Saturday, August 13, 2022

Fantasy Football draft prep: How to draft from the eighth overall pick in a full-point PPR league

Drafting eighth presents you with a crucial decision right out of the gate: running back or wide receiver in round one? Your choice, of course, will depend a lot on the first seven picks, but my basic advice for you after completing this draft is to lean running back in a 2-WR league and lean wide receiver (assuming it is Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase) in a 3-WR league. In this particular 3-WR league, I went with Joe Mixon with the eighth overall pick and I ended up regretting it. 

Much of that regret is about CeeDee Lamb. I love Lamb this season and I give him an outside chance of finishing as WR1, and if he (or Stefon Diggs for that matter) had made it back to me in round 2 I would have drafted him and felt great about my start. Unfortunately, Lamb went just before my pick and the next-best wide receivers for me were Mike Evans and Keenan Allen. I felt that was too early for them, and that led me to drafting D’Andre Swift to go along with Mixon. 

Starting RB/RB in a 3-WR, PPR league is not ideal. The fact that Tee Higgins and D.J. Moore were selected just before my third pick was also not ideal, so I pivoted to Kyle Pitts. Can you field a good team in this format while waiting until round 4 to select your first wide receiver? It’s possible, but you are going to need some things to break right for you. 

Here’s my squad from the No. 8 overall pick:

1.8: Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals

2.5: D’Andre Swift, RB, Lions

3.8: Kyle Pitts, TE, Falcons

4.5: Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos

5.8: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seahawks

6.5: Allen Lazard, WR, Packers

7.8: Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys

8.5: Russell Wilson, QB, Broncos

9.8: Julio Jones, WR, Buccaneers

10.5: Christian Watson, WR, Packers

11.8: Darrell Henderson, RB, Rams

12.5: Mark Ingram, RB, Saints

13.8: Nico Collins, WR, Texans

14.5: Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings

15.8: Jeff Wilson, RB, 49ers

This team has an obvious hole at wide receiver with Courtland Sutton, D.K. Metcalf and Allen Lazard as starters. Julio Jones, Christian Watson and Nico Collins are flex options. There are simply too many question marks and too much downside. Additionally, the high-upside wide receiver options dry up pretty fast in drafts and typically aren’t so easy to find on waivers throughout the season. 

To sum it up: in a 3-WR league that’s either 0.5 PPR or full PPR, I am going to make wide receiver a big priority early. I will still draft a running back with one of my first two picks in most cases, but you won’t see a lot of RB/RB starts from me. Having said that, this roster would work very well in a 2-WR league. The additional starting WR spot makes a huge difference. 

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Favorite pick: Courtland Sutton

This pick was made before the Tim Patrick injury, but I have been high on Courtland Sutton basically since the Russell Wilson trade. I think he is in line for a huge season. He’ll lead the team in touchdowns and probably in yards as well. I could see Sutton performing like a second-rounder.

Pick I might regret: Russell Wilson

Just like with Sutton, I’m actually quite high on Russell Wilson. He’ll have a great season with Denver and could be a steal in drafts. However, I could have drafted Christian Kirk with this pick and solidified WR and then drafted a quarterback like Matthew Stafford or Kirk Cousins later.

Player who could make or break my team: Allen Lazard

Lazard was an undrafted free agent who has now spent four seasons in the league and has gained 1,448 receiving yards – or 105 fewer yards than Davante Adams totaled in 2021 alone. There is no pedigree and very little track record. But he looks like the clear #1 WR for Aaron Rodgers and he finished strong in 2021 with 290 yards and five touchdown catches in his past five games despite playing just 31% of the snaps in Week 18. Is he ready to be the top WR for arguably the best QB in football? We’ll find out.

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