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2014 Fantasy Football: The Perfect Draft

How to execute the perfect fantasy football league draft

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The perfect draft.

It is something that was rumored to have happened only once before back in the late 1990’s by a Brazilian named Rohan, who also happened to save the world from the Y2K epidemic just a few years later.

But for the rest of us the perfect draft is something we have only dreamed of while staring at our computer screens pretending to work.

One of the goals we all have as we sit down for our fantasy football drafts each year is to make every pick a homerun. Of course outside of the great Rohan, this never actually happens but we still dare to dream.

Since a perfect draft is more rare than spotting Bigfoot, I thought it would be fun to chase down that perfect draft in today’s article.

So what would a perfect draft look like? Let’s go step by step to find out. For this exercise I have awarded myself the fourth overall pick in a 12 team PPR league. The draft will be a snake format consisting of 16 rounds. I’ll highlight the early rounds and give a play by play account of what I am looking for as I build my team and how it all just so happens to work out. For the later rounds I will just list my own selection and give a recap of how it played out in my favor.

Let’s get to it.

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Round 1

Prepick Strategy: For me the ideal situation is to have one of the top four overall picks in the draft. This guarantees you one of the top RB’s on the board. I would love to have the #1 overall pick and thus be on the wheel in every other round but fourth is pretty solid too. Let’s see how it played out.


1.1) LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles

1.2) Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs

1.3) Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings

1.4) Matt Forte, RB, Bears (My Pick)

1.5) Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions

1.6) A.J. Green, WR, Bengals

1.7) Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers

1.8) Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos

1.9) Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys

1.10) Montee Ball, RB, Broncos

1.11) Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints

1.12) Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks


Post Round Reaction: I got my #1 overall pick with the #4 selection. Forte is a high volume RB who gets buckets of catches out of the backfield. His jump cut move allows him to never be squared up when tackled which minimizes his damage. Forte is also scheduled to pick up goal line carries this season with the loss of free agent Michael Bush which should dramatically help Forte’s overall fantasy production.

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Round 2


Prepick Strategy: Now that I have locked in one of the most consistent players in fantasy football I am simply looking for another high end consistent player in round two. Position doesn’t factor in to my decision other than I know that I am not going to be taking a QB this early.

2.1) Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos

2.2) Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals

2.3) Brandon Marshall, WR, Bears

2.4) DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys

2.5) Reggie Bush, RB, Lions

2.6) Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers

2.7) Arian Foster, RB, Texans

2.8) Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers

2.9) Julio Jones, WR, Falcons

2.10) Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears

2.11) Drew Brees, QB, Saints

2.12) Randall Cobb, WR, Packers


Post Round Reaction: I would have loved to get Martin there but Julio Jones falling into my lap was a very nice surprise. I guess concerns about the injury and the Falcons offensive woes last season scared some people off. 

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Round 3

Prepick Strategy: Still too early for a QB and there is but one more RB worth a this pick in Zac Stacy. If Stacy is not there I will consider either Rob Gronkowski or one of a group or WR’s who I am very surprised are still on the board.

3.1) Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

3.2) Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers

3.3) C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills

3.4) Zac Stacy, RB, Rams

3.5) Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins

3.6) Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins

3.7) Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots

3.8) Andre Ellington, RB, Cardials

3.9) Victor Cruz, WR, Giants

3.10) Vincent Jackson, WR, Buccaneers

3.11) Le’veon Bell, RB, Steelers

3.12) Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals


Post Round Reaction: Getting Stacy puts me in a great situation going forward. There are still plenty of WR’s available now and I can focus on acquiring a couple of them before I go out and get my QB & TE.

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Round 4

Prepick Strategy: It is all about WR’s this round. I will be happy with either Andre Johnson, Julian Edelman, Wes Welker or Reggie Wayne. I’d love for some QB’s to go early in this round to allow at least one of these WR’s to drop to me.

