3 value in standard leagues on its own.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
After taking two running backs with his firs two picks, Alexander hit the wide receiver position with five of the next seven picks, building some decent depth at the position. Stefon Diggs should have another great season with new quarterback Kirk Cousins throwing to him and Josh Gordon has finally reported to camp where he should take over the top spot now that Dez Bryant has left town without a contract. If Chirs Godwin can pull a bigger role in Tampa, this is going to be one of the deepest wide receiver groups in the league.

WEAKNESSES
There’s some serious risk at running back with this team. Dalvin Cook looks to be back 100% and Jordon Howard will be the workhorse in Chicago this season. But after that, this team is paper thin at running back. The other thing to note is that a lot of this team’s success will be tied to the Minnesota Vikings. Between Cousins, Cook and Diggs, this team projects to have three Vikings on the field every week. Granted, the Vikings are a strong team and this team should be fine – but if the Vikings struggle at all, this team is sunk.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
As mentioned above, if the Vikings have another solid season like they did last year, this team will be a big beneficiary. A decent season from Tampa Bay wouldn’t hurt either. Josh Gordon is still a big question mark, but his position became a lot better in the last few days and if he can keep his nose clean, this team will be deep at wide receiver. Finally – Dalvin Cook and Jordon Howard need to stay healthy. At least until this team can hit the waiver wire and add a little more depth at running back. If Alexander plays the waiver wire well, this team is going to be fine.

DRAFT SLOT 7

Brandon Gdula, NumberFire

Brandon Gdula is the Senior Editor at numberFire.com and a co-host of The Heat Check Fantasy Podcast, a Fantasy Sports Writers Association-nominated daily fantasy sports podcast, with Jim Sannes. Gdula has been covering various sports for numberFire since 2013, including the NFL, PGA, and NBA.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

In best ball leagues, you can take a shot in the late rounds on a running back in a committee and just soak up the prolific weeks while not being penalized by the poor outings and needing to guess when a good game is coming. The same applies for a deep-play wide receiver who can score a long touchdown and win you a week.

In a league where starting rosters must be submitted, I emphasize predictability, safety, and projectable volume more than I do in a best ball league, where efficiency and upside often win out.

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

The difference between standard and PPR scoring doesn’t drastically change the way that I value players within an individual position.

However, from a draft and management perspective, running backs move up the overall draft board for me in a standard league. Drafting two workhorse running backs who can soak up yardage and touchdowns is my initial goal. Elite running backs can provide an edge that’s hard to match on a week-to-week basis, and spending early draft capital is the best way to land the real difference-makers.

Wide receivers become more touchdown-dependent in this format, and that reduces the value of slot and volume-dependent receivers. This also reduces the number of wide receivers I’m comfortable drafting later in the draft.

Standard scoring also allows me to devalue the tight end position overall. The non-elite options who catch a lot of passes don’t have much of a gap over the touchdown-dependent fliers without the reception bonus. Other than Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce, tight end comes down to scoring potential in this scoring setting.

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

The three-receiver, standard-scoring league is a throwback to when I started playing fantasy football. Ideally, I would play a third running back in the flex in a standard-scoring setup.

Without it and with a third receiver, I still won’t overvalue the receiver position given that it’s a standard league. With the seventh overall pick, I’m anticipating taking the top running back available (provided Antonio Brown doesn’t slide). In a PPR format, I’d be more inclined to consider a WR-WR start.

That being said, it’ll be vital to land some of the receivers with more predictable touchdown numbers in the early and middle rounds as opposed to relying on late-round receivers.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

Unless Rob Gronkowski falls to me in the middle of the third round, I will almost certainly have two running backs and three wide receivers or three running backs and two wide receivers by the end of the fifth round, depending on which players are available to me during my picks.

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

I will wait until the double-digit rounds, even if there is an early run on quarterbacks. Despite the extra two points per touchdown pass, studies indicate that we should still rely on lower-level passers in promising matchups when it comes to a single-quarterback league. Rotating quarterbacks in my lineup will be the goal.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

Larry Fitzgerald - Fitzgerald is in position to be a high-volume receiver in an offense that needs playmakers. However, his touchdown upside projects to be significantly lower than other receivers around his average draft cost, given a shaky offense.

Christian McCaffrey - McCaffrey already generates a disproportionate amount of value from his reception count, but his red zone splits with Greg Olsen last year indicate he could become an afterthought near the goal line. CJ Anderson was brought in to take over the goal-line carries from Jonathan Stewart, and Cam Newton is always a threat to pilfer touchdowns. The lack of anticipated touchdowns bumps McCaffrey down in standard leagues.

