Sometimes you have to take chances to win Fantasy leagues. That means you zig when others zag, swim against the current or any other cliche you want to reference. Just do what makes you comfortable. Remember, it's your Fantasy team.
What we're doing here is a guide on how to build your team — 12 of them, as a matter of fact — with our pick-by-pick series. Myself, Dave Richard, Heath Cummings and Ben Gretch took part in a four-man PPR mock draft and each built three of the 12 teams to walk you through a different strategy from each spot.
This is an outline that you can follow if you pick from any of these draft spots in your league. The key is to study the strategy, not necessarily the players to see if this works for you. Each team is different, and we offer an explanation on how each roster was built. None of these teams are perfect, but the strategy behind them is something you might use on Draft Day.
As a reference point, all touchdowns in this 15-round draft 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 award one point for every reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE).
For my team at the No. 1 overall spot, I did something a little different. I'll be curious to see if any of you follow this same approach.
- 1.1 Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
- 2.12 Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars
- 3.1 Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
- 4.12 Evan Engram, TE, Giants
- 5.1 A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
- 6.12 Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
- 7.1 Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos
- 8.12 Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets
- 9.1 John Brown, WR, Bills
- 10.12 Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos
- 11.1 Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings
- 12.12 Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
- 13.1 Malcolm Brown, RB, Rams
- 14.12 Trey Quinn, WR, Redskins
- 15.1 Ted Ginn, WR, Saints
It's probably not ideal to wait until Round 5 to draft your first receiver in a three-receiver PPR league. But I started this team drafting the best players available with my first four picks, and I love it.
I can start Barkley, Fournette and Gurley at my two running back and flex spots, and if they all hit, especially Gurley, I will easily have the best running back corps in this league, including three of the top overall players. I also have one of the best tight ends with Engram.
My receiving corps also ended up being better than I anticipated. The key will be Green, and hopefully he doesn't miss much time with the ankle injury he suffered early in training camp. The latest report from The Athletic speculates that Green could return in Week 3, which would be great.
But I still have the best receiver for the Giants (Shepard), Broncos (Sanders) and Bills (Browns), and Crowder should be a valuable weapon for the Jets. I actually like this group a lot once Green is back on the field.
Really, my only gripe with this team is relying on so many Giants since they will likely be a bad team. Can I really trust Eli Manning or eventually Daniel Jones to support three players in my starting lineup? I have faith, especially in Barkley and Engram, and this should be one of the best teams in this league.
Or it could be a colossal failure. But I'm always going to draft for a championship, and I expect this to be a winning formula if everyone stays healthy. If not, the waiver wire will be my friend.
With the way I built this team, I needed receivers with upside, and Sanders qualifies if he can stay healthy. He's coming off last year's ruptured Achilles' that he suffered in December, but he looks good so far in the preseason. Last year, before getting hurt, Sanders had at least 13 PPR points in seven of 12 games, and he should benefit with Joe Flacco as the new quarterback in Denver. As long as he stays healthy, Sanders should be a potential Fantasy starter in most leagues, and he fits perfect on this roster.
If Gurley is the same running back we've seen over the past two seasons -- he's averaged at least 25.5 PPR points per game over that span -- then it's a no brainer to draft him in Round 3. But we know the concerns over his knee and potential reduction in workload, and that's why he's falling to the middle of Round 2 or later. I felt like he was worth the risk here given the upside, but I passed on some prominent receivers in Stefon Diggs, Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman and Adam Thielen in Round 3. Given the format of this league, I might regret not having a receiver of that caliber. Then again, if Gurley is scoring 20-plus points per game and plays 16 games, it might not matter.
Before Green got hurt, he was a third-round pick in PPR, and I'm hopeful he's back at 100 percent by Week 3 as reported. If that's the case, I have a legitimate No. 1 Fantasy receiver -- and a good one at that -- with three standout running backs and tight end. But if Green's injury lingers and he misses extended time, then this team could be in trouble. While I like Shepard, Sanders, Crowder and Brown, I need someone of Green's talent to make this a championship roster.