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August is here and drafting season is mere days away! Now that we have covered what to do at the beginning of the draft, it is time to get to the meat and potatoes of what gets your Fantasy Team to a championship: drafting in the middle rounds.

If you don’t hit in the first three rounds then there is almost no hope, but drafting in the middle rounds is where you fill out your starting lineups and give your team depth.

A Fantasy Team’s depth is one of the most underrated parts of the game, in that depth gives the owner options week in and week in to play favorable matchups.

Your back-end starters and top backups are like the secondary characters in Game of Thrones: necessary, but easily killable (droppable). While you need your top two-picks Tyrion and Khaleesi to perform strongly every week, you still have to have your Roose Boltons and Bronns to fill up the hour (or weekly scoring).

You see, the thing about drafting the middle round player is that you can drop him mid-season if they are not performing. You are not as bound at the hip as you are with your first round pick. Some people like to start taking their lottery tickets for guys with low floors and high ceilings; while I stick to my Dynamic Value Based Drafting (DVBD) concepts to find players that will be start-able weekly should one of my starters get hurt or have a bad matchup.

Fantasy Football Strategy: Drafting in the Middle Rounds

In the middle rounds, you can use DVBD to see the end of tiers at each position. This means that you can more accurately judge that even though there is one quarterback with a higher PAR (points above replacement) than the highest wide receiver, there is only one wide-out at the tier left while there are three or four quarterbacks.

The following are players I have noticed being drafted in the middle rounds that can provide value at their respective positions by using DVBD. As you will see, there are more wide receivers than other positions, because in general, the position is under-valued in PPR leagues.

(ADP for a 12-team, PPR league with 1QB/2RB/2WR/1FLEX/1TE)

Phillip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

Current ADP Round 11 — I would draft in Round 9

I have Rivers as my QB11, and the last of the third tier with Tony Romo, Ryan Tannehill, and Matthew Stafford, but he is being drafting as a QB15. He came on at the end of last season, Keenan Allen will bounce back, and do you remember the last time he had a reliable RB next to him? It was LT and Rivers averaged 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions those last two years. Just like Prince Doran Martell of Dorne, Rivers is ready to explode back onto the scene from his sunny shores.

Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions

Current ADP Round 7 — I would draft in Round 5

I know that Bell has his injury troubles right now and that Ameer Abdullah is breathing down his neck, but we are talking about a guy with back-to-back top-15 seasons at his position and THREE straight in the top-24. He will still catch a ton of dump offs as well as get all of the goal-line work. Think of him as a Jorah Mormont: he stays strong even with challenges from a new, younger teammate (Daario Naharis).

Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

Current ADP Round 5 — I would draft in beginning of Round 4

Edelman is a PPR gem, and luckily people miss-evaluate this type of player by using “standard” rankings. By my projections, he gives you more value as a WR3/Flex, than Jeremy Hill does as a RB2. Jimmy Garoppolo will lean on his sure handed receiver in Brady’s absence, and we saw how many targets Edelman gets with Brady there in last year’s Super Bowl. The diminutive receiver reminds me of Arya Stark in that he had to change settings (QB to WR) but is now stealthy/deadly.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

Current ADP Round 6 — I would draft in Round 4

I have Landry slotted at about 90 catches and 1,000 yards, averaging almost 14 PPR points a game. Just like Edelman, this is great value as a WR3/Flex and I will definitely reach a bit to grab him from his current ADP. While not as highly touted as his fellow 2014 rookie WR’s, I think Landry will break out in his second year just as Tywin Lannister took control of the show in its second season on air.

Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Current ADP Round 9 — I would draft in Round 7

Boldin just keeps on putting up 1,000 yards a season with subpar quarterback play and everyone forgets about him on draft day. I am one of the least believers in Colin Kaepernick’s quarterbacking ability that you will find, but I do believe in Boldin reaching 1K in yards. He is like Sansa Stark with the world around him going to crap but he keeps fighting on.

Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Current ADP Round 5 — I would draft in Round 4

I have Greg Olsen providing essentially the same amount of value as Jimmy Graham, but available 30 picks later. He is like the Hound to Graham’s Mountain, Graham may seem like the better player (fighter) because of his size, but they are essentially equal.

If Cam Newton can stay healthy for the whole season, I see Olsen getting up in the Rob Gronkowski range for targets, with about 80 catches and 900 yards. Everyone seems to be waiting to be the last to take a TE after Gronk/Graham, so you can find great value with Olsen by drafting him in the middle rounds.

Come back often as we continue to look at different perspectives on players to draft, in our Fantasy Football Strategy series.

Michael Tomlin
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Michael Tomlin

Michael Tomlin is an ESPY-nominated, former college football player who stays associated with the game through Fantasy Sports. He has been writing his personal blog, Dirkland.blogspot.com, for three years and it focuses on Fantasy Sports, as well as handicapping. He was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex, and he follows all of the Dallas teams, along with Texas Tech athletics and Manchester City F.C.
Michael Tomlin
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