The lazy person's guide to fantasy football drafts

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You're lazy.

I get it, you want to play fantasy football but don't want to put the work in. You also don't want to come in last because, well ... coming in last sucks.

You don't want to scour the waiver wire or read about practice reports or listen to some analyst drone on about yards generated after contact in press coverage against the AFC West during primetime games.

And at the same time, you basically need to play fantasy so you and your buddies/co-workers have something to talk about other than your feelings and/or that new bread knife you bought from Amazon.

You want to play, you want to put in the least amount of work possible but you also don't want to be the laughing stock of the league.

It's cool, I got you. Here's your guide to have a totally respectable team (that probably isn't going to win, but you never know, fantasy is weird) that will require the least amount of work on your end once the season starts.

***This assumes 10-team standard scoring snake formats obviously. If you're lazy, you're almost assuredly not playing in one of those hipster 14-team PPR auction draft super-flex leagues.***

Go RB-RB to start your draft


This goes counter to popular draft strategies today which say go receiver heavy early. But here's the thing, going wide receiver crazy to start means you have to manage the running back position on an almost weekly basis and who the hell has time for that?

If you want to minimize management, you need workhorses at the running back position and quite frankly there aren't many of them in the league.

In order of who you should grab with your first couple picks, based off of guaranteed workload and the least likelihood of getting hurt: David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, Adrian Peterson, Lamar Miller, Eddie Lacy, Devonta Freeman, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy. One or more of these guys will be available regardless of where you're drafting.

Get Aaron Rodgers in Round 3


If he stays healthy, Rodgers will almost assuredly finish as a top-five fantasy signal caller. The former Cal product finished either first or second in fantasy scoring among quarterbacks in four out of his past six seasons. The only times he didn't? In 2013 when he suffered an injury and only played nine games and in 2015 when Jordy Nelson went down and Eddie Lacy almost ate himself out of the league. Even then, Rodgers still finished seventh among quarterbacks.

If you play in a midwest league it's very possible Rodgers goes somewhere in the first two rounds and that's okay. Cam Newton should be there in the third round as well. If he's not? Bruh we got backup plans for days. Snap up Russell Wilson or Andrew Luck in Round 5.

Again, is this the best strategy? Probably not, but if you get one of those four guys you can set it and forget it at quarterback. Playing matchups? Analyzing FPA? More like F(orget) that, amirite?

Load up on high-upside WRs


If you missed on Rodgers/Cam, Mike Evans or Alshon Jeffery will be there in Round 3. Take one or both if possible. Both dudes should see stupid high levels of targets and targets equal production.

If you got Rodgers/Cam, cool, go get Randall Cobb or Jarvis Landry in the fourth. Again, guaranteed targets in high-volume passing games.

From there target Donte Moncrief, Doug Baldwin and Marvin Jones, probably in that order, though you may see Baldwin go first of the three due to name value.

And yes, you're reaching on just about every pick here but whatever, if you want value, offensive line grades and aDOT-style advanced stats to find hidden gems, this article ain't for you.

The bottom line is that the trio of Moncrief, Baldwin and Jones possess high touchdown upside and should see consistent targets in above-average offenses. Basically what I'm saying is that they all have pretty safe floors and good to great upside.

Denver D/ST and the Barnyard Dog


We're approaching the double-digit rounds and at this point you are starting to struggle to recognize names. Normally, I'd advocate going sleepers here but more than likely you have roughly two more picks in you at most before you ditch the draft app and let the computer auto-draft for you. Let's make sure you get a good defense and a solid tight end before setting your queue, bouncing and firing up Netflix.

If Gary Barnidge is there in Round 9, obviously go and get him. If he's not, get the Denver defense in Round 9 and then Antonio Gates in Round 10. Gates is an unbelievably unsexy pick but he's also one of the safest. Gates had 50 yards or more in nine of the 11 games he played in last year. That doesn't sound that great but it'll be very rare occurrence indeed where he is a pox on your scoring. You'll come to appreciate that consistency from his position group.

Plus Philip Rivers loves him and the offense will be better this year, despite the age (36) you can mark him down for 800 yards and six touchdowns. And if he goes down there are like five other tight ends you can pick up off the wire.

Corey Coleman, rando (not random, rando) RBs and Dan Bailey


Queue up the rookie in Cleveland if he's still there. By Round 11 there's a pretty good chance he's gone but if he's not, don't be scared off by the stink of the 2015 Browns. Coleman will look at 120-plus targets in this offense and with his skills, there's almost no chance in hell he doesn't finish at least as a reliable, every-week flex starter.

At this point your starting lineup is pretty much set but given the rate at which running backs get injured, you need some solid backup options. Melvin Gordon has injury/productivity concerns but by Round 11, it's a moot point for a starting running back. Same goes for Rashad Jennings. Circle Charles Sims and James White, they both will get a fair amount of snaps this year.

In Round 14 just go and get Dan Bailey. Stephen Gostkowski is probably gone and that's fine, Bailey has a big enough leg, is super accurate and plays for a super solid offense against a super weak division. Since he came into the league in 2011, Bailey has been a top-10 fantasy kicker every year except last season when both Tony Romo and Dez Bryant missed significant time. Even in a down year, he was still fantasy's 11th-best kicker.

Other super sleepers? Michael Thomas in New Orleans. Camp reports have been amazing and he legit has Marques-Colston upside. Travis Benjamin is an awesome down-field threat (won't bore you with the specific numbers) and Philly Rivers loves chucking it deep. Benjamin could easily be a 1,000-yard, eight-touchdown guy.

Finally, Bilal Powell and Jerick McKinnon are two of your better high-upside handcuffs this year. They both have pass-catching skills and back up aging running backs (Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson respectively).

You're welcome, you're done. Kick up your feet, get some double-crusted blueberry pie and chill. You had a super hard day of doing nothing.

It's not too late to play NFL Fantasy! CLICK HERE to join or create a Fantasy league.

Follow James Koh on Twitter: @JamesDKoh

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