2018 Fantasy Football Draft Flow Chart
If you believe drafting by position is as important as "best player available" then check out Brett Talley's fantasy football flow chart to help guide you through your drafts this season.
Welcome to the 2018 Fantasy Football Flow Chart! One guy commented on last year’s flow chart article and asked for it again this year, so here we are. Talk about personalized service!
The idea here is that you can take the chart above into your draft and just follow a track all the way down the chart throughout your draft. The chart is designed for use in 12-team standard ESPN leagues (PPR) with the following 16 roster slots: 1 QB; 2 RB; 2 WR; 1 TE; 1 FLEX; 1 K; 1 DEF/ST; 7 Bench. Even if you’re drafting on a different site, the chart should work fine.
The chart should also work if you’re playing in standard or half-PPR leagues. In those instances, you might want to follow the tracks that start with more running backs in the early rounds.
More importantly, this flow chart can be used in conjunction with the Ultimate Cheat Sheet and together, you have a very easy-to-follow treasure map leading you to the Promised Land, a.k.a. your fantasy football championship.
Before we get into the rounds and the names, let’s talk general strategy. I’m a subscriber to the whole late round QB/TE and streaming strategies. More people are on that bandwagon now than they were a few years ago, but in any league with non-fantasy writers, there are always several people who over-value quarterbacks and sometimes tight ends. If you like to take QBs and TEs early, this flow chart isn’t for you.
All players listed in each round below are listed in the order which I would prefer to select them compared to other players at their position. There could be a guy or three mentioned as a target in a certain round who might not be available at that point, but someone else mentioned as a target in that round (or even a round prior) should be available for you to select. If no one listed as an option in that round is available, simply move to the next round and select someone listed there.
Don’t feel the need to adhere too strongly to the names suggested in each round below. The key thing here is the flow chart and the structure it provides. If there are specific players you want to take within the framework provided that are not specifically named below, draft your guys.
After you draft, feel free to leave your roster in the comments or on Twitter (@TheRealTAL), and I’ll let you know what I think.
Alright, enough preamble. Here is the Flow Chart and below that is a round-by-round discussion.
Whether you’re taking a running back or a receiver in Round 1 basically comes down to whether you have one of the first four picks or not. If you do, take any one of the obvious top four backs. There are reasonable arguments to be made for and against each of them, and the purpose of this article is not to delve too deeply into that debate. Take the one you like.
If you don’t have a top four pick, take a receiver. That will be easy to do if Antonio Brown or DeAndre Hopkins is available, but you’ll have a choice to make if picking later in the round. With this being a PPR format, the safer bet is someone like Odell Beckham Jr. or Julio Jones compared to a back from the second tier.
Pick your poison here. Whatever you did in Round 1 doesn’t have much effect on your positional needs just yet.
If you’ve doubled up at a position to this point, it’s time to diversify a bit. But if you’ve split your picks between back and receiver, the option to go either way remains open to you.
No matter what you’ve done to this point, this is a receiver round. The running backs with ADPs in this range aren’t my favorite targets, guys like Kenyan Drake , Derrick Henry , Alex Collins and Jay Ajayi . The receivers available at this point are simply better options.
If you’ve got three wide receivers at this point, it’s time to double up on backs with your roster starting to take on a bit of a Zero-RB feel. But if your roster is evenly split, keep the balance going by alternating these picks between back and receiver.
This is another spot where the backs going in this range aren’t all that attractive, so you should pick up a receiver here no matter what.
We’re trying to keep a balanced roster here, so if you took backs with two of your first three picks, you’ll be taking a receiver here. Otherwise, you’re selecting a back in this round.
It’s another receiver round! You could possibly snag a QB in this round, but there are still receivers with upside here.
This is the spot where it’s finally OK to take a QB. There are plenty of veteran QBs still available at this point who play on very reliable offenses. If you’re feeling thin at RB in Round 10, add some depth at that position before snagging a QB in the next round.
You might not like the idea of punting tight end, but it’s such a hit-or-miss, touchdown-dependent position, which makes it the most stream-able position on your roster. You’re not drafting a tight end here with the intention of keeping them on your roster all season. Maybe you’ll strike gold, but don’t hesitate to cut the guy you draft here and play it week-to-week.
In whatever order you would prefer, select a kicker on what you believe will be an above-average offense and a defense with a good matchup in Week 1. Defenses that might fit that bill and might still be available include New Orleans, Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Detroit.