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Shane's Fantasy Football Top 200 & Draft Strategy

August 23, 2018

 

Alright...this may come as very ironic considering my previous blog telling a story that cemented my philosophy that fantasy football has a huge element of luck and none of us know shit about it. Well, I still completely believe that. However, I have recently adopted the same mantra about fantasy football as I have about poker (possibly the only vice I have stronger than fantasy): it is all about putting yourself at statistical advantage to get lucky. 

 

It will probably be obvious if you read on but I am by no means a professional fantasy player with any kind of profound wisdom or insight. I am however VERY experienced and this is the format I approach my draft with and how I will be approaching all my drafts this season.

 

I have ranked all position players from 1-200 based on 1/2 pt PPR scoring (the absolute best in my opinion), the ranking doesn't necessarily reflect where I think they will finish in fantasy though. I draft based on a tier system, what rounds I am willing to take a player relative to his position. Again, I am no pro writer or fantasy player, but maybe this is just one more piece to chew on...or mock...either is acceptable.

 

Round 1 Your stud

The bell cow. Ol'reliable. Set it and forget it. One difference in my logic this year than most is how high I am on top level WR's. My reasoning behind this is I think pass catchers are going to EAT with these new helmet rules. Even with the latest revision it will still be a priority and I think defensive backfields will be slightly more hesitant.

 

1 Todd Gurley II, LAR RB1

2 Le'Veon Bell, Pit RB2

3 Antonio Brown, Pit WR1

4 DeAndre Hopkins, Hou WR2

5 Odell Beckham Jr., NYG WR3

6 Ezekiel Elliott, Dal RB3

7 David Johnson, Ari RB4

8 Alvin Kamara, NO RB5

9 Julio Jones, Atl WR4

10 Davante Adams, GB WR5

11 Kareem Hunt, KC RB6

12 Leonard Fournette, Jax RB7

 

Round 2 Your....other....stud

Okay I don't know a clever name for this group but these first 2 picks are going to traditionally be about 20-25% of your weekly scoring so make it a good one as well. Despite what I said previously though there is probably not hardly any scenario where I go WR-WR these first 2 picks. I don't have a problem taking Julio or Davante Adams (I think he has a MONSTER year with Jordy gone) late in the 1st, I just make sure I  scoop one of these RB's though. 

 

13 Melvin Gordon, LAC RB8

14 Christian McCaffrey, Car RB9

15 Saquon Barkley, NYG RB10

16 Dalvin Cook, Min RB11

17 Devonta Freeman, Atl RB12

18 LeSean McCoy, Buf RB13

19 Jordan Howard, Chi RB14

20 Jerick McKinnon, SF RB15

21 Joe Mixon, Cin RB16

22 Adam Thielen, Min WR6

23 Keenan Allen, LAC WR7

24 Michael Thomas, NO WR8

 

Round 3&4 The rest of your core

Hopefully by now I've got at least one RB if not 2. Now it's time to start going best available crazy! If I am in a standard league with a FLEX position, I am just taking the best 2 players regardless of position. There are only 3 TE's I am considering in these rounds but if two of them are best 2 available, so be it! I've got a bad ass FLEX and great trade bait.

 

25 A.J. Green, Cin WR9

26 Mike Evans, TB WR10

27 Tyreek Hill, KC WR11

28 Stefon Diggs, Min WR12

29 Allen Robinson, Chi WR13

30 Chris Hogan, NE WR14

31 Rob Gronkowski, NE TE1

32 Travis Kelce, KC TE2

33 Zach Ertz, Phi TE3

34 Alex Collins, Bal RB17

35 Lamar Miller, Hou RB18

36 Derrick Henry, Ten RB19

37 Kenyan Drake, Mia RB20

38 Jay Ajayi, Phi RB21

39 Royce Freeman, Den RB22

40 T.Y. Hilton, Ind WR15

41 Demaryius Thomas, Den WR16

42 Larry Fitzgerald, Ari WR17

43 Doug Baldwin, Sea WR18

44 Brandin Cooks, LAR WR19

45 Jarvis Landry, Cle WR20

46 Josh Gordon, Cle WR21

47 Amari Cooper, Oak WR22

48 Golden Tate, Det WR23

49 Alshon Jeffery, Phi WR24

 

Round 5&6 Shore up your starters

This is when I start paying attention how my roster construction is shaping up. If everyone is going RB crazy and I've went WR-RB-WR-WR I am most likely taking a RB here even if some of the WR15-24's have fallen. Or if all 3 of the top-tier TE's have went off the board there are still some quality contributing TE's that be snagged in this range

 

