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8-Team PPR Draft Strategy

By Shane Hallam | Updated on Wed, 10 Jul 2024 . 1:33 PM EDT
Fantasy Football Draft Strategy Guide: 8-Team PPR Draft Strategy

 

Round-by-Round 8-Team Draft Strategy

The complexity of fantasy drafts overwhelms even the most experienced players. When you are on the clock, the variables that require consideration are endless:

  • Scoring system
  • Roster Size
  • Team needs
  • ADP
  • Opponent’s rosters
  • Current News
  • Upside
  • Injury Risk

As the clock ticks down, forgetting some of these is likely and you will make mistakes. 

Having help that takes all of these variables into account is a must.

You need a round-by-round draft strategy guide to help make the right pick every time.

The 8-team draft strategy below takes you through every draft pick from your draft position to get the best results.

Our 3D values and recent ADP make the best picks in your 8-team league draft. 

This gameplan will help guide you in your 8-team draft

Count on your fantasy football draft being unpredictable. You must make quick decisions and be flexible to maximize the value of your draft and team.

That’s where the customized, dynamic fantasy football cheat sheet on your Draft War Room becomes necessary. It factors in your league settings and opponents' picks -- in real time -- to help you make the best selection every time.

Combine the Draft War Room with this 8-team draft strategy guide to have all the necessary resources to crush your fantasy draft.

Note: This strategy guide assumes a 16-round draft and starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 Flex, 1 K, and 1 DST. The Draft War Room will help you adjust your strategy if your league settings differ.

Select Your Draft Spot:

CeeDee Lamb leads off 8-team PPR draft strategy from the top of Round 1.

8-Team PPR Draft Strategy for Pick 1, 2, or 3

Round 1

Top Target: CeeDee Lamb

An elite WR can be a difference-maker in an 8-team league, where every team has a strong roster.

Lamb has only missed one game in his career and has little competition for targets in an efficient offense. Expect him to contend for WR1 overall once again. 

Next Best: Christian McCaffrey

If you miss out on Lamb, McCaffrey is a fine consolation prize as the top RB in our fantasy football RB rankings. He led all RBs in total fantasy points and points per game in 2023.

McCaffrey will continue dominating in a ripe 49ers system with no signs of slowing down.

Other Option

Tyreek Hill

 

Rounds 2 & 3

Top Targets: Drake London & Travis Kelce

Everything is coming together for London to break out this year in an offense that will utilize its weapons. London is poised for his best year yet thanks to scheme and QB upgrades.

One of the key strategies in an 8-team league is to attack TE and QB early in your draft. Taking a top player at these positions will provide a larger advantage over your opponents. 

Our aging-curve data says that top TEs will produce about 73% of their career peak at age 35. That's a big step down from the peak, but 73% of Kelce’s peak (15.2 points per game) would still have led all TEs in 2023. 

Next Best: Chris Olave & Sam LaPorta 

Olave is by far the Saints' best receiver and increased his per-game averages in all of the following in his second year:

  • Targets
  • Receptions
  • Receiving Yards
  • TDs

His upward trend should continue.

Getting that elite TE is key, and LaPorta broke out with the most PPR points for a rookie TE ever. Potential TD regression puts him behind Kelce in our fantasy football TE rankings, but LaPorta will still be top-tier.  

Other Options

  • De’Von Achane
  • Deebo Samuel

 

Rounds 4 & 5

Top Targets: Jalen Hurts & Deebo Samuel

Kicking off the QB run will give you a positional advantage in an 8-team league, and Hurts is the top QB in our rankings

Hurts played through some injuries last season but still delivered top-3 fantasy scoring. He has QB1 overall upside.

Samuel is a value due to his injury risk. He was sixth in PPR points per game last season. If he stays healthy, Samuel has WR1 upside at a WR2 price.

Next Best: Josh Allen & Mark Andrews

Allen has been one of the most consistent QBs over the past four seasons

He has finished as a top-3 QB over that time.

If you passed on TE last round, Andrews is a reliable option on a top NFL offense. 

He had a career-high catch rate last season and returns as Lamar Jackson’s best receiving threat.

