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Draft Strategy

Perfect Draft: 10-Team PPR (updated Sept. 1)

By Matt Schauf 2:45pm EDT 9/1/22


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 Draft War Room with customized, dynamic rankings comes into play.

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

This is the 10-Team 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 DST. The Draft War Room will help you adjust your strategy if your league settings are different.

Note: Sept. 1 updates are in bold. Remember to check your Draft War Room for the most up-to-date rankings customized to your league's rules.


Pick 1, 2 or 3

Round 1

RB: Christian McCaffrey, Jonathan Taylor
WR: Cooper Kupp

I had the #1 pick standing along for this article last year. We’re grouping the top 3 this time, however, because there’s not so clear a break in the projections.

If you start 2 WRs each week, then you’ll most likely see McCaffrey leading the way in your Draft War Room. Kupp and then Taylor likely follow, in close enough proximity that you can choose your favorite – or feel good about whichever player reaches you.

McCaffrey’s extreme receiving ceiling still gives him the most upside at the position. And his injury risk isn’t as high as you might expect, relative to other high-volume RBs.

If you still just feel comfier with Taylor, that’s fine. Just know that he needs more TD luck than either McCaffrey or Kupp to pay off here.

If you start 3 WRs, then Kupp jumps to the top of the board – probably by a wide margin. And Justin Jefferson likely leaps ahead of the RBs as well.

Starting with a WR at #1 overall might feel strange, but it’ll likely be easier to find RBs you like than pretty WRs over the next few turns.


Rounds 2-3

RB: Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, James Conner, Leonard Fournette
WR: CeeDee Lamb, Tyreek Hill
TE: Mark Andrews

The Draft War Room ADP says Barkley has at least a decent chance of reaching this range. That has gotten less true as draft season has progressed, though. Expect to not see him, and then you can be pleasantly surprised if our Comeback Player gets to you.

Kamara and Conner, on the other hand, still have good chances of getting here. Every passing day makes it less likely that Kamara gets suspended this year. And both RBs look set up for Round 1-level workloads.

Hill has a better chance of reaching the end of Round 2 and might even get back to you early in Round 3.

These first 3 picks should generally include at least 1 RB and 1 WR. We’re more likely to make that remaining pick another RB or WR than Andrews.


Rounds 4-5

RB: Travis Etienne, Breece Hall
WR: D.J. Moore, Mike Williams, Brandin Cooks, Jaylen Waddle, Terry McLaurin
TE: Kyle Pitts, Darren Waller

ADP says Pitts has a chance to get here, but you shouldn’t bet on it. If he does, he’ll likely sit high enough on your board to be an option. Waller sits next on our board among TEs, but we wouldn’t generally target him here.

Otherwise, you’re looking at attractive RB and WR options. After your 5th-round selection, you could very well be sitting on 2 RBs and 3 WRs that you like. That’s obviously even better if you need to start 3 wideouts, but it’s also a good place to be if you only start 2. That WR who is your top flex option is likely to outscore RBs from a similar range.

Cooks is the most likely WR among these 5 to make it around the turn. ADP says he even has a chance to get back to this range in Round 6. You should only take a shot on that happening if you’re OK with missing him, though.

We’re Cooks fans here, but it’s OK to favor Waddle or McLaurin if you’d like.

If Etienne and/or Hall makes it to your Round 5 pick, it’s also OK to leave the round with 3 RBs and 2 WRs if you only need to start 2 wideouts.


Rounds 6-7

QB: Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts
RB: Tony Pollard, AJ Dillon, Miles Sanders, Kareem Hunt
WR: Brandin Cooks, Allen Robinson, Jerry Jeudy
TE: Dalton Schultz, Dallas Goedert, T.J. Hockenson

Things get interesting in this range. The WRs still look good, if any of this trio makes it here. But if you’ve reached this point without a QB or a TE, then those 2 positions probably lead the way.

You can comfortably address both at this point. But ADP also says you can expect to get 1 more shot at Goedert. That makes it attractive to take an upside QB and an upside WR.

Even if Goedert goes before your Round 8 pick, we’ve got some later TEs rated well ahead of ADP to serve as fallback options.