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

Davante Adams - I’m not the biggest Adams fan entering 2018, but his touchdown equity as Aaron Rodgers’ top receiver — as well as the fact that he leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns since 2016 — gives him added value in a format that ignores points for receptions.

Derrick Henry - Henry is a player I’m fading at his usual draft cost in PPR leagues, but in a standard format, he jumps up the list, given his ostensible touchdown role for the Titans. Henry had a top-five rushing success rate from inside the 20 last year and should be the preferred goal-line back over Dion Lewis.

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

Running back. Although there are only two starting slots, having a strong running back group would give me a bigger week-to-week edge, as the top-end rushers should outscore the top-end receivers in a standard scoring format.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

Defense and kicker will be taken as late as possible, and the goal would be to wind up with options in promising Week 1 spots to maximize the value of waiting to select them.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.07
7
RB
NYG
2.06
18
WR
GBP
3.07
31
RB
PHI
4.06
42
RB
DEN
5.07
55
WR
NEP
6.06
66
RB
SEA
7.07
79
RB
Aaron Jones
GBP
8.06
90
WR
Cooper Kupp
LAR
9.07
103
WR
Sterling Shepard
NYG
10.06
114
RB
GBP
11.07
127
WR
Marqise Lee
JAC
12.06
138
TE
CHI
13.07
151
WR
Anthony Miller
CHI
14.06
162
QB
LAC
15.07
175
TE
OAK
16.06
186
QB
NYG
17.07
199
Def
Carolina Panthers
CAR
18.06
210
PK
Brandon McManus
DEN

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You touched on this in the pre-draft questions, but you can expand on why it's a good strategy to draft starters and depth at both running back and wide receiver in this draft? You selected a running back or wide receiver with every pick until the 12th round.

Of the starting positions on my lineup, the only two that require multiple weekly starters are running back and wide receiver. While loading up on those two positions in the draft kept me from drafting high-end tight ends and quarterbacks, that strategy should help during bye weeks and through inevitable injuries to my starters. This league also has deeper benches than a usual league would, meaning finding replacement running backs and receivers will be even more difficult. That’s another reason that I spent the bulk of my draft capital on those spots.

Even by doing so, I feel confident with my quarterback options and tight end options, given the depth I was able to attain at the running back and receiver positions. Had this been a 14- or 16-team league, I wouldn’t have been able to wait quite so long for a tight end or quarterback.

2. You selected Royce Freeman and Rashaad Penny in this draft. Explain why rookie running backs and these two, in particular, can be a big piece to your roster?

The running back position comes down to volume. Both the year-end rankings and single-game production are strongly tied to opportunity — touches and snaps played. It’s not a guarantee that certain rushers command a workhorse role, but rookie backs tend to have a fairly clear path to opportunity. They were drafted to fit a team need, and it’s not a position that requires a huge learning curve before being NFL-ready.

Combining that with these two in particular, Penny is one of the best running back prospects I’ve ever seen from an athleticism and college production standpoint. He broke his finger and is behind Chris Carson on the depth chart, but first-round picks have a very strong track record for producing in their first years. I’m banking on the talent and assumption that Seattle won’t bench a first-round pick.

Freeman was an early third-round pick and needs to beat out Devontae Booker, who has been, at best, average in his two NFL seasons, according to the advanced analytics. Freeman’s production and athleticism puts him on par with the cluster of second-rounders from this season’s draft. On what could be a better-than-advertised offense in Denver, Freeman should have strong fantasy value so long as he avoids injury.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Gdula drafted running backs with five of his first seven picks. In doing so he landed a solid group of rookies like Saquon Barkley, Rashaad Penny and Royce Freeman. He also supplemented these picks with known veterans like Jay Ajayi and Ty Montgomery – guys who are known commodities and will produce each week. His wide receiver group is solid as well, with Davante Adams and Chris Hogan being two strong picks – especially at the beginning of the season while Julian Edelman is suspended.

WEAKNESSES
Gdula faded the tight end position hard and didn’t take his first one until the 12th round. He has two serviceable guys with Trey Burton and Jared Cook, but neither of them is projected to be top 12 tight ends this season. Brandon faded the quarterback position as well, but he has a little better upside with Philip Rivers who is projected to be a top ten quarterback this year.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Gdula is going to have to run a quarterback by committee approach since his choices are not the top shelf guys who can carry a team. This is a perfectly valid approach this season, and if he balances his choices right each week, he’ll do fine. In a standard league (no PPR), the tight end position really turns on who can score touchdowns and Gdula has picked a couple of guys who have that upside each week. If Barkley proves to be the rookie that everyone projects him to be, this team is going to have a great chance to make the playoffs.

