2016 DraftBook Team Analysis

By John Laub
John Laub




On June 9, Fantasy Sports Publications, Inc. held the annual DraftBook magazine league draft: A points-per-reception contest with three receivers and a flex position in the starting lineup. Twelve of the best fantasy football experts participated, and six were asked to reflect on their strategy after drafting their teams.



In an attempt to take the subjectivity out of the analysis, I researched the season-long projections on three major sites—ESPN.com, FantasyPros.com and CBSSportsline.com—and computed the average points scored by players at the end of the season.


Afterwards, I calculated the total points of the projected starting lineups of all six experts, and the results are tabulated in charts for readers to examine and analyze. Enjoy, my fellow diehards.


 John Paulsen, 4for4.com            
Pos. Player Team Round ESPN F. Pros CBS Avg. PPG.
QB A. Luck Indianapolis 8 349 339 329 339.0 21.2
RB L. Miller Houston 2 256 242 212 236.7 14.8
RB M. Forte New York 4 220 211 187 206.0 12.9
WR D. Hopkins Houston 1 290 303 293 295.3 18.5
WR T.Y. Hilton Indianapolis 3 233 238 253 241.3 15.1
WR M. Crabtree Oakland 5 212 209 199 206.7 12.9
TE D. Walker Tennessee 7 184 199 205 196.0 12.3
Flex D. Parker Miami 6 198 199 174 190.3 11.9
  Totals     1942 1940 1852 1911.3 119.5
Res. S. Vereen New York 11 141 147 138 142.0 8.9


“Since it’s a PPR league with three starting receivers plus a flex, my plan was to go WR-heavy to start. I took four receivers in the first six rounds, while nabbing Lamar Miller in the second and Matt Forte in the fourth. The seventh and ninth rounds are where I start to look for a tight end (Delanie Walker, 7th) and a quarterback (Andrew Luck, 8th). Then it was just a matter of filling out the roster with capable backups (e.g. Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, Steve Smith), though I’m particularly interested to see how my twelfth-round pick (Chris Hogan) does in New England.”  -- John Paulsen, 4for4.com, @4for4_John


Tim Heaney, USA Today            
Pos. Player Team Round ESPN F. Pros CBS Avg. PPG.
QB B. Bortles Jacksonville 8 297 301 303 300.3 18.8
RB L. Bell Pittsburgh 1 327 314 329 323.3 20.2
RB L. Murray Oakland 4 177 185 182 181.3 11.3
WR A. Cooper Oakland 2 229 234 219 227.3 14.2
WR J. Landry Miami 3 239 238 228 235.0 14.7
WR T. Lockett Seattle 7 157 185 175 172.3 10.8
TE M. Bennett Chicago 10 115 124 136 125.0 7.8
Flex Woodhead San Diego 5 200 209 212 207.0 12.9
  Totals     1741 1790 1784 1771.7 110.7
Res. DGB Tennessee 6 122 125 108 118.3 7.4


“In PPR leagues, I’m going to take two top-level wideouts in the first three rounds, collect good bargains at running back, and wait on all other positions unless there’s a ridiculous value pick. I’ll start out by saying Pick 4 is the worst slot in 2016 snake drafts. The big three wideouts left the board, and I had to settle for Le’Veon Bell, the only RB I consider safe for early-first-round consumption in this format. But landing Amari Cooper and Jarvis Landry made up for that, and reinvigorated my plan. For RB depth, I went for potential high-reception guys, not necessarily overpaying in the late rounds. Blake Bortles at 93 overall? Awesome! Latavius Murray (45) and Dorial Green-Beckham (69)? I want a do-over. Still, this team should compete and could go the distance with precise waiver-wire work.”  -- Tim Heaney, Senior Fantasy Writer, USA Today 


Justin Lonero, Fantasy Goodfellas            
Pos. Player Team Round ESPN F. Pros CBS Avg. PPG.
QB A. Rogers Green Bay 6 340 350 334 341.3 21.3
RB D. Lewis New England 4 196 210 225 210.3 13.1
RB G. Bernard Cincinnati 5 179 185 204 189.3 11.8
WR J. Maclin Kansas City 3 222 231 231 228.0 14.3
WR D. Bryant Dallas 1 279 269 259 269.0 16.8
WR B. Marshall New York 2 247 256 260 254.3 15.9
TE J. Thomas Jacksonville 9 146 141 149 143.5 9.0
Flex F. Gore Indianapolis 7 190 167 160 172.3 10.8
  Totals     1799 1809 1822 1808.2 113.0
Res. S. Shepard New York 8 182 147 138 155.7 9.7


“Nine out of ten times, I use the same approach in drafting a fantasy football team. The Draft Book strategy was no different. Heavy early on wide receivers, snag a couple running backs, and wait on a tight end and quarterback. Although, I felt the price was right for Aaron Rodgers, who can provide the highest of ceilings. 


Based on a point-per-reception format, my strategy was about piecing together the team like a puzzle, with balance, at every position. The first two, sometimes three rounds, I will draft wide receivers with safe floors and high ceilings. This draft was no different in rounds 1 to 3: Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Jeremy Maclin all fit the bill in both of those departments. All three can secure over 80 receptions, 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns.


Now that my foundation is built with a wideout corps, I need running backs, who are always involved in the passing game. I’ve waited three rounds so I need to temper my expectations with what my backfield will look like; Dion Lewis and Gio Bernard are exactly what I wanted.


Balance, balance, balance and more balance is the name of the game. I was also able to steal Frank Gore and rookie Sterling Shepard late. Both of those players have a good size role on their team with a ton of volume. I always want a competitor who is consistently a part of the offensive coordinator’s game plan.” -- Justin Lonero, Fantasy Goodfellas