Fantasy Football Pick 4 Strategy: How to Draft From the 4th Spot

Fantasy football draft strategy for the No. 4 pick in 12-team snake drafts.
Fantasy football draft strategy for the No. 4 pick in 12-team snake drafts. / AP Photos/Eric Smith

Fantasy Football 4th Pick in 12-Team Leagues

Having the fourth overall pick in fantasy football drafts is usually a big advantage, guaranteeing drafters one of the very best players available. That's especially true in 2022 because of the potential to add an early steal in the very first round.

Fantasy Football Pick 4 Strategy

So how can fantasy football drafters best take advantage of drawing the No. 4 pick in 2022? Here's a guide to the best draft strategy at 4.

Round 1/Round 2

It's likely that running backs dominate the top of the first round as Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler will all be off the board once the No. 4 pick arrives. That leaves wide receiver Cooper Kupp as the perfect selection.

Kupp showcased how high his ceiling truly is when he finished not only as the No. 1 WR in fantasy football last season, but the No. 1 scorer overall. The 29-year-old's connection with quarterback Matthew Stafford was obvious and it was the third year in a row that he played in at least 15 games. He was an unstoppable force.

Heading into the season, Kupp has an ADP on FantasyPros that ranks a full two spots ahead of the next pass-catcher in Minnesota's Justin Jefferson. Other experts notably praise Kupp as a potential top-three pick due to his safe floor. That is why grabbing him at No. 4 overall comes with little risk.

Fantasy managers are on a long break until the No. 21 pick comes. This is where your strategy could go in a number of different directions. There's a possibility that running back Aaron Jones (ADP 19) is still available to be taken here. Pairing him with Kupp would give you one of the most balanced one-two punches in fantasy football. After all, the two combined to score 26 touchdowns in 2021.

If Jones is off the board, there is no shortage of other stellar options. Tyreek Hill, Javonte Williams and Josh Allen rank in ADP 20-22. It's always risky to be the first one to draft a quarterback, but Josh Allen lines up as a player that could singlehandedly lead your squad to a championship. Added weapons in Buffalo means another QB1 finish may be on the horizon for the Wyoming product.

Round 3/Round 4

Opting for a WR-RB or WR-QB combo means you're going to want to target an exciting playmaker in Round 3. If you decided to go the WR-RB route, this pick becomes all about taking the best player available. Prospective targets include Mike Evans (ADP 26), Keenan Allen (ADP 27), Ezekiel Elliott (ADP 29), or James Conner (ADP 30).

Adding that kind of talent in Round 3 proves that going the WR-WR route early on is not worthy of consideration. Grabbing a top RB, instead, projects to be a much safer way to go.

If you decided to change it up a bit and go the WR-QB route, then Round 3 is all about grabbing a RB. In the best-case scenario, either Saquon Barkley (ADP 24) or Leonard Fournette (ADP 25) falls down to the No. 28 spot. If not, don't be afraid to reach a little bit for one of your favorites. That could be Elliott, Conner or David Montgomery (ADP 33).

Conner took hold of the Arizona Cardinals' backfield last season and never looked back. His career-high 18 total touchdowns helped him finish as the RB5 in PPR-scoring fantasy football leagues. Without Chase Edmonds in the picture anymore, Conner should see a similar, if not bigger, role to what he did in 2021. The same thing cannot be said about Elliott with Tony Pollard stealing reps.

It's another long stretch for drafters until the No. 45 pick comes around in Round 4. It's important to stay alert during this time because the longer a draft goes, the more unpredictable it becomes. A lot of value can be found when players start dropping past their ADP.

The strategy in Round 4 comes includes a ton of personal preference. Nabbing another WR or RB is always a safe bet and options around this pick include Josh Jacobs (ADP 43), DJ Moore (ADP 44), D.K. Metcalf (ADP 45) and Travis Etienne Jr. (ADP 47). Neither running back can be taken with much confidence here, though. A combination of a new head coach and a crowded backfield leaves little upside.

Darren Waller (ADP 46) is an intriguing name to keep in mind with this pick. The veteran tight end was on pace to post another 1,000-yard season before injuries caught up to him in 2021. Keep in mind he finished as TE3 in 2019 and as TE2 in 2020. Having Davante Adams on offense should lead to less defensive attention being shown toward Waller.

Round 5/Round 6

If you opt to take Waller in Round 4, then dipping back into the WR pool becomes a must in Round 5. There's plenty of intriguing options with the No. 52 pick, including Mike Williams (ADP 52), Brandin Cooks (ADP 53) and Chris Godwin (ADP 54). All three players have WR2 upside at the end of the day.

Williams used an early season explosion (6 touchdowns in first 5 weeks) to finish as the WR12 in fantasy football last year, one spot below Los Angeles Chargers teammate Keenan Allen. He recently signed a three-year extension to stay in one of the league's top passing offenses, too.

After enduring another long break, the No. 69 pick comes with a couple of solid QB options if you opted not to take Josh Allen in Round 2. Jalen Hurts (ADP 64) could end up falling a few spots and Dak Prescott (ADP 74) is likely available as well. Both players have the dual-threat capabilities to finish as a top-12 QB.

If you didn't address the TE position yet, feel free to snag T.J. Hockenson (ADP 65) if he is still on the board. The fourth-year pro already has on top-five TE finish under his belt (2020) and averaged the sixth-most fantasy points per game out of anyone at the position in 2021 (12.1). All signs point to him taking on the No. 1 role in a Detroit passing attack led by quarterback Jared Goff.

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. 4 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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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. 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.