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Draft Strategy

Perfect Draft: 10-Team PPR (Updated Sept. 2)

By Matt Schauf 12:09pm EDT 9/2/21


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 brand new 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 DEF. The Draft War Room will help you adjust your strategy if your league settings are different.

Note: Sept. 2 updates in bold.


Pick 1

Round 1

Christian McCaffrey

If you’ve been reading this article for multiple years, you know we usually address several draft positions at a time. And I’ll get back to that with other positions. But McCaffrey stands so far out on his own in this format, that it’s worth looking solely at what has become the CMC spot.

His DMVP score on the board I’m using for this article is 324.4, which stands 119.4 points ahead of #2 Dalvin Cook.

For comparison’s sake, Cook sits just 14.8 DMVP points ahead of #3 Alvin Kamara.


Rounds 2-3

RB: Joe Mixon, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
WR: Calvin Ridley, Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown, Keenan Allen
TE: Darren Waller

ADP says Ridley is going to leave the board just before your turn. If he or DeAndre Hopkins makes it to you, then taking a WR at this turn makes plenty of sense. You could also reasonably come away from this turn with Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown or Keenan Allen -- especially if you need to start 3 wideouts.

Part of the McCaffrey advantage is the flexibility he allows. You can lock in a 2nd starter here and then ignore the position for a while. Or you could pass on RBs at this turn and grab some top-level pass-catchers. Recent ADP trends suggest you’ll have a pretty good chance at seeing solid-to-intriguing RB options at the 4-5 turn.

Practice some varied approaches with our Mock Draft Trainer to see which gives you the most favorable outcome.

If Mixon gets here, I have a hard time not taking him. Waller leads my pick recommendations after that. If Mixon is gone, then Clyde Edwards-Helaire joins Waller among my top recommendations at this turn. I have no problem selecting that pair either.

If it's a 3-WR format, Jefferson and Brown jump ahead of the RBs. Either of those wideouts makes sense, especially with McCaffrey already rostered.


Rounds 4-5

QB: Kyler Murray
RB: Miles Sanders, James Robinson, Josh Jacobs
WR: Cooper Kupp, Tyler Lockett, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Adam Thielen

ADP says Sanders probably won’t make it to this turn. Robinson sits well ahead of Jacobs in our projections, so he's a solid pick at this turn.

With 2 RBs and Waller rostered through 3 picks, though, I get Kupp as the top recommendation. If I take him at 4.10, then Robinson sits well ahead of the remaining players at 5.01. If the format starts 3 WRs, then Lockett jumps ahead of Robinson.

I don't think you can go wrong with either player in the 2nd spot, and the tiebreaker just might be how many WRs you need to start. Let's see which wideouts make it back to the next turn.


Rounds 6-7

QB: Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert
RB: Gus Edwards, Chase Edmonds, Damien Harris
WR: Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy, Robby Anderson, Chase Claypool

If you’ve followed the board to this point, it is WR-QB time. And ADP indicates you just might be looking at some enticing options.

Any 2 of these WR options will deliver upside, and the quartet is separated by less than a point per game in our projections.

If you eschewed QB earlier, there’s a chance Prescott gets to you. That chance might dissipate now that he's back in action. Wilson and Herbert have significantly better chances of getting to you but might not match Prescott's ceiling.

If you're looking RB, Edwards has entered this range following the J.K. Dobbins injury.


Rounds 8-9

QB: Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Jalen Hurts
RB: Gus Edwards, Leonard Fournette
WR: Tyler Boyd, Courtland Sutton, Brandin Cooks, Laviska Shenault, JuJu Smith Schuster

The QBs remain solid at this turn. Brady and Stafford rank among our top 10. Hurts sits 11th but carries upside well above that level. Hurts has the best chance of getting to your next turn.

If you already chose a QB, then you'll probably find Edwards leading the recommendations here. If you're hoping to land the new Baltimore lead back, though, then don't wait until this turn. You can't count on him getting here.