Rounds 8-9

QB: Tom Brady, Russell Wilson
RB: Cordarrelle Patterson, Chase Edmonds, Rhamondre Stevenson
WR: Rashod Bateman, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Gabriel Davis
TE: Dallas Goedert, Dawson Knox, Zach Ertz

If you got your QB last turn, then you can ignore those options here. If you didn’t, either Brady or Wilson would be solid-to-strong in this range.

The RBs look solid as PPR reserves. Bateman – our Breakout Player – stands out among the WR options.

If he makes it here, Goedert looks good as your top TE. If he doesn’t, you can either take 1 of the other 2 or wait until the ensuing turns.

Ideally, we’re leaving Round 9 with at least a QB, 3 RBs and 4 WRs (especially if you start 3), leaving 2 spots to follow the value.

Once you pass the midway point in your draft (end of Round 8 here), your board will automatically switch to “Upside Mode.” That weighs our ceiling projections more heavily, along with the likelihood of players reaching those ceilings, to highlight guys with the most upside.

If you’d rather stick with the straight projections, then you can turn off Upside Mode just above the player rankings on your board.


Rounds 10-11

QB: Trey Lance, Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa
RB: Darrell Henderson, Alexander Mattison, Rachaad White, Michael Carter, Nyheim Hines
WR: Tyler Lockett, Drake London, Brandon Aiyuk, Christian Kirk, Kadarius Toney
TE: Dawson Knox, Pat Freiermuth, Zach Ertz, David Njoku, Gerald Everett, Irv Smith, Evan Engram, Albert Okwuegbunam

If you reach this range without a TE, then the DWR is probably yelling at you to take one. As you can see, there’s likely a broad range of options. You can take the top 1 here or wait even longer and grab 2 among this group. Njoku, Everett and Engram all sport ADPs that say they might even go undrafted in a league this size. All 3 have the upside to finish among the top 12 TEs.

If you reach Round 10 with a QB and a TE already rostered, then you can spend these 2 picks on your favorite RB/WR options. The RBs at this turn look like backup-level players, whereas there’s some fantasy-starter upside to the WRs.


Rounds 12-13

QB: Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields
RB: Darrell Henderson, Alexander Mattison, Rachaad White, Kenneth Gainwell, Isiah Pacheco, Tyler Allgeier
WR: Russell Gage, Rondale Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Treylon Burks, Garrett Wilson, Robbie Anderson, Jahan Dotson

Time to fill in where you might have weak spots or target favorite late sleepers.

If a backup QB makes sense for you – either because you waited on a starter or you play in a league that gobbles up QBs on draft day – then this is a good area to get your #2. But don’t feel like you need to fill that spot. If you drafted a strong QB1, then there’s likely more upside to stashing RB/WR here.

If you went the extreme-patience route at TE, then you could grab a 2nd here – or even double up on TE around this turn.


Rounds 14-16

This range will include your kicker and defense, assuming you’re playing with those positions.

You can almost ignore the overall team-defense rankings, which are based on full-season projections. That’s because we’d generally rather stream the position to take advantage of matchups as much as possible.

To that end, these look like attractive options …

Cleveland: at Panthers, vs. Jets, vs. Steelers, at Falcons
Denver: at Seahawks, vs. Texans, vs. 49ers
San Francisco: at Bears, vs. Seahawks

The other pick can be spent where you need a reinforcement, or on a favorite upside reserve.


Pick 4, 5 or 6

Round 1

RB: Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, Joe Mixon, Saquon Barkley
WR: Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Stefon Diggs

The players who make it to you in this range can vary quite a bit by draft. And your recommendations will vary by format.

If Kupp reaches you at any of these spots, he’ll top your board pretty easily. He ranks among our top 3 players in PPR, even if you only start 2 wideouts. And I’ve done 2 drafts on Sleeper just this week that found Kupp going 3rd among WRs. So it’s plausible.

In a 2-WR format, the RBs will follow Kupp in your Draft War Room recommendations. Jefferson will mix in there somewhere, with more separation between him and Chase. Either Jefferson or a RB can work here, especially because there will be attractive Round 2 options at each position.

