Fantasy: Strategy for drafting at the end of the round
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theScore's Justin Boone breaks down the best ways to approach your draft depending on where you're selecting in the order.

Draft Position

Here's a look at how to attack the draft if you've been assigned one of the final four picks in a 12-team PPR scoring league.

Average draft position (ADP) data courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator and is based on 12-team leagues with PPR scoring.

Round 1

Picks: 1.09-1.12

The end of the first round is one of my favorite places to pick this year given the amount of talent available on that turn. If you're hoping to roster a pair of running backs in my top two tiers, this is the place for you. However, you can take a variety of approaches in this range.

Josh Jacobs is coming off a breakout rookie season that saw him post low-end RB1 fantasy stats through the first 13 weeks before a shoulder injury cut his campaign short. Those who shy away from Jacobs because the Raiders brought in a bunch of second-rate pass-catching backs will miss out on one of the best young runners in the game and his elite upside.

If you're not as high on Jacobs, you could simply pivot to the running back of your choice - like one of the names mentioned below.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st

Others to consider: Kenyan Drake, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Joe Mixon

Round 2

Picks: 2.01-2.04

While grabbing a second running back is tempting, it's also a fairly common plan of attack from this area, and we covered it in the last article in this series. So, let's mix things up and take one of the two borderline elite fantasy receivers on the board here.

Julio Jones has been a model of consistency with at least 1,394 yards in six straight seasons. During that time, he hasn't finished lower than sixth in year-end scoring among fantasy wideouts.

Even at 31 years old, you could make a strong argument Julio should be a first-round fantasy pick. Similar cases can be made for other options in this spot like Tyreek Hill and Miles Sanders.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st
WR1 Julio Jones 2nd

Others to consider: Tyreek Hill, Miles Sanders, Nick Chubb

Round 3

Picks: 3.09-3.12

If Jonathan Taylor is available at the end of the third round, it's hard to pass on him. Unfortunately, his ADP is likely to continue rising with every long run he breaks off at Colts training camp. Yes, Marlon Mack is still in the picture, but he won't hold off Taylor for long.

Since there's no guarantee Taylor will be there at the end of the round, we'll continue to tap into the deep crop of high-end receiver talent that falls due to the early run on ball carriers.

If you don't know why DJ Moore is an outstanding pick in 2020 fantasy drafts, you must not have read 7 players who will lead you to a title.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st
WR1 Julio Jones 2nd
WR2 DJ Moore 3rd

Others to consider: Allen Robinson, Jonathan Taylor, Amari Cooper

Round 4

Picks: 4.01-4.04

Unless you're picking at the end of the fourth round, it's hard to pass up the receivers. In addition to our pick - JuJu Smith-Schuster - there's a seemingly endless list of wideouts with top-15 and maybe top-10 ceilings.

We're not holding 2019 against Smith-Schuster, since he played injured most of the year and was without his starting quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben's return is reason enough to invest heavily in Pittsburgh's passing attack.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st
WR1 Julio Jones 2nd
WR2 DJ Moore 3rd
WR3 JuJu Smith-Schuster 4th

Others to consider: Robert Woods, Odell Beckham Jr., Calvin Ridley

Round 5

Picks: 5.09-5.12

Usually, I prefer to stay balanced throughout the draft to keep my options open for whatever value falls. In this instance, we've taken a more dangerous path by waiting on running back. The risk is that a run could happen before our next pick, leaving us empty-handed and forced to dig deep for our RB2.

Luckily for us, a few starting-caliber backs tend to trickle down into this stretch. D'Andre Swift was my highest-graded RB prospect before the draft and compares very favorably to Alvin Kamara.

If the Lions' offense can recapture the magic it had early last season before Matthew Stafford got injured, Swift could explode as Detroit's lead back. His main competition - Kerryon Johnson - is still wearing a bulky knee brace, expressed a willingness to be a part of a committee, and has been awed by Swift's athleticism in practice.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st
RB2 D'Andre Swift 5th
WR1 Julio Jones 2nd
WR2 DJ Moore 3rd
WR3 JuJu Smith-Schuster 4th

Others to consider: Ronald Jones, Terry McLaurin, Courtland Sutton

Round 6

Picks: 6.01-6.04

Let's hedge our bets at RB2 by selecting another rookie back who is positioned to start immediately.

Even with Darrell Henderson banged up at the moment, Cam Akers will likely share the workload with veteran Malcolm Brown - at least in the opening few games. How touches are distributed from there depends on Akers' performance. The Rams' offensive line won't do him any favors, but he produced behind subpar blocking in college.

While he may take a month or so to hit his stride, Akers is definitely someone you should be targeting as an upside pick in the middle rounds.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st
RB2 D'Andre Swift 5th
WR1 Julio Jones 2nd
WR2 DJ Moore 3rd
WR3 JuJu Smith-Schuster 4th
FLEX Cam Akers 6th

Others to consider: Kareem Hunt, DeVante Parker, Marquise Brown

Round 7

Picks: 7.09-7.12

Fantasy managers often ask me whether they should roster multiple receivers from the same team. Though it needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, there's absolutely nothing wrong with investing heavily in one passing attack - especially if you're considering stacking that offense with their quarterback.

Without knowing whether we'll be in position to draft Roethlisberger in the late rounds, I'm still excited to acquire my second Steelers WR and one of my breakout candidates in Diontae Johnson.

As a rookie, Johnson led the team in several receiving categories despite suffering through abysmal quarterback play. You should be on the edge of your seat waiting to see how he'll fare with a competent passer under center.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st
RB2 D'Andre Swift 5th
WR1 Julio Jones 2nd
WR2 DJ Moore 3rd
WR3 JuJu Smith-Schuster 4th
FLEX Cam Akers 6th
Bench Diontae Johnson 7th

Others to consider: Brandin Cooks, Jordan Howard, Marvin Jones

Round 8

Picks: 8.01-8.04

The middle rounds have often been a hazardous zone when it comes to drafting a tight end. My outlook for Tyler Higbee is simple, though.

