Fantasy: Strategy for drafting at the top of the round
Mike DiNovo / USA TODAY Sports

Get ready for your season with theScore's 2017 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.

theScore's Justin Boone breaks down the best ways to approach your draft depending on where you're selecting in the round.

Draft Position

Here's a look at how you can attack your draft if you've been assigned one of the first two picks in a 12-team standard scoring league.

Average draft position (ADP) data courtesy of FantasyPros and is based on 12-team leagues with standard scoring.

Round 1

Picks: 1.01-1.02

This year, there's a clear top-2 in both standard and PPR leagues. When people ask me who they should pick between David Johnson and Le'Veon Bell, I lean with DJ due to his proven touchdown upside, but there's no wrong answer here.

In drafting Johnson or Bell, you get an RB1 who can also produce WR2 numbers on the side, which is the argument Bell is trying to make in his contract negotiations. No other fantasy players offer that kind of scoring potential on a consistent basis.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Le'Veon Bell 1st

Others to consider: David Johnson

Round 2

Picks: 2.11-2.12

When you have one of the first two picks in a draft, you're left waiting an eternity before making your next selection. In that time, unexpected runs can take place that drastically alter how you approach your pick.

At this point in most drafts, the quality RB1s are off the board, which is fine for us since we took a running back in the first round. Now we can address the receiver position with a young star in Amari Cooper, who has topped 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons and has a chance to be a top-5 fantasy wideout if he increases his red-zone production.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Le'Veon Bell 1st
WR1 Amari Cooper 2nd

Others to consider: Rob Gronkowski, T.Y. Hilton

Round 3

Picks: 3.01-3.02

After the turn, there are still several intriguing names available like fan favorite Marshawn Lynch, Bill Belichick’s new weapon Brandin Cooks, or high-end rookie backs Joe Mixon and Christian McCaffrey. They’ve all been in the headlines a lot this offseason and carry week-winning potential. But each of them brings along their share of risk and it’s too early in the draft to gamble with your picks.

Instead, let's take a player who finished as a top-10 fantasy receiver the last two seasons. Doug Baldwin doesn't seem to be viewed as a high-end fantasy player, but he's played like one in back-to-back years and should benefit from Russell Wilson being 100 percent recovered from the injuries that plagued him in 2016.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Le'Veon Bell 1st
WR1 Amari Cooper 2nd
WR2 Doug Baldwin 3rd

Others to consider: Demaryius Thomas, Isaiah Crowell

Round 4

Picks: 4.11-4.12

The fourth round is where drafts really begin to open up and head in different directions depending on the league. Starting running backs tend to evaporate around this time, so grabbing a second rusher is a wise move.

C.J. Anderson isn't guaranteed to return value, but going by current ADPs, he might be the last true lead back on the market. The Broncos' offensive line should be better, and with their quarterback situation in flux, the team is ready to go run heavy, while leaning on its defense.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Le'Veon Bell 1st
RB2 C.J. Anderson 4th
WR1 Amari Cooper 2nd
WR2 Doug Baldwin 3rd

Others to consider: Davante Adams, Spencer Ware

Round 5

Picks: 5.01-5.02

Now that we've established our core with at least three reliable starters, we can start to take some chances on players who could vastly outproduce their draft round if things fall their way.

Martavis Bryant missed all of last season through suspension, but prior to that he flashed freak talent for the Steelers. With defenses focused on Antonio Brown, and a veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who knows how to make the most of his weapons, Bryant is once again set up for success. The fourth round might seem like a steep price, until you think about Bryant’s ceiling, which is as a low-end WR1.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Le'Veon Bell 1st
RB2 C.J. Anderson 4th
WR1 Amari Cooper 2nd
WR2 Doug Baldwin 3rd
WR3 Martavis Bryant 5th

Others to consider: Michael Crabtree, Mark Ingram, Greg Olsen

Round 6

Picks: 6.11-6.12

Since Anderson isn't a rock-solid option at RB2, it’s important to invest in some backs with league-winning upside. Enter Derrick Henry.

DeMarco Murray is the top dog in the Titans' backfield, meaning Henry's value is tied to the 29-year-old's ability to stay on the field. Murray saw a massive workload in 2016 and broke down late in the season. If he misses time this year, Henry instantly becomes an RB1 for fantasy owners.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Le'Veon Bell 1st
RB2 C.J. Anderson 4th
WR1 Amari Cooper 2nd
WR2 Doug Baldwin 3rd
WR3 Martavis Bryant 5th
Bench Derrick Henry 6th

Others to consider: Stefon Diggs, Larry Fitzgerald

Round 7

Picks: 7.01-7.02

Henry and Coleman have similar appeal and could be selected in whatever order you prefer. Coleman has a higher ADP on most sites, but they're both going in the sixth or early seventh round in most drafts. If you were forced to pick between them, Henry is the more surefire RB1 if an injury happens above them on the depth chart, which is why we took him with our previous pick.

