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Draft Strategy

Perfect Draft: 12-Team PPR (Updated Sept. 2)

By Matt Schauf 7:09am EDT 9/2/20


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 12-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 MVP Board will help you adjust your strategy if your league settings are different.

Note: September 2 updates in bold.


Pick 1, 2, 3 or 4

Round 1

RB: Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook
WR: Michael Thomas

Most scoring systems will find your board recommending RBs at the first 5 spots. If you need to start 3 wideouts, then Michael Thomas will likely pass Dalvin Cook for that 5th spot.

Kamara still makes our top 4 but falls behind Elliott now and carries additional risk -- especially with the report of getting an epidural. So there's something going on physically, even if we don't know what that is.

Cook is also without an extension still. The situations with him and Kamara leave more room for personal preference at that 4th spot -- including the option of taking Thomas' relative safety.


Round 2

QB: Patrick Mahomes
RB: James Conner, Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon
WR: Chris Godwin
TE: Travis Kelce, George Kittle

Travis Kelce or George Kittle is a nice option in this range, especially if you only need to start 2 wideouts. (Kelce's ADP has apparently slid a little since our initial post.) Beyond the TEs, you’re likely looking at a 2nd RB at this turn. If the TEs are gone and you’d prefer Godwin (or another WR that slides to you), then you could wait until Round 3 for that 2nd RB. Most of the guys near the top of your RB board at this turn are likely to make it back to you in Round 3, according to ADP. Just don't count on Conner making back to you around the turn. His ADP has climbed into Round 2.


Round 3

RB: Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Chris Carson
WR: Robert Woods
TE: Zach Ertz, Mark Andrews

Even if you started with 2 RBs, the board’s probably telling you to go ahead and select a 3rd. Loading up on backfield leaders early makes sense, because you'll run into uncertain situations and straight committees quickly. On the flipside, WR value persists basically at every level of the draft this year -- with potential weekly fantasy starters even into the double-digit rounds.

If you don't want another RB at this turn and didn't take Kittle in Round 2, then Ertz remains a nice option here. You'll find significant separation between the top 4 TEs and the rest of the group across formats in our projections. Another mark in favor of the TE is that Woods has tended to remain available throughout Round 4. Then again, Ertz and Andrews can often be had at your next turn as well.


Rounds 4-5

QB: Dak Prescott
RB: Cam Akers
WR: Robert Woods, Courtland Sutton, Tyler Lockett, Terry McLaurin
TE: Zach Ertz, Mark Andrews

If you didn’t take Kittle back in Round 2, then you might find Ertz and/or Andrews on the board at this turn. Either would be a fine option. Woods, however, likely leads your DMVP recommendations if he makes it to this turn. And our #7 WR in PPR projections would be a strong pick here. His current 4.08 ADP according to our feed, though, means you can't count on Woods getting to this turn. The other 3 WRs have a better chance to remain in play.

If you took Woods with your 4th-round pick and Ertz (or Andrews) makes it back to you, then the TE likely leads your recommendations by a healthy margin -- whether you start 2 or 3 wideouts.

Finishing your first 5 turns with 3 RBs, Woods and a top-4 TE looks like a good base. You’ll find plenty of attractive WRs available over the next few rounds … and plenty of RBs with role/workload questions.

Dak Prescott also comes into view in Round 5, likely as the highest QB recommendation on your board so far. If the QBs follow closely with current ADP in your draft, then Prescott’s generally the 1st guy we’ll strongly consider. He and the Dallas offense carry loads of upside into 2020.


Rounds 6-7

QB: Deshaun Watson
RB: J.K. Dobbins, James White, Tevin Coleman, Tarik Cohen
WR: DeVante Parker, Tyler Boyd, Marquise Brown, Will Fuller, Michael Gallup
TE: Evan Engram

Watson likely isn’t entering your DMVP recommendations at this turn, mostly because the 8-9 turn should give you shots at Tom Brady and/or Carson Wentz. Both sit within 11 fantasy points of Watson in our projections for a typical scoring system.

You can see the changing picture at RB. Dobbins carries plenty of upside, but he’s also not likely to open the season as Baltimore’s lead RB. Mark Ingram figures to at least share that job early, after a strong 2019. And White should catch plenty of passes, but limited rushing lowers his overall ceiling.

