The way that you start your draft is so important. There are land mines in every part of the draft and as analysts (loose term, I prefer good with words and played for a long time or guy who is not allowed within 500 feet of a Dave and Busters), we can only give you an educated guess of where they are. They are buried and we hope that by October we haven’t stepped on any.

I don’t believe in any “avoid” or “zero” position strategies and I also don’t believe in the “best player available” strategy. At that point, you might as well just auto draft. The strategy that I believe in is simple: get the players that fit how you want to build your team. For example: if you believe you can build your receivers around Amari Cooper as your WR1, go ahead and take two strong running backs with your first two picks. If you’re like me, you’re eyeing George Kittle in the third round. So what I’m probably going to do is get James Conner as my RB1 if I land in the back half of the first round and then take Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., or Mike Evans based on availability in the second round. That way, I have a strong RB1, WR1, and TE to start. Let’s go through the first two rounds in a 12 team PPR draft. If you still play in standard leagues, throat punch your commissioner. Eh, don’t do that, I don’t have bail money for you.

First Round 

Picks 1-4

Don’t overcomplicate this in any format. You should take the best player left on the board out of Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, and David Johnson. I know that I said in the introduction to not just automatically take the best available player, but in this case, each and every player has a chance to finish as the RB1.

How I have them ranked right now:

1. Christian McCaffrey

2. Saquon Barkley

3. Alvin Kamara

4. David Johnson

Picks 5-7

I hate this range this year. The best players are gone and the back half is going to get two picks of the same caliber of player as you are here before you even get to your second pick. Personally, I’m taking DeAndre Hopkins or Davante Adams knowing that I am getting a step above the other wide receivers in the red zone. If you really want to take a walk on the wild side, you can bet on Ezekiel Elliott showing up before week 1. 

Picks 8-12 

James Conner’s ADP is creeping up into the 10-11 range, and it should be. James Conner is an elite tackle breaker with pass catching abilities and an eye for the end zone. If Conner is on the board at anytime in this range, I’m scooping him up without hesitation. I’m not concerned about the ankle injury from last season and there is injury risk with any elite running back that I’m willing to take on.

If Conner is off of the board, I either want Odell Beckham Jr. or Julio Jones. I’d take Odell first because that offense is going to be rocking and if Odell stays healthy the motivation should be back for those 1,400 yard and double digit touchdown seasons. Sign me up for The Beckham-Baker touchdown celebrations. If Beckham is gone, Julio has such a high catch and yardage floor and I wouldn’t argue with that at the end of the first round.

Second Round

Picks 13-15

You either ended up with James Conner or a pretty solid wide receiver in the first round. You have a couple of options based on how you want to structure your roster. Dalvin Cook should be sitting there and probably Todd Gurley too. I can’t blame you if you want to grab either one of them. 

When I’m in this spot, I’m grabbing another wide receiver knowing that I can probably double up on Chris Carson and Josh Jacobs at the 3/4 turn. If one or the other isn’t there Marlon Mack or Devonta Freeman could be at the 3/4 turn as well. Getting back to the second pick, I’m eyeing whoever falls out of Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham, and Julio Jones. If neither of them is there, I’m fine with Mike Evans as a WR2. Bang, now you have two top notch wide receivers and there should be decent RB depth left when you pick again.

Picks 16-19

I’m not into assuming the Todd Gurley risk, but at the same time it’s tough to advise against it. There’s still value here because although he won’t finish as the #1 RB, he has top 7 capabilities on a limited work load in that offense. You have my blessing. I’m eyeing Mike Evans here knowing that I’m closer to some of the running back talent in the 3rd round than the back of the draft is. If Mike Evans is gone, this is a good Tyreek Hill spot if the rest of your league stayed away. I totally get it if you shy away from him as well. We’re picking humans that we have to root for. If Evans and Hill aren’t options Keenan Allen is looking pretty good here as well. He’s going to be peppered with targets all season and shouldn’t have have any issues clearing 1,250+ yards. Hopefully he can find the end zone more this year. 

