The Know-It-All Draft Strategy: Dual Tight Ends

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy

*PPR League Format*

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

What are your options if your team ends up drafting at the back end of the 1st round?

The Answer:  The Dual TE Threat

            When you first propose this strategy, most people automatically think Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. To have a shot at that, you would have to use up your 1st and 2nd round picks. You would also, have to not strike out with the Running Backs and Wideouts you take in rounds 3-7.  When I look at it, I see it as a major risk. Many bottom picks will try this strategy on draft day, so you might have competition for these elite guys to deal with. There has to be a better way.

This only works in standard PPR leagues that allow a TE to qualify at the single Flex Position. It is very simple, yet genius. Here is the breakdown:

Rounds 1-4:

Target your pass catching duel threat Running Backs, and your heavily targeted Wideouts. If Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, or Tom Brady do not fall to you in the First Round, it is my belief that you should not draft a QB until Round 6 or later. You can get a better value-per-pick on a Quarterback in that range than you can in the 2nd-5th rounds.

Round 5:

There is 80% chance Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis, and Aaron Hernandez are still on the board. I like them in that order based on the amount of targets they receive. Based on fantasy points, these 3 compare to Jordy Nelson, Victor Cruz, and Mike Wallace who are all 3rd round to 4th round tier guys based on the latest ADP ratings.

Round 6-7:

I like a QB in Round 6. There is a chance Tony Romo or Philip Rivers might fall here. Even if they don’t, you still can pick up Peyton Manning, Matt Schuab, or Jay Cutler. Round 7 is where I take a Tight End for my Flex. If you are lucky, Vernon Davis might fall here. If not, you can still pick up Brandon Pettigrew, Jermichael Finley, or Jermaine Gresham. Based on fantasy points, those 3 compare to DeWayne Bowe, DeSean Jackson, Eric Decker who are 5th round tier players based on ADP ratings. Similar Running Backs that compare to these Tight Ends are Fred Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, and Michael Turner, which are 3rd round tier players. The obvious point, you get better value drafting a Tight End at your Flex.

This strategy is not perfect. You need several situations to play out for the right players to fall. A run on Tight Ends in early rounds could throw you off. Like any league, it is all about adapting quickly to the current flow of your draft. I always go into a draft with multiple strategies, and based on how my draft starts out I go with what draft scheme works best for the current situation.

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @Kstafford32

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Football Prep: The Perfect Draft Formula… and DON’T MESS WITH IT!

 

Kyle Stafford – @KStafford32 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IDENTIFY THE FIELD:

The Great Unknown, aka the 1st Round of a Fantasy Football Draft. Here is where the foundation of a team can be built, or a foundation of jokes about the guy who takes Brett Favre with #1 overall pick are built. The average team owner is in the dark when it comes to making that first round selection. A lot of guessing and man crushes for players become exposed in the top half of a draft. You can take advantage of this glorious opportunity.

While the rest of your league is blindly selecting their team, you can already have your team set before the first sticker is tagged on the board. Your first move is to look at your league rules and scoring. Determine if your scoring is based on Points Per Reception (PPR), Touchdowns + Yardage, or my personal favorite PPR + TD + Yardage. Once you identify your scoring, you can now decide how you will draft.

Remember when you are drafting, you are drafting for production. The goal is to put together the most complete team that will put you in the best chance to win throughout the season.

WRITE IT DOWN:

This is not Rocket Science. This is about numbers. If you can identify numbers than you can put together a successful draft formula. Here are 3 areas pay attention to:

Position Scarcity: What position is the least depth found? If you look at the previous years stats this is a no-brainer, it’s Running Back. There is a huge gap after the Top 15 players. There is a larger gap after the Top 20. Quarterback is the sexy pick in the 1st round, but look at the Top 20 overall in 2010:

PLAYER, TEAM POS  

PRK

PTS

Tom Brady, NE QB  

1

361

Aaron Rodgers, GB QB  

2

348

Peyton Manning, Ind QB  

3

345

Michael Vick, Phi QB  

4

342

Philip Rivers, SD QB  

5

330

Drew Brees, NO QB  

6

329

Arian Foster, Hou RB  

1

313

Josh Freeman, TB QB  

7

296

Matt Ryan, Atl QB  

8

294

Matt Schaub, Hou QB  

9

285

Eli Manning, NYG QB  

10

283

Matt Cassel, KC QB  

11

271

Joe Flacco, Bal QB  

11

271

Carson Palmer, Cin QB  

13

264

David Garrard, Jac QB  

14

254

Jay Cutler, Chi QB  

15

242

Kyle Orton, Den QB  

16

240

Ben Roethlisberger, Pit QB  

17

235

Adrian Peterson, Min RB  

2

232

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buf QB  

18

231

Notice only two Running Backs are in the Top 20. Quarterback is so deep Ryan Fitzpatrick made the Top 20. You should be looking nothing but Running back in Rounds 1 & 2. If you are in a straight PPR league you should consider a Top Wide Receiver in later part of the 1st Round, but the pass catching Running Backs are gold. When evaluating PPR don’t look at receptions, look at how many targets a player is getting.

Quarterbacks can be found late, Ryan Fitzpatrick was a top fantasy scorer last season.

Consistency: You want players that are going to contribute positively all season long. A player that can’t keep himself on the field is dead to you. This should be your mindset when selecting any starters. The more consistent players also tend to be on the more successful teams. Know the players you are drafting, for more information take a look at my previous article on “Player Evaluation”.

Actual Value:  If you can draft the same type of player in the 2nd round that you can get in the 6th round why waste the pick? My example for this is Quarterback. Sure everything would love to have Aaron Rodgers, but what if I told you that you are better off with Josh Freeman? Now you think I am crazy. The stats do not lie. Rodgers averaged 21.8 pts in 2010 while Freeman put up 18.5 pts a game. That’s only 3.3 points per game between the two. Let someone else feed their mancrush and waste a pick on Rodgers so you can draft your pass catching running back in the 1st round or stud wideout in the late second, early 3rd round. You will come out of the draft with the more complete team, while the rest of the league still has holes to fill and questions unanswered.

What Does It Look Like?

1st Round: Target the pass catching, high production Running Backs

2nd Round: Do the same, but if your friends also read this article go after a Top Wideout

3rd-5th Rounds: Standard Rosters have 2 RB, 2 WR, and 1 Flex. I would draft best available player between RB & WR until you fill those starting spots.

6th Round: Here is where you take your Quarterback. There is a good chance you will see names like Freeman, Cassel, Flacco, and Cutler. Take your choice.

7th Round: Here is where you pick your TE. Todd Heap, Pettigrew, Keller, Hernandez are all nice options here

8th Round & Beyond: I would stack heavy on RBs on your bench, and then look for quality WRs. I would not take a backup QB cause you normally can find one off FA the first 3 weeks of the season. Do not draft backup TE, Defense, or Kicker.

I always make a list of probable players to look for in each round. It helps me judge if I am reaching or getting a steal at that particular pick.

THE GOLDEN RULE

Thou Shall Not Take a Kicker till the Final 2 Rounds! Kickers are as irrelevant in fantasy football as they are in real life.

Be on the lookout for more Draft Prep Articles as we get closer to the season.

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @KStafford32