Other Options

  • Patrick Mahomes
  • Jaylen Waddle

 

Round 6 & 7

Top Targets: Joe Mixon & Kenneth Walker 

One key tenet of 8-team draft strategy is taking more upside risks throughout the draft. If you use our Draft War Room, turning on the “Upside Mode” will use projected ceilings to target upside.

Rounds 6 and 7 are the ideal time to start targeting upside, as you can always replace busts from what will be a robust waiver wire.

Mixon finished as the RB7 last season and should remain consistent despite switching teams. 

Even if his receptions go down, Mixon’s scoring opportunities could allow him to hit his upside as an RB1. 

Walker is a boom-or-bust RB option who should see an uptick in receiving opportunities in the new pass-heavy Seahawks offense. 

With an improved offensive line, Walker’s talent should emerge with huge upside. 

Next Best: James Conner & Tee Higgins

Conner is one of the best values this season. He finished last year seventh among RBs in points per game -- his third straight season among the top 10.

Our Injury Predictor does give Conner an 88.4% chance of losing some time to injury. 

But the roster depth of an 8-team league makes his injury potential less concerning. You can easily replace Conner if he goes down again.

Higgins is a great bounce-back candidate with a healthy Joe Burrow. 

With 16 games of Burrow in 2022, Higgins finished 13th among PPR wideouts.

Other Options

  • Alvin Kamara
  • Keenan Allen
  • Aaron Jones
  • Christian Kirk

 

Rounds 8 & 9

Top Targets: D’Andre Swift & Rashee Rice

Swift signed a three-year, $24 million contract with $15.3 guaranteed with the Bears, making him a potential bell cow. 

Rice’s potential suspension is baked into his price. The depth of the player pool in an 8-team league makes him worth the risk. 

Being Patrick Mahomes No. 1 receiving option for the fantasy playoffs could make Rice the difference between your team winning a championship and bowing out early.

Next Best: David Montgomery & Chris Godwin

The Lions' top O-line and offensive efficiency make Montgomery an easy bye-week fill-in and/or rotational RB in an 8-team league.

Despite TD regression and Jahmyr Gibbs likely taking more work, Montgomery presents a solid floor and high weekly ceiling thanks to goal-line carries.

Godwin got a career-high 23.8% target share last season. After only scoring two TDs, Godwin should see positive TD regression and outperform his ADP.

Other Options

  • Rhamondre Stevenson
  • Hollywood Brown
  • Jayden Reed
  • Tony Pollard

 

Round 10 & 11

Top Targets: Jonathon Brooks & Javonte Williams

Continue taking risks in the last few rounds to maximize upside.

Brooks was drafted 46th overall by the Panthers and carries bell-cow once he recovers fully from the ACL tear he suffered in November. 

Even if Brooks takes a few weeks to shake off rust, he could be a league winner late in the season.

Williams underwhelmed last season, coming off a serious 2022 knee injury.

Sean Payton’s lead RB averaged 17.3 touches per game, though. A stronger Williams brings boom potential if he retains an equal role.

TIP

Focusing on high-upside players in the later rounds is 1 of 7 key tenets of our fantasy football draft strategy

Next Best: Austin Ekeler & Jaylen Warren

A Week 1 high-ankle sprain hampered Ekeler even after he returned last season, causing him to be a massive bust. 

As a receiving back, Ekeler is a high-upside bounce-back candidate worth a late pick.

Warren outperformed Najee Harris in numerous categories last year, including:

  • Yards per carry
  • Targets
  • RYOE/Car
  • YAC/Car

Warren also took over the backfield receiving lead. If new OC Arthur Smith shifts more rushing work his way as well, the Pittsburgh back will present exciting upside.

Other Options

  • DeAndre Hopkins
  • Raheem Mostert
  • Diontae Johnson
  • Jake Ferguson

 

Round 12 & 13 

Top Targets: Jaxon Smith-Njigba & Christian Watson

Smith-Njigba underwhelmed sharing targets with D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. But, new OC Ryan Grubb brings an offense that supported three WRs in college.

Even in last year's lackluster role, Smith-Njigba garnered at least 73% snap shre in 12 of his final 14 games. He has intimated that the new staff brings more favorable plans.

