I've found picking third in a Fantasy football draft in 2020 to be delightful. You're locked into a top-four elite-level running back and you can manipulate your draft based on the needs and strengths of the managers picking at Picks 1 and 2. Being in the spot where there are still good running backs in Rounds 2 and 3 isn't bad, either.
Those two picks will come down to how you feel about rushers in that third tier of talent — players like Aaron Jones, James Conner, Chris Carson, Melvin Gordon and perhaps even Todd Gurley. The fewer of those runners you want, the more likely you should target one in Round 2.
The one other thing worth noticing about this area is that someone very good at another position should fall to you. For me, it was DeAndre Hopkins, because a lot of the guys I draft with don't seem to value explosive, rangy receivers in prolific offenses with fresh-armed quarterbacks. Landing him here was dreamy. More realistic non-rushers who could sink to late Round 2 (and perhaps even early Round 3) are George Kittle and Chris Godwin. In a perfect world, you'll land one of these three and a running back in these spaces.
That should get you off and running with building up your team.
As a reference point, all touchdowns in this league 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 and FLEX (RB/WR/TE).
Here's my team from No. 3 overall:
- 1.03: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
- 2.10: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals
- 3.03: Melvin Gordon, RB, Broncos
- 4.10: DK Metcalf, WR, Seahawks
- 5.03: Devin Singletary, RB, Bills
- 6.10: Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers
- 7.03: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
- 8.10: Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos
- 9.03: Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers
- 10.10: Allen Lazard, WR, Packers
- 11.03: Breshad Perriman, WR, Jets
- 12.10: Sony Michel, RB, Patriots
- 13.03: Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
- 14.10: Noah Fant, TE, Broncos
- 15.03: Daniel Jones, QB, Giants
Three more points I'd like to make about this spot in the draft:
- Early Round 5 is a sweet spot for some up-coming backs like Devin Singletary (who I got), Ronald Jones (who I did not get) and some rookie runners. Consider that to be the last chance to pick up players with potential to be starting running backs for the whole season. If you don't like those guys, plan on drafting at least two running backs early.
- You absolutely must pay attention to the drafters at Pick 1 and 2 throughout the draft — when you have the same needs as they do and you pick before them in the even rounds, you can use it against them. Likewise, when your needs are at spots they've filled, you can take a calculated risk and wait a round to collect a certain player. That was how I made the decision to draft DK Metcalf (getting a receiver when they needed one), and wait to take Hunter Henry (they each already had a tight end) and one from Russell Wilson/Kyler Murray/Deshaun Watson (they each needed one quarterback, so one of the three would definitely slip to me).
- How the hell did I get Tom Brady? Why the hell did I also draft a third quarterback in Daniel Jones? I guess it's just taking value when it stares you in the face in Rounds 13 through 15 as it did here. I do not condone drafting three quarterbacks unless you can start two of them. But I promise you I can trade Brady and/or Jones for a player taken with a top-100 pick later on in the year.
Anytime you can get a player at the top-five at his position in Round 7, do it. I don't think it's particularly realistic in leagues without fancy-schmancy analysts (if you think Wilson in 7 is bad, I also got Brady in 13!), but it does stress the point to wait on quarterback because there are so many winners to consider and you shouldn't have to spend up to get any of them. I could have taken Patrick Mahomes in Round 3, but this was a better deal.
Half the reason why I got Mostert was because I was a lock to get a great quarterback in Round 7, so I splurged and drafted a potential starter as my fourth running back. But I could have added a starting receiver instead — Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks and Darius Slayton would been alternatives worth taking. Mostert is bench insurance while those pass catchers would have been in my lineup.
I couched the Gordon pick by also picking up Phillip Lindsay, ensuring I had a massive piece of the Broncos backfield for as long as possible. But dang, what if neither one gets hurt and both play an even amount each week. Who would the better starter be? And will this offense be good enough to support both backs? I may have created more headaches by drafting both.
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