We wouldn’t generally recommend picking a 2nd WR from the same team if you get here with Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy, Chase Claypool or Diontae Johnson already rostered.

If you finish this turn with a QB, 3 RBs, 4 WRs and a TE, then you’re in good shape.

Round 9 is also when the board automatically switches to "Upside Mode" in this setup. That means it starts pushing the players with the highest ceiling projections up the pick recommendations. You can toggle Upside mode off or on the rest of the way as you wish.


Rounds 10-11

QB: Jalen Hurts
RB: Sony Michel, Jamaal Williams, James Conner, Kenyan Drake
WR: Brandin Cooks, Michael Pittman, Elijah Moore, Jaylen Waddle
TE: Mike Gesicki

If you did lean RB over WR last turn, then you still have some decent WR options here. The order will differ, depending on whether you have "Upside Mode" engaged. If you get here with the roster distribution listed above, though, then RBs will dominate the top of your recommended picks. That’s solid trio from which to pick a RB4. Michel, Williams, Conner and Drake all have a shot to be startable at times, with upside if a teammate goes down. Michel's draft position could vary widely by league. If his lower displayed ADP slots him behind any RBs that we have Michel ranked ahead of, feel free to ignore that and take him here. Don't bet on him making it to your next turn.

Finish Round 10 with 4 players apiece at RB and WR, and the board just might want you to take a 2nd QB or TE -- depending on who remains at each spot. At this point, you can take the option you like most.

If you drafted a top-4 TE or a top-6 QB, we wouldn’t bother with a backup to either just yet. You’ll basically never start that guy.

If you get to this turn with no QBs, then Hurts carries big upside. And it won’t be hard to draft an insurance QB behind him.


Rounds 12-13

QB: Kirk Cousins, Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa, Daniel Jones, Matt Ryan, Justin Fields
RB: Sony Michel, Nyheim Hines, James White
WR: Michael Gallup, Elijah Moore, Curtis Samuel, Marvin Jones, Jakobi Meyers
TE: Jonnu Smith
DST: Pittsburgh

I'm keeping Michel available here just in case he does adhere to his listed ADP, but don't count on him getting to this turn.

Most likely, you reach this range with all your starting spots filled. In that case, this looks like a good turn for an upside WR -- maybe even 2. You won’t find much difference in value/upside between the RBs here and next turn.

TE has gotten rougher in this range thanks to injuries, but it is possible to kick the position this far and then double up with upside options. Smith would be our favorite candidate at this turn, with players such as Austin Hooper, Gerald Everett and Zach Ertz likely to stick around for your next pick.

Backup QB is an option. But ADP says Jones and/or Fields should still be available at the end of Round 14. If you covet Fields' upside, however, go ahead and take him here.


Rounds 14-16

Time to fill in whatever you need and/or covet here. You can stash an upside backup at QB or TE, especially if you didn’t grab an elite starter at 1 or both spots. It’s also kicker and defense time in most formats. Denver looks particularly attractive as a season-opening defense, facing the Giants, Jaguars and Jets the 1st 3 weeks.


Picks 2 or 3

Round 1

RB: Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara
TE: Travis Kelce

Cook remains the pick at #2. Kelce now tops my board at the 3rd spot, though, perhaps spurred by injuries chipping away at TE value later. We'd most likely still go RB over Kelce at 1.03, but there's nothing wrong with locking up fantasy's most consistent producer.


Round 2

RB: Joe Mixon, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley, Justin Jefferson

The specific names available at this spot will vary by league. You’re likely looking at a RB topping your board if you only need to start 2 WRs. If Mixon is there, he'll probably top your pick recommendations even if you start 3 WRs, and his ADP has slipped a bit since the 1st article.

For our purposes, I’ll take a 2nd RB.


