Before I got into Fantasy Football, I was obsessed with poker. As good poker players know, you don’t necessarily need to have the best hand to win in poker. There are many variables that can give you an advantage when playing against only two others on Playdraft. If you have done any of the three-man drafts, the first thing you notice is that every team is stacked! Many people will say that you can’t gain an advantage because of this, but I believe there are several ways to do so.
Any successful high volume/high stakes best ball player will tell you that roster construction is just as important, if not more important, than the players you draft. These drafts are 18 rounds, the weekly roster construction is 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE and one flex, there is no kicker or defense.
At first glance, you would believe the wide receivers are the most critical position due to having to start three, but I will tell you it’s the least important. Just like roster construction, knowing your scoring is very important and these drafts are half point PPR. This bumps the running back to the most important position. Below I will go over the four positions you will draft and strategy on drafting each.
When you hear that you need to start three wide receiver’s weekly, you think you need to go wide receiver, but I will tell you to stack other positions and build WR late. Wide receiver is the easiest position to get replacement value, outside of the top 3-5 guys. As stated previously roster construction is key. Where there is a huge drop off in running back and tight ends after the first two tiers of players the drop off at wide receiver isn’t as big. While you need to start three weekly, you likely will draft seven wide receivers on your team.
Since there are only three teams and assume everyone drafts eight wide receivers, which is on the high side, you are still getting seven wide receivers within the top 24 drafted. This means at the very least every one of your eight wide receivers is going to be a WR2. To give an example, Tyrell Hill was the WR4 with 208.7 fantasy points, and the WR24 was Nelson Agholor with 162.5. It may seem like a big difference on the surface, but there are nineteen wide receivers in between.
While there isn’t a huge drop off at the wide receiver position, there is with the running backs. The first five running backs off the board are in their own tier, but the running backs going in the 6-12 range are critical when doing the three-man drafts. While you would likely draft 7-8 wide receivers, you are only typically drafting 5-6 running backs. With the .5 PPR, it does swing the scoring into the running backs favor. An example of the running back scoring being a bigger drop off is Mark Ingram was the RB6 scoring 249 points while the RB12 was Jordan Howard with 188 points.
This is a big drop off with only five running backs in between. For this reason, I want to have five running backs I believe will be top twelve in scoring by the end of season and try hoard the early running backs like Todd Gurley (351.3) and Le’Veon Bell (299.1) as they give you a huge advantage weekly. I like to stack the running back and tight end positions early if I can.
Speaking of tight ends, Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski were the 19th and 20th in total points on the season from non-quarterbacks with 193 and 192 respectively. Cameron Brate was the TE10 with 119. That is a 74 point difference from the TE1 to the TE10. If you had Gronk and Kelce on your team is almost a guarantee to outscore your opponents weekly at the position, and they could have even flexed a few weeks for you. Going back to earlier when I compared these drafts to poker, if you are on the turn and you draft Gronk and Kelce back to back, it usually makes the other two teams frantic and may start drafting them earlier than normal.
Quarterbacks are the wild card to me and I will attempt to get Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson or Tom Brady but other than those, you can draft any two or three quarterbacks and be ok. I will normally draft three quarterbacks if I have someone coming off of injury or if I wait until the end of the draft and take two quarterbacks with a little less upside.
Just like Poker
You have heard me mention several times that I compare these drafts to poker more than fantasy drafts. Everyone’s team will be stacked so gaining a positional advantage will help you win. To me, the winning strategy is to try and “win” the running back and tight end positions by drafting them early. I will also try to grab Aaron Rodgers if I can get him at a good price since he’s the one quarterback I feel is a lock for top three is he stays healthy and can give you a weekly advantage. Where in normal twelve man drafts I am usually not too worried about others roster’s, you want to pay attention to your opponent’s roster.
One thing I love to do is if I am on the turn I like to double up at the quarterback or tight end position. When you do so you will force your opponents into drafting one as well because they feel as though they are falling behind. This will push value at other positions to fall to you later that normally wouldn’t have.
Lastly, if you are in a draft with someone who is terrible and makes the draft a two-man race, join the next three-man draft because many times they will join as well and you can get several easy games in a row. I have done this multiple times and played an opponent who made horrible picks for 3-4 games in a row.
I hope this helps you in your Playdraft three man best ball drafts. Special thank you toEric Iannaccone for providing me the data for last year’s statistics. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @FFLinx and thank you for reading.