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2017 General Draft Strategies


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On July 26, 2017 at 0:52 PM, Dalton Gang said:

2 questions - What draft position does everyone like this year? ( sorry if this was discussed, I haven't read 15 pages)  I have draft pick 2 in one league and 12 in another. Thinking I like the 12 spot better.

 

In the league I have the 2 spot, I am struggling with who seems to be available in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Assuming I take Bell or Johnson with my first pick, who would you be targeting at the bottom of 2, top of 3 in 12 team PPR?

 

 

 

If anyone answers anything other than 1 their overthinking it. 2 over 12 is obvious. And if you want to look ahead you get the #1 TE edge with the Gronk steal and another great WR like Baldwin or Dez. It's the best spot. No question about it. 

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I still can't figure out my RB2 strategy in standard. What RB2s are you all targeting? Why/how?

 

For a while I liked MG and was starting to come around on T Montgomery but MG is now going in the early 4th and Ty Mont is actually going in the mid 3rd (!!!). Not liking those prices.

 

I've tried going 1st round RB1, 2nd round WR1 and then waiting REAL late on QB and TE as well as waiting a reasonable amount on my WR2 in order to stockpile RBs but this has also ended up being very unsatisfying. I usually end up with options like: MG, D Martin in the 4th; CJ Anderson, E Lacy or AP in the 5th; P Perkins, A Abdulla, M Inrgram in the 6th; S Perine, B Powell or F Gore in the 6th. Honestly, none of these guys excite me. More than half of them could lose their job by midseason.

 

I realize there is a lot of luck involved in picking the right players but when it comes to RB2 this year it seems like more than even it is just going to be total luck.

 

Anyone have a good RB2 strategy for standard?

 

 

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1 minute ago, FreakFries said:

I still can't figure out my RB2 strategy in standard. What RB2s are you all targeting? Why/how?

 

For a while I liked MG and was starting to come around on T Montgomery but MG is now going in the early 4th and Ty Mont is actually going in the mid 3rd (!!!). Not liking those prices.

 

I've tried going 1st round RB1, 2nd round WR1 and then waiting REAL late on QB and TE as well as waiting a reasonable amount on my WR2 in order to stockpile RBs but this has also ended up being very unsatisfying. I usually end up with options like: MG, D Martin in the 4th; CJ Anderson, E Lacy or AP in the 5th; P Perkins, A Abdulla, M Inrgram in the 6th; S Perine, B Powell or F Gore in the 6th. Honestly, none of these guys excite me. More than half of them could lose their job by midseason.

 

I realize there is a lot of luck involved in picking the right players but when it comes to RB2 this year it seems like more than even it is just going to be total luck.

 

Anyone have a good RB2 strategy for standard?

 

 

In standard-  Absolutely 

Rb first two rounds

you will still have an abundance of great wr options rds 3/4/5.   

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14 minutes ago, Stein said:

Strategy in standard should be 2 RB in the first three rounds at least.

 

Usually I'd agree, but that means taking guys like Todd Gurly (who is on my DND list), L Fournette (risky) or L Miller (dry white toast) over WR options like Dez, M Thomas or Gronk. In the 3rd that means taking Cowell. Carlos Hyde or Ty Montgomery over A Jeffery, S Watkins or a stud QB.

 

Other than Hyde, these guys are all being sold at peak upside. Upside that might now be as high as guys like Dex, M Thomas, Gronk A Jeffery or Watkins. I just hate buying at the upside-highwater-mark for any player but especially an RB2 in the 2nd or 3rd.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, FreakFries said:

I still can't figure out my RB2 strategy in standard. What RB2s are you all targeting? Why/how?

 

For a while I liked MG and was starting to come around on T Montgomery but MG is now going in the early 4th and Ty Mont is actually going in the mid 3rd (!!!). Not liking those prices.

 

I've tried going 1st round RB1, 2nd round WR1 and then waiting REAL late on QB and TE as well as waiting a reasonable amount on my WR2 in order to stockpile RBs but this has also ended up being very unsatisfying. I usually end up with options like: MG, D Martin in the 4th; CJ Anderson, E Lacy or AP in the 5th; P Perkins, A Abdulla, M Inrgram in the 6th; S Perine, B Powell or F Gore in the 6th. Honestly, none of these guys excite me. More than half of them could lose their job by midseason.

 

I realize there is a lot of luck involved in picking the right players but when it comes to RB2 this year it seems like more than even it is just going to be total luck.

 

Anyone have a good RB2 strategy for standard?

