Fantasy football expert league draft results: 12-team, superflex

Huddle expert league: 12 teams with Superflex – 2 QBs

These are the results from the Huddle Fantasy Football Expert League Draft with 12 teams. The draft was held on August 16. This league uses  “Superflex” where there is an additional flex starter and it can be a second quarterback.

This is a real league that is played out and contains 18-man rosters and starts the line-up of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, Flex (RB, WR, or TE), Superflex (QB, RB, WR, or TE),  PK and DEF.  Scoring of one point per ten yards rushed or received and one point per each 20 yards passing. All touchdowns are six points except four points per passing score. One point per reception is used. Standard scoring for both defenses and kickers.

Rosters are here on the MyFantasyLeague.com league website.

Draft by round

Pick Pos Round 1 Pick Pos Round 10
1.01 RB Taylor, Jonathan 10.01 RB Mostert, Raheem
1.02 QB Allen, Josh 10.02 QB Jones, Daniel
1.03 RB Harris, Najee 10.03 WR Moore, Elijah
1.04 QB Herbert, Justin 10.04 WR Smith, DeVonta
1.05 RB McCaffrey, Christian 10.05 WR Woods, Robert
1.06 WR Kupp, Cooper 10.06 QB Mills, Davis
1.07 QB Mahomes, Patrick 10.07 QB Mayfield, Baker
1.08 WR Jefferson, Justin 10.08 WR Renfrow, Hunter
1.09 QB Jackson, Lamar 10.09 RB Robinson, Brian
1.10 RB Ekeler, Austin 10.10 WR Doubs, Romeo
1.11 WR Adams, Davante 10.11 QB Jones, Mac
1.12 RB Henry, Derrick 10.12 TE Freiermuth, Pat
Round 2 Round 11
2.01 QB Wilson, Russell 11.01 WR Pickens, George
2.02 WR Samuel, Deebo 11.02 WR Toney, Kadarius
2.03 RB Cook, Dalvin 11.03 RB Robinson, James
2.04 QB Murray, Kyler 11.04 WR Landry, Jarvis
2.05 QB Prescott, Dak 11.05 WR Moore, Rondale
2.06 QB Burrow, Joe 11.06 QB Watson, Deshaun
2.07 QB Brady, Tom 11.07 RB Gordon, Melvin
2.08 QB Hurts, Jalen 11.08 RB Mack, Marlon
2.09 QB Rodgers, Aaron 11.09 RB Mattison, Alexander
2.10 WR Chase, Ja’Marr 11.10 QB Goff, Jared
2.11 QB Stafford, Matthew 11.11 WR Boyd, Tyler
2.12 RB Chubb, Nick 11.12 WR Hamler, KJ
Round 3 Round 12
3.01 RB Mixon, Joe 12.01 RB Carter, Michael
3.02 RB Barkley, Saquon 12.02 RB Hines, Nyheim
3.03 QB Carr, Derek 12.03 WR Burks, Treylon
3.04 RB Kamara, Alvin 12.04 RB Henderson, Darrell
3.05 QB Lance, Trey 12.05 WR Jones, Marvin
3.06 RB Swift, D’Andre 12.06 WR Chark, D.J.
3.07 RB Elliott, Ezekiel 12.07 TE Kmet, Cole
3.08 QB Cousins, Kirk 12.08 QB Wentz, Carson
3.09 WR Diggs, Stefon 12.09 WR Collins, Nico
3.10 RB Jones, Aaron 12.10 RB Cook, James
3.11 WR Hill, Tyreek 12.11 WR Olave, Chris
3.12 QB Tagovailoa, Tua 12.12 WR Gage, Russell
Round 4 Round 13
4.01 TE Kelce, Travis 13.01 QB Lock, Drew
4.02 QB Fields, Justin 13.02 RB Gainwell, Kenneth
4.03 WR Allen, Keenan 13.03 RB Allgeier, Tyler
4.04 RB Fournette, Leonard 13.04 WR Bourne, Kendrick
4.05 RB Akers, Cam 13.05 WR Tolbert, Jalen
4.06 TE Pitts, Kyle 13.06 RB Spiller, Isaiah
4.07 RB Williams, Javonte 13.07 RB Pacheco, Isiah
4.08 WR Lamb, CeeDee 13.08 TE Gesicki, Mike
4.09 WR Robinson, Allen 13.09 TE Fant, Noah
4.10 QB Lawrence, Trevor 13.10 RB Herbert, Khalil
4.11 WR Evans, Mike 13.11 Def Bills
4.12 QB Ryan, Matt 13.12 WR Watson, Christian
Round 5 Round 14
5.01 WR Brown, A.J. 14.01 RB White, Zamir
5.02 TE Andrews, Mark 14.02 Def Buccaneers
5.03 RB Conner, James 14.03 WR Moore, Skyy
5.04 RB Montgomery, David 14.04 TE Knox, Dawson
5.05 RB Etienne, Travis 14.05 QB Wilson, Zach
5.06 WR Pittman, Michael 14.06 Def Cowboys
5.07 RB Hall, Breece 14.07 WR Hardman, Mecole
5.08 RB Dobbins, J.K. 14.08 TE Henry, Hunter
5.09 WR Williams, Mike 14.09 RB White, Rachaad
5.10 QB Winston, Jameis 14.10 RB Foreman, D’Onta
5.11 TE Waller, Darren 14.11 WR Parker, DeVante
5.12 RB Mitchell, Elijah 14.12 WR Claypool, Chase
Round 6 Round 15
6.01 WR Thomas, Michael 15.01 WR Anderson, Robbie
6.02 RB Edmonds, Chase 15.02 RB McKissic, J.D.
6.03 QB Tannehill, Ryan 15.03 RB Ebner, Trestan
6.04 RB Gibson, Antonio 15.04 Def Rams
6.05 WR Waddle, Jaylen 15.05 WR Golladay, Kenny
6.06 WR Moore, D.J. 15.06 TE Hooper, Austin
6.07 WR Sutton, Courtland 15.07 Def 49ers
6.08 WR Higgins, Tee 15.08 WR Gallup, Michael
6.09 TE Goedert, Dallas 15.09 PK Bass, Tyler
6.10 WR Johnson, Diontae 15.10 Def Colts
6.11 WR McLaurin, Terry 15.11 WR McKenzie, Isaiah
6.12 WR Cooper, Amari 15.12 Def Saints
Round 7 Round 16
7.01 WR Metcalf, DK 16.01 QB Garoppolo, Jimmy
7.02 RB Jacobs, Josh 16.02 RB Michel, Sony
7.03 WR Bateman, Rashod 16.03 TE Okwuegbunam, Albert
7.04 WR Smith-Schuster, JuJu 16.04 WR Campbell, Parris
7.05 RB Dillon, AJ 16.05 RB Edwards, Gus
7.06 RB Walker III, Kenneth 16.06 PK Tucker, Justin
7.07 WR Cooks, Brandin 16.07 WR Jones, Julio
7.08 TE Kittle, George 16.08 Def Ravens
7.09 RB Edwards-Helaire, Clyde 16.09 PK McPherson, Evan
7.10 TE Schultz, Dalton 16.10 WR Samuel, Curtis
7.11 RB Singletary, Devin 16.11 TE Engram, Evan
7.12 RB Patterson, Cordarrelle 16.12 RB McKinnon, Jerick
Round 8 Round 17
8.01 WR St. Brown, Amon-Ra 17.01 PK Butker, Harrison
8.02 QB Mariota, Marcus 17.02 Def Steelers
8.03 WR Brown, Marquise 17.03 Def Patriots
8.04 WR Mooney, Darnell 17.04 RB Williams, Darrel
8.05 WR London, Drake 17.05 PK Gay, Matt
8.06 WR Thielen, Adam 17.06 Def Chargers
8.07 WR Davis, Gabriel 17.07 RB Williams, Jamaal
8.08 TE Hockenson, T.J. 17.08 Def Packers
8.09 RB Hunt, Kareem 17.09 RB Hubbard, Chuba
8.10 TE Ertz, Zach 17.10 PK Carlson, Daniel
8.11 WR Jeudy, Jerry 17.11 TE Higbee, Tyler
8.12 WR Godwin, Chris 17.12 TE Brate, Cameron
Round 9 Round 18
9.01 WR Lockett, Tyler 18.01 PK Succop, Ryan
9.02 RB Sanders, Miles 18.02 PK McManus, Brandon
9.03 WR Kirk, Christian 18.03 WR Osborn, K.J.
9.04 WR Hopkins, DeAndre 18.04 Def Broncos
9.05 RB Penny, Rashaad 18.05 PK Folk, Nick
9.06 RB Pierce, Dameon 18.06 WR Wilson, Garrett
9.07 RB Stevenson, Rhamondre 18.07 PK Sanders, Jason
9.08 WR Meyers, Jakobi 18.08 RB Sermon, Trey
9.09 RB Pollard, Tony 18.09 TE Hurst, Hayden
9.10 WR Aiyuk, Brandon 18.10 PK Hopkins, Dustin
9.11 RB Harris, Damien 18.11 PK Blankenship, Rodrigo
9.12 WR Lazard, Allen 18.12 Def Bengals

