How to Dominate Your 2017 Yahoo Fantasy Football Draft

FantasyBeast15

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When drafting your fantasy team, the default settings on the site you use can frequently influence drafters. If you can look past the default rankings and simply choose the best player available, you will dominate your draft! Below, you will find my standard rankings for the top 12 rounds as well as Yahoo’s default ranking of that player.

You will also see a column labeled +/-. When you see a positive number in that column, it means I believe the player is undervalued by Yahoo. When you see a negative number, it means I believe the player is overvalued. While drafting, avoid players with negative +/- numbers (unless they fall significantly during the draft) and select players with positive +/- numbers (as long as you don’t reach for them).

*Both sets of rankings are as of 8/14/2017 at 3:40 ET

Round 1

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionYahoo Rank+/-
1David JohnsonARIRB10
2Le'Veon BellPITRB20
3Antonio BrownPITWR30
4Julio JonesATLWR73
5Odell Beckham Jr.NYGWR4-1
6A.J. GreenCINWR126
7Mike EvansTBWR6-1
8LeSean McCoyBUFRB5-3
9Jordy NelsonGBWR145
10Melvin GordonLACRB8-2
11Michael ThomasNOWR132
12Devonta FreemanATLRB9-3

Analysis

In round one, Yahoo did a decent job of ranking the top players. I think A.J. Green is the most undervalued player in the first round. Green is in his prime at age 29 and should be recovered from his hamstring injury. If you exclude the game he hurt his hamstring against Buffalo, Green averaged 13.38 fantasy points and more than 11 targets per game.

Round 2

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionYahoo Rank+/-
13DeMarco MurrayTENRB152
14T.Y. HiltonINDWR206
15Jordan HowardCHIRB11-4
16Jay AjayiMIARB10-6
17Rob GronkowskiNETE3215
18Ezekiel ElliottDALRB16-2
19Amari CooperOAKWR245
20Doug BaldwinSEAWR19-1
21Demaryius ThomasDENWR309
22DeAndre HopkinsHOUWR275
23Dez BryantDALWR18-5
24Alshon JefferyPHIWR3612

Analysis

Rob Gronkowski stands out as the most undervalued player in round two. I realize the injury risk with Gronkowski, but if we even get ten games of Gronkowski’s dominance, he may be worth a second round pick. Last season, in a four game stretch when Gronkowski was at his healthiest, he averaged 118.25 yards per game and 16.33 fantasy points per game. He was a vertical threat for the Patriots and shows matchup winning upside when healthy.

Round 3

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionYahoo Rank+/-
25Brandin CooksNEWR250
26Leonard FournetteJACRB17-9
27Todd GurleyLARRB23-4
28Terrelle PryorWASWR26-2
29Keenan AllenLACWR4718
30Allen RobinsonJACWR4212
31Lamar MillerHOURB22-9
32Michael CrabtreeOAKWR4816
33Davante AdamsGBWR4411
34Martavis BryantPITWR5218
35Golden TateDETWR7237
36Emmanuel SandersDENWR5014

Analysis

Round three is full of undervalued and overvalued players by Yahoo. They undervalue quite a few receivers in this round, but I want to touch on a pair of overvalued running backs. Lamar Miller had a disappointing season last year and recorded career lows in yards per carry and yards per catch. He also was near the bottom of the league in many advanced metrics. When a player receives volume (299 touches), and still struggles to produce fantasy points, I find it hard to expect a bounce back performance.

Todd Gurley was another major disappointment. He played all 16 games last year and rushed for more than 80 yards just once. He finished the season averaging only 3.18 yards per carry. Gurley also struggled in some key advanced metrics and while the volume should still be there, I’m questioning the production in one of the league’s worst offenses. I won’t own Gurley or Miller in any Yahoo leagues this year.

Round 4

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionYahoo Rank+/-
37Travis KelceKCTE31-6
38Isaiah CrowellCLERB21-17
39Marshawn LynchOAKRB34-5
40Joe MixonCINRB35-5
41Larry FitzgeraldARIWR6019
42Jordan ReedWASTE5614
43Tyreek HillKCWR40-3
44Carlos HydeSFRB37-7
45Mark IngramNORB549
46Julian EdelmanNEWR559
47Aaron RodgersGBQB28-19
48Mike GillisleeNERB41-7

Analysis

In round four, Aaron Rodgers starts the trend of overvalued quarterbacks. Yahoo overvalues quarterbacks throughout the draft, but I’ll touch on it here since Rodgers will be the first quarterback Yahoo will tempt you with. The quarterback position is insanely deep this season. There are 17 quarterbacks I would be satisfied with as my QB1 in 2017 drafts, so drafting one in round four isn’t smart. Build a strong base of receivers and running backs while the rest of your league chases quarterbacks, then grab a value quarterback late in the draft and dominate your league.