DRAFT SLOT 8

Andy Hicks, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

Leagues that have in-season management and waivers allows you to cover up cracks that can easily occur when a draft goes wrong. If you whiff at a position such as Tight End or Wide Receiver, there are usually strong options that emerge quickly during the season. In a best ball league, you need to throw the net a bit wider to cover situations where eg a WR1 isn't clearly defined, but there will be fantasy points eg the Washington WR1.

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

Part-time players who can do a lot with little such as Tarik Cohen are harder to rely on. Third down backs, unless they can get a lot of yards should be eschewed. Wide receivers that have a low yards per catch should be dropped significantly down boards, such as Golden Tate, unless they are reliable end zone targets. At Tight End, touchdowns are even more important and your Charles Clay types are hard to roster.

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

This rule makes ensure you draft truly elite talent, or players with the upside to reach it. It is more important than grabbing a bunch of your usual WR3 options such as Michael Crabtree or Jamison Crowder. At running back, third down backs and limited ball carriers are heavily negated and the importance of grabbing guys that could get 200 carries more important.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

I would expect two or three running backs, two or three wide receivers, with the odd chance of a tight end or if there is a run, a quarterback.

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

Logic dictates that there could be an early run at the position, but that doesn't always work out. The depth of strong options allows you to wait a little longer and with 24 quarterbacks throwing at least a touchdown a game in 2017, but only three throwing more than two a game, the variance isn't as great as you would expect.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

Jarvis Landry and his 8 yards a catch, at least when he was in Miami, is going to be hurt by this. Any third down specialist running back is also in for a big hit and the main one here is Christian McCaffrey. His touchdown numbers are going to be unreliable and he wasn't anything special as a runner. 80 receptions helps pad things out a bit.

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

Running backs that don't get a lot of receptions, but run the ball a lot are in for a boost in this format, especially if they can find the end zone.
Jordan Howard should be an early pick, but if you are in the wrong draft slot you almost have to reach or hope for the best, negating the question. Further down the draft the better backs to target would be LeGarrette Blount, although at his age he may not get close to 200 carries. Doug Martin and Derrick Henry are two backs who may do much better in this format than in PPR.

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

In a no PPR league, wide receivers lose a bit of their cache. That position has a more reliable flow of points from that rule. Running backs will get yards from rushing and receiving and get touchdowns as a bonus. Definitely strength at running back is more important.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

Try to take one of the better ones, but if people take them earlier than I want, it won't be a big loss as I'm assured one of the top 12 options

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.08
8
RB
KCC
2.05
17
WR
NOS
3.08
32
RB
CAR
4.05
41
WR
LAR
5.08
56
WR
TEN
6.05
65
RB
Ronald Jones
TBB
7.08
80
WR
Robert Woods
LAR
8.05
89
WR
Kelvin Benjamin
BUF
9.08
104
TE
CLE
10.05
113
WR
Josh Doctson
WAS
11.08
128
RB
KCC
12.05
137
QB
Jared Goff
LAR
13.08
152
QB
DET
14.05
161
RB
Chris Ivory
BUF
15.08
176
Def
Houston Texans
HOU
16.05
185
TE
ATL
17.08
200
PK
Dan Bailey
DAL
18.05
209
TE
TEN

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You said you wanted to fade Christian McCaffrey in this draft, but you selected him with pick 3.08 (RB20). What made you pull the trigger? Explain how unwanted high-reception backs can be a treasure in a standard scoring league if the value is right.

In a PPR league, McCaffrey would normally be an early 2nd round pick, but take out 80 points for his receptions and he has to fall back. Not too far though as he should improve on his 1000 total yards and seven touchdowns with any development in his game. By the time we got to the 20th running back and the 32nd overall pick the fall was too far. If a running back sees a lot of the ball he will get receptions and with those receptions comes yards and hopefully touchdowns. Weighting the lack of receptions carefully between PPR and Non-PPR can be the difference between winning and losing these types of leagues.

2. How important is a running back hand-cuff for an in-season league? Case in point, you selected Spencer Ware to go with Kareem Hunt. Should others put an emphasis on drafting Ware if they draft Hunt? Are there any examples of situations where you would not condone drafting a hand-cuff?

