You know that feeling when you finish a draft and can’t find any mistakes? Everything just falls perfectly in line with your plan and you wouldn’t change anything. Today we’ll be taking a look at one such perfect draft in superflex PPR leagues.
As stated in the previous draft, I will follow these rules for my “Perfect Draft”:
- I can reach for players early, but I can only assume a player will be available if their Average Draft Position is within two spots of the selection.
- Since they’ve transitioned to a superflex format, I’ll use FFPC ADP from the FFPC Dashboard.
- The team format will be 1-QB, 2-RB, 3-WR, 1-TE, 1-Flex, 1-Superflex and 6 bench spots.
- My draft spot will be pick 8 as selected by fellow writer and podcast host, Hasan Rahim
- I’ll also be using the Draft Dashboard tool to test out the potential for this outcome.
So with all of that in mind, let’s kick this perfect draft off.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston
At pick 8, you just miss out on the chance at Patrick Mahomes and it’s unlikely that any of the elite RBs will fall to you. So you have the choice between reaching for a top QB or taking the top WR on the board to fill in one of the three required spots. Since joining the league in 2013, Hopkins ranks second among all WRs in total targets, behind only Antonio Brown. He also ranks third in PPR points among WRs over the same stretch.
And in games with Deshaun Watson, his dominance is unquestionable. His 16-game scoring pace would have ranked as the WR1 in 2018 and the fifth overall flex scorer. And his 337 points is comparable to a mid-QB1. With a field-tilting player like Hopkins as the foundation to the roster, the three WR positions should be advantage.
Alternate Option: Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay
I’ve discussed Adams as a potential alternate in my standard draft because of his TD potential, but he ranked third among WRs in targets and fifth in receptions, during the 2018 season. With volume like that, he brings a safe floor in PPR leagues with overall WR1 upside if he, once again, leads the NFL in TDs.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh
While sharing opportunity with one of the biggest target hogs in the NFL, Smith-Schuster ranked fourth in targets, sixth in receptions, and eighth in PPR points. Now Brown is gone and there are 169 targets to be distributed between Smith-Schuster and a relatively unproven group of WRs. There’s a legitimate reason to believe that he could push for nearly 200 targets. With his strong efficiency in every area of the field, his scoring could be just as strong.
To remain successful, Pittsburgh will look to distribute Brown’s 15 TD receptions to the pieces they have remaining — Smith-Schuster is at the front of the line.
Alternate Option: Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay
Using the RotoViz Range of Outcomes App, Evans projects for an average PPR score of 16.1 points per week with a high outcome of 18.4. And with his role on the offense, he’s a safe bet to consistently eclipse double-digit fantasy points every week.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina
Since 2010, the average QB12 has scored 299.99 fantasy points. In 14 games, Newton scored 312.55 points, an average of 22.35 points per week. Had he not missed two weeks, his end of season ranked would have climbed from QB14 to QB7.
Cam Newton Range of Outcomes
Newton’s scoring distribution peaks around 20 fantasy points per week. If he keeps that trend, he should have no issue scoring 300 fantasy points a solid QB1.
Alternate Option: Jared Goff, QB, LA Rams
In his third season in the NFL, Goff scored 359 PPR points — sixth on the year — following his QB12 performance in 2017. The addition of Sean McVay has proven to be the key to unlocking Goff’s potential as he nearly doubled his AYA from his rookie season.
Draft Dashboard Update: The QB run came a bit earlier than anticipated — Newton, Goff, and Wilson all went off the board in Round 2. As this run may slow the QB selections, I’m taking a measured risk in hoping that Cousins will still be available in Round 4 and taking a player with additional upside, Kyler Murray. In his six seasons with Texas Tech, Kliff Kingsbury’s team ranked no lower than eighth in pass attempts per game. And with an efficient QB like Murray, there’s potential for high scores coming out of Arizona.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle
I’m doubling up on QB in an attempt to acquire two top-12 QBs and give myself a weekly advantage at the superflex position. Paired with a WR-heavy start, I’m taking a Zero-RB approach to the draft and will mostly take RBs with upside in the later rounds.
Wilson’s AYA of 9.0 was a steep increase from his two prior seasons of 7.5 and 7.6, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely impossible to repeat. 2018 was his second season with a 9.0 AYA and his career average is above 8. While I would expect some regression, his slightly lowered efficiency could lead to additional pass attempts. And if he returns to his average of 90 rush attempts, Wilson will remain a valuable QB2.
Alternate Option: Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota
Cousins has eclipsed 300 fantasy points each of the last four seasons. Because of team scheme, he likely lacks some upside, but his floor appears to be safe.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota
Adam Thielen led the Vikings in targets and receptions, but his production drastically changed around the halfway point of the season. And from Week 8 forward, Diggs was the top WR on the team.
Over that stretch, Diggs ranked as the WR13 in PPR scoring. Getting a high-end WR2 with WR1 potential in Round 5 is too good to pass up on.
Alternate Option: O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay
This is my first variance from same-position alternates, but Howard has serious upside. In 10 games, Howard scored 120.5 PPR points which was good enough to finish the year as TE14. He ranked sixth in TE scoring on a per-game basis.
Draft Dashboard Update: Diggs went off the board at 5.02 so I took Howard.
Robert Woods, WR, LA Rams
With Cooper Kupp coming off of a serious knee injury less than a year ago, Woods and Brandin Cooks stand to benefit from an increased target share. And Woods already led the team in targets last season with 130. If he can trend closer to the league leaders in the 140-150 range, Woods’ potential could be just as high as part of such an efficient offense.