Round 5

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionYahoo Rank+/-
49Bilal PowellNYJRB7829
50Jarvis LandryMIAWR6111
51Sammy WatkinsLARWR49-2
52Tom BradyNEQB33-19
53Kelvin BenjaminCARWR7623
54Ty MontgomeryGBRB39-15
55Greg OlsenCARTE45-10
56Donte MoncriefINDWR8226
57Dalvin CookMINRB43-14
58C.J. AndersonDENRB51-7
59Frank GoreINDRB7415
60Adrian PetersonNORB699

Analysis

In standard leagues, touchdowns are king. If you’re receiver can score double-digit touchdowns in a season, he has a great shot at being at least a top 24 wide receiver. In round five, two touchdown machines are lurking, but Yahoo values them a few rounds later. Donte Moncrief scored seven touchdowns last season on only 30 receptions. Obviously the 30 receptions isn’t what you want, but if Andrew Luck can get healthy by the start of the year, I like Moncrief’s chances of reaching double-digit touchdowns and at least doubling his reception total from 2016 considering Moncrief missed half of a season due to injury. In his career, Moncrief has 16 touchdowns on 126 receptions (12.7%)

Kelvin Benjamin is similar to Moncrief as he has 16 career touchdowns on 136 receptions (11.8%). For reference, A.J. Green has scored a touchdown on 10.2% and Mike Evans has a touchdown on 11.3% of his receptions in their careers. Benjamin finished as WR20 last season. I have him ranked at WR29, which may be too low, but Yahoo has him two rounds lower!

Round 6

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionYahoo Rank+/-
61Spencer WareKCRB46-15
62Drew BreesNOQB38-24
63Danny WoodheadBALRB62-1
64Jamison CrowderWASWR53-11
65Christian McCaffreyCARRB29-36
66Stefon DiggsMINWR9428
67LeGarrette BlountPHIRB65-2
68Brandon MarshallNYGWR8517
69Willie SneadNOWR701
70DeSean JacksonTBWR8111
71Ameer AbdullahDETRB66-5
72Russell WilsonSEAQB59-13

Analysis

In round six, Stefon Diggs is severely undervalued by Yahoo. They have Diggs as their 94th ranked player. I have him at 67, almost three rounds earlier. Diggs is a talented receiver and clearly an undervalued one. NFL.com’s Matt Harmon, creator of Reception Perception, posted a graphic on Twitter in April showing Diggs’ route running abilities. In the graphic, Harmon showed Diggs is better than average in success rate vs. man coverage, zone coverage, and press coverage and also has an above average contested catch rate. There is a lot to like about Diggs as he enters his third NFL season, and he should be an easy steal in Yahoo leagues this year.

Round 7

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionYahoo Rank+/-
73Eddie LacySEARB57-16
74Jimmy GrahamSEATE58-16
75Cameron MeredithCHIWR794
76Terrance WestBALRB10125
77Tevin ColemanATLRB68-9
78Eric DeckerTENWR9517
79Paul PerkinsNYGRB73-6
80Andrew LuckINDQB64-16
81Randall CobbGBWR10928
82Kyle RudolphMINTE886
83Theo RiddickDETRB11027
84Darren McFaddenDALRB16480

Analysis

I wrote up Terrance West in my How to Dominate Your ESPN Fantasy Football PPR Draft article, and the reasons remain the same. Yahoo will likely correct this as they adjust to the news that Kenneth Dixon is out for the year, but for now, they undervalue West by five full rounds. West will see most of the early-down work for the Ravens and his overall volume in the offense will be enough to justify a mid-7th round pick. Yahoo has him as a 9th round pick, making West easy to roster in standard leagues.

 

Round 8

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionYahoo Rank+/-
85Robert KelleyWASRB10823
86Jonathan StewartCARRB10519
87Pierre GarconSFWR892
88Tyler EifertCINTE87-1
89Jeremy MaclinBALWR934
90Devante ParkerMIAWR80-10
91Tyrell WilliamsLACWR75-16
92Kenny BrittCLEWR10311
93John BrownARIWR10613
94Ted GinnNOWR14349
95Adam ThielenMINWR11621
96Delanie WalkerTENTE86-10

Analysis

In round eight, Rob Kelley stands out as the most undervalued. I don’t think Kelley is a great running back, so I don’t want to rave about him too much, but he is the starting running back on a good offense. Kelley scored seven touchdowns last season after taking over for ineffective Matt Jones halfway through the season. While rookie Samaje Perine will take some carries, Washington’s staff insists Kelley is their starting running back.

