Just as NFL drafts involve teams trying to think multiple steps ahead of their competition, the same mindset is critical to dominating fantasy football drafts. One way you can prepare is by gaming out the draft process in reverse. A few things to consider in this exercise:
- Identify positions where you are the most and least confident waiting
- Determine positional cutoffs (i.e., I prefer to have a TE1 and QB1 by this round)
- Assess how to best use this information to your advantage
By working through these questions, you will be able to adapt your roster-construction plan on the fly and avoid self-sabotage. Whether you are a zero-RB, hero-RB or value-based drafter — or hopefully flexible enough to access any of these from the toolbox — this is a worthwhile activity because each season (and draft, for that matter) is slightly different from the last.
- FFPC Scoring: PPR/TE Premium (1.5 per reception)
- FFPC Best Ball Slim Lineup Requirements: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 Flex (RB/WR/TE)
POSITIONAL CONFIDENCE BETWEEN EARLY-MIDDLE TO EARLY-LATE ROUNDS & CUTOFFS
Each year, the beginning and end of this frame can change depending on talent depth. Based on current ADP data, this occurs roughly between Rounds 7-10.
These rounds provide an enormous amount of roster construction flexibility in 2022.
QUARTERBACKS (QB1 = High Confidence)
Rounds 9 – 10: Trey Lance and Justin Fields provide access to upside as dual-threat arbitrage selections, and Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins provide safer floor options with sneaky pocket-passing upside in the ninth and 10th rounds.
Ryan Tannehill is currently slipping into the 11th round but also fits in this group due to his rushing floor, the addition of wide receiver Robert Woods and the Titans' interest in rookie receivers and tight ends.
Cutoff: One to two quarterbacks by Round 10
RUNNING BACKS (RB1 = Low Confidence; RB2 = Medium Confidence; RB3+ = High Confidence)
If you pick multiple backs in these rounds, you will have a good shot at coming away with an RB2, but it is likely a tad late to wait for your RB1. This range is plentiful with RB3-4 options.
Rounds 7 – 8: A.J. Dillon, Kareem Hunt and Tony Pollard will all have a role in their offense, providing spike-week potential and contingent upside should their backfield mate go down. Dillon and Pollard could also play a more significant role as young, ascending talents. Hunt's role may not grow, but he is the passing-down option in an offense with limited receiving weapons, and he still has big-play pop.
Damien Harris remains in a three-headed committee in New England, but he is the lead early-down option with a double-digit touchdown upside.
Devin Singletary probably climbs two to three rounds if the Bills don't draft a running back after he held an every-down role to end 2021. If they snare a Day 2 option, he falls a couple of rounds, but some exposure is warranted pre-draft at this ADP.
Cordarrelle Patterson will likely have a new backfield mate after the draft, but he could still push for a hybrid role as a receiver and explosive playmaker. Despite being an older player, those are two great attributes to target.
Chase Edmonds checks similar boxes to Patterson — he has receiving (20% career TPRR) and explosive-play upside (16% explosive rush rate) in an offense that should be much more innovative under Mike McDaniel.
Cutoff: Three to four running backs by Round 10
WIDE RECEIVERS (WR1 = Low Confidence; WR2 = Low Confidence; WR3 = Medium Confidence; WR4+ = High Confidence)
Thanks to first-round rookies from the NFL draft and second- and third-year breakout options, this range is a sweet spot for receivers. Many of these options will move up in ADP based on historical trends, so prioritizing them in early drafts is a good strategy.
Rounds 8 – 9: Garrett Wilson, Drake London and Treylon Burks will all likely go in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and if they slip to the late first, it could provide significant fireworks. The Green Bay Packers own Pick Nos. 22 and 28, and the Kansas City Chiefs have Pick Nos. 29 and 30. So, it is tough to see a scenario where at least two of these players don't climb a couple of rounds in ADP.
Kadarius Toney ran only 201 routes last season as a rookie but flashed elite underlying metrics. Brandon Aiyuk didn't deliver on his ADP in 2021 and resides in a run-centric offense, but the third-year receiver has talent, which is enough in the ninth round.
Round 10: Rondale Moore, Rashod Bateman and Chase Claypool provide Year 2 and Year 3 breakout potential at a discount. Moore is the most likely to climb draft boards very soon. Rookie Chris Olave and veteran Tyler Boyd are slipping into Round 11 but belong in this group.
Cutoff: Four to five wide receivers by Round 10
TIGHT ENDS (TE1 = High Confidence; TE2 = High Confidence)
Cutoff: One to two tight ends by round 10
Rounds 7-10 provide us with plenty of roster-construction flexibility, but we need to think ahead as we build out our teams.