Alternate Option: D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina
RotoViz’s love of D.J. Moore is well documented, and Carolina proved their love for Moore with his increased workload as the season progressed.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati
Boyd broke out last season with a WR16 finish. With A.J. Green set to miss significant time, Boyd’s price hasn’t increased enough.
Alternate Option: Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago
It seems like a long time ago when Robinson had top-five WR upside, but a second season with Mitchell Trubisky should help him. After finishing as a WR3 on a per-game basis, he’s a decent flex option and could be a low-end WR2.
Austin Ekeler, RB, San Diego
With the latest reports that Melvin Gordon’s contract talks have stalled and his holdout will likely extend into the regular season, Ekeler’s ADP will most likely be on the rise. But with his current ADP, Ekeler is a perfect RB for a Zero-RB roster.
At this point, #Chargers RB Melvin Gordon’s holdout is expected to continue into the season, sources say. Contract talks have not progressed as he hoped, and he’ll continue to train in Florida for the foreseeable future.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 21, 2019
Over the last two seasons, Ekeler has played four games without Gordon in the lineup. In those games he’s averaged 12.8 PPR points. And even if Gordon returns, Ekeler has standalone value with an average of 10.13 points per game.
Alternate Option: Derrius Guice, RB, Washington
Guice is only one year removed from being a Day 2 NFL draft selection. While Adrian Peterson was good last year, Guice will eventually get an opportunity to play.
Latavius Murray, RB, New Orleans
After signing a contract to join the team this off-season, Murray is an ideal candidate to fill the void left by Mark Ingram.
In 2018, Murray failed to have a major fantasy impact as he shared volume with Dalvin Cook. But he scored six TDs on just 140 rush attempts, in 2018. If he inherits the rushing volume inside the red zone, he should be a viable RB2.
Alternate Option: Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles
The reports about Todd Gurley’s knee paired with C.J. Anderson’s playoff usage should provide optimism about Henderson having standalone value as an ancillary back with good efficiency. And if Gurley misses time, Henderson could make the most of the opportunity.
Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco
Breida finished as the RB27 in 14 games last season while splitting time with Alfred Morris. His 16-game pace for the year would have ranked as the RB20.
The addition of Tevin Coleman will undoubtedly cut into Breida’s 153 carries, but with his rushing and receiving efficiency,1 he will continue to make an impact. Breida continues to be a prime Zero-RB target in the double-digit rounds.
Alternate Option: Royce Freeman, RB, Denver
Phillip Lindsay will be the lead back, but Freeman is only entering his second season. I’m not giving up on him just yet.
Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis
Despite Eric Ebron getting all the love last year because of his red zone success, Doyle was quietly efficient when he was on the field. He averaged 10.4 PPR points per game on 5.5 targets per game.
If I pick Howard earlier, I’ll likely take the alternate option in this spot.
Alternate Option: Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver
If there were no questions about Sanders’ health, he would be drafted three rounds earlier. After he showed signs of health in the preseason, I will happily take a shot on him as a depth WR.
Draft Dashboard Update: With Howard on the roster, I switched off of the TE position. The decision came down to Damien Harris, Curtis Samuel, or Sam Darnold. Ultimately, I decided to take Samuel and secure a fifth WR.
Damien Harris, RB, New England
Harris is simply an upside play if Sony Michel’s documented knee issues keep him on the sidelines. Harris was a low-volume back in college with only one season with 10 carries per game, but his career 6.4 yards per carry and potential receiving ability make him a tantalizing handcuff in the later rounds.
Alternate Option: Dion Lewis, RB, Tennessee
Derrick Henry is rightfully earning some buzz following his strong finish to the 2018 season, but Lewis averaged over 10 PPR points per game for the year. If he can maintain his four-plus targets per game, he’ll have value even if Henry becomes a workhorse.
Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis
Hines’ value almost exclusively comes from the passing game. While he handled 85 rush attempts, it was his receiving volume that made him the RB28 for the year.
Alternate Option: Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas
Darwin Thompson, RB, Kansas City
Ever since he crushed his pro day, Thompson has had people excited about his potential and being drafted to Kansas City only increased the excitement. And as he impresses in the preseason, it appears more likely that Thompson could become the handcuff in KC, if not work his way into a full-blown committee with Damien Williams.
Alternate Option: Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona
Edmonds had 20 receptions and 60 rush attempts as a rookie which amounted to 300 yards from scrimmage and two TDs. None of that is particularly impressive, but with an improved offense, his efficiency could improve drastically. If Johnson misses time, Edmonds is a good handcuff.
Daniel Jones, QB, NY Giants
I’m not sure if Daniel Jones is a good QB. I didn’t like him in the draft process and I believed that taking him at sixth overall was a laughable mistake, but he’s relatively athletic and should see the field at some point this year. As a QB3, he could be a fill-in play.
Alternate Option: Case Keenum, QB, Washington
As of now, Case Keenum is the starting QB in Washington. I fully expect that first-round rookie Dwayne Haskins will receive playing time and eventually start games, but until that time, Keenum has value as a QB3.
Draft Dashboard Update: Some better QB values fell to the final round. In most drafts, I wouldn’t expect Darnold to last this late, but he completes my roster.
QB: Cam Newton
RB: Austin Ekeler
RB: Latavius Murray
WR: DeAndre Hopkins
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR: Stefon Diggs
TE: Jack Doyle
Flex: Robert Woods
Superflex: Russell Wilson
Bench: Tyler Boyd
Bench: Matt Breida
Bench: Damien Harris
Bench: Nyheim Hines
Bench: Darwin Thompson
Bench: Daniel Jones
Final Draft Dashboard Roster:
Image Credit: Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sports. Pictured: DeAndre Hopkins.
- He averaged 5.3 YPC and 9.7 YPR, in 2018. (back)