If you start 3 WRs, the DWR will pretty heavily favor a WR in this range – with Chase and Diggs jumping ahead of some RBs. Starting such a draft with 1 of those WRs feels pretty good.


Round 2

RB: Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara
WR: CeeDee Lamb, Tyreek Hill
TE: Travis Kelce

Starting your draft with Jefferson and Barkley – our Comeback Player – would be awesome. Kamara looks good in this range, too, and is even more likely to stick around than Barkley.

If you selected a RB in Round 1, then we like Lamb better than Hill here. Kelce is also in play, though, if he escapes the 1-2 turn.

You certainly can get away with taking RBs with each of your 1st 2 selections, especially if you only need to start 2 WRs. If you start 3, though, you might be playing a little catchup at the position over the next few rounds.


Round 3

RB: James Conner, Ezekiel Elliott, Cam Akers
WR: Tee Higgins, D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, Mike Evans, Michael Pittman
TE: Mark Andrews

You’re likely to find either an attractive RB or WR at this turn. Conner sits well ahead of the other RBs in DMVP rating, though, and has been likely to reach this range of drafting. That should help you feel comfy with selecting a WR at 1 of your first 2 turns.

If you did start with a pair of RBs, Higgins or Moore would be nice top wideouts at this stage. The other 3 would look a little better as WR2s.


Round 4

RB: Travis Etienne, Breece Hall
WR: D.J. Moore, Mike Williams
TE: Kyle Pitts

If you get here with a pair of RBs and 1 WR, and then you find Moore available, you’re in good shape. That said, there’s plenty of upside to the RBs as well if you get here with 1 of those and a pair of wideouts.

Pitts has a shot to reach you here and has the upside to be in play, as long as you have at least 1 player at both RB and WR.

You should leave this turn with 2 players at either RB or WR, and at least 1 guy at the other spot. That 4th player can be a 2nd at the other position or Pitts.

If you start 3 WRs, you can finish this turn with 1 RB and 3 wideouts. But RB is about to get iffy. We would not generally choose that path from this range in a 10-team draft.


Round 5

RB: Breece Hall, Josh Jacobs, Elijah Mitchell, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
WR: Mike Williams, Brandin Cooks, Allen Robinson, Jaylen Waddle
TE: Darren Waller

If you get here with 2 RBs, 2 WRs and all the options listed, then the board is probably pushing Waller slightly ahead of Hall. If you start 3 WRs, then the margin between Waller and the wideouts will be even slimmer.

There’s nothing wrong with Waller here in either case. We’d be less likely to take a shot on him in a 3-WR format, though. You’ll probably get 2 more shots at Dallas Goedert, with other TEs around him potentially in play over the next couple of rounds as well. And the position presents fallback options beyond that crew in case you miss out. It’s also worth noting that Waller is dealing with a hamstring injury right now.


Round 6

QB: Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts
RB: Tony Pollard, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Cordarrelle Patterson, AJ Dillon, Dameon Pierce
WR: Brandin Cooks, Allen Robinson, Jerry Jeudy
TE: Dallas Goedert, Dalton Schultz, T.J. Hockenson

If you get here with 5 picks split between RB and WR, then QB and TE likely lead your recommendations. Goedert leads the way on my board and would be a fine value here. But you also probably don’t yet need to take him. The Eagles TE has consistently gone behind Schultz and Hockenson, who are also likely both still available. ADP says you could still get 2 more shots at Goedert beyond this.

Murray and Hurts, on the other hand, aren’t likely to make it back to you in Round 7. Each has the upside to lead all QBs in scoring this season. So that’s an attractive path at this turn.


Round 7

QB: Jalen Hurts
RB: Tony Pollard, Kareem Hunt, Chase Edmonds
WR: Jerry Jeudy, Marquise Brown, Rashod Bateman
TE: Dallas Goedert, Dalton Schultz, T.J. Hockenson

If all 3 TEs from last round face you again here, then consider it a sign you can wait 1 more turn on the position. Leaving this turn with a high-upside QB, 3 RBs and 3 WRs will have your team in good shape.