Round 3

RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
WR:
Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown, Keenan Allen, Allen Robinson
TE: Darren Waller, George Kittle

This is a nice spot to get your top WR or an elite TE. Waller's 3.01 ADP says you can't count on him being available, but Kittle should be.

If you start 3 WRs, then don’t be afraid to address that position in both Round 2 and 3. You’ll probably find solid RB options in Round 4.

With 2 RBs already rostered here, I’ll take 1 of these WRs and see how TE looks later. Whether Jefferson leads the way will likely depend on whether Waller is gone.


Round 4

QB: Kyler Murray
RB: James Robinson, Miles Sanders, Josh Jacobs
WR: Cooper Kupp, Tyler Lockett, Chris Godwin
TE: T.J. Hockenson, Kyle Pitts

Murray topped my recommended picks here the first time we ran this article, but we've shaved a bit from the projections for all the top QBs since then. So he now checks in behind 2 RBs, 2 TEs and Kupp on my board. Robinson replaces injured teammate Travis Etienne in the options at this turn and actually sits higher than Etienne did, leading the pick recommendations. He's a solid pick.

ADP can shuffle the order of the players here. Pitts’ listed ADP, for example, is nearly 2 rounds earlier than Hockenson’s. My preference for Hockenson makes it easier for me to pass on the position at this turn and consider the Lion in Round 5.

Make sure you’re paying attention to all the factors before locking in your pick. ADP can be helpful to know, but we obviously can’t trust each draft to adhere to it.

Round 5

QB: Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson
RB: Mike Davis
WR: Tyler Lockett, Chris Godwin, Adam Thielen
TE: T.J. Hockenson, Mark Andrews

As I mentioned, Murray led the Round 4 recommendations last time. This time, he doesn't even top my board if I leave him available in Round 5. You can certainly take him at this point, if you'd like. My board has a healthy DMVP lead for Hockenson, though. And I'm comfy with waiting for the QB options we'll still find over the next few rounds.

The ADP climbs for both Rams WRs now mean that you shouldn't expect Robert Woods to get to you in Round 4 or Cooper Kupp to be in your Round 5 mix.


Round 6

QB: Dak Prescott
RB: Gus Edwards, Chase Edmonds
WR: Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy, Robby Anderson, Chase Claypool

ADP says there's a chance Hockenson gets to you here, but you can't count on it. And TE has gotten uglier behind him.

If you took Hockenson -- or another TE -- earlier, then this is a good turn for either QB or WR. If you arrive here with fewer than 3 RBs and 2 WR starters drafted, Edwards also looks solid. His ADP is still developing, so don't count on him making it back in Round 7.

Prescott tops my board here, so I'll take him.


Round 7

QB: Russell Wilson
RB: Gus Edwards, Chase Edmonds, Damien Harris
WR: Jerry Jeudy, Robby Anderson, Ja'Marr Chase, Odell Beckham

Jeudy is right on the borderline for being available at this turn. So if you want to secure our Breakout Player, then grab him before this turn. Whether you're crossing your fingers on Jeudy or looking elsewhere, this looks like a good turn for WR.

At RB, Edwards' ADP can't be trusted right now. It's possible he gets to this turn -- and maybe even Round 8. But it's also possible he goes in Round 5. Keep that in mind if you're hoping to land him.


Round 8

QB: Tom Brady
RB: Gus Edwards, Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon
WR: Courtland Sutton, Tyler Boyd, Brandin Cooks, Laviska Shenault, JuJu Smith-Schuster
TE: Noah Fant

We'll include Edwards here just in case he does last, but don't count on it.

If you took that WR in Round 7, here’s what you’re potentially looking at coming back. ADP says you should still do OK with WR options. We like Anderson pretty easily ahead of the other 3.

If you get here without a QB, Brady leads the way. But upside also potentially still remains in players such as Matthew Stafford, Jalen Hurts and Ryan Tannehill.

Get here without a TE, and you still have options as well.

I’m taking a WR for our purposes. (We already have a QB and a TE).