The WR group at this turn, on the other hand, still features 3 likely lead WRs for their teams. And that’s not even including Boyd, who stands as the top healthy Bengals wideout at this writing. Boyd leads this group in floor after finishing each of the past 2 seasons among the top 17 PPR receivers.

If you opted for a WR over a TE back at the 4-5 turn, then Engram presents some separation here ahead of the next tier of TEs. He could crack the position’s top 4 if he can stay healthy. Darren Waller has passed him in our rankings after Tyrell Williams landed on IR. But an ADP in the 1st half of Round 6 makes Waller less likely to reach you. (He's an option if he does, of course.)

If you take your 2nd WR with your 6th-round pick (or Engram, to go with 2 WRs you drafted earlier), then the board’s probably telling you to grab another wideout.

Leaving Round 7 with 3 RBs, 3 WRs and a top-5 TE should give you a nice start. And the WRs at this turn present a nice mix of floor/ceiling options to mix-and-match.


Round 8-9

QB: Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Josh Allen
RB: Kerryon Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Damien Harris, Chris Thompson, Latavius Murray
WR: Marvin Jones, Jamison Crowder, Christian Kirk, Henry Ruggs, Sterling Shepard
TE: Hunter Henry

This looks like a good turn for your QB. If you’re not particular among the options, you could wait until Round 9 (or even beyond). But the value matches to go ahead and grab your guy here. Be aware that Brady's ADP has apparently climbed to mid-Round 8, though. He may no longer be available in this range.

If you start 3 WRs, this is also a fine time to grab a 4th or later-3rd wideout. Crowder looks like the heavy favorite to lead the Jets in targets, which should present a nice PPR floor. Jones is a spike-week artist. Ruggs now lands here with a little boost from Tyrell Williams hitting IR.

The RB options at this turn lack excitement, especially now that Bills RB Zack Moss has climbed to the top of Round 8 in ADP. But there’s still value available. Damien Harris has replaced Sony Michel here since our 1st posting. Even with Michel now back on the field, Harris continues to beat him in upside because of his higher reception ceiling.

Chris Thompson has climbed to this range in our rankings after Leonard Fournette's release. You can still wait at least 1 more turn -- and perhaps 2 or 3 -- before taking him, though.

Your DMVP recommendations will likely depend on whether you start 2 or 3 wideouts.

If you get here without a TE, then Henry’s fine. But you could also continue to wait and still find plenty of upside.

Leaving this turn with Tom Brady or Carson Wentz, a TE and 7 combined RBs and WRs looks optimal.


Round 10-11

QB: Jared Goff, Daniel Jones, Joe Burrow, Baker Mayfield, Cam Newton
RB: Chris Thompson, Nyheim Hines, Ryquell Armstead, Duke Johnson, Boston Scott, Tony Pollard, Darrell Henderson, Devine Ozigbo
WR: Christian Kirk, Sterling Shepard, Mike Williams, DeSean Jackson, Sammy Watkins, Curtis Samuel
TE: Noah Fant, Blake Jarwin

This is a good range in which to pay less attention to ADP -- and even to our rankings.

Duke Johnson, for example, present upside well beyond where they land in our projections. You can see that in the “ceiling” column of your MVP board. Johnson sits 1 David Johnson injury away from becoming Deshaun Watson’s feature back. Darrell Henderson still could be headed for some sort of workload share with Cam Akers if his hamstring is OK. Although we’re betting on Akers to lead that situation, it’s certainly possible that Henderson carves out a nice role.

Pollard, of course, is a premium handcuff. Whether you drafted Ezekiel Elliott or not, he’s worth a look in this range.

And the other Jaguars backs have entered the mix in the wake of Fournette's release.

If you wait on a QB and want to bet on Newton’s previously displayed upside, then this is the latest you can hope to get him. He might slide to your next turn, but ADP says you can’t count on it.

Ultimately, this is a nice spot to double up on WRs -- especially if you passed on the position last turn.


Round 12-13

QB: Jared Goff, Joe Burrow, Baker Mayfield
RB: Chris Thompson, Nyheim Hines, Ryquell Armstead, Jamaal Williams, Devine Ozigbo
WR: John Brown, Preston Williams, Curtis Samuel, Mike Williams, Sammy Watkins, Golden Tate, Robby Anderson, Allen Lazard
TE: Blake Jarwin, Jonnu Smith, Austin Hooper, T.J. Hockenson

Time to grab an upside option at the position of your choice, or to fill in any gaps you might see in your roster.