4.1) Julius Thomas, TE, Broncos

4.2) Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions

4.3) Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots

4.4) Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers

4.5) Cam Newton, QB, Panthers

4.6) Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings

4.7) Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers

4.8) Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals

4.9) Andre Johnson, WR, Texans

4.10) Wes Welker, WR, Broncos

4.11) Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns

4.12) Bishop Sankey, RB, Titans

Post Round Reaction: At this point in the draft I am giddy about so many things going my way. People are absolutely crazy taking these TE’s and QB’s so early but keep it rolling. 

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Round 5

Prepick Strategy: Usually I dedicate the fifth round to drafting my QB but there are so many good WR and even a couple RB options that I would rather get here.

5.1) DeSean Jackson, WR, Redskins

5.2) Joique Bell, RB, Lions

5.3) Nick Foles, QB, Eagles

5.4) Frank Gore, RB, 49ers

5.5) Toby Gerhart, RB, Jaguars

5.6) Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers

5.7) Chris Johnson, RB, Jets

5.8) Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills

5.9) Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers

5.10) Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys

5.11) Ben Tate, RB, Browns

5.12) Trent Richardson, RB, Colts

Post Round Reaction: I was considering getting my third RB here only if Frank Gore or Ben Tate were still available and low and behold they were. Looking around at the rest of the teams I am very happy having locked up three RB’s early. Now all that I need is some WR’s and to find my QB and I am all set.

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Round 6

Prepick Strategy: I will probably wind up with at QB here. Really surprised that Andrew Luck is hanging around, probably because of the Colts offensive line woes this summer. I also have my eye on a WR here if somehow he falls. Things are about to get interesting all up in here.

6.1) Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings

6.2) T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts

6.3) Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

6.4) Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers

6.5) Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins

6.6) Roddy White, WR, Falcons

6.7) Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys

6.8) Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles

6.9) Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots

6.10) Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens

6.11) Marques Colston, WR, Saints

6.12) Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens

Post Round Reaction: I was so torn on making this selection. Ultimately it came down to none of teams picking after me in this round or before me in the next need a QB. So I went with Edelman who was the highest WR on my board by a lot. 

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Round 7

Prepick Strategy: Knowing that the three teams ahead of me in this round already have QB’s make me very comfortable that I will get my QB here.  

7.1) Kendall Wright, WR, Titans

7.2) Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins

7.3) Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants

7.4) Andrew Luck, QB, Colts

7.5) Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

7.6) Brandin Cooks, WR, Saints

7.7) Jay Cutler, QB, Bears

7.8) Mike Wallace, WR, Dolphins

7.9) Eric Decker, WR, Jets

7.10) Fred Jackson, RB, Bills

7.11) Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers

7.12) Anquan Boldin, WR, 49ers

Post Round Reaction: This was a lesson in patience paying off. If I would have taken a QB three rounds ago it would have been Andrew Luck. So in the meantime I picked up three high quality players and still landed my QB. Life is good…

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Round 8

Prepick Strategy: I will either handcuff my RB here or gather some WR depth. I still do not have a TE but am not that worried about it because all the names left have similar value and my top guy has the lowest  ADP and the highest upside. 

8.1) Ray Rice, RB, Ravens

8.2) Steven Jackson, RB, Falcons

8.3) Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys

8.4) Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars

8.5) Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints

8.6) Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos

8.7) Golden Tate, WR, Lions

8.8) Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers

8.9) Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles

8.10) Charles Clay, TE, Dolphins

8.11) DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans

8.12) Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Raiders

Post Round Reaction: I absolutely love Jerry Rice’s cousin (Jordan Matthews) in this spot. He is a rookie but extremely polished and in the best situation possible in an aggressive passing offense with little to no other receiving options. 

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Round 9

(NOTE: I am only highlighting my picks now because as we get into the later rounds it becomes less about building your team and more about insuring it and putting on the finishing touches.)

9.4) Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers

Post Round Reaction: I could feel the buzzards circling so I am very happy to have locked in my RB3’s handcuff in the rookie Carlos Hyde. Having both of these guys you almost wish for Gore to get injured just because you know that Hyde would probably post the better numbers being the lead dog. But either way I am loaded at the RB spot, a great problem to have.