50 Chris Thompson, Wsh RB23

51 Isaiah Crowell, NYJ RB24

52 Marshawn Lynch, Oak RB25

53 Ronald Jones, TB RB26

54 Marlon Mack, Ind RB27

55 Mark Ingram II, NO RB28

56 Dion Lewis, Ten RB29

57 JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pit WR25

58 Robert Woods, LAR WR26

59 Marvin Jones Jr., Det WR27

60 Michael Crabtree, Bal WR28

61 Emmanuel Sanders, Den WR29

62 Duke Johnson Jr., Cle RB30

63 Rex Burkhead, NE RB31

64 Tevin Coleman, Atl RB32

65 Tarik Cohen, Chi RB33

66 Rashaad Penny, Sea RB34

67 Greg Olsen, Car TE4

68 Evan Engram, NYG TE5

69 Delanie Walker, Ten TE6

70 Jordan Reed, Wsh TE7

71 Trey Burton, Chi TE8

72 Kyle Rudolph, Min TE9

73 Jimmy Graham, GB TE10

 

Round 7&8 Start thinking QB...but you probably won't get one

This is probably my most unorthodox philosophy. It's not that I think that Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are fantasy-wise virtually equal to QB3-9, I have just found they are not 3 rounds better. With all of the rules protecting QB's and pass catchers there isn't that much separation between one of the QB's commonly taken in the 3rd round vs one taken in the 7th or 8th. Hell, none of these QB's may even be here by the time these rounds come along. I just keep chugging and filling my roster with viable WR's and RB's. Keep in mind Alex Smith was the #4 Fantasy QB last year.

 

74 Randall Cobb, GB WR30

75 Sammy Watkins, KC WR31

76Marquise Goodwin, SF WR32

77 Pierre Garcon, SF WR33

78 Robby Anderson, NYJ WR34

79 Cooper Kupp, LAR WR35

80 Corey Davis, Ten WR36

81 Aaron Rodgers, GB QB1

82 Tom Brady, NE QB2

83 Russell Wilson, Sea QB3

84 Cam Newton, Car QB4

85 Carson Wentz, Phi QB5

86 Deshaun Watson, Hou QB6

87 Drew Brees, NO QB7

88 Andrew Luck, Ind QB8

89 Kirk Cousins, Min QB9

90 Jamaal Williams, GB RB35

91 Sony Michel, NE RB36

92 Carlos Hyde, Cle RB37

 

Round 9&10 Flex options and viable QB's

If I did get one of the above 9 QB's, I'm done taking QB's and I am right back to getting FLEX options. There can still be some relatively high floor players taken down here that are going to see the field plenty. If all the first 9 QB's are taken I am REALLY focusing on the position here. I have even been known to go back-to-back in these rounds and stream weekly or see if one stands out over another. The only QB in the top 9 I might consider drafting a 2nd QB with is Andrew Luck...for obvious reasons.

 

93 DeVante Parker, Mia WR37

94 Jamison Crowder, Wsh WR38

95 Devin Funchess, Car WR39

96 Will Fuller V, Hou WR40

97 Sterling Shepard, NYG WR41

98 Julian Edelman, NE WR42

99 Kelvin Benjamin, Buf WR43

100 Marqise Lee, Jax WR44

101 Jordy Nelson, Oak WR45

102 Cameron Meredith, NO WR46

103 Josh Doctson, Wsh WR47

104 Aaron Jones, GB RB38

105 Ty Montgomery, GB RB39

106 Chris Carson, Sea RB40

107 Kerryon Johnson, Det RB41

108 Theo Riddick, Det RB42

109 James White, NE RB43

110 Devontae Booker, Den RB44

111 C.J. Anderson, Car RB45

112 Jimmy Garoppolo, SF QB10

113 Matthew Stafford, Det QB11

114 Patrick Mahomes, KC QB12

115 Alex Smith, Wsh QB13

116 Matt Ryan, Atl QB14

117 Philip Rivers, LAC QB15

118 Marcus Mariota, Ten QB16

119 Ben Roethlisberger, Pit QB17

120 Dak Prescott, Dal QB18

121 Jared Goff, LAR QB19

122 Allen Hurns, Dal WR48

123 Calvin Ridley, Atl WR49

124 Nelson Agholor, Phi WR50

125 Michael Gallup, Dal WR51

126 Tyler Lockett, Sea WR52

127 DeSean Jackson, TB WR53

128 Paul Richardson, Wsh WR54

129 Cole Beasley, Dal WR55

 

 

Rounds 11&12 Handcuffing

As I stated earlier, I approach fantasy as "putting yourself at a statistical advantage to get lucky" which essentially translates to minimizing risk. This is why I handcuff (own backups that will see action should there be an injury or suspension) whenever possible. Even with WR's. For example, if I drafted Antonio Brown in the first round, I am probably eyeing James Washington around this area even if there are players I have ranked slightly higher available. I like to have a monopoly on team's whole position units, not just players. And it really doesn't hurt you that much during bye weeks. If you have to play James Washington in the FLEX one week, you having his teammate doesn't change what his production would have been. These are the rounds I usually start seeking handcuffs to my core players.

