Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Draft Picks: Where do you want to draft?


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.’s Scott Engel, with 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.


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).

LeSean McCoy -- Fantasy Football Draft Picks

LeSean McCoy makes for a great consolation prize when you know you’re going to have three of the top 27 overall players. Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan

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!?!

David Gonos spent 5 years as a Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on,, FanDuel, and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.



  1. logan

    July 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I never want 1st Pick! Too much pressure. I can’t disagree that #3 this year is sweet because to me there is no clear #1-4. Those picks are interchangable. Let me say this. I think depending on the intelligence of team owners in your draft, a spot like ,9,10 could be quite enticing as well due to hopefull blunders made by others in the middle of the round. I feel we can both agre 7 and 8 are horrible possitions in most any year draft. Which is ironic since that’s my normal spot. It’s getting close to crunch time!

    • Gonos

      July 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      Haha, good points! Little known fact — the first pick has been outscored by the second pick in 6 of the past 10 years. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  2. Levon

    August 4, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    My league generated the draft order early and I have the third pick. Initially I assumed I would take whichever top 3 rb who fell to me and I was going to target Matt Ryan as my qb in the sixth round. However, I am worried that the guy picking sixth is going to take Ryan ahead of me in the sixth. I can either go rice at 3 and Ryan in the fifth or Rodgers at 3 and go from there. I am starting to think it might not be a bad move to lock up the top player in fantasy and then fill my other spots without having to worry about getting shut out at qb (I don’t want some one like cutler or even Peyton).

  3. Duane R

    August 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Levon, why lock yourself into only one of two guys? You’re basically saying your options are either Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan, period. What if the guy with the 1st pick takes Rodgers in Rnd 1, then the other guy with 2nd pick takes Matt Ryan in Rnd3? Are you going to quit your draft?

    Instead, you can take best-RB at 1.03, then either best RB or WR at 2.07. Then you could get someone like Matthew Stafford or Cam Newton in Rnd3. Or, you can keep picking best RB/WR’s available, and grab someone in Rnds 5/6 like Tony Romo, Phillip Rivers, or even your guy M. Ryan. If you wait to 6/7, I guarantee Jay Cutler or Roethlisburger will be available. Heck, I’m even considering waiting on someone like Carson Palmer in Rd10.

    The point is, don’t tie yourself down to only one or two players: you’ll almost always end up disappointed. Have a number of fall-back plans/strategies before the draft. Don’t base your plans on must-haves, but guys you generally like. Remember, the draft winner is the one with the best overall value, not the one with the best superstar QB.

    • Gonos

      August 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      Thanks for the comment — excellent points!

  4. Levon

    August 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Duane, I agree with the basic principle of taking the best value on the board. In fact my whole thinking is premised on that strategy. I don’t believe that stafford in the 2d or cutler or Ben in the 8th is good value. I would take romo in the 5th or rivers in the 6th/7th as a fallback if I took a rb at #3 and Ryan was off the board in the 5th round. Obviously I am not going to just quit the draft if Ryan isn’t there when I want him. All I am getting at is that there are good reasons to take Rodgers with the third pick and I haven’t ruled that out as a possibility.

  5. Duane R

    August 17, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Levon, I hope I didn’t come off as too patronizing. I’ve just seen guys get too wrapped up in one or two superstars, only to win the Sacko (see:”The League”), year-after-year. Or worse, get frustrated b/c they didn’t get their dream-pick, gradually dropping out of the league.

    It sounds like we are more-or-less on the same page. Yeah, Rivers or Romo would be good value at Rds 5/6; but watch out for Romo, b/c his offensive line might get hime killed. I’m a big Stafford fan, so you’ll have to forgive me…if I go QB early, it’ll be him in Rd 2. If he lasts until Rd3, he’s a bargain. QB-Dogkiller might also be available in 5/6/7? Rodgers is probably the safest early pick. I just worry about losing an opportunity for someone else, when you might get a comparable QB in a later round.

    Anyways, just wanted to help…wasn’t sure where you were at. Plus, I’m getting really juiced for the upcoming season. So, take care Levon and good luck.

  6. Levon

    August 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Duane, I took stafford last year late with the second to last pick in the 6th (I thought the guy with back-to-back picks would take stafford if I waited until the second pick in the 7th) and I won my league last year. So I am a fan of stafford and agree he is not bad value in the second. I want nothing to do with Cam in the second or third though and I think Vick is too risky because of injuries. Bottom line, there aren’t many qbs I am comfortable with this year. I typically do not take qbs super early but I might change it up this year. I love Ryan in the sixth, but in my draft I think he will be gone by then which means I’d have to take him in the fifth. There is actually a good chance Ryan will be gone before I pick on the fifth but I will not take Ryan earlier than the 5th because then I would be losing the value. Anyway, that is my dilemma at the moment and I am sti undecided as to what to do with #3. If McCoy is there, I will take him. Not sure I would take Rice over Rodgers though.

Leave a Reply

To Top