Fantasy Football Draft Strategies: Vol III

Panthers at Redskins 10/14/18. Photo Credit: KA Sports Photos | Under Creative Commons License
Panthers at Redskins 10/14/18. Photo Credit: KA Sports Photos | Under Creative Commons License

Hello, good people of LAFB Network! We are back and more determined than ever to give you the goods, fantasy analysis, and help. If you haven’t been keeping up with the series here’s what you missed.

The first volume, found here, we tried using a draft strategy were we drafted our starting RBs first and then filled out the rest of our roster. In the second volume, found here, I reversed it. My starting WRs were my first selection before filling out my team.

This time around we’re going to flip these drafts on their heads.

I’m taking the best player in the draft, Christian McCaffrey, and building a team around him. You might think having the 1st draft pick would be a blessing but is it?

After your first great pick, there are 23 names on the board that are going to disappear. Will you be ready?

Fantasy Football Draft Strategies: Vol III

As per usual, I used the Yahoo! Fantasy App to get the mocks going as well as the grades. Normally I draft in three different spots to show some variation but this time around if I didn’t get the first pick, I wasn’t getting Mr. McCaffrey.

I still drafted three times but went about it with a little variable. In the first draft, I went McCaffrey and then two more RBs to fill my second RB starting spot and my FLEX.

The second draft was the opposite. Christian McCaffrey first and then my starting WRs. In the third draft, however, I went with my personal picks. I didn’t use any strategy besides my best judgment on the players on the board.

So let’s dive in.

1st Pick and RBs First

  1. Christian McCaffrey
  2. James Conner
  3. Melvin Gordon III
  4. Tyler Lockett
  5. Robert Woods
  6. Tyler Boyd
  7. Darren Waller
  8. Jarvis Landry
  9. James White
  10. Darrell Henderson Jr.
  11. Anthony Miller
  12. Zack Moss
  13. Daniel Jones
  14. Kicker
  15. Defense

Yahoo! Grade: A


Starting the year with McCaffrey, Conner, and Gordon has a bit of a flare to it. It might be because of Conner’s spooky past with injuries and Gordon’s new team but if we didn’t have those pretenses, this would be quite the RB corps.

Having Woods and Lockett, with Boyd on the backburner, has my starting lineup looking pretty powerful as well. Robert Woods is on a high power offense and Tyler Lockett quietly ends up finishing the year as a solid fantasy WR.

I snagged Darren Waller to avoid streaming TEs, as well as tried to capitalize on some nuances that may take place this year with some players.

Boyd has a fresh QB that hasn’t built any passer-receiver relationships so by the end of the year he may be the number one guy for Joe Burrow. Landry had his amazing year with Baker Mayfield last season but may go back to the man behind Odell Beckham Jr.

I like, not love, Daniel Jones but with his rookie season over, he may be one of the more reliable QBs at this point in the draft.


Honestly, I think this draft was pretty legit until the tenth-ish round. James White is in my purgatory list for now. He and Sony Michel are in a similar boat.

Henderson is a crapshoot with Cam Akers landing a spot on the Los Angeles Rams. It made sense to pick him at this point in the draft because he is mainly depth on my fantasy squad, but it’s unclear what his role will be on the Rams.

Anthony Miller has Mitchell Trubisky tossing him the ball so that might be enough to give him a pass over. Last season he was the target machine at the end of the year but Allen Robinson is the number one man for the Bears.

1st Pick and WRs First

  1. Christian McCaffrey
  2. Chris Godwin
  3. Kenny Golladay
  4. D.J. Chark
  5. Le’Veon Bell
  6. Ronald Jones II
  7. Michael Gallup
  8. Sony Michel
  9. John Brown
  10. Darrell Henderson Jr.
  11. Jamison Crowder
  12. Austin Hooper
  13. Kirk Cousins
  14. Defense
  15. Kicker

Yahoo! Grade: A+


Just saying, the first six picks are all starters for their teams in their positions. Godwin is in a position to take over the starting spot from Mike Evans. And Kenny Golladay is good ol’ reliable for Matthew Stafford.

Chark is Gardner Minshew’s favorite target and with last season’s breakout numbers he has some big value in the 4th round. Le’Veon Bell is literally the only option for Sam Darnold so he has got to be used in a big way.

I would say Ronald Jones might have a little bit of an asterisk on his name just because he and Godwin are on the same team. Other than that, he is currently the starting man for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so I’ll take that any day.

Gallup comes with Dallas and their high powered offense, with the little catch that Amari Cooper and rookie CeeDee Lamb line up on the other side. John Brown isn’t on a team with big passing numbers but still has the starting role for the WR corps.

