Draft Strategy

Perfect Draft: 10-Team Non-PPR (Updated Aug. 29)

By Matt Schauf 9:08am EDT 8/29/19


You should go into every fantasy draft with a general plan of attack.

Of course, you’ll need to be able to adjust throughout the draft and pounce on value wherever it presents itself. That’s where the dynamic MVP Board with Suggested Picks comes in.

But building a round-by-round strategy beforehand certainly helps. That’s exactly what we’re doing with the Perfect Draft series — using the MVP Board and ADP to get an idea of where the value will be in each round.

This is the 10-Team non-PPR Perfect Draft. Each strategy guide assumes 16-round drafts and starting lineups of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 Flex, 1 K and 1 DEF. The MVP Board will help you adjust your strategy if your league settings are different.

Note: August 29 updates in bold.


Pick 1, 2, 3, 4

Round 1

RB: Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey

Elliott has dropped out of our top 4 on the PPR side with his holdout, but he remains #2 in our non-PPR rankings. So we're still looking at a Big 4 to open non-PPR drafts. Feel free to lean toward your favorite in this group if you're drafting 1-3. And just take whichever gets to you if you're drafting 4th.

If you'd rather take David Johnson than bet on Elliott's uncertain situation, that's understandable. It's not how we're drafting, though.


Rounds 2-3

RB: Dalvin Cook, Devonta Freeman, Kerryon Johnson, Aaron Jones
WR: Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, JuJu Smith-Schuster
TE: Travis Kelce

You could address any of these 3 positions at this turn, but WR looks optimal for Round 2. Beckham's ADP seems to have fallen with the hip injury that kept him out for a while. We'll see if it rebounds now that he's back on the field. After Beckham, Evans and Smith-Schuster each sit nearly a point per game ahead of the next WR in our projections (Adam Thielen) and more than a point per game ahead of the guy behind him (Amari Cooper).

Your MVP Board probably prefers a RB or Kelce, but you'll likely be able to find at least 1 of these 5 RBs at your Round 3 spot. Of course, there's nothing wrong with Kelce either. We project him nearly 2 points per game ahead of Ertz and a little more than 2 PPG over Kittle in non-PPR.

Whether you go WR or Kelce in the 2nd, we like the RB options for your Round 3 pick. And, really, starting your non-PPR draft with 3 RBs is a viable strategy.


Rounds 4-5

RB: Melvin Gordon, Sony Michel, Mark Ingram
WR: Stefon Diggs, Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman
TE: Zach Ertz

If you get here with 2 RBs and 1 WR, then you'll probably still see RBs leading the board -- even if your league starts 3 wideouts. Michel looks even better in non-PPR than with reception scoring. Either would be a nice value at this point if you arrive with fewer than 3 RBs.

If you take an RB and Ertz makes it around the 4-5 turn, then he'll lead your board (slightly ahead of Woods in a 3-WR format). Don't count on Ertz making it into Round 5, though.

If he's gone and you have just 1 WR, expect Woods to lead the recommended picks in 3-WR leagues. Michel and Deshaun Watson will likely jump in front of him if you only start 2 WRs and already drafted 1, though. Don't be afraid to come out of Round 5 with 4 RBs and 1 WR rostered. There will be solid-to-attractive wideout options through at least your next 4 turns.

Play around with different starts in our Mock Draft Trainer to see how you like the resulting rosters.


Rounds 6-7

RB: Duke Johnson, Kenyan Drake, Latavius Murray
WR: D.J. Moore, Alshon Jeffery, Tyler Boyd, Will Fuller, Allen Robinson
TE: Evan Engram, Hunter Henry, O.J. Howard

The player list at this turn makes a solid argument for grabbing 3-4 RBs early. Duke Johnson is now in the mix if he gets this far, but you can count on him reaching late Round 6.

You should be seeing at least 2 of our top 5 TEs and perhaps 3 top-24 WRs still available. You could get here with four 200+ carry RBs and Mike Evans, and then leave this turn with a strong TE (Howard's the least likely to reach you) and another top-24 wideout. That sounds like an ideal start in a 2-WR, non-PPR draft.

