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The Gut Check No. 449: Choose Your Adventure Draft Plan (Moderate Risk) - Footballguys

Matt Waldman creates three choose-your-own-adventure draft plans based on your risk tolerance. He explores the moderate-risk plan in this post. 

Choose your own adventure books were a big part of my early childhood. And choices are a something we all want — even when we look to others for answers. This year, yours truly has created three draft plans based on your risk tolerance as a fantasy player: conservative, moderate, and high risk-reward.

The players are listed in order of preference by round. Depending on the risk profile of the adventure, some players will be higher or lower in one plan than they are in another.

These plans are best for 12-team, serpentine drafts with PPR scoring and at least 3 receivers and 2 running backs as part of the starting lineup requirements.

Profile of the Moderate-Risk Draft

The conservative draft plan has a series of underlying characteristics that differentiate it from the conservative and high risk-reward plans:

  • The amount of eligible players in the first 12 rounds is greater than the conservative plan but smaller than the high-risk plan.
  • It values proven producers but also talent in safe-looking situations.
  • The plan doesn't have as many concerns about player age.
  • The plan has some players recuperating from injuries if they are proven, producers.
  • There are selective recommendations to go beyond the player's average draft position in the early and middle rounds..

Most of you will identify with the moderate plan. However, it's often the plans at the far end of each spectrum that give fantasy players the greatest opportunity to excel so it's worth your time to examine these other plans and run a few mock drafts with each to determine where you truly fit.

As is the case with every draft plan, if a player falls from an earlier tier to a later one, he should remain near the top of your list. Spend a few minutes mapping out potential rosters with these lists. I recommend using Draft Dominator mock drafts to determine when it's best to target running backs, tight ends, and quarterback because there aren't as many running back options with this plan as others.

Draft Spot
Early Turn
Middle Spot
Late Turn
Picks
1.01-1.04
1.05-1.08
1.09-1.12
Round 1 Targets
Todd Gurley
Antonio Brown
Melvin Gordon
Le'Veon Bell
David Johnson
Odell Beckham Jr
Ezekiel Elliott
Alvin Kamara
Michael Thomas
Antonio Brown
DeAndre Hopkins
Keenan Allen

Round 1 Commentary: In contrast to the conservative plan, David Johnson and Melvin Gordon earn consideration in this tier. The offensive lines aren't great but their talent and past production are good enough to take a chance. Although Kamara is on the conservative plan, Johnson's upside is a little higher because the Saints seem set on balancing Kamara's workload with another runner even while Mark Ingram is serving his suspension. Antonio Brown also earns a look during the early turn because he's such a proven producer. He arguably could be taken this early in the conservative plan as well, but it's important that conservative drafters get a back in the first round based on the selection of the plan's draft pool.

Draft Spot
Early Turn
Middle Spot
Late Turn
Picks
2.09-2.12
2.05-2.08
2.01-2.04
Round 2 Targets
Davante Adams
Davante Adams
Davante Adams
A.J. Green
A.J. Green
A.J. Green
Travis Kelce
Travis Kelce
Travis Kelce
Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski
Devonta Freeman
Devonta Freeman
Devonta Freeman
Jordan Howard

Round 2 Commentary: In contrast to the conservative plan, Gronkowski earns consideration with Kelce in the second round. Freeman also gets added to the list with Howard, which gives the moderate-risk drafter more options to begin their draft. Do you want to start with a pair of backs? There are enough choices to do it. You could also mix and match a variety of non-quarterback options.

Draft Spot
Early Turn
Middle Spot
Late Turn
Picks
3.01-3.04
3.05-3.08
3.09-3.12
Round 3 Targets
Travis Kelce
Aaron Rodgers
Alex Collins
Jordan Howard
Tyreek Hill
Doug Baldwin
Aaron Rodgers
Alex Collins
Amari Cooper
Tyreek Hill
Doug Baldwin
Larry Fitzgerald
Alex Collins
Amari Cooper
Jay Ajayi
Doug Baldwin
Stefon Diggs
Amari Cooper
Adam Thielen
Stefon Diggs
Adam Thielen

Round 3 Commentary: If you're drafting at the early turn, odds are likely Kelce will fall to you here. If you like to go for backs early, consider taking Kelce here and opting for the values at wide receiver throughout the draft. If you want to start heavy at wide receiver, these are all strong choices. Collins also presents a great choice for a safe back if you haven't picked one yet.

Draft Spot
Early Turn
Middle Spot
Late Turn
Picks
4.09-4.12
4.05-4.08
4.01-4.04
Round 4 Targets
Alex Collins
Alex Collins
Marvin Jones
Marvin Jones
Marvin Jones
Alex Collins
Jay Ajayi
Jay Ajayi
Jay Ajayi
JuJu Smith-Schuster
JuJu Smith-Schuster
JuJu Smith-Schuster
Demaryius Thomas
Demaryius Thomas
Demaryius Thomas
Golden Tate
Golden Tate
Golden Tate
Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham
Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson
Tom Brady
Tom Brady
Tom Brady

Round 4 Commentary: It's a pretty self-explanatory list. Depending on your draft spot, you have a shot at nabbing a top-12 producer at running back and receiver if you can finagle Collins and Jones in the fourth and fifth rounds.

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