Picks 20-24

If you’re picking here, you probably took one of the elite running backs in the first round. If one of Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, or JuJu Smith Schuster has fell to this spot, grab one! The wide receiver drop off after that tier is steep. If all of the receivers that I have mentioned in the second round are gone, I’m all over Aaron Jones or Kerryon Johnson. You can smash at the running back position week in and week out with the combo of either one of those and your first round running back. Now in your 3rd round, you can decide if you want to take George Kittle or reach for a wide receiver. There are so many options! I’ll let you know what I’d do next week.

  1. water boy says:
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    Hey hey hey MB! Are you ready for fantasy football 2019 ?!

    We are drafting the week of the last preseason games or Labor Day weekend, basically the next 2 or 2.5 weeks, that being said it’s a keeper league & it’s .5 ppr . We can keep max two , any two players. Keeper settings is rounds 1 & 2 are dedicated for keepers & round 3 starts snake.

    Here are my options:
    1.) keep David Johnson & Joe mixon

    2.) keep David Johnson & the risky Melvin Gordon who still is not close to signing a new deal with LA

    3.) keep David Johnson & Deshaun Watson

    4.) keep just David Johnson & gain extra draft pick

    Keep in mind when the snake begins round 3 after keeper selections I have pick 9 out of 10 since I finished the 2018 as #2.

    If this helps a few league mates have told me who they are keeping

    Team A: keeping Antonio brown + Michael Thomas

    Team B: keeping kamara + mike Evans

    Team C: keeping Barkley + Davonte Adams

    Also have you ever played in a league that had two flex slots ? We have had just one traditional flex spot (rb,wr,TE) , we start 2 rbs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 9 bench spots , 2 IR spots . Didn’t know if 2 flexes would be over kill

    Thanks man!

    • MB

      MB says:
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      DJ and Mixon!

      Hell yeah I love 2 flexes. Add a flex spot and get rid of kickers!

      • Snacks Zillion says:
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        the RCL commenters league with Donkey Teeth has 3 flex spots with no kicker or D! It is perfect!! Draft is tonight.

        • MB

          MB says:
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          Yeah that was a great idea by Donkey. We did it for all of them

  2. RICE says:
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    Hey MB!

    10 Team / H2H / 0.5 PPR / 1 keeper per team

    I’m drafting tomorrow and have the 6th pick with 10 keepers already off the board (8 RBs / 1 WR / 1TE). Depending on what happens in the 5 picks ahead of me, I’ll have two paths to take. The two likely outcomes are below. If I have the option to take either, which to you like better… and is it close?

    Off the board: McCaffrey, Saquon, Kamara, Hopkins, Elliott, Le’Veon, Kelce, Cook, Gurley, Freeman

    My Keeper: Dalvin Cook

    Path 1 (RB in round 1)
    Dalvin Cook
    Joe Mixon (maybe Conner if he falls)
    Aaron Jones
    Robert Woods
    Chris Godwin (or Kupp if Godwin is gone)

    Path 2 (WR in round 1)
    Dalvin Cook
    OBJ
    Aaron Jones
    Chris Carson
    Chris Godwin (or Kupp if Godwin is gone)

  3. MB

    MB says:
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    Hey!

    1. Conner
    2. OBJ
    3. Aaron Jones

    (Don’t reach that high for Godwin, he should be there in the next round or even the round after.)

    • RICE says:
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      Two of the top 5 teams in front of me kept a non-RB, so I fully expect David Johnson and James Conner to be gone by the time I make my pick. I’ll target OBJ with my first pick and follow up with Aaron Jones in the next round.

      Godwin – I had him targeted in the 4th round, which would be the 45th player off the board, counting keepers. That seems to line up with his ADP, no? I’m targeting Edelman (ADP 41) there first. I could also see David Montgomery (ADP 48) there.

