The No. 8 pick can be a great place to build a balanced roster in any format. And in full PPR, it's also the beginning of the range where you might consider a Zero-RB build. I didn't go quite that far, but I did take just one running back in my first six picks and I absolutely love the results.
The team below has two of my top-five PPR wide receivers and four of my top-20. And, oh yeah, the best quarterback in the NFL. There are certainly question marks at running back and tight end, but we'll dig into those more below.
Here's my team from No. 8 overall
1.8 Davante Adams, WR, GB
2.5 A.J. Brown, WR, TEN
3.8 Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC
4.5 D.J. Moore, WR, CAR
5.8 Josh Jacobs, RB, LV
6.5 JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, PIT
7.8 Melvin Gordon, RB, DEN
8.5 James Conner, RB, ARI
9.8 Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN
10.5 Terrace Marshall, WR, CAR
11.8 Austin Hooper, TE, CLE
12.5 Hunter Henry, TE, NE
13.8 Mark Ingram, RB, HOU
14.5 Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, DET
15.8 Joshua Kelley, RB, LAC
This draft is a good illustration of how I attack the back half of a draft when I'm weak at running back early. Melvin Gordon and James Conner are both guys I think have an underrated chance to start early in the season. And they could have big upside in those roles, especially if something happens to Javonte Williams or Chase Edmonds, neither of whom has ever been a feature back. Giovani Bernard is the floor play that I can plug in as a PPR RB2 (assuming he's healthy) when I need a bye week replacement. I would have liked another high-upside backup, but the truth is those are more likely to come from the waiver wire than the double-digit rounds.
The other thing I had to attack late was tight end. I don't love Austin Hooper or Hunter Henry, but I do think Hooper is being underrated as a low-end starter. He had a weird year last year with an appendectomy, a couple of weird weather games, and a cratering of his efficiency. Since he's still just 26 years old, I'd expect the efficiency to bounce back and the volume to be what it was last year, which would put him on a 90-target pace. Henry is my upside pick, just in case it's him, not Jonnu Smith who is the primary pass catcher in New England.
Fantasy Football Draft Kit
Your ultimate football draft guide
Dominate your Fantasy Football draft with our free Draft Kit, which gives you must-have sleepers, breakouts, busts, and rankings. Plus see the top players at each position, complete with winning projections.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Josh Jacobs RB
LV Las Vegas • #28
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Kenyan Drake has scared people so much that Josh Jacobs went from a borderline first-round pick to a Round 5 pick. And the Raiders did give Drake too much money, but they also gave Jason Witten $4 million last year to back up Darren Waller. And they paid John Brown $3.5 million to practice with them this summer. Jacobs won't have the workhorse role he did last year, but he's a solid RB2 worth a late Round 4 pick, and I'm thrilled every time I find him in Round 5.
PIT Pittsburgh • #19
Age: 24 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Like Jacobs, JuJu Smith-Schuster is being drafted well below where he produced last year. And really where he's produced everywhere when Ben Roethlisberger has been healthy. I love this value in Round 6. But if Melvin Gordon and James Conner both flame out, I could really regret taking a fourth wide receiver before my second running back. Especially since I passed on Javonte Williams to do it. When I'm already this wide receiver heavy, I prefer to lean into the upside, but it does come with plenty of risks, especially if I don't have any luck on the waiver wire early in the year.
A.J. Brown WR
TEN Tennessee • #11
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
To justify taking A.J. Brown early in Round 2, I need him to take another leap in target volume. I need him to be in the 140-target range, where I have him projected. If that happens, Brown could be the No. 1 receiver in Fantasy, and I might have No. 1 and No. 2. If Brown continues to struggle with injuries or if Julio Jones impacts him negatively, I may not have the strength at receiver I need to make up for my shortcomings at running back and tight end.
So which sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen's huge season, and find out.