If you opened your draft differently, though, Miller and Drake are fine in this range as well.


Rounds 8-9

QB: Carson Wentz, Cam Newton
RB: Austin Ekeler, Jordan Howard
WR: Will Fuller, Allen Robinson, Robby Anderson, Sammy Watkins
TE: Jared Cook

The board probably wants you to take a QB here, whether your league starts 2 or 3 wideouts -- especially if Wentz makes it to you. He's a nice choice here, with upside to the top of the position.

If you arrive in need of (or just wanting) an RB, then Ekeler's probably the only attractive option. (Howard would be just OK.) And every day that Melvin Gordon misses makes Ekeler less likely to reach this point.

The WR options remain sturdy. Take Wentz and a receiver at this turn, and you could be sitting on 4 high-carry RBs, our 3rd-ranked QB, a top-5 TE and 3 top-30 WRs. That would work.


Rounds 10-11

QB: Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Jared Goff
RB: LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis, Matt Breida
WR: Corey Davis, Sterling Shepard, Tyrell Williams, Curtis Samuel, Dede Westbrook, DeSean Jackson
TE: David Njoku, Trey Burton

Don't count on Newton making it here as you plot our your QB plan. His current ADP finds him coming off the board just ahead of this range, and Newton's healthy camp and preseason so far (knock on wood) will only increase the draft-day optimism.

Plenty of quality remains at WR. So if you arrive with starters covered everywhere, doubling up on wideouts might be the best way to go.


Rounds 12-13

QB: Dak Prescott, Mitchell Trubisky, Ben Roethlisberger
RB: Dion Lewis, Devin Singletary
WR: DeSean Jackson, Tyrell Williams, Devin Funchess, John Brown
TE: Trey Burton, Jordan Reed, Austin Hooper
D/ST: Vikings

If you really want, you could wait until this stage to pair up QBs or to grab an upside TE. Most likely, though, you reach this point looking for upside bench players. That's why I sorted the RBs and WRs by "Ceiling" projections for this turn.

The Minnesota D might creep into view here, and we can't argue with taking a defense in the 4th-to-last round of your draft. But you don't need to take that leap. The Vikings, in particular, open by hosting the Falcons and then visiting the Packers. So you might not want to use their defense until Week 3 (home vs. Oakland).


Rounds 14-16

This is more likely where you're looking for your defense. Dallas looks like a solid season-opening D, with matchups at home against the Giants, at Washington and then back home for Miami. There's also upside to Arizona, with 3 home games over the first 4 weeks, beginning with a visit by the Lions.

Otherwise, it's time for a kicker (unless you can put that position off for a pre-Week 1 waiver run) and then filling in whatever else you need.



Picks 5, 6, 7

Round 1

RB: Ezekiel Elliott, James Conner, Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon

There are some WRs in play around here, and Travis Kelce, of course. But the MVP Board will likely place these RBs well ahead of those guys, and you might see more RBs jump ahead of Kelce if you're picking 7th and RBs go 1-6.

Part of that is a Kelce ADP that says you'll probably get another shot at him in Round 2. If you don't believe that will happen and want him, then go for it. But RB looks like the way to go in this range.

We had David Johnson in the top spot when this article 1st posted, but then Arizona endured a clunky preseason. The O-line looked especially weak, giving us flashback's to last year's version of Johnson. So we've knocked him down. Elliott, meanwhile, can commonly be found outside the top 4 picks at this point. If he still hasn't reported by your draft, then you'll need to decide whether Elliott's worth the risk.


Round 2

RB: Dalvin Cook, Melvin Gordon
WR: Odell Beckham, Tyreek Hill
TE: Travis Kelce

The Board says to follow your RB pick with our top-ranked non-PPR wideout, if he's still around. If Beckham leaves the board, Kelce and Hill likely lead the 2 RBs listed here. Of course, the order of players drafted between your 1st-round turn and this can vary wildly.


