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2020 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Picking No. 1 overall in non-PPR leagues

Here’s how to navigate from the first overall pick in a non-PPR league that starts three wide receivers.

Drafting for a non-PPR Fantasy football league is an interesting test because the importance of running back, the most fragile position in Fantasy Football, is magnified. I know many have their problems with PPR, but even adding things like points per first down or other adjustments to the old standard non-PPR can help balance the position.

Alas, this draft was non-PPR, and for me it increases the importance of taking early running backs, plus getting plenty of depth late at the position. Drawing the first overall pick helps that, of course, because Christian McCaffrey looks like the second coming of Marshall Faulk. I won’t look that gift horse in the mouth regardless of format.

As a reference point, all touchdowns in this league are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE and FLEX (RB/WR/TE).

Here’s my team from No. 1 overall:

  • 1.01 Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
  • 2.12 DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals
  • 3.01 Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
  • 4.12 Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington
  • 5.01 Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars
  • 6.12 Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos
  • 7.01 Matt Breida, RB, Dolphins
  • 8.12 Jalen Reagor, WR, Eagles
  • 9.01 Hayden Hurst, TE, Falcons
  • 10.12 Darrynton Evans, RB, Titans
  • 11.01 Justin Jackson, RB, Chargers
  • 12.12 Ito Smith, RB, Falcons
  • 13.01 Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings
  • 14.12 T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions
  • 15.01 Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

Non-PPR Pick-by-Pick Guide: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

After locking up McCaffrey, I was on the clock at the 2/3 turn with 15 running backs off the board and the chance to nab two consistent wide receiver producers who I think could score a lot of touchdowns, which is particularly important from wide receivers in non-PPR. At the 4/5 turn, I sucked it up and drafted one of my bust picks, Fournette, because I think it’s important to fill your Flex spot in non-PPR with running backs, so I needed to start building some depth.

At the next turn, I grabbed both Lindsay and Breida, which gave me four guys with roles I think I can count on. I went back to the well a couple of rounds later with three more later-round running backs I like to bring my total to seven, and I recommend having plenty of backs on your roster in this format. At that point, I had just four receivers, and I finished with just five. Because the draft pushed me toward three strong receivers early, I didn’t spend much draft capital on backups at the position, nabbing two upside rookies. It’s OK to be flexible to the draft in any format, but once I’d made the decision to build a strong receiver corps, I felt it imperative to lock in a ton of running back depth, taking six over my next eight picks after my starting receiver spots were filled.

My tight ends are strong, and the late-round quarterback approach is another way to ensure you’re getting the most possible running back depth you can in the important rounds.

Here’s how to navigate from the first overall pick in a non-PPR league that starts three wide receivers.