What are the Best Draft Slots? (2019 Fantasy Football)
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When it comes to snake drafts, there is certainly a level of luck involved based on the draft slot that you secure. This is why some fantasy football leagues have pre-draft competitions to determine draft order. Others simply use a randomized order. Whatever the case, when you have your draft slot, you are generally limited to a range of players. Yes, even the No. 1 overall pick can be a curse, especially in a year like this where we don’t have a consensus, no-doubt No. 1 overall pick.
While some have to make the best of their draft slot, other leagues allow owners to trade up or back from their current fantasy football draft slot. Still others may have an opportunity to select their draft slot in the coming weeks. Whatever your situation, we’ve asked our writers for their best draft slots of the 2019 fantasy football draft season.
What are the Best 2019 Fantasy Football Draft Slots?
Top-3 or Bottom-3
I always get the impression from others that the best spot is somewhere in the middle. It is the “safe” spot, especially in more specific types of drafts like Superflex in case quarterback runs start. No one seems to like the ends very much because they have to wait forever. However, I am not one of those people. I tend to like the first couple of spots or the last couple of spots. That way I can draft two players close to each other. I particularly like the turns because I can often double up on a position and create panic for those caught in the middle or at the other end. It does require a bit more patience because you can wait seemingly forever, but when it is your turn you can get two instead of one. The middle for me is the worst draft slot because I feel I cannot get the same momentum going as I do on the turn. That being said, I do not tend to get too carried away with my spot generally because, in the end, you cannot do anything about it. Instead, I will focus on ways to bolster my roster knowing that no matter where you draft you will always get value and will always get sniped by those just ahead of you. The main thing is to expect great surprises and disappointment and just move on and take the next player on your list.
– Marc Mathyk (@masterjune70)
I agree with everything Marc said here. Knowing you will be able to choose two players from a selective group is easier to me than having to wait in the middle of drafts. For this year’s draft, I especially like going towards the end and getting two top wide receivers or a top wide receiver and Travis Kelce. Regardless of where you are slotted to draft, you can still put together a solid team by doing enough research and practice. One tool that helps is the FantasyPros Draft Simulator. You can select where you are picking and draft against simulated expert rankings to help you gauge what players will be available for your team.
– Kevin O’Connor (@22koconnor)
I love picking around the turns because it makes it so much easier to predict what your opponents are going to do. After the first four rounds, you can pretty much guess who the people behind you are going to take. That makes drafting so much easier and it allows you to wait on certain guys that you know will fall. I not only like it from a strategic standpoint, but I also enjoy the players in those slots. Landing a top-three pick is beneficial for obvious reasons, but getting two players in the top 15 in huge too at the back-end.
– Joel Bartilotta (@Bartilottajoel)
Piggy-backing off Joel’s comments, I too love the predictability of these slots. Only having to keep your eyes on two teams is perfect! I like having your pick of a couple remaining stud RBs available at No. 3 and/or being able to grab an elite WR/RB combo toward the back of the first round to start. Being in the No. 3 slot also allows you to keep track of the “Big Three” at tight end. If Kelce or Kittle fall to you in the late second, you have some excellent players to consider. Come round three, you almost have to take one of them if they’re there. I personally feel like it’s easier to formulate a draft plan from one of these two positions. Drafting from one of these slots still makes you somewhat susceptible to positional runs, but not as extreme as being on at the turn.