Lockett, meanwhile, hits his age-32 season. That historically brings potential for even good WRs to reach a production cliff.

If Watson can stay healthy, he has the upside to be an every-week fantasy starter.

When he was on the field in 2023, Watson led the Packers in targets. He sports the highest ceiling among a crowd of Green Bay WRs.

TIP

Smith-Njigba & Watson headline our 2024 WR Sleepers.

Next Best: Keon Coleman & Trey Benson 

The Bills WR situation looks bleak, but Coleman offers the most upside in those options. 

There are 241 vacated targets, and the draft investment of Coleman puts him in a position to draw a ton of those, despite being unpolished.

Drafting Benson at 66th overall makes him the heir apparent to James Conner. With Conner’s injury history, Benson could smash if Conner misses significant time.

If Benson can’t beat out Michael Carter to be the backup, he's easy to cut for another name off the waiver wire.

With a 9.73 (out of 10) Relative Athletic Score, Benson sports the athletic upside to deliver RB1 games.

Other Options:

  • Jayden Daniels
  • Brian Robinson Jr.
  • Courtland Sutton
  • Tyler Lockett
  • Mike Williams

Rounds 14, 15, & 16 

Top Targets: High Upside bench stash, K & DST

Pinpoint a player with upside in Round 14. The Upside Mode in the Draft War Room will help identify players with high ceilings.

Use your last two picks on a kicker and defense with upside. Use our rankings to identify the best fits for your scoring system.

 

Justin Jefferson leads 8-team PPR draft strategy from the middle of Round 1.

8-Team PPR Draft Strategy for Pick 4 or 5

Round 1

Top Target: Justin Jefferson

Despite finishing as WR2 and WR1 in points per game over the past two seasons, panic about Jefferson’s QB has pushed Jefferson to the fourth spot, fifth, and even later in early drafting.

Reap the benefits. Jefferson’s talent likely makes him QB-proof.

Next Best: Ja’Marr Chase

Chase’s talent is undeniable. Joe Burrow's healthy return boosts Chase's chances of a top-5 season.

His 28.5% target share with Burrow would have ranked 11th in the NFL had it sustained over the full season.

Other Option

  • Amon-Ra St. Brown 

Round 2

Top Target: Garrett Wilson

Aaron Rodgers’ early Achilles' injury torpedoed Wilson’s chances to be a top WR in 2023.

But only 17 WRs have tallied more receiving yards over their first two seasons than Wilson’s 2,145.

With Rodgers back, Wilson boasts top-10 upside.

Next Best: Jonathan Taylor

Despite his injuries, Taylor had five RB1 games last season. 

Though he didn’t play a game with Anthony Richardson, the Colts’ offense runs through Taylor.   

Other Options

  • Saquon Barkley
  • Drake London  

Round 3

Top Target: Travis Kelce

One of the important 8-team league strategies is to select a TE and QB early in your draft. Having a top player at each position gives you a weekly advantage.

 Kelce’s 14.8 points per game were his fewest since 2016, but he still led all TEs in that category.  

Next Best: Sam LaPorta

LaPorta broke the rookie TE reception record with 86 last year. 

He could see TD regression, though his 11.6% TD rate is sustainable in the Lions offense.

Other Options

  • Jalen Hurts
  • De’Von Achane

 

Round 4

Top Target: Jalen Hurts

Hurts is the top QB in our rankings. 

Getting his TD rushing upside is a weekly advantage in an 8-team league. Thirteen of his 15 rushing TDs came from inside the 5-yard line last year, and the Eagles will be motivated to keep the Tush Push going.

Next Best: Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes finished among the top 6 fantasy QBs in each of his first five starting seasons -- before falling out of that range last year.

His TD rate and yards per attempt fell way down in 2023. But K.C. signed Marquise Brown and drafted Xavier Worthy in Round 1 to help rebound.

Mahomes could get back to being a weekly advantage in 2024.

Other Options

  • Mark Andrews
  • Jaylen Waddle

 

Round 5

Top Target: Cooper Kupp

The reports of Kupp’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

His 14.6 points per game across 11 healthy contests in 2023 would have ranked 20th among WRs for the year. If healthy, he should bounce back in a big way.