Each situation is different and running backs are a premium in Non-PPR leagues. Before you consider a handcuff, you need to evaluate whether the player will get drafted on his own terms. If not, he may not be worth a handcuff.

Is the offensive scheme solid enough to cope with the absence of a clear starter? If the answer is no, the player may not be worth a handcuff.

Is the player a clear number two back or is there competition? If he has competition, he may not be worth a handcuff.

Is the player a proven performer? If not, he may not be worth a handcuff.

People should only consider taking Ware if they have the depth and can afford the roster spot. Ware may have been the starter last year if he didn't do a knee in preseason. He was ranked as a borderline RB2 before the injury and Hunt was far from a sure thing. The seven-game stretch where Hunt was barely rosterable last year does have me a little concerned, hence the hedging with Ware.

There are many situations where I would not recommend a handcuff. Le'Veon Bell and James Conner for instance. The chasm of quality between the two players is vast and Pittsburgh would clearly change their offense were Bell not playing. Todd Gurley and his backup(s) is another situation not worth investing in. David Johnson and Chase Edmunds is a bit more interesting, especially if Edmunds continues his good preseason and training camp form.

3. If teams pass on an elite defense, why should they consider Houston, who you selected as the fifth defense off the board? What others would you recommend after 5 or 6 are off the board?

Houston has quality across the board and the addition of Tyrann Mathieu, in addition to the return of J.J. Watt and Mercilus will make them much more attractive. The biggest plus will be an offense that doesn't have Tom Savage or T.J. Yates struggling to make a first down.

As for other defenses, always look for one that has a good offense, quality playmakers and a softer schedule. Jeff Pasquino does a great job with his defensive team by committee article in laying out options here.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Hicks scored a solid base of running backs and wide receivers with his first eight picks in the draft. Kareem Hunt was a huge surprise last season, and he should again be one of the top running backs this season. Hunt, Michael Thomas, Brandin Cooks, Christian McCaffrey and Corey Davis will be one of the best starting five position players in the league.

WEAKNESSES
Hicks took a shotgun approach to tight end, and he was the only team to draft three of them. Guys like Austin Hooper and Jonnu Smith immediately become candidates to drop via free agency, but the hope is that one of them can emerge in case David Njoku loses touches to Cameron Brate.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
The strength of his core will cause this team to sink or swim each week. Hicks has built a balanced team and has a high floor at quarterback, running back and wide receiver. He just needs to be able to identify the right players each week who can outperform their expectations – especially at tight end as mentioned above. Hicks has always displayed a talent for getting the most out of his lineup each week and doing that here will pay real dividends.

DRAFT SLOT 9

Chad Parsons, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

I definitely worry less about the backup quarterback and tight end spots with viable options on the waiver wire early in the season. Also, I focus bench spots on backup running backs as they are the most costly from the waiver wire should an injury ahead of them on the depth chart arise.

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

With the scoring shift, running backs are more prominent. I want a solid top-2 at the position with another couple higher end depth options. With tight ends, the divide between the elite and the rest of the position is more pronounced and touchdown dependent week to week. I am more likely to stream if I do not get Rob Gronkowski in Round 2.

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

I am more likely to address WR2/3 early in the draft with a balanced approach in the first handful of rounds with higher volume options.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

The first five picks are likely to be solely running backs and wide receivers. Ideally, with three running backs and a couple of wide receivers.

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

I am a serial late-round quarterback, not checking the position until at least Round 10. Andrew Luck will be in consideration, but more likely Dak Prescott, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, and Jameis Winston level options in the QB16-20 range.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

I doubt I end up with Christian McCaffrey in standard scoring. Jerick McKinnon is another overvalued option. I fade sub-sized and receiving-centric backs in the format.

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

Leonard Fournette is a target in all formats this year but especially in standard scoring considering his touchdown upside. Rob Gronkowski is another option who can pace the entire position based on touchdown acumen alone.