 

 

 

For standard, target players with 10+ TD upside (value this more than floor, passing game involvement, etc.). Lots of RBs fitting that mold in middle rds, so if you can't get DJ or Ajayi, target WRs/Gronk with 10+ TD upside in rds 1-3 (Green, M. Thomas, Baldwin, etc.). Then load up on 4-5 TD-upside RBs in the middle rds.

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33 minutes ago, FreakFries said:

 

Usually I'd agree, but that means taking guys like Todd Gurly (who is on my DND list), L Fournette (risky) or L Miller (dry white toast) over WR options like Dez, M Thomas or Gronk. In the 3rd that means taking Cowell. Carlos Hyde or Ty Montgomery over A Jeffery, S Watkins or a stud QB.

 

Other than Hyde, these guys are all being sold at peak upside. Upside that might now be as high as guys like Dex, M Thomas, Gronk A Jeffery or Watkins. I just hate buying at the upside-highwater-mark for any player but especially an RB2 in the 2nd or 3rd.

 

 

 

If you are towards the middle or end of the draft order-   Target two of-  McCoy, Gordon, Murray, Freeman, Ajayi, Howard. Then you are staring at DT/Adams tier WRs next time around.  

 

  If you are at the beginning-   Then go DJ/Bell/Zeke and u might have to go Gronk or Dez/Thomas/Cooper .   But go right back to Miller, Founette, Gurley, Lynch, Hyde, Crow at the turn. Those are more than acceptable rb2s

 

guys like CJA/Ware/Monty/Martin/AA I want as flexes at MOST 

 

is that 100% doable every time?  No.  But most often it is. 

Edited by Impreza178
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I have the #1 pick and I am going DJ and then hoping for a Fournette or Gurley at the turn and take Baldwin/Watkins/DT at the top of the 3rd.  If Fournette & Gurley are both gone, I will probably start DJ/One of the WRs/Gronk or another WR and take best available RBs at the 4/5 turn.

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7 minutes ago, Impreza178 said:

 

If you are towards the middle or end of the draft order-   Target two of-  McCoy, Gordon, Murray, Freeman, Ajayi, Howard. Then you are staring at DT/Adams tier WRs next time around.  

 

  If you are at the beginning-   Then go DJ/Bell/Zeke and u might have to go Gronk or Dez/Thomas/Cooper .   But go right back to Miller, Founette, Gurley, Lynch, Hyde at the turn.

 

is that 100% doable every time?  No.  But most often it is. 

 

This is essentially what I have been doing when I mock from the early first and both of your strategies make sense.

 

But.

 

I have two problems with the 2 RBs at the later 1st/early 2nd: 1) I feel like some of these guys are going to bust. I don't really feel all that confident about any of them and am down right scared of others. 2) If I get, say, Shady and J Howard, that means passing on a guy like J Nelson, M Thomas or Dez and it isn't the fact that these guys are WR1s that entices me over Howard (of even Shady in a vacuum) its the fact that Jordy or Dez have the potential to blow up and be a week-winner for you. They have sky-high potential each week due to TD potential. J Howard doesn't have that as much. Not counting on that from Shady either.

 

Like the early 1st pick strategy a little more because the options are lousy all around at that point but same still applies when it comes to taking guys like M Lynch, Gurly, Fournette and L Miller - I don't feel like they have the weekly-winner blow up potential that I need (with the exception of M Lynch who is way too pricey for me.)

 

With regard to later round RBs, I have been reading Rich Hribar's most recent RB column (I really like this guy's work) and he had this nugget which seems like a very good factoid to keep in mind when sifting through guys like Eddie Lacy, Paul Perkins, Billal Powell or Ameer Abdulla:

 

 "77 percent of the top-12 scoring backs over that span have come from teams with seven or more wins even though teams with seven or more wins make up only 65 percent of the total win output for the field."

 

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53 minutes ago, FreakFries said:

I still can't figure out my RB2 strategy in standard. What RB2s are you all targeting? Why/how?

 

Anyone have a good RB2 strategy for standard?

 

25 minutes ago, FreakFries said:

Usually I'd agree, but that means taking guys like Todd Gurly (who is on my DND list), L Fournette (risky) or L Miller (dry white toast) over WR options like Dez, M Thomas or Gronk. In the 3rd that means taking Cowell. Carlos Hyde or Ty Montgomery over A Jeffery, S Watkins or a stud QB.

 

Other than Hyde, these guys are all being sold at peak upside. Upside that might now be as high as guys like Dex, M Thomas, Gronk A Jeffery or Watkins. I just hate buying at the upside-highwater-mark for any player but especially an RB2 in the 2nd or 3rd.