Round 14-16

QB: Ryan Tannehill, Jimmy Garoppolo, Derek Carr, Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater
RB: Jamaal Williams, Chris Thompson, Darrynton Evans, Jerick McKinnon, Joshua Kelley, DeAndre Washington
WR: Curtis Samuel, Mike Williams, Robby Anderson, Laviska Shenault
TE: Blake Jarwin, Jack Doyle, Dallas Goedert, Irv Smith, Jace Sternberger

Your last few turns leave room for 1 more upside stash and your starters at kicker and D/ST.

Here are some worthwhile defenses with good early matchups:

Bills (vs. Jets, at Dolphins)
Colts (at Jaguars, vs. Vikings, vs. Jets, at Bears)
Patriots (vs. Dolphins)
Eagles (at Washington)
Chargers (at Bengals; vs. Panthers in Week 3)


Pick 5, 6, 7 or 8

Round 1

RB: Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Joe Mixon, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Miles Sanders
WR: Michael Thomas, Davante Adams

The uncertainty with Kamara and Cook has all but guaranteed you'll get no shot at Ezekiel Elliott in this range. The RB decision now includes more of gauging your own comfort level with the options.

If you need to start 3 WRs, then Thomas will likely hit your recommendations ahead of the RBs. And Davante Adams might follow him. Each of those dominant #1 WRs makes for a relatively safe 1st-round PPR pick.


Round 2

RB: Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones, James Conner, Todd Gurley
WR: Julio Jones, Chris Godwin, DeAndre Hopkins
TE: Travis Kelce, George Kittle

If you get to this point, only start 2 WRs and Kelce is on the board, go ahead and take him. He might not sit WAY ahead of the other DMVP recommendations, but he’ll likely lead the group. And you’ll be able to find RB options in Round 3 and WR options in the ensuing 2 rounds.

Even if you start 3 WRs, Kelce will likely lead the way in this range. And if he’s gone, Kittle might very well be the 1st tile -- depending on where you pick.

If you’re simply against spending that much draft capital on your TE starter, then Aaron Jones or an ADP slider (Kenyan Drake, Josh Jacobs) would work. (Nick Chubb was part of that group before but has slid to the middle of Round 2 in ADP lately.) The WRs look fine as well, but you’re less likely to find that position drop off over the next 2 rounds.


Round 3

RB: Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Chris Carson, David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, Jonathan Taylor
WR: Robert Woods, Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson, Adam Thielen, Mike Evans

Whether you start 2 WRs or 3, and even if you didn’t select a wideout at either of your previous 2 turns, your MVP Board likely wants you to secure a RB with this pick. It makes sense. The touch certainty is about to head south, and ADP says the WR options will look just fine the next 2 rounds.

If you did not take a TE in Round 2, then you should wait at least another turn before looking at the next tier.

Even if you hit this turn with 2 RBs rostered, the board might still tell you to grab a 3rd.


Round 4

QB: Dak Prescott
RB: Devin Singletary, Cam Akers
WR: Robert Woods, Calvin Ridley
TE: Mark Andrews, Zach Ertz

Let’s go ahead and call this the official DS “Take Robert Woods” spot. He’s probably getting to you here in most cases, and he likely leads the group in DMVP points by a healthy margin. Woods makes plenty of sense regardless of what you’ve drafted to this point.

If you don’t want Woods for some reason or a smart drafter in your league scoops him up earlier, then RB or TE comes up next.

Andrews and Ertz obviously only come into view if you didn’t draft a TE back in Round 2. Prescott might enter your DMVP tiles, unless Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson gets to Round 3. Prescott has the upside to challenge those 2 in the final QB rankings. Still, this is a bit early for him in most cases.


Round 5

QB: Dak Prescott
RB: Cam Akers, Kareem Hunt, D’Andre Swift
WR: Cortland Sutton, Tyler Lockett, Terry McLaurin
TE: Zach Ertz

If you start 2 WRs and get here with 2+ RBs and a WR/TE on your roster, then your MVP Board likely leads the recommendations with RBs and Prescott.