Round 9

QB: Matthew Stafford, Jalen Hurts, Ryan Tannehill
RB: Leonard Fournette, Jamaal Williams, Ronald Jones, Zack Moss, James Conner, Sony Michel
WR: Tyler Boyd, Brandin Cooks, Laviska Shenault
TE: Noah Fant

If you're following the board, then you probably have a QB and a TE. The other 6 picks could be split between RB and WR in a variety of ways. How you've split them to this point will determine the order at the top of your board.

This is also when your War Room automatically switches to "Upside Mode," which will more highly value players with higher projected ceilings. You can toggle this off/on as you wish the rest of the way.


Round 10

QB: Jalen Hurts
RB: Jamaal Williams, James Conner, Kenyan Drake, Sony Michel, Tony Pollard
WR: Brandin Cooks, D.J. Chark, Mike Williams, Michael Pittman, Jarvis Landry, Michael Gallup
TE: Mike Gesicki

This is a fine turn for either another RB or a WR. Frankly, the WRs still look more attractive on whole, but there should still be attractive options there at least into Round 11 as well. Michel enters the mix here after his trade to the Rams. He's a high-upside option if he gets to this turn.

Chark's training-camp hand injury and resulting missed time has pushed him down into this ADP range. The later draft position makes him a more attractive gamble.

The specific order of players here will depend on whether you have "Upside Mode" engaged.

If you start 2 WRs, then you'll probably want to leave this turn with 4 RBs, 4 WRs, a QB and a TE.


Round 11

QB: Joe Burrow
RB: James Conner, Kenyan Drake, Nyheim Hines, Sony Michel, James White, Tony Pollard
WR: Jarvis Landry, Michael Gallup, Michael Pittman, Mike Williams, Curtis Samuel, Darnell Mooney, Elijah Moore
TE: Mike Gesicki, Jonnu Smith

If you get here with the roster construction laid out above, then your options are wide open. The WR options continue to look attractive, and this can be a good range in which to draft several upside plays. That offers the potential of allowing you to mix-and-match them throughout the season -- and/or to wind up holding a winning lottery ticket.

If you waited to draft your 1st QB or TE, then taking another sometime in the Round 11-13 range as insurance will be a good idea. If you landed a top-5 player at either/both of those positions, then you can feel free to finish your draft without a backup. If injury strikes, you'll be able to find replacements on waivers.

ADP says Michel will get to this range, but don't trust it if you want him. And although the rankings position him behind several other RBs, Michel's ceiling rises much higher.


Round 12

QB: Kirk Cousins
RB: Nyheim Hines, Sony Michel, James White
WR: Michael Gallup, Curtis Samuel, Elijah Moore, Marvin Jones
TE: Jonnu Smith
DST: Steelers

Same caveat as last round on Michel's ADP. If he gets here, though, he's a potential smash pick.

The WR upside continues to look most attractive at this stage. It’s also the point in your draft to reinforce wherever you might need it. This is also a fine time to stash handcuff types at RB. We’d recommend drafting other backfields’ handcuffs, though, rather than the backup to your own stud back. The logic is fairly simple: If your stud back goes down, you’re already taking a big production hit in going from that guy to his backup. If someone else’s stud back goes down, then you’re getting an instant value boost in the backup you stashed late. Further, there are plenty of backfields where the succession plan behind an injured starter isn’t as clear as it might seem.


Round 13

QB: Kirk Cousins
RB: Sony Michel, James White
WR: Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, Marvin Jones, Henry Ruggs, Cole Beasley, Jalen Reagor
TE: Jonnu Smith
DST: Steelers

It’s not too early to go defense at this point, but you also don’t need to. The Steelers get upside matchups with the Raiders and Bengals (both at home) in weeks 2 and 3. But they also open at Buffalo -- a tougher spot. If you draft Pittsburgh's D, you might also want to snag a 2nd defense just for Week 1.