 

130 Latavius Murray, Min RB46

131 Nyheim Hines, Ind RB47

132 LeGarrette Blount, Det RB48

133 DJ Moore, Car WR56

134 Rishard Matthews*, Ten WR57

135 Kenny Golladay, Det WR58

136 John Brown, Bal WR59

137 Kenny Stills, Mia WR60

138 Jack Doyle, Ind TE11

139 Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jax TE12

140 David Njoku, Cle TE13

141 George Kittle, SF TE14

142 Charles Clay, Buf TE15

143 Tyler Eifert, Cin TE16

144 Giovani Bernard, Cin RB49

145 Peyton Barber, TB RB50

146 Chris Godwin, TB WR61

147 John Ross, Cin WR62

148 Anthony Miller, Chi WR63

149 James Washington, Pit WR64

150 Courtland Sutton, Den WR65

151 Mohamed Sanu, Atl WR66

152 Matt Breida, SF RB51

153 Jordan Wilkins, Ind RB52

154 Jeremy Hill, NE RB53

155 Doug Martin, Oak RB54

156 Corey Clement, Phi RB55

157 Mike Williams, LAC WR67

158 Donte Moncrief, Jax WR68

159 Mike Wallace, Phi WR69

160 Ryan Grant, Ind WR70

161 Keelan Cole, Jax WR71

162 Case Keenum, Den QB20

163 Derek Carr, Oak QB21

164 Mitchell Trubisky, Chi QB22

165 Tyrod Taylor, Cle QB23

166 Adrian Peterson, Wsh RB56

167 Rob Kelley, Wsh RB57

168 Samaje Perine, Wsh RB58

 

Fliers

Got a few rounds leftover, SWING FOR THE FENCES! No point in being safe here. I pick the unsigned Free Agents, Rookies that looked good in preseason, guys due for a resurrection, etc. They're most likely getting cut come heavy bye week time anyway...I shoot for the moon!

 

169 Brandon Marshall, Sea WR72

170 Christian Kirk, Ari WR73

171 Terrelle Pryor, NYJ WR74

172 Quincy Enunwa, NYJ WR75

173 Geronimo Allison, GB WR76

174 Eric Decker, NE WR77

175 Corey Coleman, Buf WR78

176 Albert Wilson, Mia WR79

177 Zay Jones, Buf WR80

178 Dede Westbrook, Jax WR81

179 Vance McDonald, Pit TE17

180 Austin Hooper, Atl TE18

181 O.J. Howard, TB TE19

182 Cameron Brate, TB TE20

183 Kenneth Dixon, Bal RB59

184 Nick Chubb, Cle RB60

185 Bilal Powell, NYJ RB61

186 D'Onta Foreman*, Hou RB62

187 Frank Gore, Mia RB63

188 Chase Edmonds, Ari RB64

189 Darren Sproles, Phi RB65

190 Austin Ekeler, LAC RB66

191 Javorius Allen, Bal RB67

192 Benjamin Watson, NO TE21

193 Jared Cook, Oak TE22

194 Ricky Seals-Jones, Ari TE23

195 Jake Butt, Den TE24

196 Willie Snead, Bal WR82

197 Jermaine Kearse, NYJ WR83

198 Trent Taylor, SF WR84

199 Danny Amendola, Mia WR85

200 Dez Bryant, FA WR86

 

 

Defense and Kicker

I have never looked back at any fantasy football success and said "I couldn't have done it without *insert defense or kicker". There is no circumstance I don't go Defense next to last and kicker last in that order unless I don't have to draft either and fill it later. But alas, they are still apart:

 

Defense

 

1 Vikings

2 Jaguars

3 Eagles

4 Rams

5 Texans

6 Chargers

7 Broncos

8 Saints

9 Ravens

10 Titans

11 Panthers

12 Cardinals

13 Patriots

14 Steelers

15 Bears

16 Seahawks

 

Kickers

 

1 Greg Zuerlein, LAR K

2 Stephen Gostkowski, NE K

3 Justin Tucker, Bal K

4 Matt Bryant, Atl K

5 Wil Lutz, NO K

6 Chris Boswell, Pit K

7 Robbie Gould, SF K

8 Jake Elliott, Phi K

9 Matt Prater, Det K

10 Harrison Butker, KC K

11 Brandon McManus, Den K

12 Daniel Carlson, Min K

13 Graham Gano, Car K

14 Dan Bailey, Dal K

15 Josh Lambo, Jax K

16 Adam Vinatieri, Ind K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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