Emil Kadlecs plan for your Drafts this weekend 2021
Here's a quick reference guide for your drafts this weekend. I am using high-stakes ADP or my analysis.
1. When to Draft Running Backs
A solid draft strategy is to draft two running backs within the first 30 running backs taken. The number of starting running backs is limited compared to wide receivers. You can see in the graph the slope of running back scoring value reduces more quickly compared to wide receiver scoring. If you wait too long, your chance of getting two quality starting running backs reduces unless you have a sleeper RB you believe in and can take later in your draft.
Typically the top-30 running backs go by the mid-sixth round and this could vary from draft to draft. So, it's a good plan to try and get at least one if not two running backs within this timeframe. Remember it's better to count players not rounds. Your draft can be quite different than the average draft - so you need to count how many running backs are going and adjust your draft strategy accordingly.
2. When to Draft Tight Ends
If you're set on drafting one of the top three tight ends (Travis Kelce, Darren Waller or George Kittle) you're going to have to act quickly. Kelce is going in the late first round and Waller is going at the end of round two and Kittle is going in the middle to late third in most drafts this year. Rookie Kyle Pitts is the next ADP tight end going at the beginning of round six. Then T.J. Hockenson and Mark Andrews going in the mid to late sixth round. Nice value for Andrews there.
It's important to understand if you're going to take one of the top-3 Tight Ends, you're giving up a last first to third round pick. When you do this, you will have to make up for missing drafting a quality running back or wide receiver that you could've taken instead. This means before you draft you need to find a sleeper / undervalued player that you believe you can take in the fifth, sixth, or seventh round that could end up being an RB2 or WR2.
If you really don't have a sleeper strategy that you believe will give you an upside player, then you may want to consider taking one of the many undervalued Tight Ends you can get later in the draft like
Logan Thomas, Dallas Goedert and Mike Gesicki. An interesting later-round Tight End is Jonnu Smith of the Patriots. He is typically going in the thirteenth round, but I wouldn't wait that long. If you have a deep league where you may draft two tight ends, Jonnu Smith is a great second TE. There's a lot of potentially high-quality Tight Ends in this year's draft so don't think you have to take Travis Kelce, Darren Waller or George Kittle to win your league. But if you have multiple leagues, I would go for an early tight end at least 25 percent of the time.
3. When to Draft your Quarterback
As most leagues start one quarterback, this position gives you the most flexible draft strategies. This year there is not a quick drop at QB. You get nice potential with the top six ish ranked QBs. In 10-team leagues with a short starting lineup such as two running backs and two wide receivers, I believe it is very tempting to take one of these top quarterbacks. Especially if the league is non-PPR or maybe half PPR. In leagues with roster sizes such as 18 to 20 players that are 12 team with more starting wide receivers and perhaps a flex, you could avoid the top four quarterbacks and have significant options late in your draft.
With only one starting QB in most leagues there are so many starting quarterback options. QBs ranked between 10 to 15 offer great potential this year. Any of these quarterbacks could end up being a top six quarterback giving you excellent quality at that position and having to give up only a middle to late round pick. Typically, what we do is in these deeper leagues with 18 to 20 roster players - we like to take two quarterbacks fairly quickly together. Waiting as long as we can and then snagging two to give yourself extra probability of ending up with a top eight fantasy quarterback. And Tua Tagovailoa with an ADP of 21 is a great longshot QB as a starter of second QB.
Quarterbacks like Ryan Tannehill, Jalen Hurts, Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow fit the 10 to 15 bill. If you draft Joe Burrow, try and get a second QB who has an easy schedule in the early weeks to start until Joe shows. Jalen Hurts have a high sealing with his running ability and a bit of a low floor. But Hurts is a good value because you can get him in later rounds - going as the 13th QB taken.
There are many quality second QBs who have potential to be top-12 performers. Matt Ryan is going as QB 18 in high-stakes leagues and below him are many with good potential after him like Baker Mayfield, Derek Carr, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the previously mentioned Tua Tagovailoa.
Maybe you want to be very radical, and you could take Tannehill or Hurts as your number one quarterback and use all those earlier picks to beef up the rest of your skill positions. I personally prefer taking perhaps a risky quarterback like Jalen Hurts and then take Tua Tagovailoa or one in the above paragraph later in your draft to give yourself a better probability of getting a high-performing quarterback.
These QB strategies can give you some flexibility as the draft flows. If players that you didn't think would be around in the early to middle rounds are available, this gives you a chance to take them and then you can use your late round quarterback strategy to allow you to do this. Take these players and then go late in your draft to get your quarterback could really give you a winning team.
4. Wide Receivers?
So, what we've done here is laid out different plans for quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends. So, what about wide receivers? Well, what we've done here is given you the ability to take receivers early and often as the draft progresses.
5. Late Round Flyers
When you approach the late rounds there is many players of all skill positions that you need to consider. There's always value at the end of the draft and you shouldn't the frustrated when you get to this point. You need to have a plan for these late round players before your draft starts.
These wideouts like Curtis Samuel, Michael Pittman, Russell Gage, Tyrell Williams, Henry Ruggs III and Jalen Reagor and good late rounders. And longshots like Tyrell Williams, Quez Watkins, Elijah Moore, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Elijah Moore. Tyrell Williams' ADP is the 81st WR yet he is the top wideout for Detroit. Somebody is going to be catching the ball there and getting him that late in your draft is hard to pass up if you have deep rosters.
Rondale Moore is have excellent talent and will play mostly in the slot for the Cardinals. But with DeAndre Hopkins, A.J Green and Christian Kirk, both outside, "ahead" of him, it is hard to think he is going to put up good fantasy numbers. Perhaps best ball is the best bet for Rondale Moore.
Also, the Diehards University has many videos including some historic videos that help you plan your drafts such as the stomp theory and Bob and I recently did a quarterback drafting theory video that should help you prepare for your draft.