Rounds 14-16

Time to reinforce any weaknesses, pick a kicker and secure a defense (if you didn’t do so already). Denver looks like value option, with upside in matchups vs. the Giants, Jaguars and Jets the first 3 weeks.


Pick 4, 5 or 6

Round 1

RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones, Austin Ekeler
TE: Travis Kelce

Elliott leads the other RBs in this range by a fair amount. But he’s duking it out with Travis Kelce as high as the 4th spot. Whom should you choose? That really comes down to personal preference.

Kelce is probably not going to score as many fantasy points as he did last year, when he set the TE record for PPR points per game. He beat even his own previous high by nearly 2.5 points per game. But he has also finished 5 straight years atop the position, dominating the group in sum over that span. So he’s highly unlikely to let you down unless he gets hurt.

Injury is a bigger risk factor at RB, where most players miss some time every year. But you also might feel like you’re playing catchup at the position if you pass on a Round 1 RB. Among TEs, Darren Waller figures to be there as a Round 2 option -- maybe even Round 3 in some leagues. And T.J. Hockenson will bring intriguing PPR upside several rounds later.

Play around with the Mock Draft Trainer to try different scenarios. For this exercise, I’ll start the team with a RB.


Round 2

RB: Joe Mixon, Najee Harris, Antonio Gibson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley
TE: Darren Waller

With an RB as our 1st pick and only needing to start 2 WRs, the War Room leads with several RB recommendations at this turn. Any of them fit well. Waller actually sits ahead of the WRs as well, in the 2-WR format.

If you start 3 WRs, then Hopkins and Ridley likely lead your board at this turn.

You can go any direction between the top wideouts, Waller and Mixon at this turn. We’ve tended to favor Mixon in our drafts, as true “workhorses” disappear quickly beyond this point. (And the Bengals say they want Mixon to be that type of player this year.) If you drafted Kelce in Round 1, then we'd feel more strongly about targeting RB here.


Round 3

RB: D’Andre Swift, Chris Carson
WR: Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown, Keenan Allen, Allen Robinson
TE: George Kittle

Whether you opted for your 1st WR last round or waited to this point, you should find some strong options for that position in Round 3. Jefferson looks least likely to get to you here, but all 4 reside among the top 9 in our PPR rankings at the position.

Round 4

QB: Josh Allen
RB: James Robinson, Miles Sanders, Josh Jacobs
WR: Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Lockett, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin

If you get here with 2 RBs and 1 WR, the top recommendation will depend on how many WRs you start. Start 2, and the board is likely telling you to grab Robinson as your RB3. Start 3, and the board is probably suggesting a Rams WR. Frankly, either path works for your 2-WR team. If you start 3 WRs, then you'll probably want to secure that 2nd wideout here. It may differ in your league, but WRs have climbed ADP boards in this range over the past month.

The WRs behind Woods sit very close together in our rankings. The order could vary based on whether you’re looking at points per game vs. total points, eyeing ceiling projection, factoring in ADP or slightly varying the scoring for your league. Any of them makes plenty of sense in this range. And they gain value -- obviously -- if you need to start 3 wideouts.


Round 5

QB: Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott
RB: James Robinson, Mike Davis, Gus Edwards
WR: Tyler Lockett, Adam Thielen, D.J. Moore, Diontae Johnson
TE: T.J. Hockenson, Mark Andrews

Even with 3 RBs and just 1 WR rostered here, my board is favoring TE. The biggest change there is injuries (and Zach Ertz) knocking down a bunch of TEs who looked like solid options in the TE9-T16 range just a couple of weeks ago. It's OK to pass on the position if you'd rather secure WRs and take your chances at TE. Hockenson or Andrews might make it to your Round 6 slot, but don't count on that happening. Consider Noah Fant your next option if you punt TE through this pick.

If you leaned WR earlier and prefer RB here, don't count on Robinson lasting. Davis and Edwards should be options, though.


