2014 Fantasy Football: Snake Draft Flow Chart

2014 FFB Flow Chart

click to enlarge

Above is my favorite piece of content to produce all year, my flow chart for you to use in your snake drafts. Theoretically, you can take this thing into your draft along with your preferred set of rankings, and every decision is essentially made for you.

This chart is designed for non-PPR, 12-team leagues with 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, FLEX, K, D/ST in the starting lineup and seven bench slots. And the chart works best for ESPN.com leagues given that’s the site I use and thus I’m most familiar with ESPN ADP. But you can use this chart if you’re drafting on a different site or if you’re drafting in person with your leaguemates. It’s just that this chart probably takes advantage of value best on ESPN.

You can get our #FrontOffice package, which includes the kit ($20 value) for FREE by depositing $10 at DraftKings here. 

Enough foreplay, let’s get into it.

Round 1

You’ve got three options here. Said another way, the only thing that isn’t an option is quarterback. I could make the case for Peyton Manning at the end of round one, but he’s going to be gone before the pick numbers turn to double digits. And I’d be fine with Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees in the mid-to-late second round, but they aren’t falling that far either. I’m saying this to point out that I’m not one of those fantasy writers who automatically beats the ‘wait on QB’ drum, but the three studs are going just a bit higher than they should. That pushes me into the wait on QB camp.

If you have a pick in the top half of the first round, you should probably end up with a running back. I would personally take Calvin Johnson second overall, but I’m not going to spend any time trying to convince you of that. He should go no later than sixth after Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Eddie Lacy, Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte.

If you have a pick in the back half of the second round, you should take a receiver or Jimmy Graham. I’d be fine with you taking Graham anywhere from pick 3-12, so if you’re Graham fan, you have my blessing to take him pretty much wherever you like. But if you have a pick in the 7-12 range and he’s still there, he would be my first choice. If Graham is gone, Megatron is gone and none of the running backs mentioned above slip through the cracks, take Demaryius Thomas. Aside from Megatron, I think DT is by far the safest of the elite receivers. If all eight of those guys are gone, you can grab Manning if he is still there at 9-12 (he won’t be).

If Manning is gone, I’d take Dez Bryant or Julio Jones. Not many people are going to give you that advice. Most would have recommended more running backs with picks 1-9, and they would certainly recommend a running back at this point. But I believe Dez and Julio are far better than the remaining receivers than the available running backs at this point are relative to the remaining backs.

Round 2

Receiver. Odds are pretty good that Dez and Julio will still be available in the second round if you didn’t have to take one of them in the first. In addition, A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall, Jordy Nelson and Alshon Jeffery should all be available here. I’m much more confident in those guys being top ten receivers than I am in Doug Martin, DeMarco Murray, Zac Stacy, Le’Veon Bell, Alfred Morris or Montee Ball being top ten backs, all of whom are usually available in the second.

Round 3

Receiver again or Gronk. If you didn’t take in Graham in the first round, I’m good with Gronk in this round. Let me forewarn you that if you take Graham or Gronk, you’re going to have gamble on a quarterback you like being available in the ninth round or be comfortable taking a quarterback outside the top 12 at the position, adding another late round quarterback, and streaming those two along with any worthy waiver wire candidates in your QB slot. There simply isn’t room to take a tight end and a quarterback early and to have enough depth at back and receiver. If you already took Graham or you think Gronk is too risky, go receiver. First look for any names mentioned in the second round. If they’re all gone, look for Antonio Brown or Andre Johnson. I also think it would be OK to grab Keenan Allen at that point, but others would probably call that a reach.

Round 4

No matter which track you’re on at this point, you should have at least two receivers and you could have three. If you already have three, you have to take a back here. But if you took a back in the first round followed by two receivers, you have the option of a back or a receiver here. Personally, I prefer a third receiver before a second back simply because I like a lot of backs in the next three or four rounds. I think you can take nothing but backs in those rounds and build a very deep stable of backs to go along with top flight receivers. But I know that running backs early has long been the primary mantra of fantasy football writers, so I understand if I can’t convince you to wait longer to grab your second back.