Round 3

RB: Devonta Freeman, Kerryon Johnson, Aaron Jones, Chris Carson
WR: Adam Thielen, Amari Cooper
TE: George Kittle, Zach Ertz

A rich RB garden awaits in Round 3. If you opted for a RB at your 1st turn and then landed Beckham in the 2nd, then your RB2 looks ready to greet you. Will it be our Breakout Player? Since the original posting, our Comeback Player has passed the Breakout.

If you start 3 WRs instead of 2, then Thielen and Cooper might kick the TEs out of your recommended-pick tiles. But they'll still sit well behind the RBs.


Round 4

RB: Sony Michel, Mark Ingram
WR: Amari Cooper, Stefon Diggs
TE: George Kittle, Zach Ertz

Did you start with 2 RBs and a WR? If so, then the board probably still wants you to take a 3rd RB here -- even if your league requires 3 WR starters. You can't get Chris Carson here any longer, according to ADP.

If you do start 3 wideouts, then Cooper might jump over all the RBs. If Cooper and Kittle are gone by your pick, then it'll be even more clearly a RB. There will be plenty of WRs available later.


Round 5

QB: Deshaun Watson
RB: Phillip Lindsay, Duke Johnson
WR: Kenny Golladay, Tyler Lockett, Chris Godwin, Cooper Kupp
TE: Evan Engram

This turn's board gets interesting, and the DMVP gaps get tighter. I got here with 3 RBs and 1 WR already rostered and still found Lindsay occupying the 2nd recommended-tile. Duke Johnson enters the picture in this update as well, taking over the Houston backfield. (Sony Michel used to be the top RB option at this turn, but his ADP now sits in the middle of Round 4.)

Will there be enough WR value over the next few rounds to support taking a 4th RB? Let's see here, and you can play with the Mock Draft Trainer to test for yourself.

In my run through, Watson shows up as the top recommendation. It's early, but he carries as much upside as anyone at the position. Of course, you can get away with ignoring that recommendation and taking any of the other options. Engram looks attractive for the advantage in target safety (and upside) he has over the rest of the remaining TEs. ADP says you'll get another shot at him next round, with Hunter Henry as insurance.


Round 6

QB: Aaron Rodgers
RB: Kenyan Drake, Miles Sanders
WR: T.Y. Hilton, D.J. Moore, Alshon Jeffery
TE: Evan Engram, Hunter Henry

This is a good time to grab your TE. You don't need to. Upside starters reach at least to 13 at this position. Engram and Henry beat the others on floor, though: Engram winning on target volume and Henry on his already-displayed red-zone role.

If you would rather wait, then a WR looks like the next best route. Hilton slips to this range with Andrew Luck's retirement, both in our rankings and ADP. He's fine if he gets to this level.


Round 7

QB: Carson Wentz
RB: Kenyan Drake, Latavius Murray, Derrius Guice, James White, Rashaad Penny
WR: Alshon Jeffery, Will Fuller, Allen Robinson, Robby Anderson
TE: Jared Cook

Pass on TE at the last turn? Then you might get 1 more shot at Henry here. Don't bet on it, though. Cook's probably the next 1 up here, with David Njoku 2 rounds behind him in ADP.

The MVP Board might like Wentz as your pick here, but he's likely only slightly ahead of the RBs if you arrive with fewer than 4 of them. ADP suggests you might get another shot at Wentz next round, and Cam Newton's mid-Round 10 ADP positions him as a fallback. So we'd lean RB (if you arrive with 3) or WR here.


Round 8

QB: Cam Newton
RB: Tarik Cohen, Austin Ekeler
WR: Will Fuller, Allen Robinson, Robby Anderson, Sammy Watkins
TE: David Njoku, Vance McDonald

Wentz isn't getting here anymore. It's not too early for Newton, who has 5 top-5 fantasy finishes among his 8 seasons. He also has the mid-foot sprain to worry about, though.

Don't want your QB just yet (or already jumped on 1)? Then the WRs look good.

TE also looks OK if you skipped that position to this point, though there's upside to the TE options over the next couple of rounds as well. Njoku, for example, still carries a Round 10 ADP in this format. McDonald sits in Round 8, though.