Round 6

QB: Dak Prescott
RB: Chase Edmonds, Gus Edwards, Darrell Henderson
WR: Robby Anderson, Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy, Chase Claypool, Ja'Marr Chase
TE: T.J. Hockenson, Mark Andrews

If you get here without a TE and still find Hockenson available, snatch him. His situation presents the kind of target-hog upside Darren Waller enjoyed the past 2 years with the Raiders.

Otherwise, Prescott and/or Russell Wilson probably leads your board. WRs climb in prominence if you get here with just 1, and the options look attractive.

A higher listed ADP pushes Edmonds ahead of Edwards here, but we'd favor the upside of the Raven if you're choosing between them.


Round 7

QB: Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert
RB: Chase Edmonds, Gus Edwards, Damien Harris, Trey Sermon
WR: Robby Anderson, Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy, Chase Claypool
TE: Noah Fant

There are many directions you can go here, depending at least somewhat on how you’ve built your roster to this point.

Did you wait on QB? Then Wilson and Herbert still give you elite upside.

Did you wait on TE? Then Fant is an intriguing upside option -- albeit one that might stick around for your next turn. Tyler Higbee would be the next step by our projections. Logan Thomas jumps him on the board, though, because of his rise in ADP. Thomas now sits 2 full rounds ahead of Higbee in that category. At those prices, we'd rather wait for Higbee.

At RB, Harris enters the chat. Like Edmonds last round, he probably leaps Edwards on your board because of an earlier ADP. Edwards and Harris look like very similar prospects to us. Feel free to take your favorite between them. Note, however, that we do have Edwards projected higher. Sermon checks in short of both of them in our projections but carries a higher ceiling projection than any of the veteran RBs listed.

And plenty of upside remains at WR. (Higgins is least likely to get here.)

Consider the expected options here as you plot out your earlier selections.


Round 8

QB: Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford
RB: Gus Edwards, Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon
WR: Robby Anderson, Courtland Sutton, Tyler Boyd, Antonio Brown, Kenny Golladay, Brandin Cooks, Laviska Shenault, JuJu Smith-Schuster
TE: Noah Fant, Tyler Higbee, Dallas Goedert

We'll leave Anderson on the board here, but ADP says he's not likely to get to you. Behind him, the WR options look less sparkly than in the previous 2 rounds -- unless you're willing to trust that Sutton's all the way back from his 2020 ACL tear.

Don't bet on Edwards getting here. If he does, snatch him up -- regardless of your roster to that point. This is too late for Baltimore's lead back to still be available.

Getting here without a QB is fine. But you’ll probably want to draft 2 of them from this point on. Brady hung right with the top guys in producing ceiling weeks last season. The lack of rushing, though, gives him a lower weekly floor. That’s why he finished just 9th in points per game at the position, despite tying for 2nd in TD passes.

Round 9

QB: Matthew Stafford, Jalen Hurts, Ryan Tannehill
RB: Leonard Fournette, Jamaal Williams, Ronald Jones, Zack Moss, James Conner, Kenyan Drake, Sony Michel
WR: Tyler Boyd, Brandin Cooks, Laviska Shenault, D.J. Chark, Jarvis Landry, Michael Gallup, Michael Pittman, Elijah Moore
TE: Noah Fant, Tyler Higbee

You might notice the board automatically switching to "Upside Mode" here. As it will say in the explanation at the top of the board: "That weighs a player's ceiling and likelihood of him hitting that ceiling (reflected into DMVP points). This tool helps you to hit those later round gems. You can toggle this “on" and “off" manually at the top of the rankings tab."

Whether you have Upside Mode on or off will affect the order in which players appear at each position the rest of the way. For our purposes here, I'll stick mainly to how we have them in our base projections. But this is absolutely the time in your draft to chase upside.

Get to this turn without a TE, and you’re likely to find a gang of them knocking down your War Room door. Fant or Higbee should treat you just fine at this stage. ADP says don't bet on Fant getting here, though.