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

I strongly prefer running backs in standard scoring. Their weekly predictability is higher and a short-range touchdown has more impact without PPR scoring. Also, I am more comfortable with the later-round wide receiver options on ambiguous depth charts than running backs.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

I seek established kickers, ideally with strong offenses and with home dome environments. As for defenses, I focus on Week 1 matchups (Baltimore and Detroit stand out with optimal matchups) and will turn into an early-season streamer at the position.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.09
9
RB
JAC
2.04
16
RB
CIN
3.09
33
RB
HOU
4.04
40
WR
DEN
5.09
57
RB
GBP
6.04
64
WR
BAL
7.09
81
WR
NEP
8.04
88
TE
CAR
9.09
105
WR
DAL
10.04
112
RB
MIA
11.09
129
WR
BAL
12.04
136
RB
NEP
13.09
153
RB
Bilal Powell
NYJ
14.04
160
TE
BUF
15.09
177
WR
Danny Amendola
MIA
16.04
184
PK
Justin Tucker
BAL
17.09
201
QB
DAL
18.04
208
Def
Pittsburgh Steelers
PIT

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You said you'd wait at quarterback and you did exactly that, taking Dak Prescott as the 21st quarterback off the board in round 17. Explain how you can win with this strategy and why others should adopt this approach to late-round quarterback drafting?

The quarterback position is so deep this year. Many seasons we can say that and generally, I am a late-round quarterback advocate. In 2018, however, this may be the deepest I have seen the position. Dak Prescott, Eli Manning, Jameis Winston are just a few of the quarterbacks I like after 18 are off the board in most drafts. Compare getting sure-fire quarterback starters in the late rounds like those options to what is available at running back (No.2 options on a depth chart at best) and wide receiver (WR2/3 types on NFL depth charts) and the opportunity cost is a no-brainer to wait on a quarterback in start-one formats.

2. As you indicated, you went heavy at running back in the early part of this draft. You selected four backs in the first five rounds. One of those backs was Joe Mixon in the second round. What made you take him over other backs on the board?

Joe Mixon is one of my breakout running back bets for 2018. If Cincinnati's offensive line is marginally improved from last year, I see a top-12 season for Mixon as a workhorse back in terms of usage. With a later draft position, I had no faith Mixon would make it back to 3.09, so pre-draft, I knew if Leonard Fournette was gone at 2.04 (all but a certainty), Mixon would be one of my few target players. In PPR formats I have taken Christian McCaffrey often in the mid-second, but in non-PPR, I will go Mixon.

3. You selected Jeremy Hill in round 12. Why should others have him on their radar? When is a good time to pull the trigger on Hill?

Jeremy Hill is a high-variance outcome player. With Rex Burkhead working through a compromised knee (or even if healthy), Jeremy Hill could be the primary power back for the Patriots and score 10+ touchdowns this year. Hill could also not make the final 53-man roster. I would take backs like Frank Gore, Matt Breida, and Latavius Murray over Hill, but once those options are exhausted in Round 11-12 range, Hill is a preferred target.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Ten of the first twelve picks in this league were running backs, so the depth at this position dried up quickly. Parsons hung tough though and scored four of them with his first five picks. This draft happened before Jamaal Williams injured his ankle, so taking him at 5.09 was about right for this draft. Despite the heavy running back focus, Parson still landed some decent wide receiver talent as well, and having Demaryius Thomas, Allen Hurns and Michael Crabtree on the field each week should give Parsons a solid point base to build from.

WEAKNESSES
The obvious answer here is Quarterback. Parsons completely faded this position and took Dak Prescott almost as an afterthought in the second to last round. This is a good year to wait on quarterbacks, but this is a bit extreme. Prescott has not been a fantasy stud by any stretch and counting on him week after week is going to be tough. Parsons is obviously going to need to add at least one more quarterback via free agency for bye weeks and injuries.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
If Dallas turns into a 4500-yard passing team this season, Parsons is a Super Bowl lock. I’m only half joking when I say that because as of now, this team is going to consistently have one of the lowest quarterback points each week. Dallas needs to throw the ball for this team to win. To make up for the deficiency at quarterback. Leonard Fournette and Joe Mixon/Lamar Miller are going to have to perform at near optimal level each week. Chad’s depth at wide receiver is good, but this is not a PPR league so it’s going to be hard to distance himself from other teams without scoring a bunch of touchdowns. Losing Edelman until week five doesn’t help. Parsons needs consistent above-expected performance from his running backs and wide receivers to be able to compete with this team.

DRAFT SLOT 10

Justin Bonnema, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

I generally play it a little safer and try to build a higher floor. In best ball, I don’t mind taking shots on high-upside, low-floor guys (like John Brown) but in redraft, I am less likely to chase players whose weekly outlooks are difficult to project.

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

It removes my interest in players that serve as the team’s pass-catching running backs. In general, I want quality depth at the running back position and I want players who will get a lot of opportunities when their team is in scoring position.