 Draft by position

Quarterbacks Wide Receivers
1.02 Allen, Josh 1.06 Kupp, Cooper
1.04 Herbert, Justin 1.08 Jefferson, Justin
1.07 Mahomes, Patrick 1.11 Adams, Davante
1.09 Jackson, Lamar 2.02 Samuel, Deebo
2.01 Wilson, Russell 2.1 Chase, Ja’Marr
2.04 Murray, Kyler 3.09 Diggs, Stefon
2.05 Prescott, Dak 3.11 Hill, Tyreek
2.06 Burrow, Joe 4.03 Allen, Keenan
2.07 Brady, Tom 4.08 Lamb, CeeDee
2.08 Hurts, Jalen 4.09 Robinson, Allen
2.09 Rodgers, Aaron 4.11 Evans, Mike
2.11 Stafford, Matthew 5.01 Brown, A.J.
3.03 Carr, Derek 5.06 Pittman, Michael
3.05 Lance, Trey 5.09 Williams, Mike
3.08 Cousins, Kirk 6.01 Thomas, Michael
3.12 Tagovailoa, Tua 6.05 Waddle, Jaylen
4.02 Fields, Justin 6.06 Moore, D.J.
4.1 Lawrence, Trevor 6.07 Sutton, Courtland
4.12 Ryan, Matt 6.08 Higgins, Tee
5.1 Winston, Jameis 6.1 Johnson, Diontae
6.03 Tannehill, Ryan 6.11 McLaurin, Terry
8.02 Mariota, Marcus 6.12 Cooper, Amari
10.02 Jones, Daniel 7.01 Metcalf, DK
10.06 Mills, Davis 7.03 Bateman, Rashod
10.07 Mayfield, Baker 7.04 Smith-Schuster, JuJu
10.11 Jones, Mac 7.07 Cooks, Brandin
11.06 Watson, Deshaun 8.01 St. Brown, Amon-Ra
11.1 Goff, Jared 8.03 Brown, Marquise
12.08 Wentz, Carson 8.04 Mooney, Darnell
13.01 Lock, Drew 8.05 London, Drake
14.05 Wilson, Zach 8.06 Thielen, Adam
16.01 Garoppolo, Jimmy 8.07 Davis, Gabriel
Running Backs 8.11 Jeudy, Jerry
1.01 Taylor, Jonathan 8.12 Godwin, Chris
1.03 Harris, Najee 9.01 Lockett, Tyler
1.05 McCaffrey, Christian 9.03 Kirk, Christian
1.1 Ekeler, Austin 9.04 Hopkins, DeAndre
1.12 Henry, Derrick 9.08 Meyers, Jakobi
2.03 Cook, Dalvin 9.1 Aiyuk, Brandon
2.12 Chubb, Nick 9.12 Lazard, Allen
3.01 Mixon, Joe 10.03 Moore, Elijah
3.02 Barkley, Saquon 10.04 Smith, DeVonta
3.04 Kamara, Alvin 10.05 Woods, Robert
3.06 Swift, D’Andre 10.08 Renfrow, Hunter
3.07 Elliott, Ezekiel 10.1 Doubs, Romeo
3.1 Jones, Aaron 11.01 Pickens, George
4.04 Fournette, Leonard 11.02 Toney, Kadarius
4.05 Akers, Cam 11.04 Landry, Jarvis
4.07 Williams, Javonte 11.05 Moore, Rondale
5.03 Conner, James 11.11 Boyd, Tyler
5.04 Montgomery, David 11.12 Hamler, KJ
5.05 Etienne, Travis 12.03 Burks, Treylon
5.07 Hall, Breece 12.05 Jones, Marvin
5.08 Dobbins, J.K. 12.06 Chark, D.J.
5.12 Mitchell, Elijah 12.09 Collins, Nico
6.02 Edmonds, Chase 12.11 Olave, Chris
6.04 Gibson, Antonio 12.12 Gage, Russell
7.02 Jacobs, Josh 13.04 Bourne, Kendrick
7.05 Dillon, AJ 13.05 Tolbert, Jalen
7.06 Walker III, Kenneth 13.12 Watson, Christian
7.09 Edwards-Helaire,   Clyde 14.03 Moore, Skyy
7.11 Singletary, Devin 14.07 Hardman, Mecole
7.12 Patterson,   Cordarrelle 14.11 Parker, DeVante
8.09 Hunt, Kareem 14.12 Claypool, Chase
9.02 Sanders, Miles 15.01 Anderson, Robbie
9.05 Penny, Rashaad 15.05 Golladay, Kenny
9.06 Pierce, Dameon 15.08 Gallup, Michael
9.07 Stevenson, Rhamondre 15.11 McKenzie, Isaiah
9.09 Pollard, Tony 16.04 Campbell, Parris
9.11 Harris, Damien 16.07 Jones, Julio
10.01 Mostert, Raheem 16.1 Samuel, Curtis
10.09 Robinson, Brian 18.03 Osborn, K.J.
11.03 Robinson, James 18.06 Wilson, Garrett
11.07 Gordon, Melvin Tight Ends
11.08 Mack, Marlon 4.01 Kelce, Travis
11.09 Mattison, Alexander 4.06 Pitts, Kyle
12.01 Carter, Michael 5.02 Andrews, Mark
12.02 Hines, Nyheim 5.11 Waller, Darren
12.04 Henderson, Darrell 6.09 Goedert, Dallas
12.1 Cook, James 7.08 Kittle, George
13.02 Gainwell, Kenneth 7.1 Schultz, Dalton
13.03 Allgeier, Tyler 8.08 Hockenson, T.J.
13.06 Spiller, Isaiah 8.1 Ertz, Zach
13.07 Pacheco, Isiah 10.12 Freiermuth, Pat
13.1 Herbert, Khalil 12.07 Kmet, Cole
14.01 White, Zamir 13.08 Gesicki, Mike
14.09 White, Rachaad 13.09 Fant, Noah
14.1 Foreman, D’Onta 14.04 Knox, Dawson
15.02 McKissic, J.D. 14.08 Henry, Hunter
15.03 Ebner, Trestan 15.06 Hooper, Austin
16.02 Michel, Sony 16.03 Okwuegbunam, Albert
16.05 Edwards, Gus 16.11 Engram, Evan
16.12 McKinnon, Jerick 17.11 Higbee, Tyler
17.04 Williams, Darrel 17.12 Brate, Cameron
17.07 Williams, Jamaal 18.09 Hurst, Hayden
17.09 Hubbard, Chuba Place Kickers
18.08 Sermon, Trey 15.09 Bass, Tyler
Defenses 16.06 Tucker, Justin
13.11 Bills 16.09 McPherson, Evan
14.02 Buccaneers 17.01 Butker, Harrison
14.06 Cowboys 17.05 Gay, Matt
15.04 Rams 17.1 Carlson, Daniel
15.07 49ers 18.01 Succop, Ryan
15.1 Colts 18.02 McManus, Brandon
15.12 Saints 18.05 Folk, Nick
16.08 Ravens 18.07 Sanders, Jason
17.02 Steelers 18.1 Hopkins, Dustin
17.03 Patriots 18.11 Blankenship, Rodrigo
17.06 Chargers
17.08 Packers
18.04 Broncos
18.12 Bengals x

 

 

Recapping 2022 FSGA fantasy football experts draft

The good, the bad, and the ugly from the FSGA Champions draft.

The Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association (FSGA) organizes several industry expert leagues, but the most prestigious one of all was held recently. It featured 14 of the industry’s most prominent companies represented in the “Champions League” via an online draft hosted by RTSports.com.

