Drafting on the turn – the points dilemma

There are two turns in a Fantasy Football snake draft, either end of the draft board. Drafting from the one spot means CMC is locked in and points galore. That makes drafting a hell of a lot easier. This article will be based around the turn at the other end, the 10/12/14 spot. This article will be based on a 12 team, half-point league. I will be using Sleepers ADP as I did my research on their mock draft simulator.

Its good to be back Rush Nation. I used to love drafting at the turn, then Covid-19 turned up and ruined it. Just like everyone else did during lockdown, I participated in many drafts and the turn became unattractive. However, having been given the spot recently in a few drafts I’ve learnt to love it again. Diving into the stats and ADP of players I feel there is mainly one way to draft from this spot. I’m not saying you have to draft like this from this slot but I’ve tried many methods and double Wide Receiver in the first two rounds is my preferred method. Let me describe why.

Go Time

Here you are, everyone is ready, the Commish is about to hit draft and the excitement is palpable. You aren’t getting a top 5 Running Back, nor are you getting Michael Thomas barring a miracle. There may be another run on the Running Backs and Henry, Cook (if he doesn’t hold out), Mixon and Jacobs might go. Davante Adams and Nuke may also be drafted. There will be Running Backs left at the turn. According to Sleeper, Mixon, Aaron Jones, Nick Chubb, Miles Sanders and Kenyan Drake could all be there at your pick at 12. The drop off after these guys at the position is severe, or so I thought.

In half-point, I would have them all as my RB1 and RB2. In full point, Chubb scares me a little due to not being heavily used in the passing game. However, he gets so many carries he should be ok still as your RB2. Grabbing two Running Backs was my plan. Then I did some research and mock drafts and things turned out different. Very Different.

There I was at 12 and Julio Jones and Davante Adams were both there. Two of the top Wide Receivers in the game, sat there, ripe for the picking. I had to take them both. Sure not taking a Running Back could be an issue. It turns out that it isn’t an issue at all. Here is why.


I wanted to see how often this occurs that two of the top five Receivers fell to 12 so I did ten mock drafts. Here are the results of those mock drafts with the percentage of being the number of times they fell to 12.

Running Back Wide Receivers
Joe Mixon 20% Davante Adams 70%
Aaron Jones 70% Julio Jones 100%
Miles Sanders 100% Tyreek Hill 30%
Nick Chubb 90% Micheal Thomas 10%
Kenyan Drake 100%

The precursor in Fantasy Football is to get those Running Backs. We are told that they fall off a cliff after the top guys go. Whilst this is true the studs go in the first six picks and after that, they are all a muchness until the end of round four. Grabbing the best player available has never been my draft mantra. I’ve always solidified my roster but now the paper notes have described me a different story: it’s BPA all the way.

As I used Sleeper for their mock draft machine I also used their projected points for each player to work out team totals through four rounds. If you want to use my personal rankings to make this comparison then you’ll have to buy the Fantasy Football Playbook, spoiler though. It’s even more compelling that from the 12th pick doubling up on Wide Receivers is the play here. It’s the points these alpha dawgs score that is the reason for me doubling up and filling my Wide Receiver room up early.

Points Mean Prizes

Below are the projected points scored according to Sleepers projections.

Running Back Wide Receivers
Joe Mixon 230 Davante Adams 244
Aaron Jones 229 Julio Jones 237
Miles Sanders 226 Tyreek Hill 229
Nick Chubb 222 Micheal Thomas 263
Kenyan Drake 220

Double Wide Receivers

Now obviously if Can’t Guard Mike is there that is an auto draft. MICHAEL THOMAS AT 12? STOP IT! For argument’s sake let’s say he isn’t available when you pick. Adams and Jones outscore all the Running Backs available by 21 points. The Running Backs available at the 3.12 /4.01 are value picks in my opinion. In the mock drafts, Todd Gurley was available at the 3.12 pick 100% of the time. So was David Johnson. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was there 70% of the time. However, I think in real life his ADP is way higher with people all in on him already. For me, Damien Williams is still there and will eat into some of his production.

David Johnson is polarising this tear and is tearing a seam down the Fantasy community. As much as we hate on Bill O’Brien and the Texans’ Offensive Line, David Johnson is still a serviceable Running Back. If he can recover some of his prior form then he will be fine as your RB2 with a huge upside.