Next Best: Rachaad White

White was RB4 overall in scoring last year but ranked 44th in PFF rushing grade.

In a new offense, he will be leaned on once again as a receiving option and primary runner.

Other Options

  • Malik Nabers
  • D.K. Metcalf

 

Round 6

Top Target: James Cook

Cook increased his rushing yards by 615 and receptions by 23 in Year 2.

That receiving, in particular, could jump again after the Bills vacated 241 targets from last year's offense.

Next Best: Joe Mixon

Mixon missed no games last season for the Bengals and enters another talented offense with the Texans.

Signing a three-year $25.5 million contract puts him in position to be the lead back -- including goal-line work.

Other Options

  • Dalton Kincaid
  • Tank Dell  

 

Round 7

Top Target: Tee Higgins

8-team leagues require swings at upside to win because every team has quality players.

Our Injury Predictor pegs Higgins with the highest probability among WRs of losing time to injury. But QB Joe Burrow's return gives the WR upside at least to the edge of WR1 territory.

If Higgins does get hurt, there will be plenty of easy waiver options to help replace him. 

Next Best: Kenneth Walker III

Walker may split carries with Zach Charbonnet, but he is more suited for the new Seahawks passing offense. 

Walker beat Charbonnet in:

  • Catch rate
  • Yards per catch
  • Yards per route run
  • PFF receiving grade

Other Options

  • Alvin Kamara
  • Keenan Allen 

 

Round 8

Top Target: James Conner

Conner ranked sixth in yards per carry among RBs with 90+ carries last season.

He slides right back into the same offense. Even if he misses a few games due to injury, Conner will be a fantasy starter when on the field.

Next Best: D’Andre Swift

Swift had a career-low in targets and receptions per game with the Eagles, but the new Bears’ offense will be kinder to Swift in the passing game.

An increase in receptions would make Swift a value at his ADP.

Other Options

  • Aaron Jones
  • David Montgomery

 

Round 9

Top Target: Rhamondre Stevenson

Stevenson had five top-15 fantasy finishes last year despite averaging 2 points per game less than in 2022.

Upgrades to the coaching staff and QB room should help Stevenson's chances of bouncing back. And his big contract extension points to the team's belief in him.

Next Best: Chris Godwin

Godwin ranked 27th among WRs with 6.2 expected receiving TDs last year but only scored 2. Expect him to bounce back to be a low-end WR2 or high-end WR3.

Other Options

  • Jayden Reed
  • Rashee Rice

 

Round 10

Top Target: Calvin Ridley

New Titans coach Brian Callahan coached a top-12 pass rate on four of the past five Bengals teams. 

Ridley should be in line for plenty of targets to justify his $92 million deal.

Next Best: Tony Pollard

Tyjae Spears could be a challenge. But paying Pollard a top-10 RB salary says the Titans will give him plenty of opportunities.

And limiting Pollard's touches a bit vs. what Dallas gave him last year might help the RB. He produced much more efficiently over his first four seasons.

Other Options

  • Raheem Mostert
  • Najee Harris

 

Round 11

Top Target: DeAndre Hopkins

The Titans offense is undervalued as a whole, and Hopkins gets dismissed due to his age.

But 32-year-old WRs have historically performed at 85% of their peak value, according to our aging-curve research.

Next Best: Javonte Williams

Williams has a wide range of outcomes this season, making him an ideal late-round upside candidate for an 8-team league.

Other Options

  • David Njoku
  • Jake Ferguson

 

Round 12

Top Target: Jonathon Brooks 

Taking an upside rookie late in an 8-team draft is a sound strategy.

The Panthers' upgraded interior O-line could be enough to spring Brooks as a legitimate fantasy threat.

Next Best: Diontae Johnson

Johnson becomes the top WR on a Panthers offense that proved terrible last year. But Carolina hired Dave Canales after he played big roles in turnaround seasons for Geno Smith (in Seattle) and Baker Mayfield in Tampa Bay.

Johnson led Pittsburgh in targets per game each of the past five years and peaked as the WR8 in total PPR points in 2021.