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

It doesn’t impact my strategy much as far as which players I’ll target, especially in a league with standard scoring. I might be slightly more inclined to draft more running backs early and lock that position up.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

I would like to have three running backs and two wide receivers, but that could change depending on which running backs are available when I’m on the clock at 1.10.

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

Six points per touchdown vs. four points per touchdown doesn’t change my strategy at all. It’s relative. So I will stick with waiting as long as possible to draft a quarterback.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

Chris Thompson and Giovani Bernard.

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

Melvin Gordon III and Michael Crabtree.

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

Running back. Since there’s no flex, it stands to reason that the waiver wire will produce quality options at wide receiver. I’m not as confident in waiver wire running backs.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

If the Rams, Eagles, or Jaguars are still on the board in the 14th or 15th round, I will be tempted to grab one of them. I want a kicker that plays indoors but I’m not going to break the bank trying to make that happen.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.10
10
RB
LAC
2.03
15
WR
HOU
3.10
34
WR
MIN
4.03
39
WR
PIT
5.10
58
RB
TEN
6.03
63
RB
WAS
7.10
82
RB
WAS
8.03
87
QB
CAR
9.10
106
WR
Kenny Golladay
DET
10.03
111
RB
Duke Johnson
CLE
11.10
130
QB
Drew Brees
NOS
12.03
135
TE
SFO
13.10
154
RB
D\'Onta Foreman
HOU
14.03
159
WR
CIN
15.10
178
RB
Jeremy McNichols
SFO
16.03
183
Def
Philadelphia Eagles
PHI
17.10
202
WR
Tavon Austin
DAL
18.03
207
PK
Harrison Butker
KCC

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Running back was an area of importance for you in the early rounds. What made you decide to draft three wide receivers in a row in rounds 2, 3 and 4?

I completely underestimated how heavily running backs would be targeted due to the standard scoring format. I thought at least Lamar Miller would make it back around to me and maybe even Mark Ingram II or Jay Ajayi. Unfortunately, seven running backs flew off the board ahead of me. That, in turn, led me to chase the value at wide receiver and basically bail on what I consider to be inferior options at running back (instead of chasing depth). Perhaps I should have drafted Rex Burkhead at 3.10 since both of the guys drafting after that spot needed running backs. But I think the quality I built at the wide receiver position will overcome my lack of quality at running back.

2. You selected two high-reception backs in Dion Lewis and Chris Thompson, and indicated that you would fade Thompson in your pre-draft questions. What made you change your mind on him? At what point does a high-catch back became a value in standard scoring leagues?

Drafting those two players were the direct result of missing out on better options earlier in the draft. So even though I don’t typically trust Lewis and Thompson in standard formats, I needed the depth and at some point, you just have to bet on talent. We know these two guys can blow plays wide open any time they get the ball in their hands. Thompson’s role is predictable enough that it won’t be hard to know when to start him as a second running back. Lewis could be one of the most valuable players in football should Derrick Henry struggle for any reason.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
The 10th spot is hard to draft from, but Justin turned in a decent draft by letting his picks come to him. His strengths lie at wide receiver and running back, where Bonnema spent his first seven picks piling up value. His receivers are strong, with Adam Thielen, DeAndre Hopkins and JuJu Smith-Schuster make up one of the strongest starting three in the league. Melvin Gordon III was a decent pick at #10 overall, and Dion Lewis would be better in a PPR league, but should still have a reasonable fantasy production to justify a late 5th round pick.

WEAKNESSES
Bonnema faded the tight end position until the 12th round and his only selection was George Kittle. Not an exciting pick to be sure, but the tight end position isn’t nearly as important in a standard scoring league. Justin may be able to upgrade via the waiver wire once the season begins, but this position will always be a weakness for him this year.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Between his solid quarterback selections, and his starting wide receivers and running backs, Justin has built a team that can hold its own every week. He has enough depth as his core positions to play the matchups well, but can also ride studs like DeAndre Hopkins and Cam Newton all season long. He’ll need some help at tight end, and can hopefully add some help from the waiver wire but overall this team is ready to go. Unless Washington signs a veteran running back before the season begins, Samaje Perine and Chris Thompson should get a majority of running back carries this season.

DRAFT SLOT 11

Jeff Tefertiller, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

The bench players can be high-upside, low-risk players who will be churned. I target bench players based on league scoring and this league values running backs. So, I will roster more (possibly, many more) backs than receivers.