Taking over for Brandin Cooks, Ted Ginn becomes the field-stretcher in the Saints offense. He’ll get a quarterback upgrade and will run on New Orleans’ turf for half of his games, helping his speed. Ginn will play in ten indoor stadiums this season, a big change from playing most of this games outdoors last year. While Ginn might not be Brandin Cooks, the role should be the same. Ginn has matchup winning upside with Drew Brees under center and should be a great WR4/5 for your fantasy team. The fact that Yahoo values him in the 12th round allows you to select Ginn at a strong value.

Round 9

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionYahoo Rank+/-
97Matt ForteNYJRB11922
98Derrick HenryTENRB91-7
99Kirk CousinsWASQB77-22
100Marcus MariotaTENQB63-37
101Jordan MatthewsBUFWR11110
102Jack DoyleINDTE100-2
103Matt RyanATLQB67-36
104Dak PrescottDALQB98-6
105Thomas RawlsSEARB14540
106Doug MartinTBRB90-16
107Marvin JonesDETWR12013
108Jacquizz RodgersTBRB12517

Analysis

Thomas Rawls has moved up my rankings over the past few weeks. After a great end to his 2015 season, Rawls struggled in 2016. After signing Eddie Lacy in the offseason, I was surprised to see that it is Rawls, not Lacy, who has been taking the majority of the Seahawks first team reps in practice and preseason. Seattle is a backfield that I’d like to avoid, but at his cost, Rawls provides value in Yahoo standard leagues.

Round 10

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionYahoo Rank+/-
109Josh DoctsonWASWR16354
110Ben RoethlisbergerPITQB83-27
111Darren SprolesPHIRB18069
112Mike WallaceBALWR12210
113Kareem HuntKCRB24722359
114Martellus BennettGBTE96-18
115Samaje PerineWASRB1183
116Duke JohnsonCLERB1237
117Hunter HenryLACTE99-18
118C.J. ProsiseSEARB113-5
119Corey ColemanCLEWR1212
120Corey DavisTENWR13010

Analysis

I’m probably higher on Spencer Ware than most, but I know quite a few fantasy football analysts who I respect like Kareem Hunt a lot this season. Even if Hunt is in a time share with Ware early in the year, he has handcuff value and should also have a small role to himself. In the tenth round, I think Hunt is worth a flier to see if he can unseat Ware as a lead back or take over if Ware were to miss time due to injury. Yahoo basically didn’t rank Hunt as you have to type in his name to find him while drafting unless you want to scroll past every backup tight end in the league.

Round 11

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionESPN Rank+/-
121Martellus BennettGBTE120-1
122Giovani BernardCINRB108-14
123Derek CarrOAKQB113-10
124Cam NewtonCARQB98-26
125Philip RiversLACQB14520
126Eric EbronDETTE1282
127Josh DoctsonWASWR122-5
128Jameis WinstonTBQB115-13
129Samaje PerineWASRB125-4
130Corey DavisTENWR111-19
131Sterling ShepardNYGWR118-13
132Marqise LeeJACWR16735

Analysis

This round features three running backs who will see plenty of receiving work. While Yahoo does not feature PPR settings, these three backs already have a role in their team’s offense, and would likely see an expanded role if the lead running back(s) on their teams were to get injured. My favorite of the three is DeAndre Washington, followed by Giovani Bernard and Alvin Kamara.

Round 12

RankPlayer NameTeamPositionYahoo Rank+/-
133Nelson AgholorPHIWR17239
134Matthew StaffordDETQB104-30
135Sterling ShepardNYGWR15520
136Rex BurkheadNERB17640
137Kevin WhiteCHIWR16225
138Jamaal CharlesDENRB17436
139James WhiteNERB137-2
140Robert WoodsLARWR17535
141Marqise LeeJACWR278137
142Zach ErtzPHITE97-45
143Breshad PerrimanBALWR133-10
144Devin FunchessCARWR19652

Analysis

Rex Burkhead is my favorite draft target in round 12. Although I believe Mike Gillislee will take over the majority of the LeGarrette Blount role for the Patriots, Rex Burkhead will still have a role in the offense. Not only will he have a role, but he’ll serve as the primary handcuff for Gillislee. If anything were to happen to Gillislee, Burkhead would be in line for the goal-line work and is a quality receiving back as well. He makes for an interesting late-round stash for your bench.

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Quick and accurate fantasy football & baseball advice! Ask questions on Twitter @fantasybeast15 Find content on my website: http://fantasybeast15.com Like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fantasybeast15

FantasyBeast15

Quick and accurate fantasy football & baseball advice! Ask questions on Twitter @fantasybeast15 Find content on my website: http://fantasybeast15.com Like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fantasybeast15

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