Other Options:

  • Austin Ekeler
  • Zack Moss
  • Jaylen Warren 

 

Round 13

Top Target: Tyjae Spears

Spears beat new teammate Tony Pollard in the following categories:

  • Rush yards after contact per attempt
  • PFF elusive rating
  • Rush yards over expected per attempt
  • PFF receiving grade
  • Yards per route run

If Spears flashes his receiving and elusive rushing, he could be a fantasy asset.

Next Best: Dallas Goedert

If you passed on TE to this point, Goedert in a top-tier NFL offense provides a startable option with upside. 

Other Options

  • Devin Singletary
  • Christian Watson  

 

Round 14, 15, & 16 

Top Targets: High-upside bench stash, K, & DST

Use Upside Mode in the Draft War Room to find an upside stash who could vastly outperform ADP.

Target good early matchups at kicker and defense, and then continue streaming those positions using the waiver wire.

Breece Hall factors heavily into 8-team PPR draft strategy near the end of Round 1.

8-Team PPR Draft Strategy for  Pick 6, 7, or 8

Round 1 & 2

Top Target: Amon-Ra St. Brown & Breece Hall

St. Brown ranked third in Pro Football Focus receiving grade last season. 

He has established himself as one of the most talented WRs in the league -- an easy pick in the second half of Round 1.

Hall will be more than 20 months removed from his ACL tear when this season starts. He finished as a top-6 RB six times last season.

He is a workhorse with RB1-overall upside.

Next Best: Puka Nacua & Bijan Robinson

Nacua scored the third most fantasy points ever for a rookie WR. He has top-5 upside as a focal point of the Rams offense.

Robinson’s talent and volume make him an easy choice in the first round. 

With the Falcons offense expected to be much better this year, Robinson should find more scoring opportunities as well.

Other Options

  • Garrett Wilson
  • A.J. Brown
  • Jahmyr Gibbs

 

Rounds 3 & 4

Top Targets: Travis Kelce & Jalen Hurts 

A key 8-team PPR draft strategy is drafting a top TE and QB to have a weekly positional advantage over your opponents.

Kelce ranked top 4 among TEs in:

  • Targets
  • Catches
  • Yards

He remains the top TE in our rankings heading into his age-35 season. 

Next Best: Sam LaPorta & Josh Allen

LaPorta led all TEs in PPR points and ranked fourth at the position in PFF receiving grade. 

He should continue being heavily utilized in Ben Johnson’s Lions offense.

Other Options

  • Travis Etienne
  • Josh Jacobs
  • Nico Collins
  • Derrick Henry   

 

Rounds 5 & 6

Top Targets: Malik Nabers & Cooper Kupp 

Taking chances on upside is the way to approach the mid rounds of 8-team drafts.

Nabers is an extremely talented rookie who should see more than 100 targets right away. His low-floor, high-ceiling profile is perfect for a smaller league.

Kupp was effective when healthy last year. He had a 25.9% target share in his healthy games, just behind Nacua’s 26.4% share.

A healthy season should pay dividends for Kupp as at least a fantasy WR2.

Next Best: Joe Mixon & D.K. Metcalf

Mixon improved as a receiver last year, ranking 15th in PFF receiving grade for a RB. Now on the Texans, Mixon could remain a successful PPR threat week-to-week.

With a new aggressive passing offense under OC Ryan Grubb, Metcalf could finally hit his scoring potential. Improving on his WR23 finish is very possible.  

Other Options

  • Patrick Mahomes
  • Lamar Jackson
  • James Cook
  • Kenneth Walker

 

Round 7 & 8

Top Targets:  Aaron Jones & Amari Cooper

Last season, Jones led RBs in Pro Football Reference rushing success rate. He likely gets an O-line upgrade with the move to Minnesota and gives the Vikings an upgrade over last year's RB room.

Cooper had success when Deshaun Watson was playing QB. 

He averaged 2.73 yards per route with Watson, the best of his career. A full season with Watson gives Cooper high-end WR2 upside.

Next Best: David Montgomery & Terry McLaurin

Though Montgomery lacks receiving production, getting the goal line work in the Lions' high-powered offense gives him plenty of scoring potential.

Even with some TD regression, Montgomery would be solid and retain RB1 upside if Jahmyr Gibbs gets hurt.