      • MB

        MB says:
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        Yep just find your balance. If you can get OBJ, thatd be fantastic

      • RICE says:
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        I now realize my post wasn’t clear. Two paths (I added the round numbers)

        Path 1 (RB in round 1)
        Keeper: Dalvin Cook
        Round 1: Joe Mixon (maybe Conner if he falls)
        Round 2: Aaron Jones
        Round 3: Robert Woods
        Round 4: Chris Godwin (or Kupp if Godwin is gone)

        Path 2 (WR in round 1)
        Keeper: Dalvin Cook
        Round 1: OBJ
        Round 2: Aaron Jones
        Round 3: Chris Carson
        Round 4: Chris Godwin (or Kupp if Godwin is gone)

        • MB

          MB says:
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          Hah!!! Now it makes sense! Path 2! Sorry about that.

          • RICE says:
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            Totally my bad… thanks for the advise.

            On Monday I’ll show the results of the plan vs. drunk reality.

            • MB

              MB says:
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              Sounds like a plan! Always a good time (hopefully)

  4. CMUTIMMAH says:
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    If you have top 4 picks, you probably should go RB, WR, WR the way the board is laid out this year.

    If you have middle 4, you’re likely looking at a mixed bag and need to be flexible.

    If you have last 4, you’re going to need to be even more flexible.

    Basically, the people drafted in the latter half of the first round have to be the most prepared coming in for the first 3 rounds. The early picks are basically impervious to goofy drafting elsewhere, have less of a chance to capitalize on a sliding player.

    It’s the same every year, but an elite running back is the key to considering one of the top TEs. I have seen some drafts where guys are clearly counting on getting the Carson/Jacobs level, and drafting TEs and WRs or Mahomes early. They end up disappointed because the early round RB drafters get a chance to reach for Carson and Jacobs, giving them 2 very good RBs and WRs because those teams don’t have to consider drafting one of the top TEs and they will already have 2 WRs… so you have basically made the board more attractive to get your “sleepers”.

    Drafting is a tricky game, you want to push the position runs when they suit you, and you want to be the one that starts the positions runs.

    This is my favorite time of year!

    • MB

      MB says:
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      It certainly is a tricky game! Just doin’ what I can to help haha. First home drafts this weekend. Looking forward to seeing where Jacobs, Carson, and Miles sanders go.

  5. AP says:
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    Hey MB, let me run this by you….
    In a 12 team standard scoring league, and we do 2 keepers per team. Im already keeping Kamara and Aaron Jones, and using very late round picks for both. Also, as luck would have it, I have our league’s #1 overall pick this year. Right now, leaning on taking CMC first, and rounding out WR’s at the 2nd/3rd turn, but should I be concerned at all about being so RB heavy out of the gate, and maybe buck the trends and take someone like Hopkins at #1?

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Nope, gotta take CMC there in my opinion. I get the hesitation though. I can’t believe CMC is on the board!

  6. hotmilk8 says:
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    Hello, long time razzball baseball subscriber, but new to the football side. I’m a new member in the 3rd year of a 12 team ppr league where they keep one player that was drafted 6th round or later previous year. I ended up with James White as my keeper. I’ve been out of FF for a couple years so looking for some guidance. I have the 9th pick of this years draft Monday 26th. Knowing that I’m keeping White, what draft strategy would you go in with? WR WR with 9th/16th picks? If so what would you recommend 3/4th rounds? Thanks and i appreciate any input you may have.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I’m weary of James White’s ceiling if Michel becomes involved in the passing game so I’m not ignoring RB in the slightest bit. He could end up being a flex play. At 9 I think your best option is going to end up being OBJ, Julio, or Michael Thomas since I assume James Conner will be kept. Probably a good idea to grab Nick Chubb or Dalvin Cook coming around in the 2nd. Hell, even Todd Gurley if you want to play some roulette with his knee. I’d target Josh Jacobs, Chris Carson, Or Devonta Freeman in the 3rd, then pound receiver in the 4th and 5th. Pretty solid foundation if the board goes your way. Advice: go by tiers and not the number by the player, same as Grey suggests for baseball if I remember right. Don’t reach on quarterbacks or tight ends (although I do love a 3rd round George Kittle). Have fun! Welcome back to the football world.