- If we don't take a quarterback by Round 6, we need to reserve a pick between Rounds 7-10
- If we don't take a tight end by Round 6, we need to reserve a selection in Round 8
- If we want to take multiple swings at an RB2 in Rounds 7-10, it is doable, but we should already have a quarterback and tight end and preferably four receivers heading into Round 7
- If we want access to upside rookie, Year 2 and Year 3 wide receivers, do it by Round 10
Using the guidelines above, below are some different roster construction scenarios based on average draft position.
EARLY DRAFT POSITION SCENARIOS
|Rnd||R6 RB3 – Wait QB/TE||R3 TE – Wait QB/WR4||R5 QB – Wait RB2/TE|
|1||RB1||Jonathan Taylor||RB1||Jonathan Taylor||RB1||Jonathan Taylor|
|2||WR1||A.J. Brown||WR1||A.J. Brown||WR1||A.J. Brown|
|3||WR2||Tee Higgins||TE1||George Kittle||WR2||Tee Higgins|
|4||WR3||Terry McLaurin||WR2||Terry McLaurin||WR3||Terry McLaurin|
|5||RB2||Travis Etienne||RB2||Travis Etienne||QB1||Lamar Jackson|
|6||RB3||Kenneth Walker||WR3||Marquise Brown||WR4||Marquise Brown|
|7||QB1||Tom Brady||RB3||A.J. Dillon||RB2||A.J. Dillon|
|8||TE1||Rob Gronkowski||WR4||Kadarius Toney||TE||Rob Gronkowski|
|9||WR4||Treylon Burks||QB1||Trey Lance||RB3||Chase Edmonds|
|10||WR5||Chris Olave||WR5||Chris Olave||WR5||Chris Olave|
MIDDLE DRAFT POSITION SCENARIOS
|Rnd||R2 WR2 – R6 QB – Wait RB2/TE||R2 TE – R6 RB2 – Wait QB/WR4||R2 RB1 – R6 QB – Wait TE/WR4|
|1||WR1||Justin Jefferson||WR1||Justin Jefferson||WR1||Justin Jefferson|
|2||WR2||CeeDee Lamb||TE1||Kyle Pitts||RB1||D'Andre Swift|
|3||WR3||Jaylen Waddle||WR2||Jaylen Waddle||WR2||Jaylen Waddle|
|4||RB1||James Conner||RB1||James Conner||RB2||James Conner|
|5||WR4||Amon-Ra St. Brown||WR3||Amon-Ra St. Brown||WR3||Amon-Ra St. Brown|
|6||QB1||Kyler Murray||RB2||Kenneth Walker||QB1||Kyler Murray|
|7||RB2||A.J. Dillon||RB3||A.J. Dillon||TE1||Albert Okwuegbunam|
|8||TE1||Albert Okwuegbunam||WR4||Garrett Wilson||RB3||Tony Pollard|
|9||RB3||Chase Edmonds||WR5||Kadarius Toney||WR4||Rondale Moore|
|10||WR5||Rondale Moore||QB1||Kirk Cousins||WR5||Chris Olave|
LATE DRAFT POSITION SCENARIOS
|Rnd||R2 WR2 – R6 QB – Wait TE/WR4||R2 TE – R6 WR4 – Wait QB/RB2||R2 RB2 – R6 WR4 – Wait QB/TE|
|1||WR1||Davante Adams||WR1||Davante Adams||WR1||Davante Adams|
|2||WR2||Stefon Diggs||TE1||Mark Andrews||RB1||D'Andre Swift|
|3||RB1||Leonard Fournette||RB1||Leonard Fournette||RB2||Leonard Fournette|
|4||RB2||James Conner||WR2||D.K. Metcalf||WR2||D.K. Metcalf|
|5||WR3||Amon-Ra St. Brown||WR3||Amon-Ra St. Brown||WR3||Amon-Ra St. Brown|
|6||QB1||Kyler Murray||WR4||Michael Pittman||WR4||Michael Pittman|
|7||RB3||Kareem Hunt||RB2||Kareem Hunt||QB1||Jalen Hurts|
|8||TE1||Rob Gronkowski||RB3||Tony Pollard||TE1||Albert Okwuegbunam|
|9||WR4||Drake London||QB1||Derek Carr||RB3||Chase Edmonds|
|10||WR5||Rondale Moore||WR5||Rondale Moore||WR5||Rondale Moore|