Perfect Fantasy Football Draft: 3rd in an ESPN 12-Team Full-PPR League


The beauty of fantasy football, for me, is the draft. This year, more than any I can really remember, I have a specific lineup in mind where I want to draft. I need a top five. The tier break after the top five is steep and I want to be one of those elite top five picks in the PPR Draft.

My favorite top five spot is the third pick. It gives you the most flexibility if one of the elite running backs goes down and if they don’t, you have a choice of one of three elite wide receivers. Win-win, right? There’s also another big third-round level break you can take advantage of when the top running backs drop shortly after your draft spot if you go elsewhere with your top two picks.

In this article, I’ll walk through the perfect draft from third place in a full 12-team ESPN PPR league. Each selection has been optimized using projections and value-based rankings from the 4for4 Draft Hero tool.

More perfect drafts: 6th in a 12-team ESPN PPR league | 1st in a 12-team Superflex league | 2nd in a 12-team ESPN PPR league | 1st in a Yahoo! of 12 teams! Half PPR | 9th in a 12-team ESPN PPR league

Hero Draft Settings

  • List parameters: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE), 1 Defense, 1 Kicker, 6 Bench Spot
  • No Kicker or D/ST until the last two rounds: I’ll almost certainly stick with this unless massive value comes along, but I don’t want to create a ton of restrictions.

Go to choice: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | to sum up

Round 1, choice 3 (3) – RB Christian McCaffrey, Panthers

It’s a home run. McCaffrey is slowly closing in on Jonathan Taylor for the number one pick. Since resetting expectations of what a running back could do in fantasy football in 2019, he’s had two injury-plagued seasons and people are cautious.

Others be careful. You are here to win. When McCaffrey plays, he’s the best fantasy asset on the planet. In five of the seven games he played last year, he was in the top 15 out of five RBs and that included an RB1, RB3, RB4 and RB5 finish. He averaged 23.4 touches per game in 2021, with 5.3 of those touches being receptions. He’s the best draft pick here, hands down. Draft Hero’s suggestion made this an easy pick.

Suggested alternatives: WR Justin Jefferson, RB Austin Ekeler, RB Derrick Henry, WR Ja’Marr Chase

My best alternative: WR Justin Jefferson

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