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FFPC Classic League Draft Strategy and Results

If you haven't checked out the FFPC already, I highly recommend doing so before the season starts. Whether you are looking for best ball, victory points, superflex or anything else, they have you covered with game types ranging between $35 to $1000+. What is even better is that new sign-ups to the website earn $25 off their first contest, no strings attached. Don't miss out on this incredible offer!

I decided to keep things simple for the sake of this article and cover a $35 classic league (fast draft). Rules are about what you would expect from a basic league but with a few minor differences. All settings on the site feature full PPR, but please note that TEs do earn a premium and gain 1.5 points per reception. Quarterbacks score a point for every 20 yards passing as opposed to 25, and there are no trades allowed between teams.

I consider myself a pristine negotiator, so the inability to trade puts everyone in a position to make a stand in the draft if they want their man. There are no second chances to acquire someone you miss, so proper strategy suggests that a more aggressive approach should be taken. The league has a 13-week regular season that is based on total points, and the top six scorers in points for the year advance to the playoffs for weekly head-to-head matchups. With most of the essential rules laid out on the table, let's get into some draft strategy from where we will be picking.

Editor's Note: For a limited time, we are offering all new FFPC players a $25-off coupon for any contest! You can play a $35 contest or a $70 contest, we'll give you $25 off either one! Whether you want to play a Best Ball challenge, join a Dynasty Startup, or try FFPC's unique Terminator challenge (best ball spin-off), there's a $25 discount waiting for you! All you have to do is be a new FFPC customer, sign-up for any game on FFPC through one of the above links, and the $25 discount will be automatically applied to your account!


Preparing For The Draft

Ughhhh...the dreaded eighth spot. I am writing this before the draft has taken place because I want to talk game-theory before it has happened, but this has been one of my least favorite places to draft from this season. It not only puts us in a position where we always miss out on my big-four players of Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Travis Kelce, but it also sandwiches us between teams and gives us the leftovers in most rounds. You can win a draft from any location, but our work is cut out for us from the start.

To me, Davante Adams and Ezekiel Elliott are the two main choices that I am hoping to land when it is my turn to pick. The league pays out in a top-heavy fashion, which is evident by first place receiving the brunt sum of the pot, and these two provide me the optimal statistical start when using my projections for the year.

JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner would also be included in this territory for me, but we take away some of our advantages if we reach for them at pick eight. Yes, we want to land the players we view as our top choices, but if we take either of the two Steelers this early, we remove at least one of our primary second-round candidates and even further shrink the board on ourselves. I will strongly consider Conner over David Johnson if forced into that position, but I'd prefer not to have to make that deviation right away.

As we move into the second round, an ideal world has us being able to land the aforementioned Smith-Schuster or Conner, but George Kittle or any additional WR that has slipped down the board will come into play. Even with the TE premium, this is a little earlier than I care to select Kittle, but we get one chance at him, and a TE in round two does optimally build one of the better season-long projection totals that my projection model can spit out. Our other two options would be Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette. Gurley is a boom-or-bust candidate that makes sense given the upside required to win this league, and Fournette is my version of a wild card. I'd hate to pull the trigger at 2.05, but that is our doomsday scenario.

Round three is usually pretty simple because unless Kittle or Zach Ertz suffer the ultimate slide, RB tends to be our best value on the board. There are always exceptions to every rule, but one of Devonta Freeman or Chris Carson normally fall to 3.08, and the duo will be on my radar. If something wild happens, perhaps Fournette could be snagged there instead, but I have not been apart of a draft where he has fallen that far yet.

Rounds four and beyond tend to be the range where things open up, and strategy will change based off of what my first few rounds resemble. I doubt I will get myself to pass on Julian Edelman at 4.05 in any circumstance, but everything else is an open game at that point.

Starting Lineup: 1-QB, 2-RB, 2-WR, 1-TE, 2-Flex, 1-K, 1-D (Flex can be RB, WR or TE)


Draft Results

Well... I guess I shouldn't have expected things to play out ideally for me in this draft. But hey! It makes for a better article than some rudimentary write-up with me discussing how everything went perfectly.