If you can go with me on another receiver, I think Allen probably makes it this far if you haven’t already grabbed him. If he’s not an option, I like Victor Cruz or Percy Harvin here. If the chart prompts you take a back or you can’t bring yourself to go for a third receiver here, I like Ryan Mathews most in this round. If he’s not there, I’d be fine with Frank Gore, although Gore is going ahead of Mathews in most drafts.

Round 5

No matter what your team looks like at this point, you’re taking a running back in the fifth round. I simply like too many backs in this range. Here they are in the order I prefer them: Toby Gerhart, Bishop Sankey, Steven Jackson, Rashad Jennings. I could keep going, but one of those guys should be available at this point, and some might even fall a little further.

Round 6

There is one path down the chart that calls for a receiver in the sixth round, but most likely you’re taking another back. If none of the backs listed above are available (at least one should be), I like the following backs here (listed, again, in order of my preference): Shane Vereen, Joique Bell, Stevan Ridley, Ray Rice. If you’re on the one path that calls for a receiver, grab one of Torrey Smith (preferably) or Michael Floyd.

Round 7

Again, you’re taking a back on all but one path down the chart. The value on backs in these rounds is just too good not to get receivers early and build depth at running back in these strong middle rounds for the position. Once again I think some of the backs mentioned above will still be available at this point, but if not, take a look at Pierre Thomas. If he’s gone, I could live with Fred Jackson here. And if the chart calls for a receiver, Eric Decker, Emmanuel Sanders, Kendall Wright and Golden Tate are solid picks at this point.

Round 8

If you didn’t take Graham or Gronk early, it’s quarterback time. The seventh round begins with pick 85, and Matt Ryan and Tony Romo have an ADP later than the 85th pick (at least on ESPN). I have both as top twelve quarterbacks. Ryan is a super safe pick here, but I’ll admit that I’m starting to worry about Romo’s health. If I ended up with Romo, I’d probably grab someone like Andy Dalton or Ben Roethlisberger a little later as insurance. I have also seen Tom Brady and Colin Kaepernick fall this far in a few mock drafts. If they fall that far, they’re automatic picks if you’re going quarterback here. But don’t count on that happening.

If you went tight end early, you’ll need a fourth back here or a third receiver on one particular path. At running back, PT or FJax could fall this far. If not, Maurice Jones-Drew and Lamar Miller are backs available here who have a decent shot to lead their team in carries. At receiver, Terrance Williams, Cecil Shorts and DeAndre Hopkins are good picks here if none of the receivers listed above made it this far.

Round 9

If you haven’t taken a quarterback yet, now is the time. Ryan or Romo could slip this far, but if not you’re taking Jay Cutler or Philip Rivers, preferably Cutler. You could back them up with Dalton or Roethlisberger in the 11th, or you could wait a round or two more and back them up with Carson Palmer or Josh McCown.

If you didn’t take Graham or Gronk early, this is where you get your tight end. You could maybe wait another round to grab Jordan Reed or Martellus Bennett, but these are easily my favorite late round tight ends, so I’d make sure I got one of them here.

Rounds 10-14

Now it’s time to build some depth and take some fliers. Here are guys at running back and receiver that I like with an ADP in these rounds in the order of their ADP.

RB: Bernard Pierce, Jeremy Hill, Devonta Freeman, Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Williams, James White, Alfred Blue

WR: Dwayne Bowe, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Justin Hunter, Josh Gordon (as of 8/6), Reuben Randle, Kelvin Bejamin, Kenny Stills, Jordan Matthews, Davante Adams

Rounds 15-16

Just take a kicker and a defense. It really doesn’t matter which ones. You can just take the highest ranked kicker and defense left on the set of rankings you’re using. I lean towards kickers on good offenses. And I lean towards defenses with good week one matchups because I’ll likely be dropping them after that for a defense with a better matchup the next week.