In a typical 1-QB setup, this will probably be the 1st turn at which you see a QB highly recommended. You can continue waiting on the position if you’d prefer. Prescott, however, does bring the upside to challenge even Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson at the top of the board this year, though.

This is a fine time to grab your 3rd RB, though. Already having 2 rostered mitigates the risk on Akers, Jones, Hunt and Swift -- none of whom has spent a season as the true lead back for his current team.

If you start 3 WRs, then expect the wideouts to jump to the front of the DMVP recommendations. If you want Breakout Pick Terry McLaurin, then you’ll probably need to draft him here.


Round 6

QB: Kyler Murray
RB: J.K. Dobbins, James White, David Montgomery
WR: DeVante Parker, Tyler Boyd, Marquise Brown, Will Fuller
TE: Darren Waller, Evan Engram

WR time at this turn, and any of the 4 listed would make for a nice selection.

If you get here with no TE (and an extra wideout instead), then Waller or Engram work. And you can’t count on either getting to your next pick. Waller recently passing Engram in our rankings, after Tyrell Williams landed on IR for the season.

If you’re hoping to land Murray, don’t wait until this spot. He’s no lock to get here. That said, we’re not chasing the 2nd-year Cardinal.

This is where Montgomery makes sense -- after his groin injury -- if he gets to you.


Round 7
RB: Tevin Coleman, Tarik Cohen, Matt Breida
WR: Tyler Boyd, Michael Gallup, Jarvis Landry, Brandin Cooks
TE: Evan Engram

If you had trouble deciding between Parker and Boyd at the last turn, keep in mind that Boyd stands a better chance of getting back to you in Round 7. Of course, camp issues at WR for the Bengals might push his ADP earlier.

If you get here without a TE and Engram remains on the board, he’s a quality pick.

If you’ve gone without a QB to this point, then go ahead and wait another round or 2.


Round 8
QB: Tom Brady, Carson Wentz
RB: Tevin Coleman, Tarik Cohen, Kerryon Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Zack Moss
WR: Marvin Jones, Jamison Crowder, Christian Kirk
TE: Hunter Henry, Tyler Higbee

If you’ve followed the board recommendations to this point, then you’re likely arriving with 3 RBs, 3 WRs and a TE. That gives you options here.

ADP says the WR recommendations will look similar over the next round or 2. That makes QB and RB worth considering here. Brady makes for a quality option here with a nice fantasy schedule.

The RBs aren’t exciting but look decent. Coleman’s a solid value at this stage. Matt Barrows of The Athletic said in mid-August that he’d bet Coleman remains the San Francisco starter. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll lead the backfield in touches, but he’d still have a shot to do so. Moss' climbing ADP makes him less likely to reach this turn now.

Starting options remain at TE as well.


Round 9

QB: Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Josh Allen
RB: Kerryon Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Damien Harris
WR: Jamison Crowder, Christian Kirk, Henry Ruggs, Sterling Shepard

If you get here with no QB, then you’re board is probably telling you it’s time to grab one.

ADP can be fickle in this range. Brady, for example, can often be had even after 12 QBs have left the board -- unless you’re drafting against one of us.

If Brady is gone, then Wentz probably leads your board. (I included Allen here, but he commonly goes earlier than Brady, in my experience.)

Already have your QB? Then grab your favorite option at RB or WR. TE can wait if you have yet to draft (or seek a 2nd).


Round 10

QB: Jared Goff, Daniel Jones, Joe Burrow, Matthew Stafford
RB: Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson, Ryquell Armstead, Duke Johnson, Darrell Henderson, Tony Pollard
WR: Jamison Crowder, Christian Kirk, Sterling Shepard, DeSean Jackson, John Brown, Sammy Watkins
TE: Noah Fant, Jared Cook, Blake Jarwin

You likely already have 4 RBs rostered, so this looks like a good turn for a WR. And there’s a strong crop of them available.

If you’ve drafted differently to this point and find yourself well-stocked at WR, then you can find options elsewhere.

You could have waited on QB, for example, and still arrived to this stage with plenty of platoon options on the board. Upside remains at TE as well.

RB gets trickier, though Peterson figures to continue going late for a likely lead ball-carrier.


