We recently held a point per reception mock draft and it was interesting to see the different strategies used in this format compared to a standard one. One owner used what this year will be a unique approach no matter the format and might have come away with the best team.
Peter Madden, drafting at No. 9, went with two receivers with his first two picks. He came away with Calvin Johnson in Round 1 -- he might have slipped a little in this draft -- and Brandon Marshall in Round 2. Those were the top two receivers in any format last year and the top two non-quarterbacks in PPR leagues. Based on that fact alone you should be excited about this team.
His top two running backs are questionable because of injury in DeMarco Murray and Darren McFadden, but you'll take that risk if you start your PPR team with Johnson and Marshall. He added Chris Ivory, Shane Vereen and Bryce Brown as insurance and still managed to land Cecil Shorts as his third receiver. Kyle Rudolph is his tight end and Andrew Luck is his quarterback.
The reason you won't see many owners take two receivers with their first two picks is because getting standout running backs early is a priority and receiver is deep. You should target running backs early in all leagues, but keep in mind that in 2012 eight of the top 12 non quarterbacks were receivers.
If you decide to take receivers with your first two picks you'll have to get lucky (and definitely creative) with your running backs. The upside here with Murray, McFadden, Ivory, Vereen and Brown (as well as the handcuffs in Oakland and Dallas) make it worthwhile. It also helps if a good quarterback and/or tight end land in your lap like Luck and Rudolph.
We know in our mock drafts quarterbacks tend to fall likely more than in your leagues, but you should plan to wait for a quarterback in PPR formats. Load up on running backs and receivers and wait for someone like Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Luck or Robert Griffin III, who all went in Round 7 or later here.
For my team, I went with Doug Martin at No. 4 overall and Demaryius Thomas in Round 2. Rob Gronkowski, even with his injury concerns, was impossible to pass on in Round 3. I gambled on two rookies as starters in Montee Ball and Tavon Austin, but they should be standout options right away. And I was able to get Tom Brady in Round 5.
At flex, I would start T.Y. Hilton to open the season. Six other owners (J. Darin Darst, Jeff Tobin, Mike Freeman, Nando Di Fino, Scott White and Will Brinson) drafted with the idea of using a receiver or tight end at flex, too. That's another difference in PPR leagues -- you don't have to rely on a running back at the flex position, and a receiver might be more useful in that spot.
As always, we ask you to share your thoughts on this draft. Take advantage of our Fantasy Football Twitter feed (@CBSFantasyFB) and post your comments there, or share your thoughts on our Fantasy Football Facebook page.
In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We also give one point for every reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be six reserve spots for a 15-round draft.
Our draft order is as follows:
1. Nathan Zegura, Senior Fantasy Writer
2. Joe Polito, Social Media Coordinator, Fantasy Sports
3. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
4. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
5. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
6. Adam Aizer, Podcast/Video Host
7. Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer
8. Will Brinson, Eye on Football Blogger
9. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports
10. J. Darin Darst, College Football Producer
11. Mike Freeman, National NFL Insider
12. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor, Fantasy Sports