There's something you need to know when you plan for a Fantasy draft -- be prepared to adjust. It's highly unlikely that the draft will go as you expect, especially if you pick in the middle of Round 1. That's what happened to me from the No. 5 overall spot in our pick-by-pick series. After Round 1, when I selected Dalvin Cook, I took a different route than planned in building this team.
For example, I didn't expect Nick Chubb to be there in Round 2, and I was planning on drafting a receiver there. Even though I prefer to wait on quarterbacks, I also wasn't going to pass on Patrick Mahomes in the middle of Round 3 — the value is too good. It was easy to draft Terry McLaurin in Round 4 since we start three receivers in this PPR league. But I couldn't pass on Leonard Fournette in Round 5.
From there, I drafted four receivers in a row — DeVante Parker, Diontae Johnson, Sterling Shepard and Anthony Miller — to help balance out my roster at a prominent position. As you can see below, I waited on tight end with Chris Herndon and Jared Cook.
I like the way this team was built, but it didn't come together as I thought when it started.
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. 5 overall:
- 1.05: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
- 2.08: Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
- 3.05: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
- 4.08: Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Football Team
- 5.05: Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars
- 6.08: DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins
- 7.05: Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers
- 8.08: Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
- 9.05: Anthony Miller, WR, Bears
- 10.08: Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys
- 11.05: Joshua Kelley, RB, Chargers
- 12.08: LeSean McCoy, RB, Buccaneers
- 13.05: Parris Campbell, WR, Colts
- 14.08: Chris Herndon, TE, Jets
- 15.05: Jared Cook, TE, Saints
I couldn't pass on running backs like Cook, Chubb and Fournette with three of my first five picks, especially when you mix in Mahomes and McLaurin. But receiver talent was lacking in Round 6, and I don't love Parker as a No. 2 option.
So in Round 7, I took one of my favorite breakout receivers in Johnson. And then with my next two picks, I drafted two sleeper receivers in Shepard and Miller.
It's a solid receiving corps, including a good late-round flier with Campbell, but I'm lacking a No. 1 option, which I don't love. I also would have liked to get Alexander Mattison as a handcuff to Cook. Hopefully, if Cook misses time due to injury, I can get by with Kelley or McCoy, unless Pollard starts at any point for Ezekiel Elliott.
And you might not like the tight end comination of Herndon and Cook, but I consider Herndon a breakout candidate this year. And Cook is still a reliable fallback option, especially at this price.
My starting lineup should be great, highlighted by Mahomes, Cook, Chubb, Fournette and McLaurin. If two of my other receivers are above average, as well as one of the tight ends being in the top-12 range, this team should be competitive.
My plan was altered. But I like the way I adjusted to make it work. I'm hopeful the same thing happens to you.
I got a lot of guys that I like with this team -- Johnson, Shepard, Miller, Kelley, Campbell and Herndon -- but I went with Miller in this category for two reasons. One, he fills a position of need based on the way I built this team. And two, I love the value for him in Round 9. The Bears need Miller to have a big season in his third year in the NFL, and I'm counting on him to succeed. It wouldn't shock me if he's the second-best receiver on my roster behind McLaurin.
Fournette worries me this season, but I would draft him in Round 4 with confidence. In Round 5, that's a steal. But the reason he's in this category is that I drafted him over some receivers who might have made more sense for my roster, including Courtland Sutton, A.J. Green, Will Fuller, Marquise Brown and Michael Gallup. If Fournette is close to the player he was in 2019, I'm in great shape with him as a flex. But if he struggles, and my receivers behind McLaurin aren't good, then this team could be in trouble.
We all know the risk of drafting Cook in Round 1 -- he's injury prone. Despite his monster campaign last year, he didn't finish the season and wasn't there for the Fantasy playoffs. On top of that, I didn't get the insurance policy for Cook when I missed on drafting Mattison. He went in Round 9, five picks after I drafted Miller. I would have felt better about the Cook pick if I handcuffed him with Mattison, but hopefully Cook will stay healthy and make this team special.
So what Fantasy football sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which WR1 candidate can you wait on until late? Visit SportsLine now to get cheat sheets from the model that was all over Derrick Henry's huge season, and find out.