Fantasy Football Pick 2 Strategy: How to Draft From the 2nd Spot

Fantasy football draft strategy for the No. 2 pick in 12-team snake drafts.
Fantasy football draft strategy for the No. 2 pick in 12-team snake drafts. / (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

Fantasy Football 2nd Pick in 12-Team Leagues

Having the second overall pick in fantasy football drafts is usually a big advantage, guaranteeing drafters one of the very best players available. However, the uncertainty at the top of the draft makes this spot potentially less enticing this year without a solid plan.

Fantasy Football Pick 2 Strategy

So how can fantasy football drafters best take advantage of drawing the No. 2 pick in 2022? Here's a guide to the best draft strategy at 2.

Round 1/Round 2

Assuming Jonathan Taylor is off of the board at No. 1, drafters face a tough decision between two players: Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler. McCaffrey is a perennial top RB finisher when healthy, which is a major caveat to take into account. He has played in just 10 combined games over the past two seasons, so it's a risk to use this high of draft capital on a player that could end up in your injured reserve spot.

Ekeler, meanwhile, is coming off of a breakout year where finished as RB2 in PPR scoring and No. 8 overall. However, he comes with his own injury concerns, so health is a major hurdle he must clear in order to repeat his 2021 showing.

Most drafters will likely side with McCaffrey here given his fantasy dominance when healthy. He finished as the No. 1 overall scorer in 2019 and No. 3 in 2018. Few players in the entire league have that kind of fantasy king potential, so it's worth rolling the dice despite the legit concerns.

Then managers are up again after a long break at No. 23. Given the risk of McCaffrey, some may want a more sure thing like tight end Mark Andrews (ADP 23), who's finished as TE6 or better in each of the last three seasons. Nailing down your starting RB duo could also be a huge advantage given the drop-off later on. Saquon Barkley (ADP 24) is another volatile option like McCaffrey that could equally reward or burn drafters. Leonard Fournette (ADP 25), meanwhile, is a safer option coming off of an RB6 finish and projected to see even more volume in 2022.

Round 3/Round 4

After going for a top-end TE or second starting RB, nabbing an elite wide receiver at No. 26 makes a ton of sense. There's a strong trio of consistent 1,000-yards wideouts in Mike Evans (ADP 26), Keenan Allen (ADP 27) and A.J. Brown (ADP 28) all projected right around this slot. Evans finished as WR9 last year, Allen clocked in at WR11, and while Brown fell to WR32 due to injuries, he could bounce back in a huge way as the Philadelphia Eagles' No. 1 target.

Then drafters must weather another stretch of inactivity before selecting at No. 47. Don't check out during this down time, though, since there could be values that end up falling to you as the middle rounds get more unpredictable.

Drafters have a few paths to contemplate here. You could grab a third RB like Travis Etienne Jr. (ADP 47) or Elijah Mitchell (ADP 48) in order to build one of the best running back stables in your fantasy league and have a great FLEX option in tow. Or managers could nab Lamar Jackson (ADP 49), giving your roster a quarterback with true QB1 potential and plenty of rushing upside.

Round 5/Round 6

If you don't select a running back at 47, then there's still intriguing options projected to be on the board at 50. J.K. Dobbins (ADP 50) and Breece Hall (ADP 51) both have question marks -- one coming off of a major injury and one being a rookie -- but could also end up being values as a result if they outperform expectations.

Otherwise, there's a group of WRs in Mike Williams (ADP 52), Brandin Cooks (ADP 53) and Chris Godwin (ADP 54) that are all being taken around this position. Since wide receiver quality drops off noticeably from here, it could be in your best interest to fill your second starting WR spot with one of these choices, rather than getting greedy with another RB.

Back at up No. 71, those that do grab a running back one round earlier can still get a solid second WR. Allen Robinson II (ADP 71) is projected to shine now on a pass-heavy Los Angeles Rams offense. DeAndre Hopkins (ADP 72) and Michael Thomas (ADP 74) also present high-risk, high-reward options due to a six-game suspension for the former and the latter missing the entire 2021 season. Since this roster build already relies on some injury luck, Robinson is the much safer option if you still need a bankable WR2.

Later Rounds

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 massive downtime between picks when you draw the No. 2 spot means you'll see plenty of players, even ones you really want, fly off of the board before your next turn sometimes. 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.