• The perfect round-by-round draft strategy starts with taking two running backs in the first three rounds, with the headline: Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor.
• There are opportunities to pick tight ends and a quarterback in the first five rounds, which could bring fantasy managers San Francisco 49ers AT George Kittle and Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson.
• It is useful to store wide receivers later in the design, including beginner wide receivers such as the New York Jets‘ Garrett Wilson and veterans like the Cincinnati Bengals‘ Tyler Boyd.
• Find Nathan Jahnke‘s other concept strategy articles by specific choice here: Choices 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.
This Perfect Concept Strategy article explores how to approach a 2022 fantasy football concept. We take into account the average draft position (ADP) to find out which players to expect with later picks to optimize talent across the roster.
This exercise assumes a competition of 12 teams with PPR scores. We’re not planning dramatic ADP drops, but it’s important to stay flexible and take advantage of opponents’ mistakes when that happens.
ROUND 1 (1-12): DESIGN A RUNNING BACK OR ELITE WIDE RECEIVER
The plan for the first round is to simply take the top player on the board and build around him. Jonathan Taylor is the top consensus player regardless of league format and should be taken when available. Last season he was in a league of his own when falling back from last season, and if anything, the Indianapolis Colts’ offense has improved, which could lead to more appearances in the red zone.
Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson stand out among broad recipients. Kupp finished last season with the best fantasy season ever by a wide receiver, beating Randy Moss and Jerry Rice, while Jefferson had the most receiving yards and receptions of a player in their first two seasons, Odell Beckham Jr., Moss and Rice. There are plenty of other great running back options, but these two receivers are much safer. We can be more certain that they will remain top-five wide receivers than any of the running backs who remain top-five fantasy players in their positions.
Christian McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler, Najee Harris, Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook should all be top eight picks. They all have their reservations — including injury history, age, offensive lines, or being too specialized as a runner or receiver — but they’ve remained the most consistent fantasy backs over the past few seasons when healthy, and there’s plenty of reason to believe they’re that can. do it again.
It’s fine to go back to wide receivers at the end of the first round, because based on current ADPs, it may be better to pick a wide receiver first and then a declining one rather than the other way around. Stefan Diggs, Ja’Marr Chase and Davante Adams are all options.
ROUND 2 (13-24): DESIGN A RUNNING BACK, WIDE RECEIVER OR MARK ANDREWS
Running back will be a popular choice in round 2, as there are only a limited number who are expected to be a starter rather than a player on a committee. Having two running backs who are clear starters is the first way to create an edge over your opponents.
Leonard Fournette and D’Andre Swift led the league in goals per game last season. Both players will likely see a drop in passes this season, but hopefully not much. Alvin Kamara and Aaron Jones both received more than 64 goals last season in addition to first and seventh places in the past three seasons. Kamara may be banned as Jones fights for photos with AJ Dillonbut the talent of the two players is undeniable.
Saquon Barkley, potential competition winner Javonte Williams and James Conner are other running backs to consider later in the second round.
Deebo Samuel and Keenan Allen are the wide receivers to consider in round 2 for anyone who chose a running back in round 1, and Samuel is the only one who deserves attention early in the second round. He was the fourth best wide receiver over the first half of the 2021 season in standard formats. He was outside the top 10 in receptions, but his 18.0 yards per reception was second among wide receivers with at least 25 receptions.
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