      • hotmilk8 says:
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        Wow thank you for all that advice. You def made my life much easier!! You are correct Connor is kept. When you say don’t reach for QB (I know very deep) or TE but what round/tier are we talking? 9-10? And I know never reach for def or K but been a while since I drafted and when would you recommend taking those positions? Live drafts are fun and always unpredictable. Thank you once again. Already liking this football side. Glad to be back!! Just need to get familiar with all the changes. Plus my first PPR league

      • hotmilk8 says:
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        Also, any sleeper picks I can target As my next year keeper to draft 6th or later? Thanks again

        • MB

          MB says:
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          Curtis Samuel And Christian Kirk

  7. big league choo says:
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    12 team non ppr keep 3 forever

    My keepers are Gurley/Davante/Kelce

    1) Trade my davante Adams for no.1 overall pick I would go Julio Jones + Kenny golladay or kupp

    2) Trade my davante for his Chubb/ no. 24 overall probably wr in Watkins/mike williams territory

    I have no.4 pick Julio Jones/thielen/digs top wr available
    Top rb available cook/fournette/Gordon/freeman

    Take either option or just hold best wr and let chips fall

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Sounds like you’re not a Davante fan. I’d probably hold on to him and take Julio or Cook if either falls to you! Diggs if they’re gone

      • big league choo says:
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        Big davante fan, just Julio isn’t a big drop off from Adams at least this year. If I were to get Julio and miles sanders or something like that it could be worth it. Snag cook or fournette at 4. Going to play it safe though and keep Adams.

        • MB

          MB says:
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          Very good point. Jones and Sanders would be stellar

  8. Filkarri says:
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    Hey MB, I listed the roster I have to choose my keepers from (won my league last year) below and just wondered who you would choose. Keep as many as I want and pay the round cost. (I can pay higher costs to keep multiple 14th rounders if I choose).

    Mike Evans – 1st
    Todd Gurley – 1st
    Kirk Cousins – 2nd
    Stefon Diggs – 3rd
    Delanie Walker – 4th
    Matt Breida – 10th
    CJ Anderson – 10th
    JuJu Smith Schuster – 13th
    Jaylen Samuels – 14th
    Gus Edwards – 14th
    Jameis Winston – 14th
    Jalen Richard – 14th
    Vance McDonald – 14th

    My initial instinct is that Diggs and Juju are definites, probably McDonald, and I’m going back and forth on Gurley. I don’t love using a first rounder for him this year, but looking at everyone else’s rosters, I’m having a tough time seeing anybody much better available with a first round pick. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    • Filkarri says:
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      PPR league, btw.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Yeah 1st rounds in Keeper leagues are extremely difficult to Gauge. Personally:

      Evans, Gurley (assume you lose rounds 1 and 2), J2S2, Jameis, And McDonald. All players I like (Gurley is risky but everything sounds good so far).

      Clean slate: Diggs, J2S2, Jameis, and McDonald

  9. bfteach says:
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    please rank these three (PPR): Marl Ingram, David Montgomery, Josh Jacobs – thanks

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Jacobs, Montgomery, Ingram

  10. nightpandas says:
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    MB Boss man

    Looking at keeping up to three…who do you like

    12 team .5ppr, $200 auction

    Ridley $11
    Ty Williams 5
    C Kirk 8
    Anthony Miller 8
    Jones Jr 16
    Fuller 14
    Watkins 19

    OJ Howard 2

    Barber 8
    Michel 9
    R Freeman 23
    Jones II 14

    leaning Ridley Howard Michel

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Hey!

      Yeah I agree with you. The only other player that was tempting was Will Fuller. I’d keep the cheaper Ridley too

  11. BBlacklow says:
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    Hello. New to the football side of Razzball. Drafting tomorrow. Is there a centralized list of where Razzball ranks all the players together for PPR value?

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Nope, 0.5 PPR is all that I have. I just have the PPR positional from July. My rankings wouldn’t change a ton from half to full point.

  12. James says:
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    Do I still take James Conner at 6? 10 team half PPR if all the top backs are gone?

