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Tuesday 24th Oct 2017

The last two weeks we have looked at the draft strategies and particulars of an NFFC and an FFWC frontrunner.  They eschewed tight ends and quarterbacks in the first sven rounds, focusing on building depth in their running back and wide receiver stables.  That’s a very small sample size.  Maybe I cherry picked the data to prove my point.  Do we see this approach across larger cross section of leagues?  I grabbed data from the twenty live NFFC Primetime Drafts that took place the first two weekends in Las Vegas, New York, and Chicago.  Interestingly no particular draft slot demonstrated any advantage, with no more than 3 first place teams (ranked by total points) coming from any particular ddraft slot.  Every draft position was represented at least once.

1.1 - 2
1.2 - 1
1.3 - 2
1.4 - 1
1.5 - 2
1.6 - 1
1.7 - 3
1.8 - 1
1.9 - 3
1.10 - 2
1.11 - 1
1.12 - 1

The general trend of focusing on running backs and wide receivers was evident throughout with a couple of exceptions.  Five of the twenty teams drafted only RB’s or WR’s with all of their first six picks.  Sixteen teams took RB’s or WR’s with six of their first seven picks.  Noteworthy is that seven teams took a quarterback (Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, or Tom Brady) in the first round, but four of those teams took RB’s and WR’s with their next six picks.  Only four teams took a tight end within their first three picks (Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham).  Gronkowski lasted until the third round twice, and was even drafted at 3.11.  Why don’t things like that happen in my drafts?  I play in an insane number of leagues and that didn’t come close to happening once!  Note that none of these QB’s or TE’s were busts.  You can dance outside the box, but if you do the margin for error is exceedingly small.

Let’s look at the four teams that strayed off the reservations and took ‘only’ five RB/WR’s in the first 7 picks:

Team One: RB, TE, WR, WR, WR, RB, QB

Team Two: QB, WR, WR, TE, WR, WR,RB

Team Three: QB, WR, WR, WR, TE, RB, WR

Team Four: QB, TE, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR

Team One hit on both of their ‘strays’ with Jimmy Graham and Peyton Manning.  They still took two RB’s and three WR’s in their first six so they didn’t deviate that much from the mold.  Team Two on the other hand scoffed at the box, waiting until the seventh round to draft their first running back:

Team Two: Aaron Rodgers, Roddy White, Victor Cruz, Antonio Gates, Mike Wallace, Vincent Jackson, Shonn Greene.

Antonio Gates has been a monumental bust and Shonn Greene was their first RB.  How does this team have the most total points in their league?  By brilliantly picking C.J. Spiller in the eighth round and Alfred Morris in the tenth.  They are one of the weaker first place teams, but if they had hit on a tight end they would have been more dominant.

Team Three waited until the fifth round to take a back, but once again snatching C.J. Spiller in the eighth bailed them out.  Drafting a solid RB1 that late will cover a multitude of drafting sins.

Team Four in particular really kicked against the goals by going QB-TE out of the gate. Let’s at their first seven picks:

Team Four: Drew Brees, Rob Gronkowski, Adrian Peterson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Mike Wallace, Santonio Holmes, Lance Moore.  He also added Tony Gonzalez as a nice flex option in the ninth round and James Jones in the fourteenth.

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