Round 9

QB: Cam Newton
RB: Matt Breida
WR: Sammy Watkins, Christian Kirk, Marvin Jones, Corey Davis
TE: David Njoku

LeSean McCoy comes up next among RBs according to our projections here. But he also carries a Round 11 ADP. He also plays in a crowded backfield for the Bills. Breida, on the other hand, saw Jerick McKinnon's latest setback thin the Niners backfield. And you can't count on Breida coming back to you in Round 10 anymore.

If you waited on QB and want Newton, you should grab him here. ADP says you probably won't get another shot.

Round 10

QB: Kyler Murray
RB: Kalen Ballage, Matt Breida, Dion Lewis, Devin Singletary, Justice Hill
WR: Corey Davis, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Marvin Jones, DeSean Jackson, Tyrell Williams
TE: David Njoku

You know what's not fun? Getting to this point and finding LeSean McCoy leading your recommendations.

If you want to take him, of course, that's fine. Don't want him at any point? Feel free to ignore the rankings.

I've sorted the RB and WR options above by "ceiling" projections, because it's getting late enough in your draft to shoot for upside over straight projections. Davis and Samuel represent the intersection of upside and straight ranking.

You'll probably want to leave this turn with a QB, a TE and 8 combined RBs and WRs (either 4 and 4 or 5 RBs and 3 wideouts).


Round 11

QB: Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers
RB: Kalen Ballage, Matt Breida, Dion Lewis, Devin Singletary, Justice Hill
WR: Corey Davis, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, DeSean Jackson, Tyrell Williams, Dante

This is a good turn for upside at RB or WR, so I've ranked the position by "ceiling" projections to reflect that.

That said, you could get to this point without a QB and still fortify the position with upside. If you wait until this range for QBs, though, you might want to grab a pair before you're done.


Round 12

QB: Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott
RB: Dion Lewis, Devin Singletary, Tony Pollard, Justice Hill
WR: DeSean Jackson, Tyrell Williams, Courtland Sutton, Michael Gallup
TE: Trey Burton, Jordan Reed, Austin Hooper, Mark Andrews
D/ST: Chargers

Winston is our #9 QB in this format, and ADP says he'll probably make it to at least your Round 11 turn. Prescott sits 12th. You can wait this long for your QB, if you'd like. And even if you already have your starter, it's late enough to grab a 2nd QB.

Same deal at TE, though Burton sits just 11th there. In each case, you might want to grab 2 for insurance -- if your roster depth allows.

Otherwise, it's time for another upside RB or WR. The Chargers' D jumps into view here and presents plenty of usable spots early in the season. Andrew Luck's calf/ankle woes make the Colts' Week 1 visit to L.A. a matchup potentially worth targeting.


Round 13

QB: Dak Prescott, Mitchell Trubisky, Ben Roethlisberger
RB: Dion Lewis, Devin Singletary, Tony Pollard, Justice Hill
WR: DeSean Jackson, Tyrell Williams, Courtland Sutton, Michael Gallup
TE: Trey Burton, Jordan Reed, Austin Hooper, Mark Andrews
D/ST: Vikings

Shoot for upside at this turn, especially if Tyrell Williams remains on the board. He doesn't deserve to still be available.

You might see the Vikings leading your board, and they should be a solid D for the season. But Minnesota opens against the Falcons and then at the Packers. So it'll probably be Week 3 before you feel comfy starting the Vikes. You can wait longer on a D.


Rounds 14-16

This is likely where you're shopping for your defense. Dallas looks like a solid season-opening D, with matchups at home against the Giants, at Washington and then back home for Miami. There's also upside to Arizona, with 3 home games over the first 4 weeks, beginning with a visit by the Lions.

Otherwise, it's time for a kicker (unless you can put that position off for a pre-Week 1 waiver run) and then filling in whatever else you need.



Pick 8, 9, 10

Round 1

RB: James Conner, Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon
WR: Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill

If you start 2 WRs, then the MVP Board heavily favors taking a RB in this range -- no matter how many went among the 1st 7 picks. If you need to start 3 wideouts ... then you'll still likely find a RB in the lead spot. Though Beckham and Jones climb higher, enough so that you can go WR if that makes you more comfortable.