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

Yes. It means the pool for running backs is much smaller and the wide receiver position is devalued. The only tight end I will target is Gronkowski. Otherwise, I will wait until late and grab two at the position

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

No. Depth at the running back position will be my target. Finding three adequate receivers is not a huge deal.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

1 Quarterback, 3 Running Backs, and 1 Tight End (If Gronkowski is available).

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

I will address the position earlier than normal and may target a quarterback who runs (e.g., Watson or Newton) given the points for rushing yards.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

Julio Jones (few touchdowns) and Julian Edelman (best in PPR leagues, not non-PPR)

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

Gronkowski in the 2nd (if available) and Matt Breida later. Gronkowski is an elite non-PPR player and Breida pick would signify my lack of faith in McKinnon to remain healthy

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

Definitely running back in a non-PPR league. There are not many star backs who score big-time points and I want at least 2.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

Plan to take each position earlier than normal, especially kicker.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.11
11
RB
Alvin Kamara
NOS
2.02
14
TE
NEP
3.11
35
WR
KCC
4.02
38
RB
OAK
5.11
59
RB
SEA
6.02
62
RB
NEP
7.11
83
WR
MIA
8.02
86
WR
DET
9.11
107
QB
PHI
10.02
110
PK
Greg Zuerlein
LAR
11.11
131
WR
WAS
12.02
134
RB
CIN
13.11
155
QB
Jimmy Garoppolo
SFO
14.02
158
RB
John Kelly
LAR
15.11
179
Def
Baltimore Ravens
BAL
16.02
182
WR
Brandon Marshall
SEA
17.11
203
TE
NOS
18.02
206
WR
Courtland Sutton
DEN

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Your plan at tight end was Rob Gronkowski or else. You selected Gronk at pick 2.02. Explain why he is such a value in the early second round? When is it too early to take him and how should people plan their next three or four picks if they do take the early-tight end plunge?

Picking at the end of round one in a non-PPR draft means I had to assert an advantage while my league-mates had the upper hand at running back. Gronkowski is superior to the other tight ends in non-PPR leagues by a large margin. The top backs were gone so I chose the top tight end over a receiver given the depth of the receivers this year.

2. You selected Chris Carson and Sony Michel in this draft. These are two running backs who don't have a known role yet with their teams. Why should others consider them for their roster and when should they pull the trigger?

Given I was unable to land a superior non-PPR back in round one, I took a chance on these two young ball carriers due to their respective upside. Carson is the starter in Seattle and the Seahawks are committed to running the ball. In New England, the injuries are mounting. Michel's injury allowed him to slip in this draft. He is easily the most talented of the Patriots backs, but needs to get healthy and stop fumbling. Burkhead's slight knee tear could be enough for Michel to emerge midseason.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Even without points per reception, taking Rob Gronkowski basically sets your team at tight end for the season. Jeff reached a little by taking Gronk early in the second round, but he was able to essentially ignore the position the rest of the draft after that. Ben Watson has some potential upside as well and scoring him late only adds depth to an already strong position. Gronk usually misses a game or two, and Watson may be a nice fill in for him. Jeff also has a decent group of running backs and quarterbacks to give him a strong point base each week.

WEAKNESSES
Tefertiller didn’t land his second receiver until the end of the 7th round. Focusing on running back and other positions has left him with Tyreek Hill, Kenny Stills and Golden Tate as his starting trio. It’s not the worst group in the league, but there isn’t a lot of room for error with this group. Paul Richardson Jr is a decent complement to that group, but things get pretty thin after that.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
The key to Jeff’s success will be how well his wide receivers perform given where he drafted them. He has enough depth at running back, quarterback and tight end to absorb a little stumble, but Jeff really needs guys like Stills and Tate to exceed their expectations. Without a flex position, Jeff’s going to be forced to put three of these guys in his lineup every week. A few key waiver wire picks ups might would also help.

DRAFT SLOT 12

C.D. Carter, DraftDay Consultants

C.D. Carter is owner of DraftDayConsultants.com, cohost of Living The Stream, and contributor to 4for4.com.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change for an in-season league that has in-season management and waivers, vs. a best ball league?

I'll draft a team of guys with stable weekly floors along with a good number of boom-bust players for best ball purposes. In re-draft, I'll be a little less likely to invest a ton of draft capital into players whose weekly outputs will fluctuate wildly.

2. How does your overall strategy change for a standard scoring league? How will you approach drafting running backs, wide receivers and tight ends?

I won't go Full Zero RB in a standard league, especially if there are two RB spots and two WR spots. There's no reason to go all in on receivers in that format.

