A little over a decade ago, I had a “draft pick draft” with a bunch of other Fantasy Football writers. That’s right, we drafted Fantasy Football draft picks. RotoExperts.com’s Scott Engel, with CBSSports.com at the time, still mocks me for it when I go on his Sirius/XM Fantasy Football radio show.
“Hey Gonos, I want to draft radio show guests!”
And we’d go back and forth for a while, then I’d finally take a shot at the band KISS and we’d finally move on to start talking Fantasy Football.
But today, a Twitter follower named @sportfanatik asked me which pick I would take if I had the choice.
@davidgonos if you cld pick ur own spot in a 12 tm non-keeper, non ppr, snake draft, which spot would you take?
— Joe Sportsfan (@sportfanatik) July 23, 2012
I gave him a quick response that I’d want the third overall draft pick if I had the choice. And he responded back that he set his Fantasy league up like that a few years ago, allowing owners to pick their draft position. He said it gets people engaged earlier in the offseason.
I thought about it and gave him a full ranking of the entire first round – where would I want to draft if I had the choice. I thought I’d share that with you now.
Drafting Fantasy Football Draft Picks
Imagine you get to choose where you want to pick in the first round (which means your second-round pick would be the serpentine opposite. Imagine this is for a 12-team league. Ten-team leagues’ rankings would be a little different.
1.01 THIRD OVERALL PICK: Man, this is harder to express in text than I thought. In other words, the THIRD OVERALL PICK is the best pick to get in Fantasy Football this season. My reasoning for this is that you’ll get one of the top three running backs in Fantasy Football (Ray Rice, Arian Foster and LeSean McCoy), and you’ll get to pick earlier in the second round than the guy with the first or second overall pick. I also like the fact you’ll get three of the top 27 overall picks.
1.02 FIRST OVERALL PICK: Whoa, see what I did there? You thought I was going to say the second overall pick! I’d rather have the first pick, with back-to-back picks for the rest of the draft, than to be sandwiched around a guy with back-to-back picks. Plus, you get the best guy in the draft (or so you hope).
1.03 SECOND OVERALL PICK: At this point, you just want one of the final sure-thing running backs left. Heading into the second round with either Foster, McCoy or Rice means you are waaay ahead of the game. Plus, you get to poach a great wide receiver or a running back dropping in the second just before the guy with the top overall pick.
1.04 FOURTH OVERALL PICK: This was the toughest decision to make, really. Either you take the best player after the top-three running backs are gone (Aaron Rodgers is the favorite at this point), or you decide to drop back to the back of the round, doubling up on two picks in a row. I still like having the fourth pick, just in case someone does something goofy in the one of the three spots ahead of you.
1.05 TWELFTH OVERALL PICK: After the first four picks are gone, I think I’d prefer to drop back and get two of the top 13 overall players than to take the fifth-best player, and then the 17th-best player. Having back-to-back picks is such an incredible advantage in Fantasy Football drafts. You can really knock out a position and hurt the owners drafting around you. I love starting a run on a position and watching everyone scatter for their cheat sheets when they’re up.
1.06 ELEVENTH OVERALL PICK: My thinking here is – getting two of the top 14 picks is great, but getting four of the top 38 players is even better. Plus, from a strategy standpoint, you can limit the damage around you. For instance, you can make your pick with a great idea of what the next two picks are going to be (at least, position-wise) before your next pick. Only the guy with the second overall pick can make that same claim.
1.07 FIFTH OVERALL PICK: Back to the best available player, you’ll still end up with a stud. Either the top QB or WR in Fantasy – or the fourth-best RB (your choice there, but most are leaning toward Chris Johnson or Ryan Mathews).
1.08 TENTH OVERALL PICK: Finally, it gets to a point where the sixth-through-10t h players are all mix-and-match. In other words, it’s very possible you’ll end up (at 1.10) with the player you wanted at 1.06.
1.09 NINTH OVERALL PICK: While those eight players are being picked off one by one ahead of you, just keep thinking, I get two of the top 16 picks!
1.10 SIXTH OVERALL PICK: At this point, I wouldn’t care what pick I ended up with. I think I would just walk up and punch the guy with the third overall pick in the eye.
1.11 SEVENTH OVERALL PICK: Just think, you’re jealous of the guy that hates the sixth pick.
1.12 EIGHTH OVERALL PICK: Two of the top 18 picks! You can’t get any better than that! Oh, well, I mean, unless you have any of the other 11 picks.
Where would you prefer your Fantasy Football draft picks to land, if you were given the choice!?!