About Brett Talley

Listen to Brett on TheFantasyFix.com podcast and find him on Twitter @TheRealTAL.

Comments

  1. Joe King says:

    Hey Brett,

    I have a trade on the table and wanted to know what you thought. I have Jamaal Charles and pick in the last spot in a ten team keeper league and the team with the third offered me their 2nd, 3rd and 4rth round picks for Jamaal Charles and my 5th and 9th round pick. That means I wouldn’t have a first pick at all, but I would draft twice in the 2nd 3rd and 4th round. Thanks!

  2. It might depend on what the pool of available players is like given your keeper rules. But assuming everyone gets to just keep one guy, I’d probably do it. I sort of look at it like what that would mean if you were in an auction draft. Charles’ average price is about $55, and the average price of a 5th round pick (redfraft) is maybe $15, and $5 for a 9th. So you would be giving away about $75 in that deal. The average price of a 2nd round pick is about $36, $28 for a 3rd, and $19 for a 4th. So you’d be getting back about $83 of value. So yeah, I’d do the deal.

  3. I know that this was just posted – but would you offer any different advice in a PPR league? Also, we have to start (3) WR’s in our league. Would you do anything different with that? Thank you!

    • Chad,

      I’ve considered doing different versions of this chart for different league types. I’ll do a PPR one if I have time to do more charts. Off the top of my head though, I imagine receivers early would be even more of a priority than I even made it in this article. Same goes for the 3WR setting. If you start a flex, my first four picks might be receivers. The other thing about the 3WR thing is it would make me less likely to take Gronk or Graham early. Would focus on WRs early and go late round TE there.

  4. Jordan McKnight says:

    Like the charts Brett, I really didn’t want to go RB-RB this year after getting burned by going Spiller-Ridley last year. The back half of the first round and the front half of the second just seem littered with potential RB busts. I’m still tossing around the idea of an early QB if I find Brees or Rogers at a reasonable spot but since I likely won’t, I like the WR heavy strategy you’ve got here.

  5. If your league -non ppr -is 4 pts for passing TD and 6 for rushing or receiving TD is it better to load up on WR,RB,TE and wait for a 2nd tier or high 3rd tier QB?

  6. Pat Hill says:

    Thanks for doing this! I used your chart last season and it REALLY helped me map out my strategy. Are you going to release a PPR version? I have pick 5 in a 12 team money league and I’m so unsure about what to do!!! Help!!!!

  7. Dennis Carlisle says:

    I’m in a keeper auction league and I have to choose between Alshon Jeffries for $1 or Shady McCoy for $57. Could you hook a brother up?

    • If you can keep both, I’d keep both. Just because with guys like Alshon getting kept for way less than what they’re worth, there’s more money chasing less value. So someone like McCoy is really worth more than $57 there. But if you can only keep one, it has to be Alshon.

  8. Matt Wild says:

    Last year’s Snake Draft Flow Showed Track1 was for picks 1-4, Track 2 for 5-8, track 3 9-12. Is that the same for this year? Or do we just follow the track that matches our first decision?

    • Ah, yeah I forgot last year’s chart was like that. This year you should just follow the track that corresponds with your first round pick. No picks 1-4. 5-8. etc…

  9. I had planned on going with your strategy before reading the article. I like your chart. It makes tons of sense. I have the 6th pick overall. Our league gets 6 pts for a passing TD (which is ridiculous but I’m stuck with it) I’m torn on my 1st pick between Megatron, Jimmy Graham, and P Manning. My initial plan was to load up at WR as I don’t like RBs this year after the Big 3 and Lacy. Assuming the 3 I listed are all available who would you go with?
    Thank you.

