Fantasy Football 2020 Draft Strategy: 9th-12th Picks
Welcome to a three part article series on building a team from each part of the draft. This article covers picking at the end of fantasy football drafts.
Part One:1st-4th Picks
Part Two: 5th-8th Picks
Some owners love drafting at the end of the first round of fantasy drafts because it allows them to pick two players relatively close to each other and they have a pick in the first half of round two. Other owners feel like they miss out on the fantasy studs in the NFL because of the amount of talent that has been drafted by the time they pick.
Drafting at the end of the first round doesn't have to be a death sentence. Let's look at some strategies to employ when putting together a team in this draft position.
Let's examine what your team could look like by the end of round 3 when picking in the middle of snake drafts (Picks 5-8). For the sake of this article, we'll assume it's a 12 man, standard scoring league (1QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX).
By the time the end of round one is approaching and you are on the clock, most likely 6-7 running backs (RB) and 1-2 wide receivers (WR) will have been taken. This leaves you in a position to capitalize on top tier WR talent that is sitting on the board as well as the second tier of RBs. Players like Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon, Tyreek Hill, and DeAndre Hopkins are all excellent picks at the end of the first round.
Nick Chubb is not getting enough attention as a fantasy star in this year's drafts. Kevin Stefanski brings an offense over from Minnesota that vaulted Dalvin Cook into fantasy stardom over the last three years. Some analysts are worried about Kareem Hunt cutting into Chubbs workload, but if you look at Stefanski's RB usage as an offensive coordinator, he has gravitated to feeding the ball to one running back more than a committee approach. While Hunt will get touches, Chubb still is the workhorse of Cleveland's RB stable.
Tyreek Hill will be a late 1st or early 2nd round pick in 2020RICH SUGG RSUGG@KCSTAR.COM
In round two, you will be picking shortly after your choice in round one. So there are going to be excellent WRs still available and you will still be able to target a few tier two RBs. You also have the ability to draft one of the elite TE or QB prospects. Here are a few different routes that you have the option to utilize in the second round.
- RB-RB: After taking either Chubb or Mixon in the first round, you can turn around and snag another tier two RB in the second. Players to target include: Aaron Jones, Miles Sanders and Chris Carson. There is going to be a plethora of WRs on the board here, so unless you feel strongly about a RB still on the board, or a tier one RB has fallen out of the first round, this is a riskier strategy from a value standpoint.
- RB-WR: Taking a WR in the second round will be very popular for owners drafting at the end of the first round, no matter what player you took in the first. Players that should still be on the board at the beginning of the second round include: Davante Adams, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin are usually available at the turn, although your view on Mike Evans and Chris Godwin's viability is directly tied to how well you think Tom Brady can elevate that Tampa Bay offense.
- RB/WR-TE: Picking at the beginning of the second round allows for owners to take on either an elite tight end (TE) or quarterback (QB) prospect, as opposed to drafting a second WR or RB. Travis Kelce is a TE that would allow you take advantage of one of the few elite fantasy prospects at the position. If you are really wanting to shore up TE on your team and Kelce is taken before your pick in the second round, then you can pull the trigger on George Kittle, but he is best suited later in the second or early in the third round. It's understandable if you do pull the trigger early in the second, as he will not be around by the time you pick at the end of the third round.
- RB/WR-QB: The end of the second round is a perfect position to capitalize on an elite QB prospect if you feel obliged. You will most likely have your pick of Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson in this slot, and both are values here. No other QB is worth a pick this early in the second round.
Lamar Jackson could be a steal near the end of round 3Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Round three will allow teams to go different routes in their team building. I suggest that if a Tier 2 RB is still on the board by the time you pick at the end of the third round, you capitalize on the value and take that player. Running backs like Kenyan Drake and Devin Singletary are great values that late, especially if you have not drafted a RB yet at this point.
Wide Receiver depth is excellent here; players usually available include Cooper Kupp, TY Hilton, Tyler Lockett, and Calvin Ridley. AJ Brown and Keenan Allen are going this high as well, but I am a bit down on their expectations compared to other analysts in the industry. Allen losing Rivers as his QB and Brown's expectations are sky high for his current ADP.
As discussed before, Deshaun Watson is the only QB worth taking in the third round, and if Kittle and Kelce are gone, Mark Andrews is an adequate consolation prize at TE. Andrews gains more value as he drops into the fourth round, so taking a different position and then nabbing him at the beginning of the fourth round would be ideal.
Your goals for the later rounds of the draft is to snag some high ceiling RBs. Picking at the end of the first round, you're missing out on the top 6-7 RBs, so hitting on a few of these players that have a chance to be a top 25 back can take your team from good to great.
There will be WR value late in the draft as well as on the waiver wire, so don't feel the need to load up on late pic WRs. Don't worry about taking a backup TE or QB in the draft, as they can usually be found on the waiver wire as the season progresses. Use those two draft picks on high potential RBs and WRs.
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