– Josh Dalley (@JoshDalley72)
Depends on Your Strategy
I know that a lot of fantasy owners almost faint when they have the last pick because they will be destined for a 3-11 season with all the great players gone before he or she drafts, but I honestly think draft position rarely matters in a snake draft. I have won leagues with the last pick and I have missed the playoffs with the first pick. What I do in the middle to late rounds to secure depth for my roster, and what I do on the waiver wire and with trades during the season to improve the roster is going to decide if I own a playoff team competing for a title or one that is out of the playoff mix. However, if you are married to a certain strategy, which I am not, it can be advantageous to pick early or later in the draft. A popular strategy in recent years has been the Zero Running Back strategy. If you are married to that strategy, it will work better to have the last pick in the draft, because at that point the elite running backs are off the board and not only are you able to go with wide receivers in the first and second round, but the strategy and the ADP for those early picks line up with one another. I really struggle to employ a Zero RB Strategy when I have the first pick in fantasy drafts because the greater value with those early picks is at running back. Conversely, if you fall in the camp that a running back must be taken in the first round without exception, it is more advantageous to have the first pick, because it will give you the choice of the best running back and you are maximizing value there. Taking the 12th running back over the third or fourth wide receiver usually does not maximize value early in a fantasy draft. I am a flexible drafter. I see the value in taking a wide receiver or running back in the first round, and therefore I do not care what pick I have in the first round because the snake format will even out the draft process. Great players can come in any round of the fantasy draft. It is my job to find them after the elite players come off the board, which makes my draft position the least of my worries.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)
Everyone is a Winner!
Every slot has its advantages and disadvantages, as usual. The first four picks (assuming all are playing under contract) are great because you get a centerpiece stud RB with a well-defined role. The middle picks are great as well because you are much less likely to be the casualty of a positional run than the players at either turn. The last three-to-four slots are great as well because you’ll end up with some combination of high-end WR1s and/or workhorse RBs with your first two picks, getting two great-but-not-elite players. The toughest spot for me this year will probably be about the No. 8 spot, though it depends a bit on contract talks. I feel good inside the top-seven picks getting a stud RB in any of McCaffrey, Elliott, Barkley, Kamara, Johnson, Bell, or Gordon (in that order, assuming all contracts work out). Pick No. 8 is tougher if those seven go off the board before me, because while DeAndre Hopkins is a no-brainer, if another RB run goes around the turn, I could end up without a true RB1 on my team, and it can almost force a Zero RB or quasi-Zero RB strategy as early as Round 2. Realistically, Hopkins and Davante Adams will probably both go inside the top-eight picks, which means I would be comfortable up to No. 9 with getting a top-end RB. At 10-12, I know I’ll be able to get a combination like Julio Jones/Joe Mixon or JuJu Smith-Schuster/Dalvin Cook, so I’m also happy there. I don’t really have a particular pick I’m dying to have this year, as both ends of the draft will lend themselves well to different approaches. If I could choose my draft slot, I’d quite simply take the No. 1 because I want Christian McCaffrey on my team.
– Mark Leipold (@LeipoldNFL)
Give me the Last Pick
I find it fairly easy to create a game plan for the first five rounds of drafts depending on your draft slot. After this, drafts tend to become more and more unique from one another and more often you end up getting “your guys” regardless of your draft slot. So, when I am figuring out what draft slot I like the most, I primarily look at the first five rounds. With all of the uncertainty among top running backs right now we have a chance at a dominant workhorse running back outside of the top few picks. While I do also like being in the top three picks, I like picking last most of all. In the first turn, I can always pair one of my top four receivers with Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, or Le’Veon Bell. Then in the third/fourth round turn you are looking at players like Devonta Freeman or Chris Carson at running back and Stefon Diggs, Brandin Cooks, or Kenny Golladay at receiver. Finally, for the fifth/sixth turn, I would love to add O.J. Howard or Evan Engram if one of them fell to me. I feel like I have the most opportunity to start with a balanced roster from the 12 spot.
– Steven Roy (@rockhead_roy)
Best Picks are 1-3 & 12
Every draft has its quirks as you never really know what route some owners are going to go come draft day. The best slot to draft from would be in top three or at the very back end at 12. The top three enables you a surefire RB1 in Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, or Alvin Kamara. Within the next two rounds, you can easily solidify your starting running backs (Leonard Fournette, Kerryon Johnson) and grab a star wide receiver (Mike Evans, Adam Thielen, Keenan Allen) or possibly an elite TE (George Kittle, Zach Ertz). With the 12th pick, you have a chance at possibly nabbing a couple of tier-two running backs such as Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, or Dalvin Cook. You could also snag either running back I listed plus a stud wide receiver such as Julio Jones or Odell Beckham. If I knew Ezekiel Elliot was going to play I would have extended this to top four.
– Brad Camara (@beerad30)