We normally congregate in person, but the pandemic-induced online format is on its third year and very well could be here to stay. SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio thoroughly covered the event once again, and subscribers can catch up on any missed commentary in the station’s online archives.

I’ve had the honor of competing in the premier grouping for approximately a decade now, making the postseason six of the past seven years, including one appearance in the finals. Among the reasons for my consistency is understanding the necessity to go take calculated risks on draft day. Being afraid to take a chance or reach for a player — especially in this 14-team variant — is a fast-track to being demoted from the league. Yeah, demoted. The bottom four teams get relegated to the next league down the chain.

Thus, there is a need to take aggressive actions at a level unprecedented in arguably any other professional draft. In short, I much rather take a chance reaching for some players I covet than playing it too safe. Of course, there’s a nuanced blend of risk to work into a roster design, but it all comes down to making intelligent gambles.

Last year, the team finished in fifth place and made the playoffs, but a loss by fewer than five points sent me packing early. Not great, but not terrible, either.

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Despite drafting standouts Tom Brady and Cooper Kupp, late-season star Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift and Nick Chubb, the team couldn’t withstand a few poor assessments on my part as well as injuries ¹. My Round 4 pick of Kupp, in particular, was met with ridicule, and I caught flak for snagging Swift in Round 2. Spilled milk to some, I suppose, but it’s merely an anecdote to share about not getting caught up in the opinions of other people.

The league is a performance-based, PPR scoring format, and drafting a live league this early in the summer makes for a fun tightrope walk in some regards. Drafting even into mid-July — mind you, this used to take place a month prior — forces gamers to take an educated guess on appropriate value of unsettled situations.

My team drafted out of the 10th spot, which wasn’t as bad as choosing out of the ninth hole a year ago. The team should be competitive, and with a few breaks, it could once again surpass the expectations of its critics. That said, it will need waiver help (no trades allowed) to truly contend.

Full roster by round

Pick Rnd Pos Player Tm
10 1.10 RB Joe Mixon CIN
19 2.5 WR Mike Evans TB
38 3.10 WR Courtland Sutton DEN
47 4.5 RB Damien Harris NE
66 5.10 WR Allen Robinson LAR
75 6.5 RB Devin Singletary BUF
94 7.10 QB Joe Burrow CIN
103 8.5 TE Austin Hooper TEN
122 9.10 RB Tyler Allgeier ATL
131 10.5 WR Kenny Golladay NYG
150 11.10 WR Jamison Crowder BUF
159 12.5 RB Hassan Haskins TEN
178 13.10 WR Jalen Tolbert DAL
187 14.5 TE David Njoku CLE
206 15.10 Def/ST Los Angeles Chargers LAC
215 16.5 K Rodrigo Blankenship IND

Fantasy football mock draft series: June takeaways

Recapping a recent fantasy football PPR draft and more!

It is well into June, and fantasy football drafts are churning along. A recently hosted industry live draft is the source for this recap. Out of respect for the hosts of this draft, no reference will be made to its identity so the content remains fresh on their end, nor will the entire draft results be published here.

The blurbs about my team below were provided to the draft host and will appear in a magazine as part of a larger evaluation of the draft. Before getting into my individual picks, here are a few observations from a 12-team, PPR draft.

  • In last year’s iteration, Round 1 saw nine running backs, two receivers and a tight end come off the board. This time out, we saw seven running backs and five receivers, including Cooper Kupp going at No. 2 and Justin Jefferson as the third selection.
  • Six RBs came off the board in Round 2 in 2021’s draft, followed by one fewer receiver and another tight end. This year was no different.
  • The first QB came off the board in Round 3 last year, and Josh Allen was taken with the opening pick of Round 5 this time around. Justin Herbert went just two picks later, and only a pair of passers came off the board in the next 31 selections (Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes).
  • In the first 100 picks, eight QBs, 38 RBs, 45 WRs and nine TEs — no significant changes from the May version when six QBs, 39 RBs, 45 WRs and 10 tight ends.
  • This was the first time I had selected from the No. 1 hole, and there’s one and only choice to be made to create a stress-free situation.
  • Having the first pick meant my second and third selections were chosen consecutively, which effectively means the order is irrelevant. Coming out of the first three rounds with at least two running backs is almost always my plan when selecting in the first four spots. Wide receiver is so ridiculously deep that gamers can hold off, making the preferred strategy is to come out of the first three rounds with a single wideout.
  • Quarterback remains quite deep, too, with a viable starter being available into the 13th round. Tight end remains a little top-heavy, just like last year. Following the consensus top-six TEs — all of whom went in the first five rounds — the position gets really dicey. If you’re not comfortable playing the matchups, make sure to secure one of Mark Andrews, Travis Kelce, Kyle Pitts, George Kittle, Darren Waller or Dalton Schultz.
  • I was not entirely sure what to expect for my first receiver entering the draft, since many owners in this league tend to favor wideouts early, but it worked out nicely as you’ll read in a moment.

Here’s a snapshot of the first 10 rounds broken down by number of positional picks:

1st: 7 RBs, 5 WRs
2nd: 6 RBs, 5 WRs, 1 TE
3rd: 7 RBs, 4 WRs, 1 TE
4th: 2 RBs, 8 WRs, 2 TEs
5th: 2 QBs, 4 RBs, 5 WRs, 1 TE
6th: 2 QBs, 1 RB, 7 WRs, 2 TEs
7th: 1 QB, 4 RBs, 5 WRs, 2 TEs
8th: 3 QBs, 6 RBs, 3 WRs
9th: 2 QBs, 3 RBs, 7 WRs
10th: 2 QBs, 5 RBs, 4 WRs, 1 TE

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My team

We were asked to write 35 words per pick to give a little insight as to our draft thoughts:

Fantasy football primer for the last draft weekend of 2021

Drafting this weekend? We have you covered for everything needed to dominate.

Drafting a fantasy football team this weekend? The Huddle has you covered for everything needed to dominate in the final weekend before the 2021 NFL season begins.

Week 1 is merely days away, but there’s still time to draft a winner, and this being The Huddle’s 25th season online is a testament to our dedication to making you a champion!

It’s not too late to sign up for The Huddle and dominate!

Let’s not waste any more time and get right into what you must know ahead of the big draft weekend.

Fantasy football player news

Gamers can stay on top of the latest transactions, injury news, and more by following our Huddle news feed.

Fantasy football draft-day rules to live by

These rules are in no particular order, and they apply to all levels of experience among fantasy owners. Just as important as the “what you should do” to create a winner in fantasy drafting, avoiding simple pitfalls is a must.

1) Living in the past: Assuming successes and failures from last year automatically will carry over to this year’s results is a quick trip to Loserville. Each year is brand new and requires a reset of the old memory bank.

2) Stay sober: While it may seem silly, don’t let one draft of hard boozing affect an entire season of fantasy football. Party it up after the draft and celebrate your soon-to-be championship roster.

3) No one likes a homer: Well, except for that Homer. Heavily drafting players from your favorite team tends to lead to an entire season of hangover-filled mornings. This also includes taking a specific player over a better option just because that player is on your favorite team. Be objective.

4) Draft by the rules: Not knowing your league’s scoring structure, lineup composition, and/or bylaws generally results in utter failure. At a minimum, it translates into lost points.

5) Stretch it out: Flexibility in fantasy drafts is essential. Gamers with a rigid strategy miss out on key value due to their inability to zig when others are zagging.

6) Resist F.O.M.O.: All too often owners will see or sense a miniature run at a position and overreact out of the fear of missing out. Always having a sound backup plan alleviates concern in this area.

7) Mocking mock drafters: “I don’t need preparation!” declares the eventual last-place owner on draft day. Everyone needs practice. Look back at all of the things in life that required some repetitions before you improved. Don’t take my word for it … ask your spouse.

8) Bye week blues: This cuts both ways — getting caught up in not paying attention to bye weeks and outright passing on talent because it would create multiple players at the position on bye. Later in the year, bye weeks are easier — not harder — to overcome due to months of roster manipulation.

9) Leaving money on the table: Specifically for those who participate in auctions, leaving any amount of money on the table is inexcusable. Spend it all, even if you have to pay up at the end of the auction on an inconsequential player.

10) Peer pressure: Let’s face it, even seasoned veterans of fantasy don’t enjoy being ridiculed by 11 mates after making a questionable pick. There’s a major difference between being laughed at for taking a kicker in Round 1 and reaching a round or two for a sleeper at a skilled position.

