TE-Premium League Draft Strategy (2022)
With leagues changing every year to accommodate different interests, a popular format to play is tight end premium. This is a PPR league where receivers and running backs score the normal 1-point per reception, but the kicker is that tight ends score 1.5 points per reception. At first glance, you might not give it a second thought when drafting, but the elite tight ends get a huge boost in ADP as they will be some of the highest-scoring players all season. You will need to adjust your normal draft strategy to account for this.
Adjusting this scoring for the tight ends means more TEs will have a meaningful place in your squad and are relevant to the game. Also, that flex position (WR/RB/TE) that you almost always place a WR or RB in, is something you will need to seriously think about with the TEs getting an extra 0.5 per reception.
In this article, we will take a look at potential strategies for drafting from the middle spots (5-7) in a 12-team, TE-premium league. I’ll provide a basic blueprint for the first few rounds and then, depending on how the draft falls to you, you will want to adjust your strategy from there. The league is TE-premium but you don’t want to overdraft the position.
Round 1 - Grab an Elite Tight End
If you’re not one of the very first few picks, you will want to grab Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews if you can. As mentioned above, there is a 0.5 premium given to tight end receptions, and the outliers at the position will make it well worth a first-round selection.
If you’re unable to grab either of them I wouldn’t select Kyle Pitts or Darren Waller in the middle of the first. Go with your best WR or RB left on the board: Justin Jefferson, Najee Harris, or Ja’Marr Chase should be available here.
Round 2 - Pair your TE with an RB/WR or Kyle Pitts
As in any usual league, the RB position lacks depth and should be the focus over your next pick or two. If you landed an elite TE in round 1, congrats, great start. Now, we need to focus on RB. In the second round, you could find yourself scooping up Aaron Jones who should do well this year in the absence of Davante Adams. If you wanted a WR then Mike Evans should be available here as well. Locking up an elite player at either RB or WR is a must in round 2 if you start TE and Quarterback should still be an afterthought at this point.
If you selected an RB or WR in round 1, I would try to nab Kyle Pitts in the second round but wouldn’t reach for Darren Waller here - there is too much uncertainty with the arrival of Adams and he might not be a top-5 TE at the end of the year. If Pitts is gone then I would select the opposite of your RB or WR start. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t grab a top-3 TE in this format.
Round 3 - Balance Out Your Roster
Entering round 3, if all went well, we will have one RB/WR and a TE. This is still too early for a QB and unless extreme value fell to you for the non-TE player on your team, you’re going to want to select the other position you currently do not have. Ultimately, you’re leaving round three starting RB, WR, TE. You should now have a top-3 TE paired with a top-15 WR and RB. If anyone decided it was time to pick up another TE or two along the way, you should see some players fall to you who you normally couldn’t get in the third round in standard PPR leagues.
Rounds 4 and 5 - Depth at RB and WR
Now that we have our RB, WR, and TE, we are actively searching for another running back since the position is scarce. I don’t mind David Montgomery if he drops or even Josh Jacobs as my second RB in round 4. They won’t win you weeks by themselves but will lock down the RB2 spot on your squad and give you a safe floor.
Moving onto round 5 we can pick who we like out of D.J. Moore, Chris Godwin, or Mike Williams, although, I might shy away from Godwin until we see him in camp. If Godwin looks anything like his old self, watch out. His ADP, along with Moore and Williams, are very likely to creep up as we near the end of August. Make sure to follow along with our ADP , which you can adjust to just about any type of league, to make sure you are up to date heading into your drafts.
Rounds 6 and 7 - More Depth at RB and WR
Now that we have started RB/RB/WR/WR/TE, it’s time to add depth in the 6th and 7th rounds. I love drafting Courtland Sutton as one of my favorite mid-round wide receivers and my colleague Joe advises why it’s maybe best to stay away from Amari Cooper this year in fantasy drafts.
His ADP has been rising rapidly due to best-ball drafts going on in July that require stacking, but if you can land Gabriel Davis in your home league you will be laughing! The Buffalo offense is going to score a ton of points and Diggs is not going to get all the work. Alternatively, on the ground, I’m warming to Melvin Gordon who would be a solid fill-in on a bye week or as a second flex, as well as Chase Edmonds who could be the outright RB1 in Miami from Week 1.
The Remainder of the Draft - Grab QB, More TEs, and High-Upside Players
Starting in round 8 I want to see who the best QB out there is. Depending on your home league’s tendencies it’s possible a lot of QBs still remain on the board, or some teams have already picked their second. We all know those people. Anyways, selecting your QB in rounds 8 to 9 is your best bet, and options like Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, and Trey Lance should be available. If somehow Jalen Hurts is available, I would go with him first. The floor from his rushing yards alone is worth its weight in gold and he has tremendous upside this season with the addition of A.J. Brown. If QB isn’t the pick here, I love Rhamondre Stevenson who is a second-year breakout candidate in an offense that will likely not have James White healthy to start the season.
In rounds 9-15 I would continue to build that roster depth for the running back and wide receiver positions. Injuries happen every year and there is no such thing as too much quality depth. Also in the later rounds, I will select high-upside players such as Allen Lazard, Chase Claypool, and Isaiah Spiller.
Don’t be afraid to pair your early-round TE with some later-round options such as Cole Kmet or Greg Dulchich. If one of these players ends up exploding as a top-12 fantasy TE, you’re going to be able to start 2 each week and gain the upper hand on your opponent. They could even be a league winner so it’s worth the risk to grab a few “TE lotto tickets” at the end of your draft if your bench size allows for it.
Filed under: Free Articles