1.08: Davante Adams (WR, GB)
I would start every draft with Devante Adams and one of Juju Smith-Schuster or James Conner in round two if I could, so you will never hear me complain about landing the Packers standout to begin the festivities. We discussed during the pre-draft portion of this article how Adams and one of those two forms my ultimate first two rounds in FFPC drafts once Kamara, Barkley, McCaffrey and Kelce are off the board and consider me ecstatic for how things have begun.

2.05: Leonard Fournette (RB, JAX)
Ummm... Yea.... It is safe to say that things got a little awkward in round two. I've done a handful of FFPC drafts this offseason, and this was the first time that my doomsday scenario played itself out of Juju Smith-Schuster, James Conner, Julio Jones and George Kittle all being off the board when it was my turn to pick at this point in the draft. Leave it to the moment I have to write about the proceedings for chaos to ensue, but I don't have regrets for jumping the gun on Leonard Fournette with how the draft played out.

I'm not a fan of Nick Chubb and was facing a position where Todd Gurley, Zach Ertz, Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill and Leonard Fournette were my five top options on the board. Mathematically, Evans would have been the top choice for me to take, followed closely by Ertz and Hill, but I decided that since I was losing my usual 30-point advantage of an Adams/Smith-Schuster start over any other combination, I needed to grab a running back to diversify my setup. Starting WR/WR is excellent when you land the top two players at the position on your board, but it is not as ideal when you start pairing your WR1 with your WR7. I feel like you lose the whole reason of why you begin WR/WR in the first place, and I didn't want to go that route and be even further behind the eight-ball from the eighth slot.

Perhaps Gurley made more sense for his ultimate boom potential, but I am all in on Fournette and didn't want to settle because I felt forced to do so. As I keep mentioning, the no-trade feature of the league puts you in a spot where you have to go for it if you want your man, and Fournette is my guy this year and provides me with a RB that I believe has top-10 and beyond potential in Jacksonville's surging offense.

*** One of my additional reasons for passing on Evans was due to the fact that it took Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard off the table for me later. Those felt like secondary options to consider in round four if Julian Edelman didn't make it around to me, and I didn't want to be placed in an additional situation of anarchy if I could pivot and open up my board again.

3.08: Devonta Freeman (RB, ATL), 4.05: Julian Edelman (WR, NE)

Doesn't it feel good when you land the two players you had your eyes on during the pre-draft portion in rounds three and four? The answer is a definitive YES! I'm usually in a spot heading into round five where I have three WRs and one RB on my team but being evenly distributed opens up my options going forward much better than I am used to having at my disposal from a mid-to-late selection.

5.08: O.J. Howard (TE, TB)
There are two things I want to point out about round five. Both Chris Godwin (5.06) and O.J. Howard (5.08) falling to this range should be illegal. I would have considered both if Edelman wasn't on the board at 4.05 and couldn't believe I was able to land Howard in a TE premium league in the fifth round.

6.05: Derrius Guice (RB, WAS)
I wanted one of Austin Ekeler, Duke Johnson or Miles Sanders (in that order) but had to settle for Derrius Guice. I am not expecting much out of the 22-year-old to begin the season, but if we are looking for potential league winners that can transcend into top-tier options, Guice has as much upside as anyone. He was my last player inside the top-60 of my overall rankings at the position, and I didn't want to miss out on his potential and be left with someone like Kalen Ballege as my RB3.

7.08: Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)
I'm all for waiting to grab a QB, but the opportunity to pair Aaron Rodgers and Devante Adams together felt too good to pass up in the seventh round. Those two should be good for at least 100 combined points in TDs, and in a league where you are looking to finish inside the top six in total scoring to make the playoffs, I will take double the points anytime I can get it.

8.05: Christian Kirk (WR, ARZ), 9.08: Curtis Samuel (WR, CAR)

At pick (89) for Christian Kirk and (104) for Curtis Samuel, I am all for seizing two high-upside WRs that should see significant playing time for me this season. I have landed very few shares of either because I am not as high on them as some people inside the industry, but I thought both fell into a territory that allowed me to take a shot at their potential. Value is value.

