Continuing my FanEx 12-team flex PPR draft recap, drafting a top QB in the 4th round (Aaron Rodgers) and a top TE (Greg Olsen) in the fifth is clearly going to leave your team behind (on paper) at RB and WR.
This is the time to lean on your drafting skills, stockpiling backs and receivers who represent good value. Running back is tougher than wide receiver because the guys with a clearly defined role of significant carries are long gone, but I still won’t pass on a receiver I feel could really outperform his draft position to reach for a running back.
Rounds 6 to 12
Dion Lewis should have a decent role with the Titans. I like Derrick Henry a fair bit but the way things appear to be shaking out in terms of touches, these two should be closer together on draft boards. They want to spread out the offense which would seem to align more with Lewis’ skills. Still, Lewis has a poor injury history prior to last season. I wouldn’t be very interested in a standard league but PPR scoring boosts Lewis to an acceptable, albeit a little risky, RB2.
I’ve come full circle on the Goodwin versus Pierre Garcon debate, after listening to reports out of San Francisco 49ers camp from Adam Caplan about Goodwin looking the part of a true number one wide receiver. Not that reports on Garcon are poor. I still think Garcon is a good value as a mid-round pick, but Goodwin represents excellent upside if he can build on what he and Jimmy Garoppolo started last season. The first three of the five game win streak saw Goodwin record games of 8-99, 6-106 and 10-114.
It isn’t ideal to have two wide receivers from the same team but Sanders seems very undervalued as the 38th WR off the board after finishing WR6, WR19 and WR20 from 2014-2016. Even if we throw out 2014, Peyton Manning’s next to final season, we can similarly discount last season’s nightmare at quarterback for the Broncos. The addition of Courtland Sutton is a plus for Sanders allowing him to work out of the slot position more. I should try to work a trade involving Thomas to diversify a bit, or maybe draft Case Keenum and hope to catch lightning in a bottle with the trio.
Noting again my ninth round pick was gone in the trade for Bell, I did think a player like Ty Montgomery could make it here but my fellow owners are doing a pretty good job grabbing running backs. My concern with Thompson is his return from a broken leg and how quickly he can get back up to speed. He was great last season prior to injury, and having a rookie in front of him and not much else on the depth chart should give him sufficient opportunity to get on the field and contribute.
Update: Derrius Guice tore his ACL in the Washington Redskins preseason opener. This doesn’t necessarily mean more touches for Thompson, as he may not be able to handle that, but felt it was worth mentioning that news broke after I drafted Thompson and wrote this blurb.
My running back depth is thin but I can’t help myself taking a fifth wide receiver, another player I think is capable of outperforming his draft position. His rookie season was a write-off, but he has first round pedigree, checks in nicely as a big target for Philip Rivers at 6’4″, 220 lbs., and I want a piece of this Chargers offense. Williams ADP is rising slightly with reports of him being a big red zone target since Hunter Henry is out of the picture and Antonio Gates isn’t signed yet.
I don’t love Aaron Jones, or the Packers running game as a whole. I do think Ty Montgomery is the best value pick of the group for PPR drafts based on ADP. However, there isn’t normally this much separation in fantasy drafts between Jones, Montgomery (drafted 9.03) and Jamaal Williams (drafted 7.10). Jones was the most effective of the Packers backs last season, even though Williams was the late season starter. Williams should get first shot again due to Jones’ upcoming two-game suspension, but I do expect Jones to take over starter duties, and at this cheap price at my weakest position, definitely worth a shot here.
Rosters and Draft Board
So there you have it, my roster through 12 rounds (11 picks). This is pretty common how I would construct a team in a 12-team flex PPR draft – strong at wide receiver, top tight end and weaker at running back. I am okay with this because running back is often the position that can be acquired off the waiver wire early in the season thanks to the high turnover at the position, and it is more matchup dependent.
The less than usual thing is having the consensus number one quarterback, so running back is even weaker than normal. An alternative to this team might look something like Alex Collins or Jay Ajayi instead of Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo or Matt Ryan instead of Chris Thompson. Dion Lewis is still there but as an RB3. That roster is possibly even preferable – lots of love for Jimmy G this season – but as mentioned in part 1, not necessarily doable in many local leagues because quarterbacks are drafted earlier than this league.
Click the screenshots from Draft Buddy for all team rosters and rank of players drafted by position.