With the kickoff of the NFL season just around the corner, the next three days present some exciting challenges for drafters. The FFPC Main Event and FantasyPros Championship drafts run through Saturday. If you’re drafting after the Thursday night game, you’re able to put those points directly into your starting lineup. These drafts are simultaneously some of the craziest, with Thursday night players moving up several rounds as drafters chase guaranteed points, and some of the most fun.
For those drafting over the next three days, I present my updated draft targets, and some thoughts on how I like to construct winning teams. I’ll detail those targets and tactics as we fill out the Main Event squad that Hasan Rahim and I drafted with the Ship Chasing crew. While that team ended up being a classic hyperfragile build, I’ll list my favorite targets for every type of team in every round.
Other Players I Like in the Early Rounds
- It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get Garrett Wilson at 2.04 or later. As his ADP rises into Round 1 he also becomes my favorite Round 1 target. I would draft him ahead of everyone not named Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, or Christian McCaffrey. In tight end premium leagues you might be tempted to add Travis Kelce to that list, though with the star TE’s recent injury, I still prefer Wilson. The knee injury casts doubt on Kelce’s Week 1 availability, but is not believed to be a long-term issue. Still, his ADP has dipped in over the last day or two, while Wilson’s in on the rise.
- One of those cases is if I think I am in a position to get Mark Andrews in Round 2. While Jaylen Waddle remains my favorite pick in the round, especially in leagues that don’t award extra points to TEs, Andrews is a close second. In TE premium leagues you can make a case for Andrews in the first, especially with Kelce’s early-season dominance now slightly less certain.
- We missed on Tee Higgins here, but his ADP has fallen to the late third in a lot of my recent drafts. He’s a steal at those prices, as I have a mid-second-round value on him. With Keenan Allen and Deebo Samuel both falling to the fourth on a lot of occasions, Higgins is the only WR consistently going in the third that I want to draft. (Chris Olave went in the third here, but that kind of value is still rare.) Conor O’Driscoll discussed how we now have a WR dead zone in Rounds 3 and 4, and he’s not wrong.
- While Allen and Samuel are both good picks in the fourth, even here I like the RBs better. We reached a bit for Breece Hall, but only because Travis Etienne didn’t make it to us. If he had, it would have been a tougher decision. Both have RB1 overall upside, though both have some legitimate questions marks heading into 2023.
- In Round 5 the WR options start to become more appealing. Drake London is a costly pick in the fourth but an intriguing option in the fifth. George Pickens’ price has begun to rise to the point that those with picks in the middle can’t guarantee a chance to draft him in the sixth. Kyle Pitts represents the end of tier at TE — if you miss on TE in this range you are playing for late-round breakouts. Although this is a good season to chase some of them, it’s not without risks.
- Round 6 feels like a continuation of Round 5 in many ways. The WRs in this range are largely interchangeable. Pickens and Jahan Dotson are the two top Year 2 breakout candidates. Chris Godwin allows you to place a similar bet as with Keenan Allen or Diontae Johnson, but at a nearly two-round discount. The RB options in Rounds 5 and 6 also start to get intriguing again, with Javonte Williams, James Cook, and J.K. Dobbins all offering upside that could see them with prices three rounds higher next year.