Round 8

QB: Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford
RB: Cordarrelle Patterson, Dameon Pierce, Chase Edmonds, Rhamondre Stevenson
WR: Marquise Brown, Rashod Bateman, Gabriel Davis, JuJu Smith-Schuster
TE: Dallas Goedert

Goedert time … unless you’d still prefer to push off the position and take a couple of sleeper-level plays later.

If you passed on QB earlier – or didn’t have the opportunity to select either Murray or Hurts – then this is a fine time to address that position. ADP says you’ll likely get 1 more shot at Brady beyond this, with Stafford a possibility as well. The upside of Trey Lance also remains on the board.

If you covet either Brown or Bateman, don’t count on the player getting to you in this round. Grab him at 1 of the previous 2 turns. Each has been a riser (to some degree) through draft season.


Round 9

QB: Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Trey Lance
RB: Cordarrelle Patterson, Rhamondre Stevenson, Kenneth Walker
WR: Rashod Bateman, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Elijah Moore, Brandon Aiyuk
TE: Dawson Knox, Zach Ertz

If your draft goes 16 rounds like this, then your board has now switched into Upside Mode. That weighs our ceiling projections more heavily, along with the likelihood of players reaching those ceilings, to highlight guys with the most upside.

If you’d rather stick with the straight projections, then you can turn off Upside Mode just above the player rankings on your board. And if your draft goes longer than 16 rounds, then Upside Mode should turn on when you reach the halfway point.

Again, do not count on Bateman reaching this round. If it does happen, then our Breakout Player is a SMASH pick.

Assuming you have secured a QB and TE by now, use this turn to add a 4th at either RB or WR.


Round 10

QB: Tom Brady, Trey Lance
RB: Cordarrelle Patterson, Darrell Henderson, James Cook, Alexander Mattison
WR: Tyler Lockett, Brandon Aiyuk, Drake London, Christian Kirk
TE: Zach Ertz, David Njoku

Patterson is the likeliest of the RB options at this turn to be worth starting in Week 1. Otherwise, it’s a group best suited for a RB4 spot on most fantasy rosters.

If you already got your 4th RB before this turn, then the WRs look pretty nice. Leaving this turn with 4 players at each of those spots, plus a QB and a TE, should have you in good shape.


Round 11

QB: Trey Lance, Trevor Lawrence
RB: Darrell Henderson, Dameon Pierce, Rachaad White, Tyler Allgeier
WR: Drake London, Tyler Lockett, Christian Kirk, Kadarius Toney
TE: Dawson Knox, Pat Freiermuth, Zach Ertz, David Njoku

If you wonder why some players might leap ahead of others at their position as we move through these turns, it’s likely the effect of ADP gaps. Freiermuth, for example, sits 8+ rounds ahead of Njoku in the ADP that feeds this format. So he’s more a player you’d need to target here if you want him; whereas you can likely wait and still land Njoku. We value the 2 of them similarly, with Njoku even beating Freiermuth in our ceiling projections.

Assuming you already have a QB, the WRs stand out most here. London likely has a better shot of lingering on the board right now, because he’s dealing with a knee injury (which is believed to be minor). And we share your apathy for the Seattle offense, but this is simply too long for Tyler Lockett to be available.

With depth-chart/workload questions facing each of the RBs listed, this seems like a good turn to grab your 5th WR, to go with 4 RBs, 1 QB and 1 TE.

That said, Lance might lead your recommendations here even if you already have a QB. It’s certainly not going to kill you to take an upside backup at the position in Round 11. Let the strength of your starter drive that decision. If you grabbed a top-7 QB by our rankings, you’re probably better off addressing another position here. If you waited and took someone such as Brady, Stafford or Dak Prescott, then adding Lance gives you a high-ceiling platoon and a pair of guys capable of turning into every-week starters.


Round 12

QB: Trevor Lawrence
RB: Kenneth Gainwell, Isiah Pacheco, Tyler Allgeier, Michael Carter, Rachaad White, J.D. McKissic, Brian Robinson
WR: Drake London, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Russell Gage, Treylon Burks
TE: Pat Freiermuth, David Njoku, Gerald Everett, Irv Smith, Evan Engram

You should be targeting upside at this point, and potentially focusing on a position you waited to address relative to others. There’s boom/bust potential among the young wideouts here, with handcuff-level upside among the RBs.

