Draft Strategy: Late First Round

Drafting at the Turn - Picking 9th-12th in Round 1

It is Draft Day, and you are all ready to go. All that is left is for your league commissioner to hand out the draft spots and then it is time to start building your team. You can’t wait and are eager to get started - as long as you draft in the first half of your draft.

Then you learn your draft slot is near the end of Round 1. Oops. Now what?

Don’t worry, this article is just for you. There’s a number of advantages to drafting towards the end of Round 1 (either Pick 9, 10, 11, or 12). Sure, you are not going to have a shot at Christin McCaffrey or Saquan Barkley, but there are multiple ways to build a winning team. Here are some of the positives from drafting towards the back of Round 1:

  • The first 5-7 teams are going to focus on running back in nearly every draft. As Matt Waldman once pointed out, the turnover of the top-12 running backs each year is 50%. That means if 5-6 running backs are off the board when it comes time for your first pick, you can take some solace in that about half of those tailbacks will not be RB1’s this season.

  • The tail end of Round 1 ensures you of not just one but TWO top-16 players on your draft list (if not higher), and FOUR top-40 players.

  • Having two picks fewer than six picks apart (1.09, 2.04, or closer together) affords you the opportunity to take two players fighting for one key spot, such as the battle between Jordan Howard and Matt Breida for the lead back role in Miami.

Here are some suggestions for strategies to employ for anyone picking towards the back of Round 1:

First and Second Rounds - The decision on Travis Kelce

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