    • I think I’d go Peyton there. That’s an extra 80 points at least from him in that format. My ranks are based on standard deviations that are then adjusted for replacement level. When I recalculate for 6 pts per TD pass, I like Peyton most of that group.

      • I am 5th pick in the same format – 12 team non ppr with flex and 6pt per passing TD. How high would you take Peyton in that format? If he goes 1 overall should I consider Brees or Rodgers at 5?

  10. Would you follow the same path for a
    1qb 3rb3wr 1te 1flex wr/rb 1k 1def
    8 bench
    I know it’s ridiculous

  11. Brett
    i am in a keeper league with 12 ppl non ppr, i have jimmy graham locked in as my keeper and i have the 6th pick in the draft would you make any adjustments to track one knowing this? i want to go RB, RB then get WR thoughts? any suggestions who you go with?

    • As you can see above, I don’t like going RB heavy early. And no, I wouldn’t make any adjustments to track one other than I wouldn’t select another tight end in round nine.

  12. I am in a 12 team standard league. QB TDs are 6 points. I have the first pick. Would you take a QB anywhere between the 3rd and 6th round?

  13. I’ve been invited to a new league this year. Standard 12 team. I’m still in my PPR keeper league. Question on new league, they draw names at draft to decide order. So if I get number 1-3, should I go with one of the top QB or top RB?

  14. i pick 7th in a 12 team ppt league. who is your first second and third choice for 1st round pick? eddie lacy, denaryius thomas, jimmy graham. I’m assuming top 4 backs plus calvin are gone. thanks

  15. PPR league. Rank WRs for second round pick. julio jones, antonio brown, jordy nelson, ashlon jeffery

  16. TheMightyNapkin says:

    I’m really digging the charts here.

    I’m in a couple 10-team leagues, pretty much standard scoring.. How would that affect the above charts, if at all?

    Also, since it’s not a clean third for each track (only 10 teams not 12), how does it bear on the three.

    If it matters, I’ll be picking 6th in both, so I’m assuming I need to stick the middle track. I’ve been doing Mocks with the first track with decent results (whatever those are worth).

    thanks!

    • Picking six is actually a spot where you could end up on any track. A back might slip through to there. Graham and Calvin are often there.

      And the only way the chart really changes is you might be able to wait a round longer on QB and TE. Meaning you can just grab an extra RB or WR for your bench before those top 12 QB and TE are all gone.

  17. TheMightyNapkin says:

    I have a question about track 2. Picks 5,6,7 are RB’s no matter which you chose picks 1-4?

    Also, I’m assuming, you need to have flexibility. I started a draft and took Green with my pick #6 (missed Mega by 1 pick), and then Beast Mode was available at pick 15. You have to go there don’t you?

    • Yes, RBs in 5-6-7 no matter what.

      And yes, flexibility is a nice skill. But this chart is primarily for people who don’t trust themselves enough to be that flexible. If you’re comfortable with that, go for it and ignore the chart.

  18. Hey Brett,

    Had my first draft last night using your flow charts. Genius stuff right here.

    It’s an 8 team league, and with the 6th pick in the 1st round, I took Jimmy Graham. Obviously, by this point, the top 4 RBs & Calvin were gone. Should I have taken Eddie Lacy? Did I screw up here?

    - Tom

  19. The Run & Gun says:

    This is really helpful, thank you! I’m new to Fantasy Football, my sophomore year. Do you have a flow chart for a 10-Team league or would this format still apply? I would assume that with only 10 players it would change the dynamic, but we all know the assumption rule.

    • It really doesn’t change much. I think it just means you may be able to wait an extra round on QB and TE. Meaning you can grab an extra WR or RB for your bench before you take a QB and TE.

  20. I used your flow chart. It was like magic. Only girl in the league and I won the award for best draft. Thanks so much.