This TE group sticking around draft boards has made it easy to be flexible with the position in best-ball drafts. But you could also push off TE in a lineup-setting league and then target 2 among this crew late. All 5 of these TEs have the upside to finish among the position’s top 12 in PPR.


Round 13

QB: Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence
RB: Rachaad White, Jamaal Williams
WR: Treylon Burks, Rondale Moore, Garrett Wilson, Marquez Valdes-Scantling
TE: David Njoku, Gerald Everett, Irv Smith, Evan Engram

What do you need here? Viable – even attractive – options at each of the positions gives you the freedom to choose your adventure.


Rounds 14-16

This range will include your kicker and defense, assuming you’re playing with those positions.

You can almost ignore the overall team-defense rankings, which are based on full-season projections. That’s because we’d generally rather stream the position to take advantage of matchups as much as possible.

To that end, these look like attractive options …

Cleveland: at Panthers, vs. Jets, vs. Steelers, at Falcons
Denver: at Seahawks, vs. Texans, vs. 49ers
San Francisco: at Bears, vs. Seahawks

The other pick can be spent where you need a reinforcement, or on a favorite upside reserve.


Pick 7 or 8

Round 1

RB: Joe Mixon, Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook
WR: Ja’Marr Chase, Stefon Diggs
TE: Travis Kelce

If you start 2 WRs, then RBs lead the way here. Mixon and Barkley are each good ways to start here.

If you start 3 WRs, then Chase, Diggs and even Davante Adams jump to the top of the recommendations. There’s a solid-to-good chance at least 1 of these RBs makes it back to you around the turn. So grab 1 of those lead wideouts.


Round 2

RB: Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, D’Andre Swift, Aaron Jones
WR: Stefon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb
TE: Travis Kelce

If you selected Mixon and your Round 2 board looks like this, then Diggs, Kelce and Barkley likely lead the way by a wide margin in DMVP rating. Grabbing a RB and a WR (or Kelce) among these 2 turns will get you off to a good start.


Round 3

RB: James Conner, Travis Etienne
WR: Tee Higgins, D.J. Moore
TE: Kyle Pitts

If you started RB-WR (or the other way round), then Conner stands out as the lead recommendation here. Two RBs and a WR make for a nice start; plus ADP says you could find Higgins and/or Moore around the turn.


Round 4

RB: Travis Etienne, Cam Akers, David Montgomery
WR: Tee Higgins, D.J. Moore, Mike Williams
TE: Kyle Pitts

If you get here with 2 RBs and 1 WR, only need to start 2 wideouts and find both Higgins and Moore staring at you, then you’re in great shape. Each looks like a strong bet for target volume and production.

The RB options here are also good enough to provide you an RB2 if you started differently – say, with Kelce among your 1st 2 picks.

If you passed on Kelce earlier, then Pitts looks much more enticing here than Darren Waller (the next guy in our rankings).

Through 4 turns: 2 RBs, 2 WRs looks optimal for a 2-WR format. Mixing a top-3 TE in would be fine as well, though we’d lean away from that a little more if you need to start 3 WRs.


Round 5

RB: Breece Hall, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, AJ Dillon
WR: Mike Williams, Brandin Cooks, Allen Robinson, Jaylen Waddle
TE: Darren Waller

Hall looks nice as a RB3 here. You get the upside of this year’s top-drafted RB, plus a hedge on him continuing to split the backfield with Michael Carter early. There’s a significant value gap between Hall and the next RBs listed.

The WRs at this turn look good as well, especially if you need to start 3 of them.

Waller is solid here, though we still like what you can get several rounds later at TE.


Round 6

QB: Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts
RB: Tony Pollard, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Cordarrelle Patterson, AJ Dillon
WR: Brandin Cooks, Allen Robinson, Jaylen Waddle, Jerry Jeudy
TE: Dalton Schultz, Dallas Goedert, T.J. Hockenson

TEs and QBs likely populate the top of your DWR at this point, if you haven’t addressed those positions before now. Either spot provides value at this turn, but the value will stay on the board longer at TE. Murray and Hurts, meanwhile, each carries the upside to finish as high as #1 among QBs. Getting that ultimate ceiling from a 6th-round pick would be difference-making.