Round 11

QB: Jared Goff, Daniel Jones, Joe Burrow, Baker Mayfield
RB: Chris Thompson, Ryquell Armstead, Nyheim Hines, Duke Johnson, Jamaal Williams
WR: Sterling Shepard, Mike Williams, DeSean Jackson, John Brown, Sammy Watkins, Curtis Samuel, Preston Williams, Golden Tate, Anthony Miller, Brandon Aiyuk
TE: Noah Fant, Blake Jarwin

Take what you need at this turn, though WR looks especially fruitful. You might still be able to draft the Giants’ top 2 wideouts, the Eagles’ WR target leader and the Chiefs’ #2 wideout -- among other options.


Round 12

QB: Jared Goff, Joe Burrow, Baker Mayfield
RB: Chris Thompson, Nyheim Hines, Jamaal Williams
WR: DeSean Jackson, John Brown, Curtis Samuel, Preston Williams, Golden Tate, Robby Anderson, Allen Lazard, Brandon Aiyuk
TE: Noah Fant, Blake Jarwin, Jonnu Smith

If you’re waffling between a WR and a RB a few rounds before this, then opt for the RB. That position gets shaky in this range, and even the upside options figure to begin the year as weak bets for your starting lineup. WR, on the other hand, continues to present value.

TE also still serves up players projected inside our top 12. And don’t fret over being able to find a #2 QB. There are lots of them.


Rounds 13-16

Use this range for a mix of upside picks, filling holes and securing your kicker and defense.

Here are some worthwhile D/ST options with positive early matchups:

Bills (vs. Jets, at Dolphins)
Colts (at Jaguars, vs. Vikings, vs. Jets, at Bears)
Patriots (vs. Dolphins)
Eagles (at Washington)
Chargers (at Bengals; vs. Panthers in Week 3)


Pick 9 or 10

Round 1

RB: Derrick Henry, Joe MIxon, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Miles Sanders, Kenyan Drake
WR: Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill
TE: Travis Kelce

Start 2 WRs? Then a RB tops your recommended picks here. The picture looks a bit more muddled there than it did before, with contract questions and injuries situations with Sanders and Drake. But value remains.

If you start 3 WRs, then it’s Adams. Though you could certainly feel free to reach over that recommendation to secure a RB, if you’d like.

Kelce’s in play, but ADP says you should be able to get him or Kittle on the other side of the turn if you seek a top-shelf TE.


Round 2

RB: Kenyan Drake, Josh Jacobs
WR: Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones
TE: Travis Kelce

If you only start 2 wideouts, then the board will tell you to take another RB at this turn. Either of the backs listed here would give you intriguing upside as a #2.

If you start 3 WRs, then the board will want you to make sure you take 1 among these first 2 picks -- especially if Hill and/or Jones gets to you in Round 2. If you miss out on both, then Kelce makes for a nice consolation prize.


Round 3-4

RB: Melvin Gordon, Chris Carson, Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson
WR: Robert Woods, Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson, Odell Beckham, D.J. Moore
TE: Zach Ertz

Did you already draft a pair of RBs? The MVP Board doesn’t care. It wants you to go ahead and take a 3rd. Each of the guys listed above heads toward 2020 as his team’s clear backfield leader. And that will quickly stop being the case beyond Round 3.

If you start 3 WRs and already drafted 2 RBs, then Woods will likely jump ahead of the RBs as your top Round 3 recommendation. As our #7 PPR wideout, he makes plenty of sense at either spot around this turn.

Expect to grab a RB and a WR at this turn, with Ertz a possibility at the Round 4 spot.


Round 5-6

QB: Dak Prescott
RB: Cam Akers, Kareem Hunt, D’Andre Swift
WR: Courtland Sutton, Terry McLaurin, DeVante Parker, Tyler Boyd
TE: Darren Waller, Evan Engram

If you start 2 WRs, then Prescott likely leads your pick recommendations here. And he sports the upside to be worth a shot late in Round 5.

If you start 3 WRs, then the wideouts jump to the fore -- with Sutton and McLaurin leading the way, if they last.

Akers looks nice as a 3rd RB if you only take 2 among your first 4 selections.

Waller -- who has passed Engram in our rankings now that Tyrell Williams is done for the season -- is not likely to make it back to you in Round 7, if you want him. Engram's ADP also sits mid-Round 7.