 

Purely standard scoring discussion below.

 

My approach: Have a list of RBs that I'd be comfortable taking in each round.  Plan to take them early and often, even if it means I have a 4th RB before my 2nd WR.  RB, in standard format, is that valuable.

 

How valuable?  Say you have Murray down for 1500 total yards and 10 TDs.  This is 13.6 points per game.  This is the same 13.6 points per game as a 1400 and 12 Antonio Brown.  But we know that there are more viable (ie startable) WRs later in the draft.  For example, Brown's 13.6 is less valuable over an 8th round Smokey Brown's 9 points per game, than Murray's are over an 8th round Theo Riddick's 8 points per game.  ((Yes, I'm taking Murray over AB in standard drafts)).  Here's a method to drill this into your head from now until draft day: recite these phrases in your mind like mantras until your draft: "Value Over Replacement."  "Positional Scarcity".  Wash, rinse, repeat.

 

My approach, continued: Be ready and willing to pull the trigger on great WR values as they arrive.  For example, if you're there with the 7th pick, and Antonio Brown is still on the board, don't try to be a hero and draft Ajayi or Freeman first.  It's OK to take value when it falls into your lap.  Because you've got that list of RBs that you're gonna fall right back to.  Do some mocks in different draft clients to get a feel for where those WR values might pop up -- these draft client rankings have a bigger impact on where a player's drafted than any online ADP list.  Some WRs I keep finding myself with because I can't pass up the value: Baldwin and Cooks (early 3rd), Watkins (mid 4th), Martavis Bryant and Michael Crabtree (5th), Larry Fitz and Brandon Marshall (6th), Willie Snead, Pierre Garcon, and Donte Moncrief (7th), Smokey Brown and DeVante Parker (8th).  BUT.... I'm cognizant at all times of three things: 1) how many RBs I currently have on my team, 2) Value Over Replacement, 3) positional scarcity.  Even if by some off chance I draft 7th overall and leave the 1st 2 rounds with AB and AJG, I'm gonna have a long list of RBs by round that I can still choose from.

 

The most important thing about all of this is that you have a GOOD list of GOOD RBs, split into the appropriate round.  And I wish you good luck with this.  If you figure it out, please let me know.  Any strategy or approach is meaningless if you're not picking the right guys.  Zero RB worked out great last year if you took AB and Evans, followed up by Demarco, Gordon, Ajayi, Blount.   Not so much if you took Hopkins, Robinson, etc etc.  So find the right guys.  Easy enough, right?

 

In summary: 1) split RBs into the round you're comfortable with 2) draft them early and often almost by default 3) fill in with WR as the value falls into your lap.  4) go back to step 2.  Even if you don't get 2 RBs in the first 3 rounds, you'll have more than enough viable guys, provided that you pick the right players.

 

Based on this process, here are guys I'm getting a lot of in my mocks:

1: McCoy, Gordon, Murray

2: Ajayi, Howard, Fournette

3: Hyde

4: Gillislee, Montgomery

5: Ware, CJA, Abdullah, Peterson

6: Blount, Martin

7: Perine, Henry

 

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7 minutes ago, FreakFries said:

2) If I get, say, Shady and J Howard, that means passing on a guy like J Nelson, M Thomas or Dez and it isn't the fact that these guys are WR1s that entices me over Howard (of even Shady in a vacuum) its the fact that Jordy or Dez have the potential to blow up and be a week-winner for you.

 

... Howard and McCoy have more potential to blow up and be a week winner... RBs have higher floors and ceilings than WRs in standard.

 

Depends what you expect Howard and McCoy to be this year, I guess.  I think Howard gets 300 carries, 1500 total yards, and 10 TDs.  That's not a floor or a ceiling, just my best guess.

 

That IS however the ceiling for a guy like Nelson, Thomas, or Dez.

 

And I've said nothing yet (in this post anyways) about the fact that there are more viable, startable WRs later in the draft than there are RBs.  Which is worth taking into account.

Edited by Lord_Varys
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8 minutes ago, FreakFries said:

 

This is essentially what I have been doing when I mock from the early first and both of your strategies make sense.

 

But.

 

I have two problems with the 2 RBs at the later 1st/early 2nd: 1) I feel like some of these guys are going to bust. I don't really feel all that confident about any of them and am down right scared of others. 2) If I get, say, Shady and J Howard, that means passing on a guy like J Nelson, M Thomas or Dez and it isn't the fact that these guys are WR1s that entices me over Howard (of even Shady in a vacuum) its the fact that Jordy or Dez have the potential to blow up and be a week-winner for you. They have sky-high potential each week due to TD potential. J Howard doesn't have that as much. Not counting on that from Shady either.