11) ADP obsession: Time after time, owners get hung up on what the average draft placement suggests. It is merely a guideline, and anytime a service offering ADP compiles the data, it is impossible to weed out all variations and nuance. Use it for nothing more than a ballpark idea of when positional trends typically begin.

12) Drafting to trade: For some unknown reason, every year I have gamers asking me about which players to target solely for trading purposes. Drafting players for a potential trade bargaining piece down the line is unwise. Way too much can (and usually does) go wrong in this scenario.

Fantasy football draft prep series

Fantasy football customizable rankings*

*Requires a subscription to The Huddle’s draft guide

Quarterbacks rankings

  1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
  3. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
  4. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
  5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Running backs rankings

  1. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
  2. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
  3. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
  4. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
  5. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Wide receivers rankings

  1. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
  2. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
  3. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
  4. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
  5. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons

Tight ends rankings

  1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders
  3. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
  4. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
  5. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

Fantasy football sleepers and busts*

*Requires a subscription to The Huddle’s draft guide

Fantasy football freebies

Fantasy football strength of schedule series

Passing | Rushing | Receiving

Latest fantasy football player spotlights

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Fantasy football draft prep: Breaking biases

Don’t get stuck in your ways of how you view players and situations in fantasy football.

All too often, advanced fantasy football gamers included, owners allow the past to dictate future draft plans through cognitive biases. Even full-time fantasy players need to remember from time to time that the game changes year over year and requires a press of the reset button.

In a sport where 11 constantly moving chess pieces work in harmony against a matching number of defenders trying to stifle any plans of a checkmate, all it takes is a small change to make a huge difference.

What are you waiting for?!? It’s time to get into The Huddle! Sign up today.

I’ve written a number of times about expectations and how we perceive players based on what we think they will do on the field, whether it be weekly or annually. All it takes is being slightly wrong in our view of a situation to see those projections fall apart. We cannot control injuries, and life throws extenuating circumstances into the mix, but recognizing our own biases about teams and players absolutely can be controlled.

Objectivity is arguably the most important element in creating a fantasy championship. Luck always factors in, and remaining on top of the news is thoroughly important as well. Just as being armed with a reliable set of rankings is pivotal, also the ability to check emotions and individual experiences at the door is paramount. A mental checklist of “dos and don’ts” should be on everyone’s brain as they prepare for a draft and evaluate talent.

What have you done for me lately?

Recency bias is a real thing. Fantasy owners get hung up on how well or poorly a player has done in relation to past ownership. We all have heard someone explain they chose a player because of familiarity and past success of rostering said player.

Some players are insanely consistent and productive, such as Antonio Brown was during his time in Pittsburgh. Until he wasn’t. Fantasy owners fall in love with successes of the past and unfairly avoid players with whom they have had negative experiences for nothing more than the memory of a bad outcome. Perfectly natural, but definitely avoidable.

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler burned gamers last year but is poised to rebound. He was a PPR monster in 2019 when Melvin Gordon was injured but then fell on hard times with injuries of his own a season ago, which could have some gamers afraid to take a chance on him again. However, a look at the situation suggests a return to similar production from ’19, provided he says healthy. Sure, risk mitigation is at play, but there can be a fine line between avoiding pitfalls and creating your own out of hesitancy.

It reminds of the friend who won’t go to a specific restaurant because one time they had a bad meal. There are dozens of conceivable reasons why the meal wasn’t up to their liking, but applying a blanket rule based on one experience deprives the chance of redemption and satisfaction. Think about all of the instances in your life where something pleasantly surprised you after a sour experience. It is mainly due to you letting go of cognitive biases based on past results. And, if you buy/sell/eat/drink, etc. enough of anything, you’re bound to encounter a problem.

In fantasy, so many changes year over year must be factored into player valuation. A change in coaching staff, surrounding personnel, player health, refocused dedication, off-the-field lifestyle changes … you name it. Use the biases of others to your advantage.

It also works in the opposite direction. Take Saquon Barkley for example. No one doubts his freakish talent, but the reality is the last two years have been injury-marred disasters, and he’s still not ready for a normal workload to open the year. Tack on a shaky offensive line and a quarterback who appears to be regressing and we have even more reason to say maybe Barkley just isn’t a wise choice in 2021. He surely could come around as the year unfolds, but investing a top-20 pick in a guy who may give half a season of strong play requires so much else to go right in your draft.

Homer vs. anti-homer

No one should be a homer, and no one should excuse this foolish sabotage. Doh! There often is an argument against fantasy sports that it removes fandom and promotes individuals over teams. It does, and all who play the game should embrace it!

No where in your league rules does it state having a player on your favorite team is rewarded with extra fantasy points, and if you’re using homerism as an excuse to pay closer attention to your team, it’s time to find a new hobby. This includes you, person who says, “I always draft my team’s kicker or defense because it’s just a kicker or defense.” Wasted points are wasted points.

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The “anti-homer” is the person who refuses to draft anyone from a rival of their preferred NFL team. Ever meet the Green Bay Packers fan who never drafts anyone from the Chicago Bears or Minnesota Vikings? (Sorry, Detroit Lions fans, in Titletown that feeling is sympathy, not hatred.)

The unwillingness to roster players from an arch enemy is as bonkers as drafting players from your favorite squad for no other reason than they play for said opponent. Every single player who produces fantasy-worth stats warrants consideration in a draft. No one is totally off-limits at the right price … sometimes drafts don’t last long enough for the price to be right, however.

But they’re the <insert team here>

Cleveland Browns. Admit it … you were thinking the same thing out of habit. Let’s go with the Houston Texans this year.

Ever meet someone who is stuck in the past with all of their stories? After a while, you’ve heard … every … single … story … they have to tell. They aren’t bad people, but they have no forward gears in their transmission. Only neutral and reverse — and mostly the latter.

In fantasy terms, neutral is the present time. Without the ability to go forward, coupled with a penchant for looking backward, it becomes extremely difficult to see the “what could be” of any scenario. Apply this to perennial losers, or even teams that have fallen on hard times. It becomes far too easy for gamers to become dismissive of the mere potential a team or player could turn things around at the drop of a hat after years of substandard returns.

Those pesky labels

Use social media long enough and eventually you probably will be labeled something you are not. It’s an unofficial fact of life in 2019, and it also applies to fantasy sports. Players with injury history or off-field issues draw a label and generally cannot escape it. The thing is, though, most players do graduate beyond the genesis of the label.

Think back to Matthew Stafford’s third year in the NFL. He played only 13 contests in the prior to season and was widely called injury-prone — even a bust. Gamers stuck on that label probably passed him by in 2011 drafts, and he went on to throw 5,038 yards and 41 scores. A more recent example would be people who watched the 2019 New England offense and said Tom Brady was “washed up” and ready for the pasture.

I suffered from this myself last year with Stefon Diggs. Previously to being traded to Buffalo, he was wildly inconsistent and would produce the vast majority of his points in a few short spurts scattered throughout the season each year. Until he didn’t and was an unbelievably consistent receiver.

You hopefully get the point. As simplistic as it is, someone is perceived as something until they are not.

Accountability is the key

Be objective. Be honest with yourself. Admit error.

The main lesson is to adopt a healthy skepticism and challenge the opinions you have formulated. Question if your belief is founded in fact over opinion. And even sometimes when it is based on factual data — like with the Diggs example — don’t let what has happened override your ability to see what could happen.

Be willing to understand your notion of a player can be misguided, and allow their change of circumstances to prove you wrong. When you identify a clear example of your error, own it and learn how to grow from the mistake or blind spot.

For as cliche and unprofound as it sounds, every fantasy owner can use the reminder that all good — and bad — things come to an end, one way or another.

Fantasy football draft prep: When to take a tight end

Tight end can be a tricky position to navigate for novice drafters.

Note: Our “draft prep” series is generally intended to an audience with limited fantasy football experience.

In recent years, tight end has been among the deepest of positions on paper, but we’ve seen serious volatility. This season, there is a top-heavy lean that is followed by a crop of midrange safety choices and then the usual “could-be” gambles.

How gamers choose to construct a team in the first few rounds tends to steer how the position is addressed on draft day.