The RB group presents some OK options for your #4 spot at this turn. Michel stands out as a case where Upside Mode matters. He'll sit behind those other RBs in our primary rankings. But none of us really knows what to expect from his workload with the Rams. So he just might lead the entire group (in this round) in ceiling. If you want him, don't trust that he's making it back to you in Round 10. His draft position varies widely these days.


Round 10

QB: Jalen Hurts
RB: Jamaal Williams, James Conner, Kenyan Drake, Sony Michel
WR: Brandin Cooks, D.J. Chark, Jarvis Landry, Michael Gallup, Michael Pittman, Elijah Moore
TE: Tyler Higbee, Mike Gesicki

Hurts’ rushing delivers strong upside in either a QB1 or QB2 spot at this stage.

If you waited this long for a TE, it’s worth taking a shot on Higbee’s upside. If his route rate increases with Gerald Everett gone, you might have a steal. If it doesn’t, then you’ll still be able to find insurance either later in this draft or on your waiver wire.

The RB options here look similar -- but with another round discount. Ditto for WR.


Round 11

QB: Joe Burrow
RB:
Nyheim Hines, Sony Michel, James White, Tony Pollard
WR: Jarvis Landry, Michael Pittman, Mike Williams, Darnell Mooney, Curtis Samuel, Michael Gallup, Elijah Moore
TE: Mike Gesicki, Jonnu Smith

RB and/or WR should draw your primary focus here, unless you waited to pair up a duo at QB or TE.

This is late enough to consider true handcuff types such as Pollard. Your RB5 shouldn’t be a player you need right away. James White got a boost with New England switching from Cam Newton to Mac Jones.


Round 12

QB: Kirk Cousins, Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance, Justin Fields
RB: Nyheim Hines, Sony Michel, James White
WR: Michael Gallup, Curtis Samuel, Elijah Moore, Marvin Jones, Will Fuller, Jakobi Meyers
TE: Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Austin Hooper, Evan Engram

If you drafted any of the top 6 QBs, feel free to not take anyone else the position in your draft. If you took anyone beyond Russell Wilson as your 1st, though, you can choose between a high-floor, low-ceiling backup such as Kirk Cousins or the high fantasy ceiling of 1 of the rookies.

Similar deal at TE. If you drafted anyone down through the Hockenson/Pitts/Andrews trio, you can head into the season with just 1 player at the position. If you waited longer, you might want to stash some insurance. And any of these players would fit that role fine.

The WR options here look better than the RBs. Murray presents the highest ceiling among the 3 listed but would need an Alvin Kamara injury to deliver. There have also been rumors that he could be a cut candidate.


Rounds 13-16

This range will include fortifying any weakness and grabbing starters at kicker and defense. Denver looks like value option, with upside in matchups vs. the Giants, Jaguars and Jets the first 3 weeks.


Pick 7, 8, 9 or 10

Round 1

RB: Aaron Jones, Austin Ekeler, Saquon Barkley
WR: Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs
TE: Travis Kelce

ADP says Kelce and Adams are least likely to get to you, but the order of the top WRs can vary by draft. If Kelce does get into this range, he’s probably the “safest” option available. Whether you want to spend Round 1 draft capital on a TE is more of a personal decision. It’s possible to build a strong roster from this range whether you start RB, WR or Kelce.


Round 2

RB: Saquon Barkley, Joe Mixon, Nick Chubb
WR: Stefon Diggs, DeAndre Hopkins
TE: Darren Waller

Coming away from this turn with either 2 RBs or a RB and a WR looks attractive. The workhorse RBs dwindle quickly beyond this point, though. A WR pick obviously gains value if you need to start 3.

Waller fits here value wise as well.