Round 7

RB: Tony Pollard, Chase Edmonds, Cordarrelle Patterson, Dameon Pierce, Antonio Gibson
WR: Jerry Jeudy, DK Metcalf, Marquise Brown, Rashod Bateman, Adam Thielen, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Darnell Mooney
TE: Dallas Goedert, Dalton Schultz

Can you go ahead and grab your TE now? Yes.

Do you need to? No.

ADP says you’ll likely get 1 more shot at Goedert. He has been a target player for us throughout draft season, based on our projection vs. his draft price. But there are other attractive TEs behind him to serve as fallback options as well.

Finishing this turn with 1 QB and 3 players apiece at RB and WR should feel pretty, pretty good.


Round 8

QB: Russell Wilson, Tom Brady
RB: Kareem Hunt, Chase Edmonds, Cordarrelle Patterson, Antonio Gibson, Rhamondre Stevenson
WR: Marquise Brown, Rashod Bateman, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Darnell Mooney, Gabriel Davis
TE: Dallas Goedert

Your board is probably screaming Goedert’s name (in the form of DMVP gap) if you haven’t taken him already. He caps off a terrific 8-player start if you find him here.

Already drafted a TE? Then the WR options look better than RB at this turn. There’s a chance Bateman returns to you in Round 9, but don’t count on it.


Round 9

QB: Tom Brady, Trey Lance
RB: Cordarrelle Patterson, Antonio Gibson, Rhamondre Stevenson, Darrell Henderson, James Cook
WR: Rashod Bateman, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Brandon Aiyuk, Drake London, Tyler Lockett, Elijah Moore
TE: Dawson Knox, Pat Freiermuth, Zach Ertz

If your draft goes 16 rounds like this, then your board has now switched into Upside Mode. That weighs our ceiling projections more heavily, along with the likelihood of players reaching those ceilings, to highlight guys with the most upside.

If you’d rather stick with the straight projections, then you can turn off Upside Mode just above the player rankings on your board. And if your draft goes longer than 16 rounds, then Upside Mode should turn on when you reach the halfway point.

Again, do not count on Bateman reaching this round. If it does happen, then our Breakout Player is a SMASH pick.

The QB options look good here if you decided to wait on the position. TE takes an upside dip from Goedert to this duo. And WR remains more attractive than RB, though Patterson does look undervalued if you compare our projections with ADP.


Round 10

QB: Tom Brady, Trey Lance
RB: Kenneth Walker, Darrell Henderson, Alexander Mattison
WR: Tyler Lockett, Elijah Moore, Brandon Aiyuk, Drake London, DeVonta Smith, Christian Kirk
TE: Zach Ertz

This is probably a turn for reinforcing either RB or WR. Ertz is a fine PPR bet at TE if you have pushed off that position (or missed out on Goedert). And the QBs remain solid-to-strong options at this stage.


Round 11

RB: Darrell Henderson Rachaad White, Tyler Allgeier, Kenneth Gainwell
WR: Drake London, Tyler Lockett, Christian Kirk, Kadarius Toney
TE: Pat Freiermuth, David Njoku

ADP says Lance has a chance to get here, but don’t bet on it. There are enough drafters excited about his upside that he’s probably going ahead of his currently listed ADP in most “home” leagues.

There’s upside still to the TE options, if you decided to wait on that position. But this range is generally best spent on upside reserves at RB and WR.

This turn presents 4 players who could wind up as their teams’ most productive wideouts. (Note: We’re not betting on Lockett beating D.K. Metcalf; just saying that could happen.)

Don’t be surprised if Pierce climbs well out of this range off the buzz following his nice preseason debut – especially if he continues to look like the team’s best RB in game action.