10.05: Justice Hill (RB, BAL)
I had my choice of Justice Hill, Darwin Thompson and Justin Jackson in round 10 but have second-guessed my decision since making it. There are obvious downsides to all three, but I feel as if Hill has the least opportunity to fully breakout in 2019. If I could redo this selection, I would have instead chosen Thompson. Perhaps the news of LeSean McCoy signing with the Chiefs was still too relevant in my head to make the optimal choice at the time. However, all three are ridiculous values at this point in the draft.

11.08: Dante Pettis (WR, SF)
Another situation of a WR falling too far. Dante Pettis hasn't been on my radar in recent weeks with all the issues surrounding him during training camp, but in round 11 of the draft, the 23-year-old is a low-risk/high-reward gamble. My WR core at this point of Adams, Edelman, Kirk, Samuel and Pettis wouldn't be my ideal combination, but they will provide some massive scoring weeks if I can figure out when to play them at the right time. Can we change the settings to best-ball?

12.05: Carlos Hyde (RB, HOU)
Blah. That is how I feel about this pick. I sold myself that I had to pick a RB after Mark Andrews was taken but wish I would have gone somewhere else instead. Carlos Hyde is not good. End of story. I'd probably take Chris Herndon if I could have a do-over.

13.08: Darren Waller (TE, OAK)
Missed out on Chris Herndon and Mark Andrews the round before but am thrilled to land Darren Waller in the 13th. I expect Waller to be a flex option for me this year in a TE premium league.

14.05: Albert Wilson (WR, MIA)
Speaking of flex potential, welcome aborad Albert Wilson. The 27-year-old is one of my favorite players to grab late in drafts and should see targets galore after the Miami Dolphins traded away Kenny Stills to the Houston Texans. I have Wilson projected higher than Curtis Samuel and Dante Pettis, so the addition YAC specialist should pay dividends.

15.08: Dare Ogunbowale (RB, TB)
Dare Ogunbowale is the best pass-catching back that is on Tampa Bay's roster, and the 25-year-old has been splitting first-team snaps with Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones II. I am not expecting a ton out of Ogunbowale but view him as a late-round stab in PPR leagues. We could do much worse in the 15th round.

16.05: Mike Davis (RB, CHI), 17.08: T.J. Yeldon (RB, BUF)
I was hoping to land Chase Edmunds or Dallas Goedert instead of Mike Davis in round 16 but settled on the Bears back when Edmunds and Goedert were sniped from under me. Not a ton of upside for the 26-year-old given the current situation, but Davis is one of the most talented backs from a skill perspective that is still left on the board.

In round 17, I was happy to nab T.J. Yeldon. The 25-year-old is the best pass-catching back for the Buffalo Bills, and I am not sold that Devin Singletary's upside is as much as everyone is expecting it to be. Yeldon at least has the third-down role and has the potential to steal the job if the rookie struggles.

18.05: Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS)
Head coach Jay Gruden has been raving about Terry McLaurin, calling him "one of the team's best players" and has acknowledged that nobody in the organization realized he was this good when they drafted him. Does a player being projected as my overall WR49 guarantee you a championship in a 12-team fantasy football league? No. But the upside is there, the potential for a higher ceiling is possible and the cost was basically free to acquire. I don't know about you guys, but I enjoy getting a chance to place a freeroll wager if it means I can hit the lottery.

19.08: Philadelphia Eagles (Defense), 20.05: Jason Myers (K, SEA)
I am going to be streaming defenses and kickers all year and like Philadelphia's Week 1 matchup against the Washington Redskins. The Eagles also have a chance to be sneaky good on that side of the ball this season and feature one of the easiest schedules of opposing offenses.


Final Thoughts

Overall, it is always a ton of fun participating in FFPC drafts but can't say I was thrilled picking from the eighth slot. I think we did the best we could given our suboptimal position and love the value we were able to acquire throughout the draft. The selection of Leonard Fournette over Nick Chubb and others will raise some eyebrows, but I am not going to deviate from my beliefs to make my team "look better" on paper. Our chances of winning the league decreased once Juju Smith-Shuster, James Conner and George Kittle were taken in round two, and I'd rather go out swinging with my own sword than collapse onto someone else's.

Best Selection - O.J. Howard (5.08)

Worst Selection - Carlos Hyde (12.08) - He still isn't any good.

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