 

Like the early 1st pick strategy a little more because the options are lousy all around at that point but same still applies when it comes to taking guys like M Lynch, Gurly, Fournette and L Miller - I don't feel like they have the weekly-winner blow up potential that I need (with the exception of M Lynch who is way too pricey for me.)

 

With regard to later round RBs, I have been reading Rich Hribar's most recent RB column (I really like this guy's work) and he had this nugget which seems like a very good factoid to keep in mind when sifting through guys like Eddie Lacy, Paul Perkins, Billal Powell or Ameer Abdulla:

 

 "77 percent of the top-12 scoring backs over that span have come from teams with seven or more wins even though teams with seven or more wins make up only 65 percent of the total win output for the field."

 

 

Good tidbit fries.    I just can't get on board with your Howard example though. You are talking about passing up second tier workhorse rbs (the rarest commodity) for second tier WRs.  In standard that's a tough sell.   McCoy and Howard is my dream start to a standard draft.   Dez and Thomas don't have more potential to win you any week than those two rbs.   We are talking 20+ touches weekly- McCoy is a Rb1 and wr2 every week.   Howard is the unquestioned lead behind a really good offensive line.     You can still get a sure fire 1000yrd wr in DT or Rodgers new young toy in Adams (15 targets in one game last year) or so many other wideouts than can win u weeks.    Just have to agree to disagree I guess. 

Edited by Impreza178
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44 minutes ago, mmcalli884 said:

I have the #1 pick and I am going DJ and then hoping for a Fournette or Gurley at the turn and take Baldwin/Watkins/DT at the top of the 3rd.  If Fournette & Gurley are both gone, I will probably start DJ/One of the WRs/Gronk or another WR and take best available RBs at the 4/5 turn.

What makes you lean DJ over Bell? I also have first pick and kind of struggling to decide.

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5 minutes ago, Stein said:

What makes you lean DJ over Bell? I also have first pick and kind of struggling to decide.

He's the best RB in the league.  He's not holding out of training camp.  He hasn't been suspended twice for drugs.

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6 minutes ago, Stein said:

What makes you lean DJ over Bell? I also have first pick and kind of struggling to decide.

 

Seems to be generally more durable.  Also you can say that TDs are flukey and should normalize, but what he did last year was no accident.  That was a season for the ages. 

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LV - Love your draft strategies and insights. That is exactly how I try to draft: value-based and RB heavy.

 

31 minutes ago, Lord_Varys said:

 

... Howard and McCoy have more potential to blow up and be a week winner... RBs have higher floors and ceilings than WRs in standard.

 

Depends what you expect Howard and McCoy to be this year, I guess.  I think Howard gets 300 carries, 1500 total yards, and 10 TDs.  That's not a floor or a ceiling, just my best guess.

 

That IS however the ceiling for a guy like Nelson, Thomas, or Dez.

 

And I've said nothing yet (in this post anyways) about the fact that there are more viable, startable WRs later in the draft than there are RBs.  Which is worth taking into account.

 

29 minutes ago, Impreza178 said:

 

Good tidbit fries.    I just can't get on board with your Howard example though. You are talking about passing up second tier workhorse rbs (the rarest commodity) for second tier WRs.  In standard that's a tough sell.   McCoy and Howard is my dream start to a standard draft.   Dez and Thomas don't have more potential to win you any week than those two rbs.   We are talking 20+ touches weekly- McCoy is a Rb1 and wr2 every week.   Howard is the unquestioned lead behind a really good offensive line.     You can still a sure fire 1000yrd wr in DT or Rodgers new young toy in Adams (15 targets in one game last year) or so many other wideouts than can win u weeks.    Just have to agree to disagree I guess. 

 

 

I agree with both of your here that over the course of a season in standard, RBs have the higher ceiling. My issue with guys like Howard, L Miller and even Shady to a degree are HOW they get those points vs. guys like, say, Brandon Cooks last year. Jordan Howard pretty much rolled along at 10-14 points a game - which is GREAT - but other than playing SF (the worst run D of all time) I am not sure he ever cleared 18 points in a single game (would have to check.) Cooks, by contrast, had many games where he was well below Howard's per game average but when he blew up it was waaaay beyond Howard's single game high. And he did it multiple times. Guys who have the potential to blow up for 25 points in standard any given week are tough to find whereas I feel like I have a decent chance of finding someone in the later rounds or even on waivers certain weeks who will give my a decent shot at 14 points. So, in a vacuum, yes, I'd take J Howard over a WR like Dez or M Thomas in the 2nd in standard. However, as an overall draft strategy, I feel like I have a much better shot at replacing Howard's per-game upside/production than I do a WR at the beginning of the 2nd. Having said all of that, it's all about getting the right guys and there's obviously more than one way to win.

