Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages….
Starting tonight, NFL Football is back! Yeah, yeah…it’s the preseason, but that doesn’t stop DraftKings from running preseason contests and it surely doesn’t stop us from getting excited about it!
Here at DailyRotoHelp.com, we want to give you the information you need to draft your winning DFS and championship season-long rosters. This year, that begins with our 2016 Fantasy Preview Series. Each week leading up to the start of the regular season we will provide you analysis and information you need to succeed and bring home that BACON! For even more insight and access to our NFL Optimal Lineups, check out our membership options for daily, monthy subscriptions!
Without a lot of DFS contests really kicking off until September, and a lot of season-long drafts coming up, this week’s preview looks at season-long format draft strategy: who we like, who we don’t, and who we recommend avoiding at all costs. We’ve run thousands of mock drafts to generate ADP (average draft positions) and strategies to help you lock up those 2016 championships.
Early Round Draft Strategy:
(For our purposes, all advice is based on PPR, snake draft formats)
For what seems like forever, running backs have been heavily, heavily favored in early rounds of fantasy drafts. With the popularity of PPR (point-per-reception) formats on the rise and the growing trend of deploying running backs in a committee approach, the position has been devalued in recent years. With the influx of young, superstar wide receivers like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham, Jr., 2016 is the year of the “zero running back” strategy.
Antonio Brown is going #1 across the board in nearly all mock drafts. If you find yourself drafting in the top 4 positions, consider yourself lucky! You’re going to be able to roster one of Brown, Jones, Hopkins or Beckham Jr. If you’re drafting outside of the top 4, and one of these guys lands in your lap, I’m ordering you to draft them. The amount of running back depth available in later rounds based on our ADP is staggering. If you’re drafting in the top 4 picks of the first round, I have no issues going WR in rounds 1, 2 and 3. Based on our ADP, we’ve seen scenarios where the lineup, picking in spot 4, rostered Jones, AJ Green in the 2nd, Brandon Marshall in the 3rd, Cam Newton in the 4th, then was still able to roster Latavius Murray and DeMarco Murray in the 5th and 6th, respectively. Now, I’m not necessarily arguing for either Murray, but they’re both absolutely serviceable. And that trio of WRs is screaming championship.
However, if you’re drafting in the back half of the first round and you don’t have access to one of the top-4 wide receivers, things change a little bit. Let me be very clear here: IF YOU DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO ONE OF THE TOP 4 RECEIVERS, THE ZERO RUNNING BACK STRATEGY IS OFF! Look at Todd Gurley, Adrian Peterson or David Johnson as they are going to the safest, most solid options at the running back position. Gurley has the most upside but opposing defenses are absolutely going to load up to stop him. Peterson is Peterson. he’s not a PPR monster, but he will be the most heavily used RB on the board. David Johnson is the most intriguing as he showed flashes of brilliance last season. However, word out of Cardinals camp is a committee approach with Chris Johnson. I’m not buying that, but tread cautiously.
I may be the only person in the country that feels this way, but I am avoiding Ezekiel Elliott. I get it, he was a stud in college and the Cowboys offensive line is the best in football. But he’s not going to be running at the Michigan Wolverines defense and, with these domestic violence allegations hanging over his head, the future isn’t quite as clear. Same goes for Le’veon Bell; the guy is an absolute stud but, at this point, he’s suspended for 4 weeks and can’t be entirely trusted to keep his head out of the clouds, pun intended.
As usual, we recommend waiting on QBs. You’re always going to have “that guy” that drafts Aaron Rodgers or, this year, Cam Newton in the 1st or 2nd rd. This will, likely, set off a chain of events that causes people to start drafting QBs WAY too early. Let them do this! The difference between Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr was 20 points last season. The difference between Drew Brees and Eli Manning was 16 points. That works out to less than 2 points difference per game. Look, if Cam, Rodgers or Luck is sitting there in the 4th or 5th rounds jump on them, they won’t last long. However, If people are drafting Aaron Rogers, Newton, Luck or Wilson in the top 3 rounds that leaves options like Gronk, Alshon Jeffrey, or Kenan Allen available for you. Wait for the 3rd tier options like Andy Dalton, Derek Carr or an Eli Manning and you’ll thank me when you’re celebrating your 2016 championships!
Good luck and BRING HOME THAT BACON!!!