If you opt for Prescott in the 5th, then Parker looks good as your 6th-rounder. If you pass on the Dallas QB in the 5th, then either he or Akers fits in Round 6.


Round 7-8

QB: Tom Brady
RB: Tevin Coleman, Tarik Cohen, Matt Breida
WR: Tyler Boyd, Jarvis Landry, Marvin Jones
TE: Hunter Henry, Tyler Higbee

It’s not a bad idea to secure 4 RBs before you reach this turn. If you don’t, though, there’s still upside to Coleman and Breida. Cohen will likely remain a high-volume receiver among RBs.

If you arrive with 4 RBs, though, you can pick among a solid WR group and Tom Brady. You can also find a pair of TEs we project among the top 8.

Leaving this turn with a WR and a TE looks optimal. Feel free to replace that TE with Brady, though.

So through 8 picks, we’re sitting on 4 RBs, 3 WRs and a TE.


Round 9-10

QB: Carson Wentz, Jared Goff
RB: Adrian Peterson, Damien Harris, Chris Thompson
WR: Jamison Crowder, Christian Kirk, Sterling Shepard, Henry Ruggs
TE: Noah Fant, Jared Cook

You could afford to wait on Brady because Wentz has a decent chance of getting back to you here. Goff, meanwhile, stands a much stronger chance of arriving as your consolation. There’s also enough at the position to support waiting beyond Round 10, if you’d like.

Here, we’ll come out of Round 10 with a QB, 4 RBs, 4 WRs and a TE.

Harris has climbed in our rankings and makes for a nice option here if he gets to you. Thompson enters the picture in this range of our rankings as well, but you should be able to wait at least another turn for him. (And if you wait too long and miss out ... no big deal.)


Round 11-12

QB: Jared Goff, Joe Burrow, Baker Mayfield
RB: Chris Thompson, Nyheim Hines, Ryquell Armstead, Jamaal Williams, Boston Scott
WR: Sterling Shepard, DeSean Jackson, John Brown, Sammy Watkins, Curtis Samuel
TE: Blake Jarwin, Jonnu Smith

This is a good time to be in the WR market, whether you’re seeking 1 or 2. The RBs selection, meanwhile, finds pass-catching and handcuff types.

QB continues to present at least solid platoon options for the waiters.


Rounds 13-16

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to sort by the “Ceiling” projections and shoot for upside. You can also fill in gaps, grab an insurance option behind a shaky starter or stack up rotating QBs.

Finally, it’s time to secure a kicker at defense. Here are some worthwhile D/ST options with positive early matchups:

Bills (vs. Jets, at Dolphins)
Colts (at Jaguars, vs. Vikings, vs. Jets, at Bears)
Patriots (vs. Dolphins)
Eagles (at Washington)
Chargers (at Bengals; vs. Panthers in Week 3)


Pick 11 or 12

Round 1-2

RB: Joe Mixon, Miles Sanders, Kenyan Drake, Josh Jacobs
WR: Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones
TE: Travis Kelce, George Kittle

Mixon leads the recommendations here whether you start 2 WRs or 3. If you start 2, then the TEs follow 2 or 3 RBs among the DMVP tiles. If you start 3 wideouts, then Tyreek Hill likely sits close behind Mixon. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is no longer likely to make it to this range.

There are options here. You’ll generally want to grab at least 1 RB, as that position gets much shakier much more quickly. But you could pair that guy with a wideout, a TE or another RB. I’d recommend mocking out all combos in our Mock Draft Trainer from your MVP Boards page to see which start gives you the best resulting roster.

Here, I’ll follow the board recommendations for a 2-WR setup and start my draft with 2 RBs.


Round 3-4

RB: Melvin Gordon, Jonathan Taylor, Cam Akers, Devin Singletary
WR: Robert Woods, Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson, Odell Beckham, D.J. Moore
TE: Zach Ertz, Mark Andrews

If I open with 2 RBs and play the draft out according to ADP, then my MVP Board likes Ertz here. He beats Baltimore’s Mark Andrews in our full-PPR projections, and you’ll find a large gap between our top 4 TEs and the rest.

Beyond that, this turn looks interesting. Taylor is an intriguing upside play but carries some downside risk. Landing him as a 3rd RB would mitigate that risk. It would also mean either leaving Round 4 with no WRs or no TE. Akers' ADP has climbed to the middle of Round 5, so you can't count on getting another shot at him.

