So! It's almost June, which means it's almost July, which means it's almost August, which means it's time for fantasy drafts.
FantasyFusion will be welcoming a couple new writers this season, so keep an eye out for a bunch of quality content that will be ready to be consumed by your eyeballs.
Anyway, I figured I'd take a look at some early thoughts around draft strategy for the 2017 season. The way I look at it, there are three main points, and honestly they're the three main points I used last year.
1) Don't ignore the running backs
Last offseason, I was adamant about getting your running backs early. I got in countless arguments with readers, friends, and enemies alike about how they thought the "Zero RB" strategy was perfect I was an idiot and yadda yadda yadda.
I didn't listen.
And I don't plan to this year either.
The pendulum has definitely begun to swing back towards running backs, as seemingly every analyst - myself included - has David Johnson, Le'Veon Bell, and Ezekiel Elliott in some order as their top three players off the board. Some may have a receiver in there, but regardless, it's RB-heavy at the top.
If you don't have the luxury of getting one of the above guys, you can still get someone like LeSean McCoy. After him, there are a lot of uncertainties and situations that could blow up in your face.
Will Derrick Henry begin to steal a substantial amount of work from DeMarco Murray? Was Melvin Gordon's breakout legit? Was Jay Ajayi's breakout legit? Was Jordan Howard's breakout legit?
Do you see where I'm going here? The concerns don't end there, either. And let's be clear, I love the potential of some of these guys, but we would be silly to ignore the concerns and uncertainty.
Let's say you pick fourth overall (10 team PPR) and you end up with Antonio Brown in the first. On the way back at 17th overall, according to FantasyPros ADP, you'll be looking at Jay Ajayi, Dez Bryant, Amari Cooper, Todd Gurley, DeAndre Hopkins, and Rob Gronkowski.
I don't know about you, but Dez and Gronk look much better to me than Ajayi or Gurley. We take Gronk.
At 24th, we're looking at Brandin Cooks (insert devil-face emoji), Doug Baldwin, Leonard Fournette, Allen Robinson, Aaron Rodgers, and Keenan Allen. Again, all of the receivers look more attractive except maybe (definitely) Robinson. I am (obviously) taking Brandin Cooks, but I'm sure plenty would rather have Rodgers or Allen. Let's take Cooks just so I can be happy for once.
So now, our roster is AB, Gronk, and Cooks. Two WRs and one TE. I love the quality...for now.
The RBs left at 37th overall and forward are: Spencer Ware, Christian McCaffrey, Tevin Coleman, C.J. Anderson, Mark Ingram, Joe Mixon, Eddie Lacy, Ty Montgomery, and Bilal Powell. I look like the damn Riddler out here with all these question marks.
We got sucked in by the allure of AB, Gronk, and Cooks and thought we could get a quality RB in the fourth. Trust me, I like these guys as RB2s and Flex guys and they may very well end up being incredible, but if I'm forced to start two of them, I'll be feeling very queasy and in need of some Pepto by round six.
Running back gets ugly very quickly. Don't fall into the trap of passing them up for the sexy wide receiver. Which leads me to...
2) Receiver is crazy deep
Just like every other season, you can get some high-quality receivers deep in the draft. Like really deep.
Don't believe me? Check out these post-fourth-round ADPs:
Michael Crabtree: 44th
Julian Edelman: 47th
Golden Tate: 49th
Larry Fitzgerald: 53rd
Stefon Diggs: 59th
Kelvin Benjamin: 63rd
All of these guys except Crabtree are the WR1 on their respective teams, and plenty of people would argue that Crabtree > Amari Cooper, especially considering the price difference.
I'd be much more comfortable taking these guys as my WR2 instead of having to start a RB that may not even be first on the depth chart.
In addition, here are the ADPs of by-team-WR1s (on stinky offenses, obviously):
Corey Davis (maybe?): 75th
Corey Coleman: 84th
Eric Decker: 88th
Pierre Garcon: 92nd
Cameron Meredith: 94th
Mike Wallace: 112th
Jeremy Maclin (kind of): 115th
Robert Woods: 190th
3) Don't pay for the QBs
Again, this is a season-to-season strategy that most analysts will preach.
You don't need to use a third-round pick on Aaron Rodgers when you can use a 10th on Jameis Winston, an 11th on Kirk Cousins, or a 12th on Matthew Stafford. I fully believe that they won't do as well as Rodgers overall, but the difference will probably be 4-6 fantasy points per game, and you can use that third round pick on Brandin Cooks instead! How exciting!
In all seriousness, the first couple rounds are crucial, and I'd much rather focus on loading up at the scarce positions than taking a QB that I can almost replicate seven rounds later.
4) BONUS! Check FantasyFusion for all of your draft needs
We at FantasyFusion are always happy to help out our readers, so come by often and don't hesitate to reach out to us @DonaldGibsonFF @FFMilkman @FantasyFusionFF on Twitter with anything, anything at all.
Also, updated rankings are always located here!