How to Draft From the 9 - 12 Slots

Round by round strategy for navigating your fantasy draft from the 9 - 12 slots after starting with two wide receivers.

Drafting from the end position in twelve-team PPR or half-point PPR leagues creates some interesting roster construction dilemmas this season. While wide receiver is plentiful and can potentially differentiate you from your opponents, the following rounds are full of decision points that will either catapult or doom the first leg of your fantasy season – the draft.

Numerous drafters begin with two great wide receivers only to undermine the start with ill-conceived roster construction moves. Most of these involve the approach to addressing the running back position. Other drafters, knowing the rough seas ahead, often opt out of the two wide receiver start by taking a runner either in the first or second round. While this is a viable strategy, starting with two wide receivers when conditions are optimal is still preferential.

If you are drafting in the late position, don’t fret, you have an opportunity to build a competitive team. To do this, you must prepare for the decisions you will be facing. Thinking multiple steps ahead of your opponents and preparing for chaos will keep you level headed and adaptable – both keys to squeezing the most out of this draft position in 2019.

Round 1 and Round 2 – Optimal Wide Receiver Pairs

No Brainers: DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Odell Beckham Jr, Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill

Any combination of these five players typically lends itself to taking back to back wide receivers with the first two picks.

Optional: Michael Thomas, JuJu Smith-Schuster

Michael Thomas and JuJu Smith-Schuster will both be target hogs, but each lacks the game-breaking upside of the no brainer group. In PPR leagues, Nick Chubb, Todd Gurley, James Conner, and Dalvin Cook are all in play. In half-point PPR leagues, these runners should be prioritized ahead of the optional receivers as the scales tip back in favor of position scarcity of running back due to less upside for Thomas and Smith-Schuster in the scoring system.

Hypothetical Selections: Odell Beckham Jr and Tyreek Hill

Round 3 and Round 4 – Setting the Table

This spot creates the first decision point that will have a cascading impact on the rest of the draft. If you set the table correctly here, a nice fulfilling meal is soon to follow. If you set the table incorrectly here, you are likely to be scrambling to catch all of your fine china as the table cloth is ripped out from underneath you in ensuing rounds.

With these two picks, you still have the flexibility to take another wide receiver or even a stud tight end or Patrick Mahomes II if that is your thing. However, you must come away with one of these runners.

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