The perfect PPR draft is not an easy thing to pull off, so having a PPR draft strategy is imperative. Going into the draft without our cheat sheets can also leave you at the bottom of the pack. Are you ready to dominate your PPR draft in 2023? Having a solid draft strategy is crucial, and I'm here to help you achieve success. In this article, I will guide you through each round and provide valuable insights. By following this strategy, you'll be well-prepared for the upcoming season. Let's dive in!
Round 1: Target Dual-Threat Running Backs or Elite Wide Receivers
In the first round, aim for running backs who excel in both rushing and receiving. These versatile players are highly valuable in PPR leagues. Here are my preferred picks in order:
1. Justin Jefferson
2. Ja'Marr Chase
3. Christian McCaffery
4. Cooper Kupp
5. Tyreek Hill
6. Austin Ekeler
7. Stefon Diggs
8. Bijan Robinson
These eight players are likely to dominate the first round. While some argue for selecting Travis Kelce, apparent By his first round ADP, I recommend prioritizing RBs or WRs to build a strong foundation.
My favorite value pick in Round 1: Austin Ekeler finished 2nd in fantasy points 2 seasons in a row and is currently being drafted around the 7th pick in PPR leagues.
Round 2: Focus on Wide Receivers and Running Backs
In round two, continue to target wide receivers or running backs. Considering Travis Kelce is available here, it might be tempting to select him, but it's wiser to prioritize RBs or WRs. Don't waste a high pick on quarterbacks; there are many productive ones available later in the draft.
My favorite value pick in Round 2: Nick Chubb RB CLE
Chubb finally has the backfield all to himself and very well could see many more targets. He could easily finish as RB1 and I'd draft him in at any point in the mid to late 1st without hesitation.
Round 3: Assess Your Roster Needs
In round three, evaluate your team's composition. If you already have two running backs, it's a good opportunity to pick a wide receiver. Consider the number of running backs and wide receivers drafted so far and make an informed decision based on the positions you still need to fill.
My favorite value pick in Round 3: Rhamondre Stevenson RB NE'
Stevenson is embracing his role as the lead running back for the New England Patriots following Damien Harris' departure. He recognizes that he will have a significant workload and is preparing his body accordingly. With Harris now in Buffalo, Stevenson has fewer competitors for touches and the opportunity to shine. Although the Patriots have other running backs on their roster, such as James Robinson, Kevin Harris, and Pierre Strong, Stevenson is expected to be the primary option in both rushing and receiving out of the backfield.
Round 4: Consider Quarterbacks or Best Available Players
In round four, you can start considering top-tier quarterbacks if you haven't drafted one yet. However, it might be too early for tight ends outside of Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, and TJ Hockenson, who are likely already taken. Keep an eye on the positions lacking in your league, as that will give you an idea of which players or positions will have value in the upcoming rounds.
My favorite value pick in Round 4: Terry McLaurin WR WAS
Terry McLaurin's performance in Week 18 is worth noting, as he received a significant 33% target share from quarterback Sam Howell. This suggests that Howell recognizes McLaurin as a primary target in the passing game. McLaurin has proven to be a reliable WR2 option, relying on volume to produce consistent results.
Round 5: Capitalize on Wide Receivers and Pass-Catching Running Backs
Round five offers plenty of opportunities to secure wide receivers and running backs who excel in catching passes. The drop-off between RBs and WRs from the fifth to the sixth round isn't significant. If you still need a starting quarterback, this might be a suitable round to grab one. Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence are often available here.
My favorite value pick in Round 5: Drake London WR ATL
Despite ranking 22nd in raw target volume last year with 117 targets, Chris London stood out with the fifth-highest target share (29.4%) and second-highest target per route run rate (32.4%) among wide receivers. London also impressed in efficiency metrics, placing 16th in open rate, tenth in PFF receiving grade, and 14th in yards per route run. Although he didn't score a touchdown in Weeks 13-18, London showcased his potential as a WR2 with the ability to reach WR1 status in the upcoming 2023 season.