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The first half of drafts

Kansas City’s Travis Kelce is the undisputed No. 1 option atop the position, followed by Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller. The former’s average draft position is 1:09 in PPR, whereas gamers typically have opted for Waller at Pick 2:10.

The position always will be a staple in Andy Reid’s system, and Kelce is the team’s best weapon in the red zone. Las Vegas’ lack of weaponry at wide receiver, coupled with Waller’s athleticism, makes him their de facto WR1.

There’s a third guy who isn’t drafted quite as early as these two beasts, but he should be in the conversation for brave gamers. San Francisco’s George Kittle — when healthy — has the chops to thoroughly dominate just like Kelce and Waller. There’s just so much more risk than what is found in the latter two … rotating quarterback potential, injuries, a more pronounced role as a blocker, greater emphasis on the ground game, etc.

Choosing Kelce in the first is expecting he finishes somewhere between a career-best 2020 showing of 312.6 PPR points and his second-highest mark (2019) of 296.6 points to secure what would be the No. 4 placement for both running back and receiver based on last year’s results. His selection requires the comfort with your decision to bypass RB and WR. Screwing up a pick that early can drastically hinder one’s odds of securing a championship, and this sentiment applies to all positions. That said, the only way he doesn’t return something awfully close to being a top-12 overall player (non-QB) is by missing several games with an injury.

Waller is in a similar boat. The investment is steep, yet gamers should feel comfortable with him that early. He set the tone in 2019 and exceeded his lofty figures last year. As mentioned, by necessity alone, he’s no different than a low-tier No. 1 receiver and well worth the cost of admission.

After “The Big 3” of tight ends leave the board, gamers are looking at the decision of either waiting for a late-round value, drafting the risky potential of a historic rookie, or investing in at mid-tier choice with little upside for true explosiveness from week to week.

Atlanta’s Kyle Pitts is arguably the most controversial player of the position in ’21. He was chosen No. 4 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft and enters one of the friendliest systems (and situations) for tight ends. No one at the position was selected earlier than Pitts. The Florida product is much like Waller in that he is far closer to a wide receiver than a traditional tight end and won’t be asked to do too much blocking. All of the positives overshadow the reality that rookie TEs rarely produce anything worthy of TE1 status, let alone top-five results.

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Tight ends Mark Andrews and T.J. Hockenson figure to be your classic “Steady Eddie” types in fantasy, coming at an average cost of a Round 5 selection. Both team’s have suspect receiving corps, but each player is asked to block in a traditional “Y” role more than we can expect from Pitts. These guys will butter their bread with PPR volume. Andrews scored 10 times in 2019, so he has double-digit TD capability on his resume. And it’s unfair to say we’ve seen Hockenson’s ceiling just yet.

Round 6 doesn’t usually see a tight end come off the board, which brings us into the seventh with a trio of intriguing risk-reward choices.

Philadelphia’s Dallas Goedert has the skills to live up to his placement as TE7, even if Zach Ertz is retained into the regular season. Philadelphia has a work-in-progress receiving corps, and the system will employ both tight ends by necessity. Should Ertz get sent packing, Goedert,  regardless of durability concerns, is a top-five fantasy asset among his positional peers.

Next is the Washington Football Team’s Logan Thomas, a surprise fantasy darling of a year ago. He is a converted quarterback. While he certainly could approach is 2020 line of 72-670-6, Thomas is far from a lock to repeat and/or exceed those figures. WR Curtis Samuel will gobble up a bunch of short and intermediate looks, and the upgrade at quarterback to Ryan Fitzpatrick actually will promote more downfield passing, which may work against Thomas (9.3 YPR last year).

Closing out Round 7, Denver’s Noah Fant has all the promise in the world but will be inconsistent if his quarterback play doesn’t drastically improve. Additionally, WR Courtland Sutton (knee) returns, and second-year wideout Jerry Jeudy has a reasonable chance to ascend his game to a degree that steals significant targets. Talent alone, the ultra-athletic Fant could be the TE1 and not just a TE1. He’ll need a few breaks to go his way before he consistently delivers the goods on a weekly basis.

Round 8 and beyond

The most commonly drafted names in Round 8 are Hunter Henry (New England) and Robert Tonyan (Green Bay).

The former Charger is an injury waiting to happen and now has to learn a complex system with serious question marks at quarterback. Plus, he’s not the only new pass-catching tight end in town. There will be quality games from Henry, but he’s not a weekly starter and will require a backup plan for the weeks he’s a lineup anchor.

Tonyan exploded last year by way of 11 touchdowns, which tied with Kelce for the most among TEs, and he did it with 53 fewer receptions, or one more catch than the Packer even recorded in 2020. Rarely does a tight end continue with such a high efficiency rating year after year, and the limited volume isn’t likely to improve with the return of Randall Cobb to steal underneath looks. Few players are poised to experience such a downswing from 2020 results.

The draft then brings a handful of more or less the same middling players with inconsistent results from week to week. While some have upside to outperform their draft stock, all of them come with significant risk factors to weigh.

  • Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams (10th-round ADP): New QB may not equal chemistry, despite more chances. Has the highest ceiling of this group.
  • Evan Engram, New York Giants (11th): Finally stayed healthy for a full season last year but couldn’t find the end zone to save his life. NY added weapons around him to interfere with volume. Should score more but catch fewer balls.
  • Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11th): Sluggish return last season after a one-year layoff and was dependent on TDs once he found his groove. So many mouths to feed in this offense will create inconsistency.
  • Irv Smith Jr, Minnesota Vikings (12th): Finally gets a chance to showcase his skills as the TE1 but has struggled to stay healthy thus far. Talented and may finish as a top-10 TE with a few lucky bounces.
  • Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (12th): Ascending efficiency to date but now has more talent around him to contend with for touches.

Rounding out the remaining five tight ends most commonly drafted:

  • Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints (13th): Mega potential if the quarterback situation doesn’t hold him back … should see more than enough targets to matter while Michael Thomas is out until around midseason. Value in red zone.
  • Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots (13th): Could be a sly TD monster, but like several others, QB situation warrants concern. May struggle with consistently delivering necessary volume.
  • Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers (14th): Awesome value this late for a proven veteran who has dialed up his scoring frequency in his twilight years. Reunited in LA with OC from Saints days.
  • Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks (14th): Knows the new system in Seattle and could shine if an injury takes out one of the top two receivers. Otherwise, erratic returns and more of a best-ball backup than weekly consideration.
  • Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (14th): Kind of a wild card right now … seems like he still may get traded, despite it not happening yet. If he sticks around, gamers could be frustrated with the timeshare between he and Goedert.

Fantasy football takeaway

Understand how construction models around running backs and receivers play the largest role in determining when drafting a tight end is best for a roster. Teams with impressive core strength at the two positions have the ability to take fliers on tight ends. Players in smaller leagues shouldn’t feel compelled to take a second tight end after choosing a stud. Some owners will draft an early TE when they feel the value of a fringe RB1 just isn’t there.

Speaking of a stud, it’s tough to argue with drafting Kelce or Waller. There’s so much depth at receiver this year that going RB in Round 1 and then Waller in the second offers a smarter balance, but Kelce is just so consistently awesome that he might as well be a top-five WR or running back in PPR formats.

Doubling on the position in the second half of drafts is perfectly fine, and if your team is strong enough in other areas, there’s nothing wrong with taking a pair of risk-reward types rather than blending in a safer target.

The position is volatile. Recognize your willingness — or lack thereof — to accept the challenge of weekly rotation at the position vs. being more in the mode of “set and forget” with a top-six tight end.

Fantasy football draft prep: When to take a quarterback

What is the best strategy for selecting a quarterback?

It’s not a question. It is a directive.

There are many ways to address the selection of your first quarterback in a fantasy football draft, but there also is the best way to do it.

And that is waiting on the position.

Time after time, inexperienced players draft a quarterback too early, or they draft two stud quarterbacks. These inexcusable errors at least make sense … the name value is what jumps out at people. It’s a quarterback-driven league, and most casual gamers recognize the top passers over lesser known running backs and receivers.

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This is not to say it is impossible to win drafting an early-round quarterback. It definitely is doable, but that pick, along with all of the other core positional choices in the first half of the draft need to be on the mark. That rarely happens for a novice player.

Recent trends

Looking back at the last five years, the table below illustrates how the first five drafted quarterbacks, in terms of ADP, fared in relation to their fantasy ranking at that season’s end.

