Fantasy Football Pick 9 Strategy: How to Draft From the 9th Spot
Fantasy Football 9th Pick in 12-Team Leagues
The ninth pick in 2022 fantasy football drafts is a lukewarm spot to be in this year. Missing out on the top eight players can make this position less appealing, unless managers have a solid strategy coming in.
Fantasy Football Pick 9 Strategy
So how can fantasy football drafters best take advantage of drawing the No. 9 pick in 2022? Here's a guide to the best draft strategy at 9.
Round 1/Round 2
Six running backs are projected be off of the board by the time the No. 9 pick is on the clock. It's hard to see the top two wide receivers, Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson, falling as well. No reason to worry, though. This clears the way for you to take young stud Ja'Marr Chase with your first selection.
Chase is coming off of a historic rookie season that saw him finish as WR5 in PPR scoring. He displayed a mouth-watering combo of big-play ability (1,455 receiving yards, No. 4 among wideouts) and touchdown scoring (13 TDs, No. 3) that should make him a fantasy star for years to come. With a year of experience under his belt, the LSU product should be even better after tying for only the 17th-most targets in 2021. If that number goes up even more, Chase could challenge for the top WR spot.
Then it's a quick break before managers are up again at No. 16. This is an ideal spot to nab a true top-end running back before the quality drops off. Nick Chubb (average draft position 16) and Alvin Kamara (ADP 17) are certainly capable of leading anyone's backfield. Chubb is coming off of an RB13 finish one year ago, and after handling 228 carries (No. 8) in 2021, that figure could increase if backup Kareem Hunt is traded.
Kamara, meanwhile, is shooting up draft boards after news that a potential suspension likely won't be handed out in 2022. He was the RB6 in PPR scoring last season and is one of the game's best dual-threat running backs, allowing him to make plays as a rusher and receiver. This skill set helped him finish as the overall RB1 in 2020, so that elite potential is hard to pass on.
Round 3/Round 4
Your next selection is at 33 after a 17-pick gap. There's a few routes to take here. Nabbing a second starting-quality RB is a safe bet to solidify your backfield. David Montgomery (ADP 33) and Cam Akers (ADP 36) are both slated to serve as the featured back in their respective offenses, giving them the volume to put up great fantasy numbers.
Tight end is another option that warrants merit consideration if Kyle Pitts (ADP 34) is on the board. Having a top-three TE is a major weekly advantage when most managers are rolling out inferior players. As a result, though, this luxury requires major draft capital to secure it. Pitts looks like he'll be worth it after finishing as TE6 as a rookie. He'll be the clear-cut No. 1 option in Atlanta with Calvin Ridley suspended and a lacking pass-catching corps around him, which is a recipe for fantasy boom potential.
Then drafters are back up at No. 40. Wide receiver or running back makes sense, depending on your roster construction. You could opt for a WR-RB-RB-RB start by targeting Antonio Gibson (ADP 41) or Josh Jacobs (ADP 44) to build up your running back stable. That'd give you three quality RBs to fill your two starting spots and FLEX, making sure you never underperform at that position. WR is another obvious lane, with Terry McLaurin (ADP 40) and Diontae Johnson (ADP 42) expected to be available. If you went with Chase and Pitts, then nabbing a second RB should be a priority given how there's solid WR options later on to consider.
Round 5/Round 6
At spot 57, there's several paths to follow. Dalton Schultz (ADP 57) would fill your starting tight end spot perfectly before the position's talent starts to drop off from here. Amari Cooper (ADP 58) and Courtland Sutton (ADP 59) are great supporting wide receivers to target if you need depth there.
Otherwise, I really like Jalen Hurts (ADP 60) here. He finished as the QB9 in fantasy scoring last season thanks to ranking first in TDs (10) and yards (784) on the ground among his position. His subpar passing numbers should take a big leap after Philadelphia added star wideout AJ Brown this offseason as well, giving Hurts a true No. 1 target he's missed during his Eagles tenure. Hurts feels like a great value this low in the draft.
The 64th pick again opens up various opportunities. TJ Hockenson (ADP 64) is an ideal tight end target if you've filled out other positions up to this point. Damien Harris (ADP 66) also could be a valuable running back depth option for you after he finished as RB14 in 2021. Wide receiver, meanwhile, is a serious contender here. Marquise Brown (ADP 65) and Amon-Ra St. Brown (ADP 67) present two quality pass-catchers that could outperform expectations as two breakout candidates. These two finished as WR22 and WR21 in PPR last year, respectively, so they're bankable FLEX plays at minimum.
Since fantasy football drafts are living organisms that evolve in real time, it's hard to pin down a specific strategy for later rounds. Managers will just have to let the picks play out, but there's some fantasy draft advice you should keep in mind.
Prepare a list of sleepers you're high on for later rounds. Nabbing the right handcuff or low-profile guy that turns into a weekly starter off of your bench is a massive advantage that'll give you a leg up on your leaguemates.
Don't be afraid to take risks when appropriate as well. The downtime between picks when you draw the No. 9 spot means you'll see plenty of players, sometimes even ones you really want, fly off of the board before your next turn. As long as you have a solid start (like the roster above), you can afford to reach if there's someone you believe in.
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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.