3. This draft does not include a flex position. How will that affect your decision-making?

Research has shown that one can maximize the flex spot with a receiver, making it likely that I'll do anything to make sure I have a team's No. 1 receiver in that flex slot. Without the flex, I'll likely consider high-volume running backs -- or guys who could fall into volume if injuries or depth charts break the right way.

4. How many players at each position do you anticipate having by the end of round five?

I'll likely have four receivers and a running back.

5. What is your plan to attack the quarterback position, knowing the scoring is 6 points per touchdown pass?

Six-point TDs don't change the quarterback position so I'll treat it just as I'd treat a league that awards four points for touchdown tosses.

6. Name two players that you will fade due to the standard scoring format.

Ty Montgomery and Jerick McKinnon.

7. Name two players that you will target due to the standard scoring format.

Alex Collins and Jay Ajayi.

8. Would you rather have a strength at running back or wide receiver in this format? Explain your answer.

I think there is some running back value in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, so I'm likely to end up with a WR-heavy squad. WR touchdown rates plummeted in 2017, setting up the position for a resurgence in 2018.

9. How will you approach kicker and defense in this draft?

Very enthusiastically, as to keep my brand intact. Kidding. I'll aim to get a kicker in the last couple rounds who is attached to a productive offense that will face plenty of neutral and positive game script (meaning they won't forgo field goal tries late in games).

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.12
12
WR
Odell Beckham
NYG
2.01
13
WR
ATL
3.12
36
WR
CLE
4.01
37
RB
NEP
5.12
60
RB
ATL
6.01
61
WR
Emmanuel Sanders
DEN
7.12
84
RB
C.J. Anderson
CAR
8.01
85
TE
Delanie Walker
TEN
9.12
108
RB
MIN
10.01
109
RB
CHI
11.12
132
WR
Cameron Meredith
NOS
12.01
133
QB
IND
13.12
156
WR
Geronimo Allison
GBP
14.01
157
RB
DET
15.12
180
TE
Eric Ebron
IND
16.01
181
RB
IND
17.12
204
PK
Matt Bryant
ATL
18.01
205
Def
New Orleans Saints
NOS

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You predicted that you would target wide receiver over running back early in this draft and you did exactly that, taking three wide receivers in the first three rounds. Why should people in slot 11 or 12 use this strategy?

The slightly depressed ADPs of the game's top receivers and the potential for a bounce back in WR touchdown scoring in 2018 makes for a less-than-terrible mix. One could do a lot worse than starting a draft with two elite fantasy producers who should combine for 330+ targets.

2. At the time of this draft, the injury to Rex Burkhead was not known. How do you feel about his chances this year? How much does he drop knowing that he has a knee injury that needs time to heal? How does this change your interest in other Patriots backs?

I didn't realize how critical Burkhead was to my strategy until his injury was reported. Having the Patriots' lead back at a discounted price is a huge boon; suddenly not having him at full health mean I'll likely have to scrape by at RB2 for the first part of the season.

WILL GRANT'S EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
With so many running backs flying off the board in the first round, Carter decided to go with an ‘upside down’ draft, taking two wide receivers out of the gate. He continued to hit the wide receivers and took four with his first six picks. It gives him the strongest wide receiver corps in the league. Odell Beckham and Julio Jones should be a constant funnel of points each week. Jarvis Landry’s value drops a bit now that Josh Gordon is back in camp, but Landry is still a solid #3 for this team.

WEAKNESSES
Denny was one of three teams to only draft one quarterback, probably looking to add one during the regular season. He landed on Andrew Luck at the top of the 12th round which is decent value in this league format, especially with six-points per passing TD. Luck’s health is coming along well and things are looking good that he will return to the starting lineup for the Colts this year. If he’s 100% by the time the season starts and can stay healthy, this will be a pretty smart move on Carter’s part. The alternative at this point is free agent guys with a lot of question marks. With an ‘upside down draft’, your running backs always look a little thin. Carter did Ok, but most of his backs would be better in a PPR league.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Just because this isn’t a PPR league, that doesn’t mean that your wide receivers can’t carry your team. Yards still count, and this team is going to have a lot of them. Beckham and Jones are going to have their share each week. Carter will also need help from his running backs to contribute – even if It’s from the passing side of the ball. Andrew Luck looks solid, but he’ll have to come back strong if this team is going to go all the way. Carter might also want to add a quarterback as the season progresses, just in case Luck faces a tough team or misses a few weeks due to injury.

View Draft Grid

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