  21. In my league we have to draft DB, DL, LB. What round would you recommend that I draft them in. Thanks.

    • I’m sure Brett will weigh in when he gets a chance, but I’ve been playing in IDP leagues for over a decade. It depends on how many defensive players are drafted. If you only draft one DB, DL and LB per team then you can wait until the later rounds (but before kickers and defense generally). You should have a ton of choices if only 10 or 12 of each position are drafted.

      If you are drafting multiple players at each position, then I’d move them up into the middle rounds.

      All of this advice really depends on your scoring system and how the defensive players are scored relatively to the offensive players. In one league, we tried to make defensive and offensive players extremely close in scoring capability so we see some of the high scoring LBs go off in rounds 6 and 7.

      -Chris @ The Fantasy Fix

  22. Thanks Brett. Well thought out and well written article

  23. Hi Brett – sorry to bug you, but I’m the only female in my very, very competitive office league and I have to make this year count. I am in a Yahoo PPR and got 2nd pick – will this chart work for me? Not sure how to work this angle – player #1 (my boss) will either pick Peyton Manning or Jamaal Charles – would you stay away from Manning completely and go with LaSean McCoy? Sooo confused!

    • Caroline,

      Give this a look and let me know if this helps. If you still have other questions, feel free to ask.

      http://www.thefantasyfix.com/2014/08/2014-fantasy-football-12-team-y-ppr-flow-chart/

      • Thank you for this! Super helpful. Just to be clear, your flow chart skips drafting a QB until 7th round…? As 2nd pick in 1st round you would choose from box one, and then 2nd round pick from box 2 (if available of course)?

        I would be happy to donate btw!

        • Yes, I would wait at least that long to get a QB. And your understanding about the boxes is correct.

          We don’t have a way to donate, but it would really help us out if you could deposit $10 with DraftKings via this link: https://www.draftkings.com/tff

          If you’re not familiar with DraftKings it’s a daily fantasy sports site where you can draft a different team each week and enter different contests. We’ll have plenty of content each week once the season starts to help you enter contests with that $10. We just need you to sign up through that link if you do sign up.

          Thanks!

  24. You’re great. I can’t tell you how much relief this has provided me. I have 2 more questions if that is okay?

    The paragraph under your flow chart for the 12 T, Yahoo, PPR states: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3WR…? I’ve never played in a league with 3 WR’s… or does the 3WR refer to a FLEX?

    And lastly – when it comes to round 4 (RB or TE), are you saying to pick the best out of the 2?

    Thank youuuuuuuuuuuu!!
    I’m up against the big boys – $300 buy in – they don’t mess around. Came in 3rd last year, but I need to take it this time!

    • Yahoo’s default setting is starting rosters with 3 wide receivers and no flex position. It sounds like your league uses different settings.

      In round 4 I’m giving you the option. Some people aren’t comfortable taking a tight end that early, so I’m giving people the option to do something else.

  25. I’ve got the 8th pick so there is a chance that Manning will be available. If I was to grab him, which chart would you suggest I follow after that pick? Neither of the options have a QB in the 1st round so I was curious on your thoughts.
    Thanks for your help.

  26. Hey Brett,

    I have the 5th pick in a 10-team, standard PPR league, and assuming Forte, Charles, AP, and McCoy are gone, I was wondering if I should choose Lacy or Calvin Johnson? Would you say Lacy is as solid of a pick as those top 4 RBs to choose over Calvin at the 5th pick? Because I’m feeling slightly uncomfortable having to resort to backs like Reggie Bush as my RB1, if I end up choosing 3 WRs right from the get-go.

    Thanks.

    -Webster

    • If you’re uncomfortable with that, go Lacy there. He and Calvin at 5/6 are both fine by me. But go with what you’re comfortable with. I’d just recommend focusing on WR for at least 2 rounds after that if not 3.

  27. Mariela Lazala says:

    Brett,

    Thank you so much for the flow chart. I used it last year, and although I was last to draft in a league of 13, I won! Looking forward to use it again this year.

