Fantasy Football Draft Preparation: How to Draft from the 7th General Pick in the PPR All-Point League

There are some fantasy directors who don’t like being picked in the middle of the round. They feel like you can’t control what happens in the draft, and you just have to let the guys fall into your lap. I don’t understand why this is a bad thing.

For this list of 7th overall in the 12-team PPR series, I was pleased with how my team has built. I’ve landed on backs (Nagy Harris, Travis Etienne, AJ Dillon, Niheim Haynes) and receivers (Kenan Allen, DJ Moore, Darnell Mooney, DeVonta Smith, Christian Kirk) that I love, while waiting for the tight end (Zach Eerts) and quarterback (Matthew Stafford).

I never felt compelled to reach for a player, and I had a lot of options when it was my turn to get involved. I would like to play this league just to see how this team will compete.

But alas, this is just a fake draft, albeit an important one for you. This is our 12-part anthology series where Adam Eiser, Heath Cummings, Dave Richard, Dan Schneier and Chris Towers and I participated in a six-person mockup. We’ve created 2 teams of 12 in this 15-round draft to show you a different strategy from each setting.

These are the outlines you can follow if you pick from No. 7 overall in your league. The key is to study the strategy and not necessarily study the players to see if this is right for you.

As a reference point for this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 dash and receiving yards and one point for every 25 yard pass. We also award one point for each reception. We have a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE and FLEX (RB/WR/TE).

This is my team from seventh overall:

1.7: Nagy Harris, RB, Steelers
2.6: Kenan Allen, WR, Chargers
3.7: DJ Moore, WR, Panthers
4.6: Travis Etienne, RB, Jaguar
5.7: Darnell Money, WR, Bears
6.6: A.J. Dillon, RB, Packers
7.7: Devonta Smith, WR, Eagles
8.6: Christian Kirk, WR, Jaguar
9.7: Zach Erts, TE, Cardinals
10.6: Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts
11.7: Matthew Stafford, QB, Rams
12.6: Khalil Herbert, right-back, Bears
13.7: Jacoby Myers, WR, Patriots
14.6: Justin Fields, QB, Bears
15.7: JD Makisic, RB, Leaders

I would have preferred if Justin Jefferson fell seventh overall, but Harris is a nice consolation prize. The only question would be if Harris is better than Joe Mixon or Dalvin Cook, but I expect Harris to have more catches, which is why I put him first in this trio.

Taking Allen in the second round was easy, as was Moore in the third. They both have top-five potential in PPR, and I prefer to rely on the receivers early, especially if my team starts back in the first round.

One of my favorites in the fourth round was Etienne, a formidable frontrunner this season, even with James Robinson returning earlier than expected from last year’s Achilles injury. I hope Etienne falls into your drafts because other Fantasy directors are concerned about his role alongside Robinson. I expect Etienne to be a superstar, and he deserves to be drafted early in the fourth round – if not so late in the third.

I felt robbed with my next seven picks at Mooney, Dillon, Smith, Kirk, Ertz, Hines and Stafford. I would draft Mooney as receiver number 2, but he is receiver number 3 on this list. Dillon is an excellent flexible option, but I could also use Smith or Kirk in this role. I’m also loving Hines this year for his highly anticipated turn in the scrolling game.

As usual, waiting for a tight end and center back pays off to get Ertz in Round 9 and Stafford in Round 11, and hopefully, Stafford’s elbow injury isn’t a concern. If so, you got Fields in round 14, and he could be exceptional given his ability to double-threat as a lunge.

Herbert is a back-up lottery ticket back up to David Montgomery, and I love McKissic’s round 15 value. Like Hines, his role in the Washington passing game could make him a potentially flexible option for this team. And I liked Myers’ value in the 14th round, especially as he’s the #6 receiver on this list.

Favorite choice: Nyheim Hines

The Colts have made it clear that they will involve Hines heavily in the passing game, and he could be second on the team at receptions behind Michael Bateman. In 2020, with Philip Rivers under center, Hines had 63 catches for 482 yards and four touchdowns on 76, combined for 862 total yards and seven touchdowns. I could have seen Hines in the top ten receptions between linebackers racing with Matt Ryan as the new quarterback for Indianapolis, and Hines has a resilient oomph on this team.

Choose I might regret: Nagy Harris

Harris was amazing as a rookie last year when he finished 3rd in the running in PPR and led all runners with 74 times. Hopefully he can continue to be in the passing game without Ben Roethlisberger—Harris tied Austin Eckler for most goals in running backs (94)—and can improve as a forward (he averaged 3.9 yards per carry in 307 attempts). The reason it’s in this category is just because it wouldn’t shock me if Mixon or Cook were better because they should be in better offenses. I love all three, and I hope Harris is a star again.

The player who can make or break my team: Travis Etienne

I’m not afraid Etienne will let me down, which could obviously happen if he’s struggling to produce, and Robinson is Jaguar’s signature full-back. I expect Etienne to be at worst the Jacksonville passer and at best a performer like Alvin Camara or Dandrey Swift. He has the ability to get 70+ passes and a total of 1,500 yards, with a healthy amount of touchdowns. If that happens, this team could be special. He’s one of the guys you should do your best to target this season, and I have no problem drafting him late in the third and certainly in the fourth.

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