Rounds 3-4

RB: D’Andre Swift, Chris Carson, David Montgomery, James Robinson
WR: Keenan Allen, Allen Robinson, Terry McLaurin, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Lockett, Mike Evans
TE: George Kittle

If you grabbed RBs with each of your 1st 2 picks, you can snag a pair of WRs here. If you leaned WR at 1 of the previous turns, then you can find a pair of clear lead backs in Carson and Montgomery -- or a talented youngster with big reception upside in Swift.

Kittle is an option as well, but don’t feel like you need 1 of the top 3 TEs.


Rounds 5-6

QB: Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott
RB: Mike Davis, Chase Edmonds, Gus Edwards, Damien Harris
WR: D.J. Moore, Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy, Robby Anderson, Chase Claypool
TE: T.J. Hockenson, Mark Andrews

The likelihood that Hockenson reaches this range -- according to his 6.6 ADP in 10-team drafts -- is why you can feel OK passing on Waller and Kittle earlier.

Grabbing a TE and a QB at this turn looks good.


Rounds 7-8

QB: Russell Wilson
RB: Gus Edwards, Damien Harris, Trey Sermon, Leonard Fournette
WR: Robby Anderson, Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy, Chase Claypool, Odell Beckham
TE: Noah Fant

If you punted QB to this point and find Wilson, he’s a strong play. If you get here without a TE, you could take Noah Fant or wait to see what gets to your next turn.

If you've already addressed both positions -- or even just feel like waiting on either/both -- then taking a RB and a WR around this turn looks attractive.

Coming away from this turn with 1 QB, 1 TE, 3 RBs and 3 WRs feels comfy in a 2-WR format. Though there’s room for variation on that, of course.


Rounds 9-10

QB: Jalen Hurts, Ryan Tannehill
RB: Leonard Fournette, Jamaal Williams, Sony Michel, Ronald Jones, Zack Moss, James Conner, Kenyan Drake
WR: Tyler Boyd, Brandin Cooks, Laviska Shenault, D.J. Chark, Jarvis Landry, Michael Gallup, Antonio Brown, Michael Pittman, Mike Williams
TE: Tyler Higbee, Dallas Goedert

You might notice the board automatically switching to "Upside Mode" here. As it will say in the explanation at the top of the board: "That weighs a player's ceiling and likelihood of him hitting that ceiling (reflected into DMVP points). This tool helps you to hit those later round gems. You can toggle this “on" and “off" manually at the top of the rankings tab."

Whether you have Upside Mode on or off will affect the order in which players appear at each position the rest of the way. For our purposes here, I'll stick mainly to how we have them in our base projections. But this is absolutely the time in your draft to chase upside.

Sony Michel is a good example of the Upside-Mode effect. He'll sit much lower in the standard rankings than he will with Upside Mode on. That's because it's tough to know what Michel's workload looks like; but his ceiling with the Rams looks higher than most RBs available from this point forward.

This is a solid range for #4 picks at both RB and WR.

If you waited on QB, you can still find top-8 upside in either Hurts or Tannehill.


Rounds 11-12

QB: Kirk Cousins, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, Trevor Lawrence
RB: Nyheim Hines, Sony Michel, James White, Tony Pollard, Devin Singletary
WR: Jarvis Landry, Michael Gallup, Mike Williams, Curtis Samuel, Elijah Moore, Darnell Mooney
TE: Mike Gesicki, Jonnu Smith

If you waited beyond our top 6 to draft a QB, then this is a good range to nab a 2nd -- preferably a guy with enticing upside.

Otherwise, you’re best off adding another option each at RB and WR -- or doubling up at 1 of those positions, depending on how you drafted earlier.

Finish this turn with 10 total players RB + WR will give you plenty of flexibility over the final few rounds -- as well as reinforcements behind your starters at each spot and options for the flex.


Rounds 13-16

This range will include fortifying any weakness and grabbing starters at kicker and defense. Denver looks like value option, with upside in matchups vs. the Giants, Jaguars and Jets the first 3 weeks.

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