Over the final five games of 2019, we saw Higbee produce at a rate that is completely unsustainable, posting four straight 100-yard outings and closing the year out with 84 yards and a touchdown. If Higbee gives us even 60% of those numbers, he'll be a solid TE1 in fantasy.

We'll know in the first few weeks of this season if Higbee is here to stay or if his late-season surge was a mirage. In the event that things go south, tight end is so deep that you'll be able to hit the waiver wire hard and grab one of the undrafted guys like Eric Ebron or Irv Smith Jr. to help fill the void.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st
RB2 D'Andre Swift 5th
WR1 Julio Jones 2nd
WR2 DJ Moore 3rd
WR3 JuJu Smith-Schuster 4th
TE1 Tyler Higbee 8th
FLEX Cam Akers 6th
Bench Diontae Johnson 7th

Others to consider: Henry Ruggs, CeeDee Lamb, Latavius Murray

Round 9

Picks: 9.09-9.12

With our starting lineup nearly filled out, we're going to jump on an elite backup running back whose starter is currently in a walking boot.

By all accounts, there's no reason to be seriously concerned about Kenyan Drake's Week 1 availability. He himself pointed out that he was in a walking boot at this time last year and went on to have a fine season.

But his backup, Chase Edmonds, was already one of the better bench stashes prior to this news, so let's scoop him up just in case. In Edmonds' lone start of 2019, he turned 29 touches into 150 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. If Drake misses time at any point, Edmonds will be in the RB1 conversation.

Roster Player Round
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st
RB2 D'Andre Swift 5th
WR1 Julio Jones 2nd
WR2 DJ Moore 3rd
WR3 JuJu Smith-Schuster 4th
TE1 Tyler Higbee 8th
FLEX Cam Akers 6th
Bench Diontae Johnson 7th
Bench Chase Edmonds 9th

Others to consider: Jalen Reagor, Carson Wentz, Alexander Mattison

Round 10

Picks: 10.01-10.04

As usual, we'll dip into the quarterback pool in this range of the draft, and this time, we'll take Matthew Stafford.

The Lions signal-caller had the sixth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks through nine weeks before a back injury ended his 2019 season. He was on pace for 4,998 passing yards and 38 touchdowns.

With even more skill-position talent at his disposal, Stafford is poised to pick up where he left off.

Roster Player Round
QB1 Matthew Stafford 10th
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st
RB2 D'Andre Swift 5th
WR1 Julio Jones 2nd
WR2 DJ Moore 3rd
WR3 JuJu Smith-Schuster 4th
TE1 Tyler Higbee 8th
FLEX Cam Akers 6th
Bench Diontae Johnson 7th
Bench Chase Edmonds 9th

Others to consider: Damien Harris, Christian Kirk, Tony Pollard

Round 11

Picks: 11.09-11.12

The Giants' receiving corps is tough to decipher for fantasy purposes this year as Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Golden Tate can each stake a claim to being its most valuable asset.

My advice is to take the cheapest of the trio in your draft - but, if I were pressured to pick, Shepard would be my choice. He's the most talented of the bunch at this stage of their careers and he's graded out very well in Matt Harmon's Reception Perception.

The only knock on Shepard is questionable durability after he missed at least five games in two of the last three seasons. When healthy, Shepard deserves to be in your lineup.

Roster Player Round
QB1 Matthew Stafford 10th
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st
RB2 D'Andre Swift 5th
WR1 Julio Jones 2nd
WR2 DJ Moore 3rd
WR3 JuJu Smith-Schuster 4th
TE1 Tyler Higbee 8th
FLEX Cam Akers 6th
Bench Diontae Johnson 7th
Bench Chase Edmonds 9th
Bench Sterling Shepard 11th

Others to consider: Boston Scott, Brandon Aiyuk, DeSean Jackson

Round 12

Picks: 12.01-12.04

After suffering a torn ACL in November, Preston Williams seemed likely to be slower in the early parts of this season.

According to beat writers and team officials, that's not the case at all. Williams is on track to be a full-go in the opener and he's already generating highlights in training camp.

The undrafted free agent was arguably the Dolphins' best receiver before getting hurt last year. With Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns opting out, there should be plenty of targets to go around in Miami.

Roster Player Round
QB1 Matthew Stafford 10th
RB1 Josh Jacobs 1st
RB2 D'Andre Swift 5th
WR1 Julio Jones 2nd
WR2 DJ Moore 3rd
WR3 JuJu Smith-Schuster 4th
TE1 Tyler Higbee 8th
FLEX Cam Akers 6th
Bench Diontae Johnson 7th
Bench Chase Edmonds 9th
Bench Sterling Shepard 11th
Bench Preston Williams 12th

Others to consider: Golden Tate, DeAndre Washington, T.J. Hockenson

Later rounds

The truth is, after the 10th round or so, 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, setting your sights on running backs and receivers. Quarterbacks or tight ends can always be streamed or acquired by trading a bench player. Save your final two picks for a defense and a kicker.

Players to consider: Ryquell Armstead, Anthony McFarland, Benny Snell, Bryce Love, N'Keal Harry, Mike Williams, Parris Campbell, Curtis Samuel, Breshad Perriman, Allen Lazard, Gardner Minshew, Teddy Bridgewater, Jonnu Smith, Eric Ebron, Blake Jarwin

Draft Position

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Fantasy: Strategy for drafting at the end of the round
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