When it comes to Fantasy Football, it's your job to be prepared. Every year, it's our job to help you prepare, which is why Jamey Eisenberg and I take part in a two-man draft. It's to give you an example of what you might (and might not) expect when it comes to drafting in your 12-team non-PPR league.
Naturally, there are picks that we love, some we hate and some we wish we could have had. By the time you're done reading this you should at least have a baseline of what we'd recommend doing from your draft slot.
Here is my team at No. 9 overall in a standard format ...
- 1.9 Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
- 2.16 Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
- 3.33 Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks
- 4.40 Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills
- 5.57 Drew Brees, QB, Saints
- 6.64 Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars
- 7.81 Kenneth Dixon, RB, Ravens
- 8.88 DeSean Jackson, WR, Redskins
- 9.105 Corey Coleman, WR, Browns
- 10.112 Cardinals DST
- 11.129 Charcandrick West, RB, Chiefs
- 12.136 Mohamed Sanu, WR, Falcons
- 13.153 Josh Ferguson, RB, Colts
- 14.160 Josh Brown, K, Giants
When is the right time to draft Gronkowski? When there isn't a running back or wide receiver you're fully committed to taking. At ninth overall, the best available running back was Lamar Miller and the best receiver was DeAndre Hopkins. I like those guys, but Gronk is the difference maker at a position where there are no other difference makers. Getting the production of a Top 10 rusher or receiver from a tight end is something that boosts my Fantasy bottom line. I fully expect another big year from the big lug.
The best approach after taking Gronk in Round 1 is to focus on the best players available. Remember, while Gronk became mine in Round 1, great running backs and receivers went to my opponents. Those talent pools shrink quickly, so you need to get moving. That's why I was happy to get Jamaal Charles in Round 2, Thomas Rawls in Round 3 and Sammy Watkins in Round 4. Are they all pristine Fantasy options? Not really, but they come with Top 10-type of reward, so I felt good taking them when I did.
I'll admit I splurged in Round 5 with Drew Brees. We often preach not taking a tight end and a quarterback within the first five picks of a draft, but I doubted Brees would make it back to me in Round 6. So I took him then and was happy to take Allen Hurns in Round 6 to solidify the nucleus of my starting lineup.
The depth collected from there was also solid. Kenneth Dixon is one of my favorite running backs to take after 75th overall, DeSean Jackson is worth a mid-round risk, as is rookie Corey Coleman. And I picked up Charcandrick West in case anything happens to Charles. Tack on the best DST in Fantasy this fall, the Cardinals, and I have a lineup that can compete.