I am participating in two fantasy football leagues this season. One league is a 12 team snake draft standard PPR league, and the other is a 14 team snake draft two player keeper league. When I began researching keeper league strategies for fantasy football this summer, I recognized the one stat that mattered the most is player usage volume. This is where I started the process of identifying the highest usage players in the NFL by dividing their total number of attempts, or targets, by their total accumulated points from the previous year. I call this key stat total offensive efficiency, or as others have coined it (points per opportunity).
My draft position in the .5 PPR keeper league was 10 out of 14 teams and my draft position in the 12 man PPR league was 12th. The 1 point 12 team PPR league draft was scheduled two days prior to my two man keeper .5 PPR league. This worked out strategically for me to get an idea of who would be available in the later rounds in my two man keeper league. I highly recommend this strategy especially if you are in a dynasty or keeper league where you are investing a lot of money. Don’t just throw money away, do your research and enter into a few leagues and participate in several mock drafts to help you understand what the flow of that current year’s draft will likely be. Fantasy drafts have a flow to them, and that flow will vary based on owner experience and league depth, but having a general idea of who will be available late can give you an advantage in a deeper draft.
Even though I drafted for two leagues, I am going to keep my focus on analyzing the two player keeper league.
The roster for the team I purchased in the two player keeper league was as follows:
I had to choose two keepers.
Sticking with my player volume theory and total Efficiency the apparent first choice was Todd Gurley who would cost me a 1st round pick in my keeper league. Gurley is number one overall in keeper league ADP and ranked number one in total efficiency on my big board among all NFL running backs.
As noted earlier I like to measure total offensive efficiency for all players and Todd Gurley was top among all NFL RB's in this category.
The next choice was difficult as I wanted to keep LeSean McCoy maintaining my RB heavy focus early. My thought first was that I could keep two RB’s and grab a third in the 3rd round of the draft, but I quickly changed my mind on McCoy who would cost a 2nd round pick. After watching the Bills offense struggle in the preseason and McCoy’s high usage over the years means he has a lot of miles at the age of 30.
My decision was made easier when I realized that many of the top flight WR’s would be off the board by the third round as many of the league owners were keeping the top RB's and WR's. When I made the decision to move away from McCoy I wanted to keep a receiver to gain some balance and thought that if I take a WR as a keeper I could get another high volume RB in round two. So I decided to keep Tyreek Hill. Hill is 14th among WR’s in overall volume. Hill has tremendous playmaking ability and might be a risky bet for a 3rd round pick, but I need to keep a top flight WR on my roster. His highs certainly make up for the low’s, and his number 4 overall efficiency ranking, or PPO was hard to pass up.
Tyreek Hill ranked number 4 overall and number two among WR's in total offensive efficiency in 2017.
Two player keeper league players I drafted and where they ranked regarding volume and ADP.
One of my main focuses in the draft was to draft the best available by round while filling out my starting lineup before initiating any bench player picks. Below is a round by round list of my picks against their average ADP.
The sleepers that I was hoping to get in the mid to late rounds fell to me accordingly. I like Marquise Goodwin as a tier two WR with tier one potential, Isaiah Crowell with the Jets played well in the preseason and worked to improve his pass catching ability. Crowell will split reps with Bilal Powell, but I am gambling on him being a red Zone machine if and when the Jets get deep into the red area.
The significant risk who I just could not hold out too long before I made the pick in round ten was James Conner. If LeVeon Bell continues his holdout into the regular season, Conner will be the starter for the Steelers, and he was massively efficient for the Steelers in the preseason and the obvious replacement for Bell if he decides to move on from the Steelers, or if the Steelers move on from him. Another reason I chose him is that he will be an excellent sleeper keeper for the next year’s draft if Bell does move on from Pittsburgh.
The Quarterback position began to get thin at the top tier by the 6th and 7th round. I decided to take the best available regarding volume in the 7th round. I was a few picks away from getting the number one player in total volume Russell Wilson, and still managed to snag Kirk Cousins. I also grabbed Eli Manning in the 15th round.
Like all fantasy owners this time of year I am undefeated. My week one starting roster projects 110 pts with Isaiah Crowell, but I am going to most likely start James Conner Week one if Bell does not report to Steelers practice by Wednesday.