I like Jamison Crowder in the later rounds because he was simply a target magnet last year and without Robby Anderson taking the looks, he might have a larger role in a shifty Jets offense.

And Kirk Cousins in the 13th round is murder, so I will also take him with a smile on my face.


My real concern about this team, funny enough, is the RB depth. Sony Michel has Big Cam Newton now as a QB but still lives in the Belichick program.

I have already spoken of my concerns on Darrell Henderson above so I won’t bore you with more.

Austin Hooper has the reputation to be a top-five TE but that was with Matt Ryan. Baker Mayfield has had a talented TE already, David Njoku, but we all know how that turned out. I have personally been under victim to Njoku’s talent and kept him rostered on a team or two but that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Rostering Njoku or a Browns TE, in general, might be a little tough for me to muster.

1st Pick and Best Player Available Build

  1. Christian McCaffrey
  2. Austin Ekeler
  3. Adam Thielen
  4. D’Andre Swift
  5. Courtland Sutton
  6. Marquise Brown
  7. A.J. Green
  8. Jordan Howard
  9. Will Fuller V
  10. Austin Hooper
  11. Jamison Crowder
  12. Deebo Samuel
  13. Ryan Tannehill
  14. Defense
  15. Kicker

Yahoo! Grade: A+


Personally, I think I enjoy this last team the most.

McCaffrey, Ekeler, and the young D’Andre Swift make up my RB corps. Ekeler is the lead man for the LA Chargers and after last season’s amazing finish, it’s only up from here.

Swift is projected to take over the lead RB spot from Kerryon Johnson, so he can warm up on the bench while my FLEX is filled with one of my WRs.

Speaking of WRs, Thielen, Sutton, Brown, and A.J. Green as my WR corps doesn’t look too shabby. Thielen doesn’t have Stefon Diggs distracting Kick Cousins any longer so that’s a plus.

Sutton and Drew Lock are going to have their second year as starters together, thus strengthening their passer-receiver relationship. And Marquise Brown is on a highly talented offense led by Lamar Jackson.

A.J. Green might cause some hesitation but we have to remember people, last season has come and gone. This season he has new blood, Joe Burrow, in the mix to help spice up the offense. So there is that too look forward to in Green’s future.

Jamison Crowder and Deebo Samuel have some real interest for me. Crowder because of his targets and Samuel for his potential starting spot for a Super Bowl contending team.


Alright, I guess I don’t love all parts of my team.

Jordan Howard as my bye week back isn’t exactly hard-hitting on the Miami offense. Especially after signing Matt Breida.

I have spoken of my distaste for Hooper but in this draft, there was a TE run in the 10th round so, between Hooper and Jonnu Smith, I went Hooper.

After speaking of A.J. Green, I kind of feel like a hypocrite saying Will Fuller is an injury-prone player who disappoints you every year, but he is. Either way, a 9th round gamble isn’t too high of a price for a potential starting asset on the Houston Texans.

Yes, I made the pick, doesn’t mean I liked it.


What did we find out this time around?

Well obviously any team Christian McCaffrey is on, Yahoo! is going to give you the thumbs up. But the biggest thing that stuck out to me was the fact that Yahoo! actually gave out an A+; two no less.

Yet not to my team with three RBs as my first three picks. This was peculiar to me and might hurt my theory that Yahoo! overvalues RBs.

The team with McCaffrey, Gordon, and Conner didn’t score as high as McCaffrey, Bell, and Ronald Jones (2nd draft) or McCaffrey, Ekeler, and young D’Andre Swift (3rd draft).

It was a little bit shocking, especially since the first team had a better TE but after further review, it could be the fact that there’s a lot of depth that is up in the air. Picks 8 to 12 aren’t exactly big names or proven talent and that could be what Yahoo! see’s.

Personally, with the first pick as Christian McCaffrey, drafts 2 and 3 makes more sense. McCaffrey adds that kind of weight to your roster where you may ease off RBs for a round or two and wouldn’t be broken.

McCaffrey is practically a WR and RB combined, thus cracking the fantasy football realm to its core. He plays at a magical level and does magnificent things to your team. Yahoo! clearly believes so and to an extent so do I.

Alright, I do believe it because even in a standard league Christian McCaffrey can carry your team but I think the focus of this article is this; not one player makes your team. You still need to make intelligent decisions even with an ace in the hole.

Panthers at Redskins 10/14/18. Photo Credit: KA Sports Photos | Under Creative Commons License

Panthers at Redskins 10/14/18. Photo Credit: KA Sports Photos | Under Creative Commons License