Fantasy Draft Recaps

Smola's Pros vs. Joes Draft Recap

By Jared Smola 8:08am EDT 8/4/17

We often write about being flexible in drafts. Adjusting strategy on the fly. Jumping on value wherever it presents itself.

My 2017 Pros vs. Joes Draft was a test of whether I’d practice what I preach.

I’ve been a big believer in loading up on RBs early in best-ball drafts since we published our MFL10 Strategy Guide a couple of years ago. The thinking: It’s easier to find “start-worthy” weeks at WR later in drafts than it is at RB.

But that same study concluded that value is king. Drafting guys later than ADP — regardless of position — trumps any set positional strategy.

I rolled with value early on in this FFPC-style best-ball draft. With the “Big 3” RBs coming off the board with the first 3 picks, Antonio Brown was clearly the selection at 1.04. And with 7 more RBs going in the next 16 picks, Dez Bryant represented the top value at 2.09.

How’d the rest of the draft play out? I’ll run through it below.

But first, for those unfamiliar with this format, here’s the skinny:

  • Start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 Flex, 1 K, 1 DEF
  • Standard scoring with 1 PPR for RBs and WRs
  • 1.5 PPR for TEs
  • Best-ball format (no waivers, no trades, optimal lineup set at the conclusion of each week)

Here’s how I drafted from the 4 spot in this winner-take-all league. You can check out the full draft board here.


1.04 - Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers

David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell went 1-2, as expected. Ezekiel Elliott remains my #3 overall player in this format — even with his looming suspension. But he came off the board at 1.03.

That left Brown as a fairly easy pick, despite my preference to go RB-heavy early. Brown has finished 1st at his position in PPR points in 3 straight seasons and brings an incredible combination of weekly upside and safety. He led all WRs with 5 top-5 weeks last year and dropped outside the top-36 in just 3 of his 15 games.


2.09 - Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys

I would have taken any of our top 10 PPR RBs had they made it here. But the last one (Jay Ajayi) came off the board 1 pick in front of me.

So I again abandoned the early-RB strategy for value. After returning from an early-season knee injury, Bryant ranked 10th among WRs in PPR points from Week 10 on.


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