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10 minutes ago, FreakFries said:

 

I disagree on agreeing to disagree. :) 

 

Then u need to know-  you are completely off base about these rbs not being week winners. 

2016- standard(ish) scoring by week(including injured weeks)

Mccoy

12,8,24,16,16,33,1,0,11,10,29,20,16,29,21

Outscored EVERY wr in standard 

 

Howard (once starter)

14,22,9,2,26,9,9,12,30,10,17,12,14

Ourscored every wr in standard except Evans and Jordy-  and he didn't start the first 4 weeks. 

 

Lol.   U get consistency and week winning upside 

 

giphy.gif

 

           

 

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6 minutes ago, Impreza178 said:

 

Then u need to know-  you are completely off base about these rbs not being week winners. 

2016- standard(ish) scoring by week(including injured weeks)

Mccoy

12,8,24,16,16,33,1,0,11,10,29,20,16,29,21

Outscored EVERY wr in standard 

 

Howard (once starter)

14,22,9,2,26,9,9,12,30,10,17,12,14

Ourscored every wr in standard except Evans and Jordy-  and he didn't start the first 4 weeks. 

 

Lol.   U get consistency and week winning upside 

 

giphy.gif

 

           

 

 

Haha! Okay, fair enough.

 

Like I said, in a vacuum, I’d take Howard over a WR at the beginning of the 2nd but I want to fill as many spots as I can with guys who could single-handedly win me the week and I just don’t find the RBs at the 1-2 turn that safe or exciting as I do the WRs. Specifically with Howard you are dealing with a harder schedule than last year, an abysmal QB situation and a coach who thinks vanilla ice cream is a complicated dessert.

 

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54 minutes ago, FreakFries said:

Cooks, by contrast, had many games where he was well below Howard's per game average but when he blew up it was waaaay beyond Howard's single game high. And he did it multiple times.

 

Most would consider the boom/bust nature of WRs to be a negative.

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6 minutes ago, Lord_Varys said:

 

Most would consider the boom/bust nature of WRs to be a negative.

 

Most should also consider the bust nature of early round RBs to be a negative (40-50% bust every year), and yet every year people continue to come back to that strategy in droves.

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Just now, Shake said:

Most should also consider the bust nature of early round RBs to be a negative (40-50% bust every year), and yet every year people continue to come back to that strategy in droves.

 

Peterson, Gurley, Hopkins, Gronk, Robinson, Martin, Marshall, Lacy, Jeffrey, Watkins.

 

Those are all the busts from the first 2 rounds last year.  4 RBs, 5 WRs.   You could throw Charles in there, he was ranked 33 in the ADP data I pulled, then it's 50/50.

 

I'd rather of taken Peterson than Robinson last year.  At least I could have cut him and moved on with my life early enough.  These WRs that busts are just too good to let go of, but not good enough to start.

 

We can go back in time and look at more and find that it's probably more RBs than WRs, you're right.  But I don't think it's really significantly worse.

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2 minutes ago, Shake said:

 

Most should also consider the bust nature of early round RBs to be a negative (40-50% bust every year), and yet every year people continue to come back to that strategy in droves.

 

Right?   I mean after a decade and a half of standard leagues you would think we would learn.   Must just like losing .

 Now proceed to list mid round rbs as if someone knows which ones will succeed and there aren't 11 other teams gunning for them.    

1 minute ago, Lord_Varys said:

 

Peterson, Gurley, Hopkins, Gronk, Robinson, Martin, Marshall, Lacy, Jeffrey, Watkins.

 

Those are all the busts from the first 2 rounds last year.  4 RBs, 5 WRs.   You could throw Charles in there, he was ranked 33 in the ADP data I pulled, then it's 50/50.

 

I'd rather of taken Peterson than Robinson last year.  At least I could have cut him and moved on with my life early enough.  These WRs that busts are just too good to let go of, but not good enough to start.

 

We can go back in time and look at more and find that it's probably more RBs than WRs, you're right.  But I don't think it's really significantly worse.

 

Yep.  And waiver costs are more expensive,  the change of guard is more obvious, rbs have a higher ceiling and better consistency, and the dropoff from tier to tier is more extreme with rbs.    

 

 

 

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