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This article is about a 10-minute read.
- Draft Strategy with an Early 1st-Round Pick
- Draft Strategy with a Middle 1st-Round Pick
- Draft Strategy with a Late 1st-Round Pick
How you begin a draft can alter the entire composition of your roster. And where you pick in the first round can make all the difference in your early-draft strategy.
Let's talk about your game plan when you have a middle pick in the first round. How do you prefer to start a draft when you pick between the 1.05 and 1.08 spots? Do you map out your first few picks? What do you like your roster to look like when drafting from this area of Round 1?
While missing out of the top tier (generally) of players in Round 1, strategically I love being in the middle of the round as a macro draft position. The wait is minimized and positional runs are less likely to truly bite you on a round-to-round basis.
Round 1 is the lone spot of the draft where you can be on the outside looking in depending on your top targets. I have a decent drop beyond Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott among running backs, so they are likely gone and Alvin Kamara could be gone as well by the mid-1st. The WR1 could be available as a pivot in 1QB formats and the mid-1st is a good spot in superflex as two or three quarterbacks will be in the top half of Round 1 mix to elongate the window to get a top running back or a top quarterback is another pivot option.
Being in the middle of the round is ideal by the mid-rounds of the draft especially if waiting on quarterback and tight end specifically with less of a wait between selections if working on a shortlist of ideal targets.
Picking in the middle of the draft this year feels suboptimal, based on the way my early industry drafts and best-ball leagues have gone. The running back run continues, but I think there's a huge falloff and/or increase in bust potential with the backs in the first round beyond McCaffrey, Elliott, and Barkley. I'm most comfortable targeting Michael Thomas or Davante Adams in those spots and then trusting my projections to let the draft unfold from there. If I do take a receiver in the first round, given the depth at the position I'm likely passing on another receiver until the fifth round at the earliest. And I cannot imagine going without a running back through three rounds, so it's a goal to grab one at value. The trick this year is that Travis Kelce and George Kittle are justifiably exciting second-round picks. But it's hard to take either of them if you take a receiver in the first round.
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