Round 12

QB: Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Fields
RB: Darrell Henderson, Kenneth Gainwell, Isiah Pacheco, Tyler Allgeier, Rachaad White, J.D. McKissic
WR: Drake London, Kadarius Toney, Treylon Burks, Rondale Moore, Chase Claypool
TE: Pat Freiermuth, David Njoku

The QBs here are best suited to start the year as #2 on your fantasy roster. Each has the upside to finish among the top 10, though, especially Lawrence with his running ability. An upside backup looks more attractive if you waited to grab your QB1. If you drafted a top-7 QB from our rankings, then you’re probably better off waiting on a backup – or not drafting a 2nd at all.

Otherwise, it’s generally reserve time at RB/WR here. Don't bet on Robinson continuing to reach this range. The ADP is likely still catching up. If you want him, don't count on him getting out of Round 10.


Round 13

QB: Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields
RB: Rachaad White, Kenneth Gainwell, Brian Robinson, Jamaal Williams
WR: Rondale Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Treylon Burks, Jahan Dotson, Chris Olave, George Pickens
TE: David Njoku, Gerald Everett

Wondering why the order has changed among some of the players within a position? It’s likely ADP-driven. The closer we get to a player’s ADP, the more urgency there is to take him. That’s not going to make our algorithm vault some player from way down the list to the top just because his ADP is approaching. But here, for example, it nudges Tagovailoa ahead of Lawrence, whose ADP sits 4.5 rounds later.

Keep an eye on that as you’re making late-draft decisions. If there’s no significant gap between Tagovailoa and Lawrence (and/or Justin Fields as well), then feel free to pass on the Miami QB even when he’s the top suggestion on your board.


Rounds 14-16

This range will include your kicker and defense, assuming you’re playing with those positions.

You can almost ignore the overall team-defense rankings, which are based on full-season projections. That’s because we’d generally rather stream the position to take advantage of matchups as much as possible.

To that end, these look like attractive options …

Cleveland: at Panthers, vs. Jets, vs. Steelers, at Falcons
Denver: at Seahawks, vs. Texans, vs. 49ers
San Francisco: at Bears, vs. Seahawks

The other pick can be spent where you need a reinforcement, or on a favorite upside reserve.


Pick 9 or 10

Rounds 1-2

RB: Joe Mixon, Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara
WR: Ja’Marr Chase, Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams, CeeDee Lamb
TE: Travis Kelce

If you start 2 WRs, then a RB is the pick here, according to Draft War Room calculations. Start 3 WRs? Then Chase and Diggs jump to the top of your board, with Davante Adams likely just 2 spots behind.

In either order, grabbing 1 RB and 1 WR at the start gives you a nice pair of building blocks. ADP says Cook is the least likely of these options to reach you.

If you start 3 WRs, the right combo of lingering wideouts might even have the DWR recommending that you open your draft with 2 WRs. On the other hand, a format that starts just 2 WRs might have your board recommending a RB-RB start.

Our top recommendation: Be flexible, and let the specific options help guide your selections.


Rounds 3-4

RB: James Conner, Travis Etienne, Cam Akers, David Montgomery
WR: Tee Higgins, D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, Michael Pittman, Mike Williams
TE: Kyle Pitts

Conner might lead your board here even if you started your draft with 2 RBs. That’s a testament to his value vs. the RBs going behind him. Consider his too-low ADP a potential tiebreaker if you’re waffling between a RB and a WR at your previous turn. Landing Conner as your RB2 (or even RB1) here would be nice.

If you do get here with 2 RBs rostered, then Higgins and Moore probably lead the recommendations, with Pitts behind them.

Leaving Round 4 with a pair of RB and a pair of WRs will get your team off to a nice start. Kelce or Pitts could take 1 of those spots. You just might need to get a little more creative over the next few rounds.


Rounds 5-6

QB: Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson
RB: Breece Hall, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, AJ Dillon, Miles Sanders
WR: Mike Williams, Brandin Cooks, Allen Robinson, Jerry Jeudy
TE: Darren Waller

There are lots of potential directions to go here.

Waller jumps to the top of the board and is a fine PPR bet at this stage. You also don’t need to go TE here if you’re wary of Waller’s new target competition.