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Round 10

10.9) Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings

Post Round Reaction: Alright I finally bit the bullet and took a TE. Rudolph is my #5 TE and yet none of the other 11 owners wanted him as their starting TE. As unlikely as that is to happen in a “real” draft it is entirely possible. 

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Round 11

11.4) Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers

Post Round Reaction: You can really never have enough depth at WR and having the Panthers clear cut #1 option is definitely a win here in the 11th round. At 6’5” Benjamin provides Cam Newton with something he has never had at his disposal: size. I am anticipating some very good TD numbers out of Benjamin in year one.

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Round 12

12.9) Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins

Post Round Reaction: I just couldn’t pass up my sleeper QB of the year here in Tannehill. I have all the confidence in the world in Andrew Luck as my starter but wanted to keep Tannehill away from my opponents knowing that he can be massive trade bait later on in the season.

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Round 13

13.4) Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints

Post Round Reaction: When it comes to late round picks I like to go for upside as much as anybody but I also like to make sure that I am playing proper defense also. What I mean by this is there is no reason a starting RB should be on the board in the 13th round. Yet, Mark Ingram was here and a team that has loaded up on WR’s early and was too stupid to take Ingram many rounds ago does not deserve to stumble upon him now. I will gladly build some amazing depth at RB with this pick in Mark Ingram.

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Round 14

14.9) St. Louis Rams DST

Post Round Reaction: The Rams are by far and away my top DST this season and thus I took them a round early to make sure that I locked them down. With Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn disrupting the QB and Tavon Austin returning kickoffs and punts I am going to be swimming in points with the Rams this season.

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Round 15

15.4) Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Titans

Post Round Reaction: Hunter is going to be a touchdown machine and I am thrilled that he was still here this late. People worry too much about last year’s numbers and completely overlook the tremendous skill a guy like Hunter really has. 

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Round 16

16.9) Robbie Gould, K, Chicago Bears

Post Round Reaction: The Bears are going to score a heck of a lot of points this year and Gould will prosper as a result. I may have to swap him out late in the season due to weather but at this point he is the guy to help me off to a good start.

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Perfect Draft Recap

The keys to any draft are to maximize upside, minimize risk and build plenty of depth. I have obviously accomplished all three of these in this draft. First of all, let’s review the team:

QB: Andrew Luck

RB1: Matt Forte

RB2: Zac Stacy

WR1: Julio Jones

WR2: Andre Johnson

WR3: Julian Edelman

TE: Kyle Rudolph

FLEX: Frank Gore

DST: St. Louis Rams

K: Robbie Gould

Bench1: Ryan Tannehill

Bench2: Mark Ingram

Bench3: Carlos Hyde

Bench4: Jordan Matthews

Bench5: Kelvin Benjamin

Bench6: Justin Hunter

This team has everything. There is depth at all positions, explosive RB’s and consistent WR’s. I love the fact that I can start four RB’s on this team. I prefer to start RB’s as FLEX players as they tend to be more consistent than the young receivers that I have on the roster. 


  • 64x64

    Cranny 23 Aug 15:19 / Reply

    Bro great draft. I have mine today. Hope it goes as well as the team u drafted. Wouldn't change a thing

  • 64x64

    Bryan Shisler 22 Aug 17:16 / Reply

    Jordy Nelson out of the league? Where's the love...

  • 64x64

    The Assman 22 Aug 16:57 / Reply

    Great draft but Rudolph must be picked by the eighth as you noted. And the rams d must be picked by the 12th. Are you that confident in them to invest a 12th round pick? Then you miss out on tannehill

  • 64x64

    Aaron 22 Aug 15:40 / Reply

    Why do you draft Carlos Hyde, handcuff to your third drafted RB, instead of Forte or Stacy's? I am guessing Kadeem Carey and Benny Cunningham. Being an amature fantasy football player, I would have drafted Hyde in Ingram's and then one of the aforemention hadcuffs in Hyde's spot. Thanks dude

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