Draft Fantasy Football: How to Draft from the 11th General Pick in the PPR Leagues

There’s a tip that applies to about a third of the draft room and I’m not sure I talk about it enough. When you have an option nearby, but not in return, push too close to the needs and wants of your leaguemates, and then try to exploit them to get the players you want.

I was very focused on this strategy in our draft pick and ended up with one of my favorite off-season teams. It started in the first round.

My two best players available when it was my turn to pick at 11 were Aaron Jones and Jamar Chase, in that order. But I had an advantage in that I could see Dave Richard’s ratings (he had the 12th pick) so I knew he’d take Chase but he wouldn’t take Jones. So I took Chase at 11 and picked Jones on pick 13, giving me two of my top 10 players.

I used the same strategy at the end of the fifth round, taking Lamar Jackson on Elijah Mitchell, and in the ninth round, taking Kenneth Walker on Brandon Ayuk. While you probably can’t access your league-mates’ rankings, you should at least take a look at their roster and ADP at every turn to try to visualize who you might land. It could be the difference between having your best players available or just having one.

Here are the rest of my team from the eleventh selection:

1.11 Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Bengals
2.02 Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
3.11 Jafonte Williams, RB, Bronco
4.02 Brandin Cooks, WR, Texas
5.11 Lamar Jackson, QB, Crows
6.02 Elijah Mitchell, right back, 49 seconds
7.11 Chase Edmonds, RB Cardinals
8.02 Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
9.11 Kenneth Walker, right back, Seahawks
10.02 Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers
11.11 Michael CarterAnd the RB, Aircraft
12.02 Irv Smith, TE, Vikings
13.11 Tyler Higby, TE, Rams
14.02 DJ Shark, WR, Lions
15.11 Will Fuller, WR, Free Agent

I would struggle to plot a much better start than Chase, Jones and Williams with my first three picks. Although I think Williams’s ADP round two is pretty high, I was thrilled to drop him at the end of round three. I expect he starts around a 55-45 split with Gordon Week 1 but as the season goes on, Williams has pushed that to 60-40 or more. What if Gordon is injured? Well, we all saw what happened in Week 13 last year (29.8 PPR fantasy in case you haven’t.

The choice of chefs may be a little surprising, but I love it in the third round, and I explain why below. If the cooks don’t meet my expectations, the wide receiver may be the second biggest problem on the list if two of my four picks don’t work out for the job. But with the way Aiyuk is going in training camp, I don’t think you’ll be able to find him in round 10 any longer.

I said that the wide receiver could be the second biggest problem because the narrow end is clearly the largest. Smith and Higby are my favorite tight ends of late, but they aren’t exactly high-rise options. But the rest of the team has enough to make up for it. I’m particularly happy to have the three appear behind Jones and Mitchell. There is a very clear path to owning a stable of high-end running backs to go along with Chase, Cooks and Lamar Jackson. If that happened, I can’t imagine I would care much about who my tight end is.

Favorite choice

During his career, Jones averaged 22.9 fantasy points, 4.5 catches, and 109 total yards per game without Davante Adams. He has a legit shot to drive all the back runs in the catch and he stands out as the fifth in the run and the No. 7 pick overall. In fact, if they both stay healthy and no one gets ahead at the wide receiver, this could be a huge year for both Jones and A.J. Dillon.

Choose maybe regret

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Mitchell was in the RB15 class on an all-game basis last year as a rookie. I shouldn’t be worried about him getting relegated in the sixth round. I have to do background swings. But the 49ers drafted again in the third round and there is more talk of a committee. Kyle Shanahan’s offense was notorious for their “next man” mentality and they have a huge talent behind Mitchell if something goes wrong. I can certainly regret taking Mitchell on Jerry Judy or Rashid Pittman if they hit.

The player who can make or break my team

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Chefs have been projected as the top 10 receivers this year based on the expected increase in Texas pace, leading to more overall goals, and the expected decline in chef efficiency due to improved play from Davis Mills. The Cooks set a career lowest yards-per-goal last year, while also recording the lowest yards-per-goal since his rookie year and a well below career average. I expect it to all get better for the Chefs this year, but if it doesn’t, and Nico Collins plays a bigger role, the 4th round Chefs might look pretty ridiculous.

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