If you pass on Waller in Round 5, then Dalton Schultz and Dallas Goedert are likely to jump to the top of your board for Round 6. That can serve as a signal of the value at TE in this range … but it can also point you toward waiting until Round 7. ADP says you’re likely to get another shot at Goedert there. And there are fallback options behind him in case a league mate pounces on the Eagle.

The WRs look good at this turn, whether you arrive with 1 or 2 already at the position. The QBs here have each already displayed the upside to pace their position in full-season scoring.

Hall carries some risk if the Jets continue to split work so evenly between him and Michael Carter. But finding him in Round 5 would mitigate some of that risk.

Leaving Round 6 with 5 picks allotted to RB/WR and the other spent on a high-end QB or TE looks best.


Rounds 7-8

QB: Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford
RB: Tony Pollard, Cordarrelle Patterson, Chase Edmonds
WR: Marquise Brown, Rashod Bateman, Darnell Mooney, Gabriel Davis
TE: Dallas Goedert

This turn will depend quite a bit on what you did last turn. If you passed on QBs then, Wilson and Brady will top your board – with Stafford not far behind.

If you passed on TE to this point, then Goedert probably stands well ahead of the competition in DMVP rating.

If you already addressed both positions, then you should be fishing in still-fertile WR waters at this turn – quite possibly spending both picks at that position, depending on what you have and which specific players remain.

Ultimately, the best build for a 2-WR lineup in a 10-team league is likely leaving Round 8 with 1 QB, 1 TE, 3 RBs and 3 WRs.


Rounds 9-10

QB: Tom Brady, Trey Lance
RB: Cordarrelle Patterson, Rhamondre Stevenson, Darrell Henderson
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Elijah Moore, Brandon Aiyuk, Drake London, Tyler Lockett, Christian Kirk, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Rondale Moore
TE: Dawson Knox, Zach Ertz

If your draft goes 16 rounds like this, then your board has now switched into Upside Mode. That weighs our ceiling projections more heavily, along with the likelihood of players reaching those ceilings, to highlight guys with the most upside.

If you’d rather stick with the straight projections, then you can turn off Upside Mode just above the player rankings on your board. And if your draft goes longer than 16 rounds, then Upside Mode should turn on when you reach the halfway point.

The options at WR here are a big part of why you can consider grabbing an extra RB earlier or taking the high-upside QB and TE. You’ll notice that the RBs in this range start to come from split backfields and limited roles. The WR group, on the other hand, presents a number of young guys in uncertain situations.

That means the risk of smaller-than-hoped roles, but it also means the chance for more target share than we can reasonably project right now. Seven of the 8 WRs listed above carry a decent-to-good shot at being the most targeted WRs on their respective teams.


Rounds 11-12

QB: Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Fields
RB: Tyler Allgeier, Rachaad White, Kenneth Gainwell, J.D. McKissic
WR: Drake London, Tyler Lockett, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, Russell Gage, Kadarius Toney
TE: Pat Freiermuth, David Njoku

If you want to draft a backup QB, this is a good range in which to do so. All 3 of these guys carry intriguing upside – especially Lawrence and Fields because of their running ability. ADP says they’ll each likely get back to you around the 13-14 turn as well, though.

Pierce seems likely to climb out of this range over the next week or 2. He enjoyed a buzzy preseason opener even without producing a single huge play or a big stat line. That buzz has included his OC since talking him up. That aside, this is a good range for overlooking the risk and taking a shot on 1 of the young RBs with questions.

WR upside remains as well. And there are even upside options at TE if you decided to push off addressing the position.


Rounds 13-16

Your final 4 selections will include fortifying any positional weaknesses and/or grabbing high-ceiling reserves. You’ll also mix in a kicker and a defense.

You can almost ignore the overall team-defense rankings, which are based on full-season projections. That’s because we’d generally rather stream the position to take advantage of matchups as much as possible.

To that end, these look like attractive options …

Cleveland: at Panthers, vs. Jets, vs. Steelers, at Falcons
Denver: at Seahawks, vs. Texans, vs. 49ers
San Francisco: at Bears, vs. Seahawks

The other pick can be spent where you need a reinforcement, or on a favorite upside reserve.

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