The “fantasy ranking” columns represent where in the order the player finished and is then correlated to his respective draft placement. For example, the first quarterback chosen each of the past five seasons has not finished as QB1. Or QB2. Not even QB3. Twice as many finished as fantasy backups as they did even being within in the top six quarterbacks.

The results were substantially better for the second quarterback chosen, but the third player picked barely qualified as as starting fantasy passer.

The median finish for the first chosen QB was 10th, whereas the fifth quarterback drafted finished as the median QB2. Each one of the five were better than QB10. Among the 60 quarterbacks selected in the top 12 over the past five seasons, 38 percent finished the year as backups in fantasy points generated. That said, 35 percent ended up as solid QB1s, finishing in the top six at the position.

  • The first quarterback was drafted at an average of 25th overall in the past five years.
  • Eight of the 10 quarterbacks chosen between Rounds 6 and 7 turned out to be fantasy starters, proving to be the sweet spot in recent times.
  • Twenty-one of 30 QBs drafted in the first half of perceived starters proved to be top-12 quarterbacks.
  • Sixteen of the 30 QBs drafted in the back half of perceived starters proved to be top-12 passers.

Those final two points tell an interesting tale. Quarterbacks drafted inside of the top six players at the position per ADP more frequently finished as starters, showing gamers tend to get the names right, but not necessarily in the correct order. Twenty-three percent of those picks fell within the tier of QB10-12 in actual results. But a drafter is 1.5 times more likely to pick a top-three QB in ADP and get a QB10 or worse than a QB9 or better.

The takeaway from the final bullet should be waiting gives nearly a coin flip odds that the player will finish in the top nine at his position. Granted, the same 47 percent were backups, but this should be a lesson in perceived vs. relative value. Waiting longer offers a better chance to pick up value elsewhere and mitigate inflated risk of blowing it in the early rounds.

Furthermore, any quarterback drafted between the QB10-12 slots often is chosen with greatly depreciated expectations of being a plug-n-play starter. If a QB is chosen as the QB10 and finishes QB15, big whoop … this is far less punitive than choosing a player at QB2 and getting a QB7. We’re talking some 70 picks elapsed in between, whereas only 29 picks separate 10 and 15, on average.

Median
fantasy
rank
ADP Order
drafted
Fantasy
ranking
Percentage of
fantasy ranking
1-3 4-6 7-9 10-12 13+ 1-3 4-6 7-9 10-12 13+
QB10 25 1st 0 1 1 1 2 0% 20% 20% 20% 40%
QB5 35 2nd 2 2 0 1 0 40% 40% 0% 20% 0%
QB11 61 3rd 0 0 0 4 1 0% 0% 0% 80% 20%
QB10 70 4th 0 2 0 1 2 0% 40% 20% 20% 40%
QB2 77 5th 3 1 1 0 0 60% 20% 20% 0% 0%
QB1-3 2 3 1 6 3 13% 20% 7% 40% 20%
QB4-6 3 4 1 1 6 20% 27% 7% 7% 40%
QB7-9 0 3 4 2 6 0% 20% 27% 13% 40%
QB10-12 5 1 1 0 8 33% 7% 7% 0% 53%
Summary 10 11 7 9 23 17% 18% 12% 15% 38%

Looking at it from a different perspective, what is the “return on investment” (ROI) for early-, mid-, and late-round quarterbacks?

Order
drafted
ADP Median
fantasy rank
Fantasy
ROI
Order
drafted
ADP Median
fantasy rank
Fantasy
ROI
1 25 10 -9 12 117 13 -1
2 35 5 -3 13 121 7 6
3 61 11 -8 14 127 10 4
4 70 10 -6 15 129 7 8
5 77 2 3 16 134 13 3
6 83 19 -13 17 145 12 5
7 87 17 -10 18 149 19 -1
8 94 14 -6 19 153 18 1
9 99 4 5 20 163 9 11
10 102 20 -10 21 171 25 -4
11 111 6 5

This data from the same time period shows the top four quarterbacks by ADP actually returned negatively on investment. Only three of the top 12 quarterbacks per ADP even turned a fantasy profit. Between QB13-21 selected, seven of the nine paid dividends. In a nutshell, the majority of quarterbacks drafted after Round 8 lived up to and/or exceeded expectations. Only 12.5 percent of QBs chosen before that exceeded their perceived value.

Now this isn’t a perfect way of evaluating the situation, because injuries cannot be predicted. It is a sound baseline to depict that early-round quarterbacks generate a greater loss on profit potential. Again, none of this is saying you cannot win your league with an top-three quarterback, but it does mean your other picks must be more accurate.

QB1-3 produced an average of -7 ROI
QB4-6 produced an average of -5 ROI
QB7-9 produced an average of -4 ROI
QB10-12 produced an average of -2 ROI
QB13-15 produced an average of +6 ROI
QB16-18 produced an average of +2 ROI
QB19-21 produced an average of +3 ROI

To be fair, the bar is lower for anyone drafted as a perceived backup, and the trends show the later the player is chosen, the less likely they are to return QB1 results. There’s a middle ground to be understood. If the QB13 gains an average of six spots in actual results, he is a QB7 — nice win for fantasy value. If he’s a QB3 and finishes as a QB10, while he is indeed a top-10 fantasy quarterback, gamers need to recognize the loss they experience in profit from other positions between those 60 average draft spots in between those specific placements. Sensing a theme?

Two-quarterback leagues

This format radically changes the valuation of the position. A good rule of thumb is taking your first quarterback target in the two rounds and then coming back for a second in the next four rounds.

Presuming the league is a 12-teamer, you have 24 quarterbacks being used each week. It’s improbable to find 24 NFL starting quarterbacks worthy of a typical fantasy play on a given week, so there’s often “plug your nose” decisions to be made if you indeed wait it out to the latter stages before securing your No. 2 and 3 passers.

2021 prediction for traditional leagues

Which quarterbacks should meet or exceed their draft placement in 2021?

No. Name Team ADP
1 Pat Mahomes KC 2.09
2 Josh Allen BUF 3.12
3 Kyler Murray ARI 4.06
4 Lamar Jackson BAL 5.01
5 Dak Prescott DAL 5.07
6 Justin Herbert LAC 6.01
7 Aaron Rodgers GB 6.03
8 Russell Wilson SEA 6.09
9 Tom Brady TB 7.06
10 Matthew Stafford LAR 7.12
11 Jalen Hurts PHI 8.11
12 Ryan Tannehill TEN 8.12
13 Joe Burrow CIN 9.08
14 Matt Ryan ATL 10.11
15 Trevor Lawrence JAX 11.03
16 Deshaun Watson HOU 11.06
17 Baker Mayfield CLE 11.12
18 Trey Lance SF 12.1
19 Kirk Cousins MIN 13.02
20 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 13.11
21 Justin Fields CHI 14.02
22 Jameis Winston NO 14.07
23 Ryan Fitzpatrick WAS 14.07
24 Tua Tagovailoa MIA 14.08
25 Cam Newton NE 14.09
26 Derek Carr LV 14.11

The players highlighted in green stand the best chance of substantially exceeding their draft placement. One can argue until the end of time over which players in what order and why, so understand this is an exercise in identifying profit potential and not a rule. It’s not saying QB26 Derek Carr will outplay QB2 Josh Allen. It’s saying Josh Allen has to outplay all other QBs not named Patrick Mahomes to live up to the investment. It is more likely Carr plays like, oh, say, QB16 (spot starter) than QB26 (likely remains on waivers all year) is all.

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The most important take away from this year’s review of ADP vs. projected results is that fantasy footballers must realize the drop-off in statistical returns is so small. The difference typically is the elite fantasy players post more huge games, while the low-end starters often plod along with serviceable but unsexy results.

Look at it like this … the average loss in fantasy points per game from QB1-3 to QB4-6 last year was 1.1 points per game. From QB4-6 to QB7-9 was 2.2 point per contest, and following that trend downward is an average loss of only 1.7 points from the last grouping of starting QBs to the previous tier. From QB1-3 to QB10-12 is only 3.9 fantasy points, on average. Odds are you’ll be able to make that up, especially in PPR leagues, at running back, receiver and tight end by waiting on quarterback.

Fantasy football primer for the last draft weekend of 2020

Drafting this weekend? We have you covered for everything needed to dominate.

Drafting a fantasy football team this weekend? The Huddle has you covered for everything needed to dominate in the final weekend before the 2020 NFL season begins.