Round 2

RB: Joe Mixon
WR: Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill
TE: Travis Kelce

The recommendation here will depend a bit on who makes it to you and how many WRs you need to start. If it's just 2, then you might well see a 2nd RB lead your recommended tiles -- with pass-catchers behind him. If you start 3 WRs, then you'll probably see Beckham and Jones up front.

Either route will work in either case. It's tough to argue with the touch volume on the early RBs in non-PPR, and a top-shelf WR isn't likely to do you wrong. Play around with the combos in the mock draft to see what you think of your roster builds.


Rounds 3-4

RB: Devonta Freeman, Aaron Jones, Chris Carson
WR: Adam Thielen, Amari Cooper, Keenan Allen
TE: George Kittle, Zach Ertz

From this range, you'll probably want to leave the 1st 4 rounds with some combo of 4 RBs and WRs. Doubling up on RB at this turn would be more attractive if our Breakout Player gets here, though we've moved Freeman ahead of him since the original posting of this article.

At this turn, grabbing a RB and a WR looks like the best route. That could work whether you started RB-WR or selected RBs with each of your 1st 2 picks.

You could consider the TEs here as well.


Rounds 5-6

QB: Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers
RB: Phillip Lindsay, Duke Johnson, Tevin Coleman, Latavius Murray
WR: Cooper Kupp, T.Y. Hilton, D.J. Moore
TE: Evan Engram, Hunter Henry

Take a RB or WR with your 5th-round pick, and the TEs will likely lead your Round 6 recommendations. Either Engram or Henry makes for a strong starter and a solid option at this turn.


Rounds 7-8

QB: Carson Wentz
RB: Latavius Murray, Derrius Guice, James White, Rashaad Penny
WR: Will Fuller, Allen Robinson, Robby Anderson, Sammy Watkins

Round 7 looks good for a 4th RB or a 3rd WR.

You could get both at this turn, or you could follow the board's recommendation and grab Wentz in Round 8. If you'd rather wait on a QB, then you might get another shot at Cam Newton next turn.


Rounds 9-10

QB: Cam Newton, Jameis Winston
RB: LeSean McCoy, Royce Freeman
WR: Sammy Watkins, Marvin Jones, Corey Davis, Sterling Shepard
TE: David Njoku

If you passed on Wentz last turn, then Newton and Winston likely lead your board here. Either could be your lead fantasy starter.

Your 4th WR sits in this range, whether you're spending the other pick on a QB, a TE or something else.


Rounds 11-12

QB: Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott
RB: Dion Lewis, Devin Singletary, Tony Pollard, Justice Hill
WR:
DeSean Jackson, Tyrell Williams, Courtland Sutton, Michael Gallup
TE: Trey Burton, Jordan Reed, Austin Hooper

If you're looking to be the last in your league to draft a QB, then attractive options remain on the board still. You can also find upside at TE, if you've decided to wait on that position.

If you've covered all your starting spots, though, then it's time for some upside reserves. These RBs and WRs are ranked by "ceiling" projections rather than straight numbers to reflect that.


Rounds 13-14

QB: Dak Prescott, Mitchell Trubisky
RB: Dion Lewis, Devin Singletary, Tony Pollard, Justice Hill
WR: DeSean Jackson, Tyrell Williams, Courtland Sutton, Michael Gallup
TE:
Trey Burton, Jordan Reed, Austin Hooper
D/ST: Vikings, Eagles

Along with the carryover upside options and potential QB2s, the defenses pop into view at this point. The Eagles look more attractive than the Vikings to open the season. Philly hosts Washington in Week 1 and Detroit in Week 3 (sandwiching a trip to Atlanta). The Vikings, on the other hand, host the Falcons and then visit the Packers. You probably won't want to start that D until Week 3 against Oakland.


Rounds 15-16

Wrap things up here by filling gaps. On defense, Dallas looks like a solid season-opening option with matchups at home against the Giants, at Washington and then back home for Miami. There's also upside to Arizona, with 3 home games over the first 4 weeks, beginning with a visit by the Lions.

Otherwise, it's time for a kicker (unless you can put that position off for a pre-Week 1 waiver run) and then filling in whatever else you need.


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