McLaurin will be the lead option for rookie Jayden Daniels, which could match up quite nicely with McLaurin's downfield game (14.0 yards per catch for his career).

A better offense could also see McLaurin score more TDs than his 4.5 average over the past four years.

Other Options

  • Tee Higgins
  • D’Andre Swift
  • James Conner
  • Christian Kirk

 

Round 9 & 10

Top Targets: Rhamondre Stevenson & Jayden Reed

Stevenson ranked eighth among RBs in rushing success rate, well above his production last year.

With a new coaching staff and QB, he has a good chance to bounce back.

Reed resides in a crowded Packers WR group, but appears locked into the slot role. 

Leading the Packers in catch rate (68.1%) as a rookie shows that Reed has just scratched the surface of his potential.

Next Best: Hollywood Brown & Jaylen Warren

Brown had a career low in receiving yardage (574) last year with the Cardinals but is now paired with Patrick Mahomes.

Brown playing Tyreek Hill’s old role gives him plenty of spike-week upside.

Warren went from 6.1% of the Steelers opportunities as a rookie to 13.1% last year. 

If that increase continues and he bypasses Najee Harris, Warren’s effective rushing and receiving gives him RB1 upside

Other Options

  • Chris Godwin
  • Calvin Ridley
  • Tony Pollard
  • Jake Ferguson 

 

Round 11 & 12

Top Targets: DeAndre Hopkins & Zack Moss

Hopkins bested new teammate Calvin Ridley in both yards per route run and PFF receiving grade last year.

He should remain the Titans' top WR on an underrated offense.

Moss ranked fifth among RBs in rush yards over expected per carry and now has a shot to be the primary runner for the Bengals.

He is one our fantasy football sleepers for this year.

Next Best: Diontae Johnson & Jonathon Brooks

Johnson is one of the best route runners in the league and was wasted on the Steelers with poor QB play. (Despite that, he delivered a No. 8 finish among PPR WRs in 2021.)

If Bryce Young improves, Johnson will be the easy target to lock onto.

Brooks presents upside as a rookie RB in a cheap Panthers offense. If Brooks is healthy, his PPR upside is worth chasing.

Other Options

  • Austin Ekeler
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba
  • Najee Harris
  • Javonte Williams

 

Round 13 & 14

Top Targets: Courtland Sutton & Tyjae Spears

The Broncos offense is cheap in fantasy drafts, and Sutton showed he still has some skills last season.

If rookie Bo Nix outperforms expectations, Sutton will be the main beneficiary.

Spears' receiving ability gives him a floor as an RB3.

If he shows more rushing promise than Tony Pollard, there's upside near RB1 territory.

Next Best: Jayden Daniels & Curtis Samuel

If you passed on QB earlier in the draft, swing for the fences with this rookie. His rushing upside in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense will likely produce, even if the Commanders struggle as a team.

Samuel’s best season to date (14.1 points per game) came in 2020, when current Bills OC Joe Brady served as his OC in Carolina.

With a lack of weapons for the Bills, Samuel’s experience with Brady may help him become a regular target for Josh Allen.

Other Options

  • Tyler Lockett
  • Kendre Miller
  • Mike Williams
  • Jerry Jeudy 

 

Rounds 15 & 16 

Top Targets: High Upside K & DST

Use our fantasy football cheatsheet to grab upside options for Week 1. If  they draw bad matchups after that, use your waiver wire to pivot.

 

The Best Fantasy Football Draft Guide: A Customized, Dynamic Cheat Sheet

This round-by-round strategy can be a crutch going into your draft.

But, anything can happen while your opponents are making their picks. Being flexible and able to pivot as you go is vital.

Use our customized, dynamic cheat sheet 

The Draft War Room takes our award-winning player projections and tailors them to your specific league scoring and starting positions.

CREATE YOUR DRAFT WAR ROOM NOW!

Shane Hallam Author Image
Shane Hallam, Writer
Shane has over 20 years of experience creating content and playing every fantasy football format including redraft, dynasty, devy, IDP, and more. He is a multi-year winner of $500 dynasty leagues on the FFPC and utilizes deep film and scheme study to enhance his fantasy performance.
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