Week 1 is merely days away, but there’s still time to draft a winner, and The Huddle’s 24th season online is a testament to our dedication to making you a champion!

Let’s not waste any more time and get right into what you must know ahead of the big draft weekend.

NFL roster cut day

Saturday, Sept. 5, at 4 p.m. EDT: the deadline in which teams go from 80-player rosters to 53 men, which is the standard number a team carries into the regular season. That means if you’re drafting early Saturday, it’s entirely possible one of your players could get the ax.

You cannot change your draft day, in all likelihood, but gamers can stay on top of the latest transactions and more by following our Huddle news feed. Make sure you’re up to date on the cuts and then waiver claims, which are due by 4 p.m. EDT Sunday. Gamers also can remain updated the latest injury news through our feed.

Fantasy football draft-day rules to live by

Our annual “draft prep” series mostly caters to novice players, but every once in a while a veteran player requires a refresher on basics we may take for granted.

These rules are in no particular order, and they apply to all levels of experience among fantasy owners. Just as important as the “what you should do” to create a winner in fantasy drafting, avoiding simple pitfalls is a must.

1) Living in the past: Assuming successes and failures from last year automatically will carry over to this year’s results is a quick trip to Loserville. Each year is brand new and requires a reset of the old memory bank.

2) Stay sober: While it may seem silly, don’t let one draft of hard boozing affect an entire season of fantasy football. Party it up after the draft and celebrate your soon-to-be championship roster.

3) No one likes a homer: Well, except for that Homer. Heavily drafting players from your favorite team tends to lead to an entire season of hangover-filled mornings. This also includes taking a specific player over a better option just because that player is on your favorite team. Be objective.

4) Draft by the rules: Not knowing your league’s scoring structure, lineup composition, and/or bylaws generally results in utter failure. At a minimum, it translates into lost points.

5) Stretch it out: Flexibility in fantasy drafts is essential. Gamers with a rigid strategy miss out on key value due to their inability to zig when others are zagging.

6) Avoid F.O.M.O.: All too often owners will see or sense a miniature run at a position and overreact out of the fear of missing out. Always having a sound backup plan alleviates concern in this area.

7) Mocking mock drafters: “I don’t need preparation!” declares the eventual last-place owner on draft day. Everyone needs practice. Look back at all of the things in life that required some repetitions before you improved. Don’t take my word for it … ask your spouse.

8) Bye week blues: This cuts both ways — getting caught up in not paying attention to bye weeks and outright passing on talent because it would create multiple players at the position on bye. Later in the year, bye weeks are easier — not harder — to overcome due to months of roster manipulation.

9) Leaving money on the table: Specifically for those who participate in auctions, leaving any amount of money on the table is inexcusable. Spend it all, even if you have to pay up at the end of the auction on an inconsequential player.

10) Peer pressure: Let’s face it, even seasoned veterans of fantasy don’t enjoy being ridiculed by 11 mates after making a questionable pick. There’s a major difference between being laughed at for taking a kicker in Round 1 and reaching a round or two for a sleeper at a skilled position.

11) ADP obsession: Time after time, owners get hung up on what the average draft placement suggests. It is merely a guideline, and anytime a service offering ADP compiles the data, it is impossible to weed out all variations and nuance. Use it for nothing more than a ballpark idea of when positional trends typically begin.

12) Drafting to trade: For some unknown reason, every year I have gamers asking me about which players to target solely for trading purposes. Drafting players for a potential trade bargaining piece down the line is unwise. Way too much can (and usually does) go wrong in this scenario.

Fantasy football PPR rankings*

*Requires a subscription to The Huddle’s draft guide

Quarterbacks rankings

  1. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
  2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
  4. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
  5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Running backs rankings

  1. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
  2. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
  3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
  4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
  5. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

Wide receivers rankings

  1. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
  2. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
  3. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
  4. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
  5. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions

Tight ends rankings

  1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
  2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
  3. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
  4. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
  5. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

Fantasy football sleepers*

*Requires a subscription to The Huddle’s draft guide

Want to dominate your fantasy football league draft? TheHuddle.com has been creating fantasy football champions for over 20 years. Use the code SBW20 to take $10 off your 2020 subscription: Sign up now!

Fantasy football freebies

Best values in fantasy football drafts

QB Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts: A fresh start, promising weapons, and brilliant pass protection will get 2019’s QB24 back on track.

RB Matt Breida, Miami Dolphins: Mid-round investment for an explosive back who could finish as a weekly play is tough to ignore.

WR Jamison Crowder, New York Jets: The 2019 PPR WR26 in Round 9 is little risk, all upside. Suspect competition only adds to his appeal.

TE Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts: Knows system, TE-dependent QB, risky WRs, stud line limits blocking need, weak TE competition.

PK Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans: A less prolific offense should mean more field goals after a down year for the 2018 PK1.

DT Kansas City Chiefs: Lost only one defensive starter after 2019’s 9th-place fantasy finish; growing pains ahead for AFC West opponents.

Biggest risk in fantasy football drafts

QB Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals: No real OL improvements and a questionable backfield the only things standing in his way of top-three QB play.

RB Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals: A microscopic, albeit wholly impressive, stretch of elite production has to be questioned.

WR Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers: Drastically different system, first-time coordinator … mediocre journeyman or a rookie QB has to give pause for his PPR prowess.

TE Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The year off cuts both ways. What happens if his 43-year-old QB falls apart? System hasn’t been TE-friendly.

PK Josh Lambo, Jacksonville Jaguars: Increased offensive scoring prowess generally results in fewer three-pointer opportunities.

DT New England Patriots: A ton of key personnel turnover. Last year’s schedule was laughably easy, and the Pats struggled vs. strong competition.

Fantasy football breakouts

QB Drew Lock, Denver Broncos: World-class arm talent, notable upgraded weapons with a blossoming WR1, dangerous RBs and a proven offensive system.

RB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers: The likely 1a of the one-two punch with Tevin Coleman has way more upside and showed a nose for the paydirt down the stretch in 2019.

WR Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers: Stands to make the biggest Year 2 jump of any WR. Big Ben’s return and healthy talent around him only help.

TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions: Viable system, strong QB play. Monitor health status before investing, but has hallmarks of becoming a fantasy starter.

PK Austin Seibert, Cleveland Browns: Slower-paced offensive design could mean more 3-pointers after promising rookie campaign.

DT Indianapolis Colts: Shored up DL and improved on the back end, too. Exploitable divisional opponents, plus reasonable schedule.

Fantasy football busts

QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants: A new system for a streaky QB is a major concern during a pandemic; inconsistency is a killer in weekly leagues.

RB David Johnson, Houston Texans: Living off of one monster season in 2016, Johnson is officially a one-year wonder with injury concerns.

WR Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills: Not a true No. 1, the pouty WR faces a terribly inaccurate QB in a run-first offense — all in Western New York.

TE Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns: The richest tight end in the NFL will struggle to see enough passes to matter in fantasy will be difficult in a run-heavy system loaded with receiving talent.

PK Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons: No long-range track record is compounded by a questionable offense in a tougher division.

DT Minnesota Vikings: No Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, and top three CBs from 2019 … plus a rookie starting CB. Even with Yannick Ngakoue, there’s too much turnover to warrant confidence.

Fantasy Football strength of schedule series

Passing | Rushing | Receiving

COVID-19 and fantasy football tips

The NFL has been remarkable successful to date in its efforts to keep COVID-19 at bay. That’s not to say players may not face an influx in infections once the season is under way and players begin traveling.

  • Be nimble and prepare for an exhausting season of working the waiver wire.
  • Expect stars to get put on the COVID-19 list and miss a few games. That’s inevitable.
  • Draft for continuity. Players on teams that have experienced as little turnover personnel-wise and within the coaching staff are in a better position to succeed, especially early in the year.
  • Rookies will likely struggle early and often without a full offseason program. Running back is the easiest position to learn, though.
  • Brace for some ugly football in the opening month. Low-scoring fantasy games may be the norm for several weeks, so taking a chance on fringe players in starting lineups could come back to bite you more so than in years past.
  • Trading may be more difficult than ever in terms of assessing fair compensation. Work with what you know at the time and hope for the best, because that’s about all we can do during such uncertain times.

Want to dominate your fantasy football league draft? TheHuddle.com has been creating fantasy football champions for over 20 years. Use the code SBW20 to take $10 off your 2020 subscription: Sign up now!