Despite serving as the backup to Devonta Freeman, Coleman ended last season as the RB17, playing a significant role in the Falcons' high-powered offense. Coleman is a candidate for some touchdown regression, after scoring 11 times on just 149 touches in 2016, but we're not drafting him to be a starter, we're adding him as a home run swing in the event Freeman is sidelined.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Le'Veon Bell 1st
RB2 C.J. Anderson 4th
WR1 Amari Cooper 2nd
WR2 Doug Baldwin 3rd
WR3 Martavis Bryant 5th
Bench Derrick Henry 6th
Bench Tevin Coleman 7th

Others to consider: Jamison Crowder, Kareem Hunt, Kyle Rudolph

Round 8

Picks: 8.11-8.12

When coaches talk up a player in the offseason, its easy to write it off as a motivational tactic or general team propaganda. However, when that drumbeat continues and spreads to beat writers and teammates, at some point you have to take notice.

DeVante Parker has disappointed through his first two NFL seasons due to a lack of off-field preparation, but the consensus on him was if the light ever turned on, he could be dominant. If you believe the hype - and you should - the light is on and Parker is about to shine brighter than ever. He’s a perfect bye-week replacement, who could turn into a full-time starter if he breaks out.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Le'Veon Bell 1st
RB2 C.J. Anderson 4th
WR1 Amari Cooper 2nd
WR2 Doug Baldwin 3rd
WR3 Martavis Bryant 5th
Bench Derrick Henry 6th
Bench Tevin Coleman 7th
Bench DeVante Parker 8th

Others to consider: Jeremy Maclin, Thomas Rawls, Jameis Winston

Round 9

Picks: 9.01-9.02

If you haven't noticed, we're into the ninth round and have yet to snag a tight end or a quarterback. That might feel unusual to some fantasy owners, but it's an excellent way to hack your draft if you target the right tight end. Quarterback is insanely deep, so if you don't grab one of the elite passers, waiting is almost a must.

Eric Ebron had a breakout 2016 season, only most people didn't notice because he found the end zone just once. The former first-round pick was top-10 in receptions and yards among tight ends, a feat he should be able to reproduce this season. And that low touchdown total that limited his fantasy impact is certain to rise now that Anquan Boldin is no longer with the Lions.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Le'Veon Bell 1st
RB2 C.J. Anderson 4th
WR1 Amari Cooper 2nd
WR2 Doug Baldwin 3rd
WR3 Martavis Bryant 5th
TE1 Eric Ebron 9th
Bench Derrick Henry 6th
Bench Tevin Coleman 7th
Bench DeVante Parker 8th

Others to consider: Darren McFadden, Jacquizz Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger

Round 10

Picks: 10.11-10.12

We finally draft our quarterback, but the truth is there are still plenty of startable signal-callers on the board. Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers are great options if guys like Jameis Winston, Kirk Cousins, and Marcus Mariota don’t fall. If you somehow miss out on all those names, Andy Dalton has an above-average group of skill position players and has cracked the top five fantasy quarterbacks before.

Stafford gets the nod thanks to his deep receiving corps, which features the aforementioned Ebron at tight end. The Lions also have great pass-catching backs in Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick, and with their holes on defense they should be forced into shootouts. Stafford was the QB9 in 2015 and the QB7 last year, but his current ADP is QB14.

Roster Player Round
QB1 Matthew Stafford 10th
RB1 Le'Veon Bell 1st
RB2 C.J. Anderson 4th
WR1 Amari Cooper 2nd
WR2 Doug Baldwin 3rd
WR3 Martavis Bryant 5th
TE1 Eric Ebron 9th
Bench Derrick Henry 6th
Bench Tevin Coleman 7th
Bench DeVante Parker 8th

Others to consider: Philip Rivers, C.J. Prosise, Adam Thielen

Late rounds

After the 10th round, you no longer need to pay close attention to ADPs. You should be focused on filling out your bench with as many high-upside players as possible with a focus on running backs and receivers. Quarterbacks or tight ends can always be streamed or at worst, acquired by trading a bench player.

Players to consider: DeAndre Washington, Rex Burkhead, Jonathan Williams, D’Onta Foreman, Josh Doctson, Tyler Lockett, Devin Funchess

Comments
Fantasy: Strategy for drafting at the top of the round
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
RELATED NEWS
.@myles_straw from the @FresnoGrizzlies CANNOT be serious wi...
Astros prospect Myles Straw climbs hill for a highlight-reel grab
Go-ahead slam? Show off that bat flip, @RaimelTapia!
Let's Taipa off that 6-run inning with a go-ahead grand slam from Raimel
Down to the final out ... @JoeyGallo24, 4⃣7⃣2⃣ feet! OMG.
Sweet fancy Moses, Joey Gallo! 💣 😲
Things are getting real cathletic in Cincinnati...
There's a runaway cat on the field in Cincinnati
JRam is just the 4th player in MLB history with 30+ HR and 2...
First to 30: Indians' Ramirez retakes MLB HR lead with long blast in Texas
What's the best way to cap off a 4-hit, 2-run, 2-rbi game? ...
Orioles appear to be missing that Machado guy ...
How is that possible, @JoeyWendle?! 😱
Rays' Wendle makes absurd glove flip to first base
SEE MORE STORIES