So the best-case scenario here is Julio, Adams, Gurley and CEH fall to you. These four players will give you a team points total of 915 points. Again, this is using Sleepers projected points. With CEH not being there every time, let’s assume you draft DJ instead. These four players give you a team total of 887 points. This combination was available 70% of the time. These are the two best point options available according to Sleeper and percentage availability.

There actually is one better option but it’s only available just 15% of the time and that is having Adams, Hill, Gurley and CEH which yield 900 points. Whilst this would be great the chance of it landing is entirely reliant on CEH falling to 3.12 after the initial 70% of Adams being there and the 30% that Tyreek was also there. Very slim indeed.

Not only does the points total make sense, having Julio, Adams, Gurley and DJ is one sexy starting lineup. All four players have the ability to blow up and exceed the draft price you paid for them. Now the reverse formation, it is nowhere near as sexy FYI.

Double Running Back

Right out the gate, it’s obvious you aren’t getting a stud in the Running Back department. They have all been taken nice and early. Worryingly in one of the ten research mocks, CMC fell to third once and second twice. Madness. Of the list above in the available Running Backs, Joe Mixon is in a tier on his own. However, he is available just 20% of the time. In order for you to maximise the return on this strategy, he needs to be there at 1.12, along with Aaron Jones also making it to your pick. Which happens only 70% of the time. The likelihood is Mixon doesn’t fall and then you’re left with Jones and Sanders or a combo of the aforementioned Running Backs bar Mixon.

Points wise the best outcome you can hope for is that Mixon and Jones fall. Then you draft Robert Woods and A.J. Brown at the third/fourth turn. This gives you total points of 854. As stated this is the best-case scenario to be had. If you don’t get Mixon and grab Sanders instead then the team points total lowers to 850 and the probability of this is a much higher 80% of the time.

I also have some concerns about Aaron Jones and A.J. Brown.

Jones had one hell of a year on the ground and his touchdown numbers will regress. There’s no doubt about that. Even if Matt Lafleur wants to pound the rock again, Jamal Williams and AJ Dillion will steal some goal-line work. On the ground last year Jones had twice as many touches as Williams, yet their efficiency per touch was almost identical. The only blowout stat was touchdowns. Jones will be good for fantasy again in 2020 but I can’t see him repaying his draft cost. Especially when head coach Lafleur has come out and said he wants to even out the touches between Jones and Williams. Not great news at all for Jones’ fantasy outlook.

AJ Brown broke out in a huge way last year in his rookie season. Whilst the breakout was a thing of beauty it actually shouldn’t have been a surprise to us. To start the year Marriota and Corey Davis were practising as the starters. Brown and Tannehill were taking second-team snaps together and building a rapport. Then Marcus got benched and AJ Brown exploded once his playmate Tannehill became the starter. Pair this with the fact the Titans touchdown efficiency was off the charts last year and Ryan Tannehill looked like God makes regression a certainty. The Titans can’t go on not kicking field goals and finding the paint with every drive. Surely!

The difference in points between the top two options at either strategy is 61 points. Through just the first four rounds you are already up 3.8 points per week by grabbing two Wide Receivers early. Is there a call for balancing the roster and taking one of each? Let’s find out.

The Balanced Approach

This approach seemed the safest and the most vanilla. It also contains two players who are used in the Running Back double-up play. Balancing out your first two picks actually yields a better team points total than double barrel Running Backs does. The best option is Adams, Mixon, Brown and CEH giving you 908 points. However you are relying on first, Mixon to fall which happens just 20% of the time. Then you need to follow that up with CEH in the third with this happening just 70% of the time. This is highly unlikely.

The percentage play is to swap Mixon for Jones and Gurley for CEH. Then the possibility of this happening becomes 70% and much more attainable. The team points do drop to 875, giving you 21 more than the double Running Back play but still less than the Stud Wideout game plan. Sure it might be the safest play due to points yielded to risk taken because of who is available to you but is it the play you want to make? Is there a safer pick than Adams and Julio to start the roster build? You know they are putting up points every week.

The first two rounds can’t win you the league but drafting wrong can destroy your journey to win the ships if you get it wrong. The actual safe play is drafting the studs and picking up value in the next two weeks.

Until next week Rush Nation, Keep Rushing.

-Stocks @5yardrush

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