Fantasy football primer for the last draft weekend of 2020

Drafting this weekend? We have you covered for everything needed to dominate.

Drafting a fantasy football team this weekend? The Huddle has you covered for everything needed to dominate in the final weekend before the 2020 NFL season begins.

Week 1 is merely days away, but there’s still time to draft a winner, and The Huddle’s 24th season online is a testament to our dedication to making you a champion!

Let’s not waste any more time and get right into what you must know ahead of the big draft weekend.

NFL roster cut day

Saturday, Sept. 5, at 4 p.m. EDT: the deadline in which teams go from 80-player rosters to 53 men, which is the standard number a team carries into the regular season. That means if you’re drafting early Saturday, it’s entirely possible one of your players could get the ax.

You cannot change your draft day, in all likelihood, but gamers can stay on top of the latest transactions and more by following our Huddle news feed. Make sure you’re up to date on the cuts and then waiver claims, which are due by 4 p.m. EDT Sunday. Gamers also can remain updated the latest injury news through our feed.

Fantasy football draft-day rules to live by

Our annual “draft prep” series mostly caters to novice players, but every once in a while a veteran player requires a refresher on basics we may take for granted.

These rules are in no particular order, and they apply to all levels of experience among fantasy owners. Just as important as the “what you should do” to create a winner in fantasy drafting, avoiding simple pitfalls is a must.

1) Living in the past: Assuming successes and failures from last year automatically will carry over to this year’s results is a quick trip to Loserville. Each year is brand new and requires a reset of the old memory bank.

2) Stay sober: While it may seem silly, don’t let one draft of hard boozing affect an entire season of fantasy football. Party it up after the draft and celebrate your soon-to-be championship roster.

3) No one likes a homer: Well, except for that Homer. Heavily drafting players from your favorite team tends to lead to an entire season of hangover-filled mornings. This also includes taking a specific player over a better option just because that player is on your favorite team. Be objective.

4) Draft by the rules: Not knowing your league’s scoring structure, lineup composition, and/or bylaws generally results in utter failure. At a minimum, it translates into lost points.

5) Stretch it out: Flexibility in fantasy drafts is essential. Gamers with a rigid strategy miss out on key value due to their inability to zig when others are zagging.

6) Avoid F.O.M.O.: All too often owners will see or sense a miniature run at a position and overreact out of the fear of missing out. Always having a sound backup plan alleviates concern in this area.

7) Mocking mock drafters: “I don’t need preparation!” declares the eventual last-place owner on draft day. Everyone needs practice. Look back at all of the things in life that required some repetitions before you improved. Don’t take my word for it … ask your spouse.

8) Bye week blues: This cuts both ways — getting caught up in not paying attention to bye weeks and outright passing on talent because it would create multiple players at the position on bye. Later in the year, bye weeks are easier — not harder — to overcome due to months of roster manipulation.

9) Leaving money on the table: Specifically for those who participate in auctions, leaving any amount of money on the table is inexcusable. Spend it all, even if you have to pay up at the end of the auction on an inconsequential player.

10) Peer pressure: Let’s face it, even seasoned veterans of fantasy don’t enjoy being ridiculed by 11 mates after making a questionable pick. There’s a major difference between being laughed at for taking a kicker in Round 1 and reaching a round or two for a sleeper at a skilled position.

11) ADP obsession: Time after time, owners get hung up on what the average draft placement suggests. It is merely a guideline, and anytime a service offering ADP compiles the data, it is impossible to weed out all variations and nuance. Use it for nothing more than a ballpark idea of when positional trends typically begin.

12) Drafting to trade: For some unknown reason, every year I have gamers asking me about which players to target solely for trading purposes. Drafting players for a potential trade bargaining piece down the line is unwise. Way too much can (and usually does) go wrong in this scenario.

Fantasy football PPR rankings*

*Requires a subscription to The Huddle’s draft guide

Quarterbacks rankings

  1. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
  2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
  4. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
  5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Running backs rankings

  1. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
  2. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
  3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
  4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
  5. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

Wide receivers rankings

  1. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
  2. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
  3. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
  4. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
  5. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions

Tight ends rankings

  1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
  2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
  3. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
  4. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
  5. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

Fantasy football sleepers*

*Requires a subscription to The Huddle’s draft guide

Fantasy football freebies

Best values in fantasy football drafts

QB Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts: A fresh start, promising weapons, and brilliant pass protection will get 2019’s QB24 back on track.

RB Matt Breida, Miami Dolphins: Mid-round investment for an explosive back who could finish as a weekly play is tough to ignore.

WR Jamison Crowder, New York Jets: The 2019 PPR WR26 in Round 9 is little risk, all upside. Suspect competition only adds to his appeal.

TE Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts: Knows system, TE-dependent QB, risky WRs, stud line limits blocking need, weak TE competition.

PK Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans: A less prolific offense should mean more field goals after a down year for the 2018 PK1.

DT Kansas City Chiefs: Lost only one defensive starter after 2019’s 9th-place fantasy finish; growing pains ahead for AFC West opponents.

Biggest risk in fantasy football drafts

QB Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals: No real OL improvements and a questionable backfield the only things standing in his way of top-three QB play.

RB Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals: A microscopic, albeit wholly impressive, stretch of elite production has to be questioned.

WR Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers: Drastically different system, first-time coordinator … mediocre journeyman or a rookie QB has to give pause for his PPR prowess.

TE Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The year off cuts both ways. What happens if his 43-year-old QB falls apart? System hasn’t been TE-friendly.

PK Josh Lambo, Jacksonville Jaguars: Increased offensive scoring prowess generally results in fewer three-pointer opportunities.

DT New England Patriots: A ton of key personnel turnover. Last year’s schedule was laughably easy, and the Pats struggled vs. strong competition.

Fantasy football breakouts

QB Drew Lock, Denver Broncos: World-class arm talent, notable upgraded weapons with a blossoming WR1, dangerous RBs and a proven offensive system.

RB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers: The likely 1a of the one-two punch with Tevin Coleman has way more upside and showed a nose for the paydirt down the stretch in 2019.

WR Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers: Stands to make the biggest Year 2 jump of any WR. Big Ben’s return and healthy talent around him only help.

TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions: Viable system, strong QB play. Monitor health status before investing, but has hallmarks of becoming a fantasy starter.

PK Austin Seibert, Cleveland Browns: Slower-paced offensive design could mean more 3-pointers after promising rookie campaign.

DT Indianapolis Colts: Shored up DL and improved on the back end, too. Exploitable divisional opponents, plus reasonable schedule.

Fantasy football busts

QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants: A new system for a streaky QB is a major concern during a pandemic; inconsistency is a killer in weekly leagues.

RB David Johnson, Houston Texans: Living off of one monster season in 2016, Johnson is officially a one-year wonder with injury concerns.

WR Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills: Not a true No. 1, the pouty WR faces a terribly inaccurate QB in a run-first offense — all in Western New York.

TE Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns: The richest tight end in the NFL will struggle to see enough passes to matter in fantasy will be difficult in a run-heavy system loaded with receiving talent.

PK Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons: No long-range track record is compounded by a questionable offense in a tougher division.

DT Minnesota Vikings: No Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, and top three CBs from 2019 … plus a rookie starting CB. Even with Yannick Ngakoue, there’s too much turnover to warrant confidence.

Fantasy Football strength of schedule series

Passing | Rushing | Receiving

COVID-19 and fantasy football tips

The NFL has been remarkable successful to date in its efforts to keep COVID-19 at bay. That’s not to say players may not face an influx in infections once the season is under way and players begin traveling.

  • Be nimble and prepare for an exhausting season of working the waiver wire.
  • Expect stars to get put on the COVID-19 list and miss a few games. That’s inevitable.
  • Draft for continuity. Players on teams that have experienced as little turnover personnel-wise and within the coaching staff are in a better position to succeed, especially early in the year.
  • Rookies will likely struggle early and often without a full offseason program. Running back is the easiest position to learn, though.
  • Brace for some ugly football in the opening month. Low-scoring fantasy games may be the norm for several weeks, so taking a chance on fringe players in starting lineups could come back to bite you more so than in years past.
  • Trading may be more difficult than ever in terms of assessing fair compensation. Work with what you know at the time and hope for the best, because that’s about all we can do during such uncertain times.