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The Gut Check No. 450: Choose Your Adventure Draft Plan (High Risk) - Footballguys

Matt Waldman creates three choose-your-own-adventure draft plans based on your risk tolerance. He explores the high-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 High-Risk Draft

The conservative draft plan has a series of underlying characteristics that differentiate it from the moderate and conservative plans:

  • This plan has the most players to choose from.
  • Talent has a higher priority than proven production.
  • The plan has no concerns about player age.
  • The plan has several players recuperating from injuries.
  • There are several 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
Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown
Leonard Fournette
Todd Gurley
David Johnson
Melvin Gordon
LeVeon Bell
Alvin Kamara
Odell Beckham Jr
Ezekiel Elliott
DeAndre Hopkins
Michael Thomas
David Johnson
Keenan Allen

Round 1 Commentary: Antonio Brown earns top priority in this plan because high-risk drafters can afford to wait on runners. However, it also accounts for a back like Fournette who is a greater injury risk due to a chronic ankle injury that will only get worse over the course of time — whether it's weeks, months, or years from now. Still, his talent, projected volume, scheme, and youth make him worth the risk here if you're seeking upside at the turn and at this position.

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
Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook
Joe Mixon
Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey

Round 2 Commentary: It makes less sense to take a tight end at this spot. If you're concerned about missing on a position run of backs early, there are enough of them here worth your consideration. Cook and Mixon have more upside than Freeman, but Freeman's surrounding talent and individual skill makes him a little safer without much of a drop-off.

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
LeSean McCoy
Doug Baldwin
Stefon Diggs
Jay Ajayi
Amari Cooper
Adam Thielen
Stefon Diggs
LeSean McCoy
Adam Thielen
Jay Ajayi

Round 3 Commentary: Although McCoy is available in this plan in contrast to the others, he's not a high-priority option due to potential legal woes.

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
Alex Collins
Marvin Jones
Marvin Jones
Marvin Jones
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
Josh Gordon
Josh Gordon
Russell Wilson
Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham
Tom Brady
Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson
Tom Brady
Tom Brady

Round 4 Commentary: Gordon makes an appearance in this plan. The risk of taking Gordon and missing out on one of Collins or Jones is a tough decision, but I could see taking Gordon over Collins and landing Jones in the fifth round. If you miss, there are enough quality backs to make up for the loss.

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