Fantasy football draft strategy: How to pick first (and last)
Plus: The latest preseason risers and fallers and player rankings.
Maybe I’m getting old, but more and more, I like picking either first or last in fantasy football snake drafts. This wasn’t always the case — the long wait in between picks used to drive me insane.
But now I welcome it. I get to watch other owners either make poor choices or eliminate difficult choices that I would otherwise have to contend with. Meanwhile, I’m sitting back and watching my strategy fall into place with my back-to-back picks, turn after turn.
While you don’t need to have a full-blown master plan to reap the benefits of this unique draft position, you do need to have at least a rough vision. Given your top overall choice perk, and the whole getting two picks in a row for most of the draft thing, you are able to map out your draft in more detail than other draft positions allow for. Personally, I find picking first the easiest draft position to plan for.
For me in 2023, I know I’m taking Justin Jefferson first, am targeting the best quarterback I can on the two-three turn, and missing out on the top-tier of running backs — but being comfortable with the high-upside of the ones I do end up with.
Below I am sharing a mock draft walkthrough where I will explain all of this in more detail. I also have some tips if you find yourself picking all the way on the other end of the draft order, a fresh update of the rankings, and the latest preseason risers and fallers.
Thanks so much for your eyes and support!
Best - Justin
Preseason risers and fallers
A few preseason happenings we’ve been tracking at 5thDownFantasy.com…
📈 Tyreek Hill won’t face any action from the NFL for his role in an off-season incident at a Miami-Dade marina. Hill avoiding any suspension secures his value further in fantasy as the half-PPR WR3.
📉 Jonathan Taylor was not traded before the deadline and will begin the season on the PUP list, forcing him to miss the first four games of the season. It’s possible he will hold out for more time this season, and the situation could continue to get ugly until the NFL trade deadline hits.
📈 T.J. Hockenson, on the other hand, has settled his contract situation with the Vikings, which should get him back on the field. Hockenson has been sitting out of practice as he was holding in until the team could agree to a long-term deal with the star tight end.
📉 Zach Ertz, who was eyeing a Week 1 return from a torn ACL and MCL, is unsure if he will be ready to make a Week 1 return against the Commanders. If Ertz does miss time, Trey McBride will be in line to see an increase in targets.
📈 Alexander Mattison was reportedly extremely active as a receiver in training camp. He might not be the talent Dalvin Cook is, but receiving work is never a bad thing for a running back, providing a stable floor and a high ceiling for the Vikings’ lead back.
We’re pumping out several insider tidbits from training camp every day on 5thDownFantasy.com. Click here for the latest.
Fantasy football mock draft: Picking first
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