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The Ideal MFL10 Draft - Part 1


MFL10 leagues bring a unique spin to the fantasy football draft process. Therefore, it should take some unique preparation as well. Risk/reward is the name of the game in best-ball formats. You need to find players with high ceilings without incurring too many risks that could potentially sink your team.

In this article, I'll lay out the first part of my draft strategy for the ideal draft slot in order to maximize fantasy potential. Picking one of the top three uber-backs in the first round would seem like the most obvious choice, but the dropoff to the late second round may be too much for some to wait on a receiver in this age of Zero-RB. Not me.

ADP values are taken from recent MFL10 drafts, based on a 12-team, PPR format.

 

My Ideal MFL10 Draft - Rounds 1-8

Round 1: Le'Veon Bell (RB, PIT) 1.03 - Bell is currently going third overall, behind Ezekiel Elliott at the #2 spot. In full-PPR leagues, Bell clearly has more value. This naturally assumes he stays healthy and doesn't do anything stupid before the season starts (again). Bell didn't just finish with prolific fantasy numbers after piling up 1,884 yards from scrimmage in 12 games, he should easily do it again. Scott Barrett's new research on Actual Opportunity over the last five years show Bell had the top AO/game of all NFL players. Not only that, he posted the highest such rate over the past decade. The three B's are still in Steel town now that Ben Roethlisberger has announced his return, so there's no reason to think he won't repeat a top-three performance at the very least.

Round 2: Jordy Nelson (WR, GB) 2.10 - Having to wait until the end of the second round to grab a WR1, there are three likely options according to current ADP: Sammy Watkins, Keenan Allen, or Jordy Nelson. Given that Allen missed the entire season with a torn ACL and Watkins lost half the year with a foot injury, while Nelson scored a league-leading 14 TD, I'll lean Nelson. The Green Bay offense is as safe as you can get for a pass-catcher and Nelson is still the top dog in town. He finished fifth in total Air Yards in 2016, so the floor is as high as possible in the crucial early rounds.

Round 3: Jay Ajayi (RB, MIA) 3.03 - Here's where it gets interesting. We could go with a safe PPR option like Jarvis Landry or reach for a tight end like Travis Kelce early, but that's not going to help us dominate a best-ball format. Jay Ajayi is still a big unknown in terms of fantasy value over the course of a full season, but he has shown more than anyone that he is capable of huge games. Even if Ajayi only rattles off one 200-yard ground effort, as opposed to the four he shockingly produced last season, he has shown tremendous upside in any given week. Ajayi finished first in elusiveness rating among all running backs and shouldn't be too dependent on the Dolphins' O-line, although that should also improve over the offseason. We are now set with a pair of stud RB early on that could easily win us a game single-handedly.

Round 4: Terrelle Pryor (WR, WAS) 4.10 - Six quarterbacks are off the board at this point and both Super Bowl QBs are probably still available. We'll pass for now, knowing that the position is deep enough to ignore for a couple more rounds. Kelvin Benjamin is tempting in a standard, re-draft league, but if we want more upside, we'll look at Washington's new WR1. Terrelle Pryor will take over for the tandem of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson and could outproduce both in 2017. Jamison Crowder remains at the slot, Josh Doctson is completely unproven at the professional level, and Jordan Reed can't stay healthy. Pryor somehow managed a 1,000-yard season with five different QBs, playing for the worst team in the league. Not sure who will be smiling more, Kirk Cousins or owners who pick Pryor. His current ADP is 5.04, but that could climb as the season draws nearer.

Round 5: Hunter Henry (TE, SD) 5.03 - It's tempting to secure a third receiver like Golden Tate, who will hedge our bet on Pryor having a breakout season. We're not playing it safe here, though. Henry still has to fend off Antonio Gates for end zone looks, but it didn't stop him from scoring eight TD as a rookie. Henry finished second on the team with 17 red zone targets and should only improve in his second season. Meanwhile, Gates is only getting older and should see his receptions and yards continue to decline, as they have for the past three seasons. We now have a tight end with potential for 10 TD and can wait for depth at the position.

Round 6: Emmanuel Sanders (WR, DEN) 6.10 - This isn't the sexiest pick, but we don't need every pick to be boom or bust. Martavis Bryant has great potential, but is just too risky this early even though he's being picked early in the seventh round. Sanders might see his stock drop a bit as it's now clear that Tony Romo isn't coming to Denver, but he remains a consistent PPR option. He collected 1,000 receiving yards for the third straight season and didn't see his targets drop whatsoever. Sanders has shown big game ability, catching seven or more passes on five occasions last season, so we're not necessarily losing out on a high ceiling.

Round 7: Ameer Abdullah (RB, DET) 7.03 - At this point, if Dak Prescott (ADP: 6.01) or Marcus Mariota (ADP: 6.04) are available, either are logical choices. Otherwise, instead of settling for a second-tier veteran QB with a limited ceiling, Abdullah is worth a gamble. He certainly presents risk after missing nearly all of 2016, but he should be ready to roll by training camp. As a third RB backing up two top performers, Abdullah is a logical choice. Jim Bob Cooter's offense loves passing to the running back and Abdullah caught at least 20 passes his last three seasons in Nebraska.

Round 8: Philip Rivers (QB, LAC) 8.10 - Philip Rivers as your starting fantasy QB in 2017 certainly seems like we're settling, but a closer look may convince you otherwise. Rivers has gone over 4,200 passing yards for four straight seasons, even without his top receiver Keenan Allen. Look back further and you'll see that eight of his last nine seasons have resulted in 4,000-yard seasons. The Chargers may be in a new city, but Rivers will still be his same, reliable self.


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.




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