    Thanks

  28. Lauren Busby says:

    I’m in a keeper league. I’ve got Jimmy Graham and the number 1 pick. Do I keep Jimmy Graham or let him go in lieu of grabbing a top tier RB as pick 1?

    • If I’m understanding correctly, you would have the #1 pick overall if you don’t keep Jimmy Graham. Assuming the top RBs like Charles, McCoy, Forte, Peterson and Lacy aren’t all being kept, you should let Graham go and get one of those RBs.

  29. Hey Brett – I wanted to say thanks for throwing up another one of these flow charts this year; your one last year was some of the best fantasy “research” I had come across in years of playing. Hoping to get your thoughts on my team this year – 12 Team – PPR League – 2 (R/W/T) Flexes. I had pick 5.

    1. Megatron
    2. Julio Jones
    3. Andre Johnson
    4. Frank Gore
    5. Toby Gerhart
    6. Bishop Sankey
    7. Brandon Cooks
    8. Tony Romo
    9. Martellus Bennett
    10. Justin Hunter
    11. Mike Evans
    12. Jeremy Hill
    13. Devonta Freeman
    14. Josh Gordon
    15. CLE D
    16. Robbie Gould

    Have since dropped Gordon for Tim Wright. (wondering how your value of him changes with the trade to NE?)

    Cheers!
    Drew

    • I love that you went WR early, but I might have taken an RB or two where you took high upside WRs like Cooks, Hunter and Evans. I love all those guys, but I’m just not sure you need all three when you have solid WRs at the top of your team. In particular, I would have grabbed another RB where you took Cooks. You could have gotten another RB that’s probably a starter there and really made your RB situation less risky. But it’s still a solid team. Just wouldn’t be surprised if you’re trying to trade a receiver for a back pretty soon.

      • Thanks for the reply Brett. I agree with your take on the Cooks pick…My only defense for it in the 7th was where the RB value was…the next RBs off the board after my pick of Cooks were Fred Jackson and Darren Sproles. Sadly for one guy in my league (auto picked) – ended up with 8 RBs and 2 WRs (Nelson and Cobb….yikes).

        Be that as it may….if I made a move for an RB, would you aim for a RB1 or a RB2-3? I could target Bernard (for Julio ish) or maybe Ridley…a lesser WR/RB combo.

        Thanks for the time.

  30. Judy Rasys says:

    I’m picking fourth in a ten team league drafting snake style. I’m not sure which ‘track’ to follow; can you help? By the way, as our league only has 2 female teams, I’m hoping to do well as one of them. Thanks!

  31. Hey Brett,

    Great article a huge help, I am 9th pick in a fantasy keeper league of 12 teams. I am keeping AP (3rd Round Penalty) with the other teams keeping Calvin Johnson (1st Round Penalty), DeSean Jackson (4th Round Penalty), Eddie Lacy (2nd Round Penalty), Ryan Matthews (No Penalty), Montee Ball (No Penalty), Peyton Manning (3rd Round Penalty), Cecil Shorts III (4th Round Penalty), Demaryius Thomas (5th Round Penalty), Antonio Brown (5th Round Penalty), and Jimmy Graham (2nd Round Penalty. SOOOO my plan is to go with Dez if he falls to me in the 1st round, then go for Drew Brees in the 2nd round….but I am starting to feel torn to go for another WR (Jordy Nelson or Julio Jones). What would you do at this point?? After this I have the bye so 4th I was thinking Gronk, Julius Thomas, or Arian Foster if he falls that low. 5th round go for a WR (White, Patterson, Crabtree, Garcon or Torey Smith). Then 6th round go for Ray Rice or maybe sounds risky but Seattle D. Anywho after that I’ll go with the flow but what do you think?? Thanks!!

  32. Hi Brett,
    Awesome chart. Did you skip Julius Thomas as the TE between Graham and Gronk on purpose?
    Thanks!

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