Round 6: Assess Risk and Look for Best Available Players
Round six can be a gamble based on ADP (Average Draft Position). Some players have uncertainties due to projected performance improvements or return from injury. This round can make or break your team, so choose wisely. If you still need a TE1, this might be the ideal spot to grab one. Otherwise, prioritize the best available player based on your rankings.
My favorite value pick in Round 6: Brandon Aiyuk WR SF
Despite ranking lower in deep targets and red zone targets, Brandon Aiyuk still managed to excel in touchdowns among wide receivers. While it may be challenging to anticipate increased targets in the 49ers' run-oriented offense, if Aiyuk's usage in high-value situations improves in 2023, he has the potential to surpass his fantasy performance from last year.
Round 7: Accumulate Running Backs and Wide Receivers
In round seven, focus on adding more running backs and wide receivers to your roster. This is also an appropriate round to target players with high upside. If you haven't filled all your starting skill positions, prioritize them in this round.
My favorite value pick in Round 7: Evan Engram TE JAC
Evan Engram struggled to meet expectations during his four-year stint with the Giants. However, he found success after joining the Jaguars on a one-year deal in 2022, recording 73 receptions for 766 yards and four touchdowns. Although Engram had a strong performance in the playoffs and returned to the Jaguars after being franchise-tagged, the addition of WR Calvin Ridley and other talented pass-catchers on the roster may increase competition for targets, making Engram's valuation as a midrange or low-end TE1 slightly questionable.
Round 8: Seek Bargains and Depth
Starting from round eight, you'll find some bargains depending on your needs. Look for players with talent and opportunities for breakout performances. Prioritize accumulating wide receivers and running backs. Additionally, ensure you have a backup tight end before the draft concludes, especially if your league allows tight ends in the flex position.
My favorite value pick in Round 8: Alvin Kamara RB NO
Yes he could be suspended for a couple game but Kamara's drop off in production has been due to bad QB play. Unlike many other touts I think Kamara will out produce his current ADP by a wide margin.
Round 9: Select Upside Players
As the draft progresses, the available pool of players may seem thin. However, focus on selecting players with upside. Look for third-year possession wide receivers or RB2s with potential. Our draft guide contains loads of "upside/sleeper" picks to assist you in making these challenging choices.
My favorite value pick in Round 9: Derek Carr QB NOS
Carr get upgrades in offensive line pass protection, WR's, TE's and coaching staff. He should outproduce his current ADP and could easily finished top 12 in QB production.
Round 10: Backup Tight End or Best Available Player
If you still require a backup tight end, round ten is an appropriate time to address that need. Otherwise, choose the best available player on the board. Handcuffs can be considered if you find value in them.
My favorite value pick in Round 10: Jordan Love QB GB
Following Aaron Rodgers' departure to the Jets, Jordan Love is anticipated to take over as the Packers' starting quarterback in 2023 after spending three years as an apprentice. However, there is limited information to assess Love's abilities, as he has only made one career start and attempted a mere 83 passes since entering the league in 2020. While Love possesses a strong arm and good mobility, his lack of data introduces the possibility of both upside and bust potential.
Round 11: Delay Kickers and Defenses
Avoid selecting a kicker or defense until the
last two rounds of your draft. There is limited continuity among defenses and kickers, making streaming a more favorable strategy. Determine which position you value more and make your choice accordingly.
Round 12: Select Kicker or Defense
If you have already chosen a defense, select a kicker in this round. Otherwise, reverse the order and pick a defense. This concludes your draft, and you should have a well-rounded team to compete in your PPR league.
Remember, this strategy is based on a 12-round draft, but you can adapt it to fit any league size using the tools available in our draft guide. Prioritize skill positions, as quarterbacks are plentiful, and tight ends can be categorized into elite and the rest. Stockpile wide receivers and running backs throughout the draft, and you'll be on your way to a successful season. Good luck!