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I have Him at 7 I think but I don’t mind taking him over Adams and Hopkins. If I was put in that spot I think I would. I love getting a top notch RB in the first round

      • James says:
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        He’s definitely the guy over bell and Chubb? Thanks dude I’m drafting In like 2 hours hahaha

        • MB

          MB says:
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          I literally went to the casino on Wednesday night and put my own money down that James Conner would have more overall yards than Le’Veon Bell at +160. I am a James Conner believer. I don’t trust Adam Gase to force feed Bell like he should. Chubb should be there in the 2nd Round.

  13. Jerseyjon says:
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    12 team ppr h2h. I elected to keep Bell and Mixon as my 2 keepers. With the top 3 tight ends off the board and 6 points awarded for a passing touchdown and likely to be a early run on qb’s are you waiting or grabbing a qb early? Draft position to be determined by our keepers so no idea where I’ll fall. Adams Conner Evans Chubb Jones and Cooper being the best available but don’t know if I can get any of them. Qb’s available Mayfield Watson Luck and Wentz. Thanks and a great read.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Since you’re already set at RB for the time being, I’d focus on WR in the beginning. Being at the back end of the QB run would be beneficial and allow you to get someone like Goff or Winston without overpaying for a QB

  14. Nick says:
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    Following your advices ,, here is how it went !
    with pick 6
    1. DVAdams WR1
    2. Juju WR2
    3. Aaron jones RB1
    4. Josh Jacobs RB2
    5. Baker Mayfield QB
    6. Evan Engram TE
    7. Dede Westbrook WR3
    8. Tarik Cohen Flex
    10. David Njoku Flex/bye TE

    11. NO DEF
    12. Lutz Kicker
    13. Darius Leonard IDP1
    14. Vander Esch IDP2
    18. Jaylon SMith IDP3

    Value picks on bench:
    9. Carson Wentz QB bye
    15. Courtland Sutton RB Den
    16. Jaylen Samuels WR Pit
    17. Duke Johnson Jr RB Hou
    19. Justin Jackson RB Lac
    20. Deesean Johnson WR Ari
    21. Boswell K/Bench bye
    22. PHI DEF Bench bye
    23. Josh Johnson IDP Bench bye

    Waiver Wire ; RB Tony Pollard / Jalen Richards / WR Isabella / Metcalf are pickable over my prospect picks 19-20

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Looks fantastic

  15. Allen says:
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    Where is Chubb? Glaring omission. Should be drafted before Connor.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Yeesh, idk about that. To each their own

      • Allen Hoke says:
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        He was better than Connor in the 9 games he played. In fact according to PFF he was better than everyone except 4 RB and one of those was Gurley. Duke is gone, Hunt is out, led league in broken tackles and 2nd in missed tackles. Browns will live in the redzone. If you don’t think he’s a first round pick whatever but to say he’s not a second, you shouldn’t be working for Razzball.

        • MB

          MB says:
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          I never said anything negative about Nick Chubb or said he wasn’t a 2nd rounder? Fantasy Pros consensus rankings have James Conner ranked a couple of spots higher than Nick Chubb so apparently a lot of experts agree. I’m right at consensus on Nick Chubb. So unless you play in 6 team leagues, I think you aren’t comprehending what you read if you follow along with my articles and comment sections. Have a wonderful evening, Allen.

        • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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          went and looked this up, (all this stuff from fantasy pros ADP’s since they compile numerous site ADP data stuff), 10th in ADP, so the public loves chubb more than the “experts” do. meanwhile if we index the rankers by top 30 or better for last year’s draft plus top 20 or better for in season last year we get chubb being 15h…. but one slot behind conner.

          • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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            but if we do the same thing for half PPR it’s reversed, chubb 9th, conner 10th (bell moves down 3 slots, had been one slot ahead of conner in PPR).

            • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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              obviously conner very well could’ve been in a different spot 10 days previous, i just got curious about this from the post.

              • MB

                MB says:
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                Thanks!