If I only need to start 2 WRs, then waiting until the end of Round 5 for my 1st wideout sounds doable. We’ll see in a minute who makes it back at that turn. Of course, waiting beyond this mid-range of TEs has generally worked out, too.

Ultimately, you can decide which path you prefer. Use the top options at the remaining turns in this article to help guide that preference.

For the sake of this exercise, I’m taking Ertz and a WR at the 3-4 turn.


Round 5-6

QB: Dak Prescott
RB: Cam Akers, D'Andre Swift, J.K. Dobbins
WR: Courtland Sutton, DeVante Parker, Tyler Boyd, Marquise Brown, Will Fuller

If you’re arriving -- like me -- with 2 RBs, 1 WR and 1 TE rostered, then Prescott likely enters your recommended-pick tiles in Round 5. The board might want you to select your 3rd RB, though. ADP says Swift and Dobbins are the most likely to lead the available RBs in our rankings at this turn.

Prescott jumps to the top spot in my DMVP recommendations for Round 6, though. I have no problem with taking the Cowboys QB there. If you’d rather wait on the position, though, any of the listed wideouts will work as well.

I’ll go WR here to see where the board recommends QB next.


Round 7-8

QB: Tom Brady
RB: Tevin Coleman, Tarik Cohen, Matt Breida, Kerryon Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Zack Moss
WR: Tyler Boyd, Jarvis Landry, Marvin Jones, Jamison Crowder, Diontae Johnson
TE: Hunter Henry, Tyler Higbee

Brady enters the pick recommendations at this turn, but he doesn’t jump to the front -- even after I finish the first 7 rounds with 3 RBs, 3 WRs and a TE. His ADP in our system says he won’t make it back to me in Round 9, so the MVP Board must just not see enough separation between Brady and the QBs likely to find my next turn.

What the board does say is take a WR and a RB here. I’m satisfied with those options. If you covet Moss, be prepared to grab him in this range now. He's not likely to make it back to you.

And if you passed on TE to this point, either Henry or Higbee makes for a fine starter at this stage.


Round 9-10

QB: Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Daniel Jones
RB: Adrian Peterson
WR: Jamison Crowder, Christian Kirk, Sterling Shepard, Mike Williams, DeSean Jackson
TE: Noah Fant, Jared Cook

The board likes Wentz well ahead of all other options at this turn. Keep in mind, though, that his 9.11 listed ADP means he’s far from a lock to get here. I’ve commonly seen Brady linger beyond his ADP in our system, though. And there will still be plenty of QB-pairing options even if you don’t find Wentz (or Brady) here. Even if Wentz is gone, the board suggests selecting your 1st QB before finishing Round 10.

If you’ve taken care of QB already, then grab at least 1 WR. Feel free to draft 2 if you get here with 3 or fewer on your roster.

At TE, Fant and Cook still present top-12 scoring potential.

RB has dried up, though Peterson and Moss each carry upside (Peterson’s in the form of touch volume).


Round 11-12

QB: Joe Burrow, Baker Mayfield
RB: Chris Thompson, Nyheim Hines, Ryquell Armstead, Duke Johnson, Boston Scott
WR: Sterling Shepard, Mike Williams, DeSean Jackson, John Brown, Sammy Watkins, Curtis Samuel
TE: Blake Jarwin, Jonnu Smith

If you waited until the last turn for your 1st QB, then don’t be afraid to quickly take another. Pairing 2 QBs from the 12-18 range of our rankings can deliver just as much upside as a single top-6 QB.

And speaking of upside, that’s what you should be seeking in this range (and for at least several picks before). You should be paying less attention to the rankings now and more attention to which players have a realistic path to smashing their projections. Our “ceiling” projections can help.


Round 13-16

Continue to focus on upside picks in this range, along with shoring up any weak spots you notice in your roster. You’ll also need to secure a kicker and defense among your final 2-3 selections.

Here are some worthwhile D/ST options with positive early matchups:

Bills (vs. Jets, at Dolphins)
Colts (at Jaguars, vs. Vikings, vs. Jets, at Bears)
Patriots (vs. Dolphins)
Eagles (at Washington)
Chargers (at Bengals; vs. Panthers in Week 3)

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