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Monday 25th Sep 2017

Almost each day of this month’s fantasy football blitz, Greg Ambrosius of the NFFC is gracious enough to post the first six rounds of recently completed NFFC drafts on the NFFC message board (go to nffc.stats.com for information on how to register for any of their contests). These are not “mock” drafts, they are real drafts, so they carry a lot more credibility than ADP rankings generated from drafts that could be largely auto-picked.

I have been tracking the 12-team drafts that have been posted in the past week and have the following observations:

  • On average, the first six rounds consist of six quarterbacks, 28 running backs, 33 wide receivers and five tight ends. This split is not significantly different from a small amount of data that I have from 2012 NFFC drafts.

  • On average, the first round consists of no quarterbacks, five running backs, six wide receivers and one tight end. This a major shift from 2012, where we saw on average three quarterbacks, seven running backs, one wide receiver and one tight end (again, from a small amount of 2012 NFFC drafts).

  • There have been as few as four quarterbacks selected and as many as 11.

  • There have been as few as 24 running backs selected and as many as 30.

  • There have been as few as 31 wide receivers selected and as many as 36.

  • There have been as few as four tight ends selected and as many as five.

  • On average, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are selected in the second round. However, some drafts have seen Brees and Rodgers selected late in the third round. Andrew Luck and Matthew Stafford are next in the quarterback line, on average late in round five. But both have gone as early as the beginning of round four and as late as the end of round six. Next in the quarterback line, in no particular order, are Nick Foles, Robert Griffin, Tom Brady and Cam Newton.

  • LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte are the top four running backs selected. And they are typically the first four players being selected overall. The only other running back that is a first round fixture is Eddie Lacy. In the second round, we are typically seeing Montee Ball, DeMarco Murray, Le'Veon Bell and Giovani Bernard all selected.  Zac Stacy has a large deviation in where he is being selected, as high as round two and as late as round five. Andre Ellington is being selected in the third round, with little deviation.

  • Wide Receivers Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Julio Jones and Brandon Marshall are all going in the first round.  Periodically, Jones, Green or Marshall go on the first-second turn. Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, Alshon Jeffery and Randall Cobb are almost always gone before the end of the second round. Larry Fitzgerald and Julian Edelman have the widest draft variations among those in the top six rounds, with Fitzgerald going anywhere from the end of the second round to the end of the fourth round and Edelman going from early in the fourth round to the middle of the sixth round.

  • Tight end Jimmy Graham is consistently going in the first round, anywhere from the fifth pick to the tenth pick. Julius Thomas and Rob Gronkowski are the next two tight ends selected, but with large draft deviations – Thomas from early second round to end of third round and Gronkowski from the middle of the second round to the middle of the fourth round. Jordan Cameron is the only other tight end consistently going in the first six rounds.
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