  16. Eric the Waiter with Hands for Hands says:
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    14 teamer PPR keep 2 per year and i can keep these in these rounds:
    roster:
    QB (passing TD’s worth 6 here)
    RB (2)
    WR (3)
    TE (1)
    flex (R/W/T, 1)
    K (1)
    DB (2)
    LB (2)
    DL (1)
    7 BN
    2 IR
    i got no worse than 2nd 3/4ths of years (1st 2 times out of 4 years, 1 2nd, till last year 9th. 2 years running had RB’s go out RIGHT after i drafted them (this was only league last year i went mckinnon over drake) one each in the 1st 2 rounds last 2 years). so i finally get a good draft slot. nobody drafted in the 1-2nd rounds can be kept (no mixon for me to keep).
    options:
    – a.brown (4th, this soooo was a slam dunk for years and why i joined the league)
    -jeffery (7th)
    – z.jones (21st)
    – c.hogan (21st)
    – humphries (21st)
    – oj howard (stashed him intentionally in case he’d be my best keeper, either 21st or 11th depending on whether 10 days means 10 full days or just counting 10 days after he was dropped, players retain their drafted round unless obtained 10 or more days after dropped, i waited till the morning of his 10th day dropped)
    -j.adams S (16th, but in non deep IDP’s like this it almost never pays to keep IDP guys)
    -wagner LB (9th)
    – a.phillips S (21st)
    -luck (6th, he seems VERY scary though, IND has now lied about his injuries for at least 3 of the last 5 or so years, 2 years ago at this time he was “certain to miss at most like 2-3 games” by them and then missed entire season simply since they burned him into ground with no surgery for far too long, and i’m pretty sure with like 4 days left till season the IND story was that he’d be fine for week 2. this actually led some writers around here to say we could draft him at a discount and it’d be a smart move as our 1st QB’s that year, albeit i doubt that many of those that said that actually did it themselves)

    reason i have no good RB keeper options is the last few years i’ve always gone a.brown (4th) and last round upside guy WR (21st), but often to compete drop the flyer guy (goodwin i think last year) if they aren’t panning out or i run out of IR space. i did NOT tank and just hold onto future upside guys last year. also i blew out my FAAB budget when mckinnon (2nd rounder got hurt literally about 12 hours after our draft) went out very early, so i lost out on tons of in season value guys.

  17. The Harrow says:
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    re: hill. we’re picking football entities that rack up stats to root for (the stats). AP could’ve beaten MY CHILDREN with tree parts in his prime and i’d still want him. i’d refer to him as “that human POS that beats children but helps win me leagues”. or hill, hunt, r.rice, l.phillips, a.hernandez, r.lewis or the literal dozens of others. these guys are basically adored/paid to be/practiced their whole lives to be human sports battling machines (i.e. gladiators); not people you’d ever want to be around your:
    -girlfriend/sister/daughter/self/friends in the real world.
    very much it’s likely true that the same things that make you really good at beating the crap out of people for sports success in a super violent sport like football are the very things that do not make you a good person in a civilized manner in most other aspects of life. in so many ways in sports these guys are taught:
    – fight through ANYthing in your way, the will to break down the walls in your way is what you all need primarily.
    – do NOT stop to “think” about what might be what’s right to do or not, simply do what you are told and run damn fast
    – WIN at any cost
    – doesn’t matter what you do or are inside, as long as you keep winning for your team, and beating the other team, which by definition are the enemy.

    i’m not saying it’s cool that these guys often are complete sociopaths in regular life but i am saying when you train people to be like this and make sure they get away with whatever they do as long as they become the best sports weapon/tool they can be you shouldn’t be surprised about it. you are what you practice and these guys have been trained to be what they are for a long long time. when you build monsters don’t be surprised that sometimes somebody happens to get crushed around them.

    if we all drafted around which players are decent humans + great players and the important ratio here was the decent human part and if we knew the full past of the really bad ones (as humans) we’d have all stars making up the last couple of rounds probably each year, if not more rounds than that.

    • The Harrow says:
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      i shouldn’t leave out in the making of sports weapons of these persons the CTE aspect is probably quite paramount as well.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Good to see you back with the philosophy

Comments are closed.