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Best Draft Position Fantasy Football 2023 (Updated August)

By Jared Smola | Updated on Mon, 21 Aug 2023 . 3:15 PM EDT

 

Your draft position plays a big role in the fantasy football team you’re able to put together.

You, of course, can assemble a championship-winning team from any spot. But some draft positions are certainly more advantageous than others.

 

What’s the Best Draft Position in Fantasy Football for 2023?

The best draft position varies from year to year depending on the fantasy landscape.

What’s shaping up as the best draft position for 2023? We ran the numbers … and the results might surprise you.

 

What you’ll find in this article:

Best Draft Position for 12-Team PPR Leagues, Based on ADP

Best Draft Position for 12-Team Half-PPR Leagues, Based on ADP

Best Draft Position for 12-Team PPR Leagues, Based on Draft Sharks Rankings

Best Draft Position for 12-Team Half-PPR Leagues, Based on Draft Sharks Rankings

How to Beat Your Draft Position

 

Best Draft Position for 12-Team PPR Leagues

Draft Position Total DMVP
11 344.5
10 343.5
1339.9
5335.8
6335.6
8333.9
7332.5
9325.1
3 324.8
4320.1
2309
12308

The table above shows the total fantasy value (we call them DMVP points) you would capture from each draft position in a 12-team PPR league, according to the most recent fantasy ADP data. Draft positions are ordered from most total DMVP points to least.

We explain DMVP points in the video below. It’s important to note because using DMVP points shows you how to outwit your competition – no matter your draft position.

DMVP points give you an advantage from ANY draft position.

  

Here’s a more detailed look at where ADP lands players at each draft position:

Surprise! The No. 1 pick is NOT the best draft position in 12-team PPR leagues, despite the fact that the Draft Sharks projections have Justin Jefferson as easily the most valuable player in fantasy football. 

Instead, it's the No. 11 pick that checks in as the most valuable, followed closely by pick No. 10.  WRs Stefon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb, Davante Adams, and Amon-Ra St. Brown check in as strong picks near the Round 1/2 turn. The No. 11 pick also lands nice values in QB Lamar Jackson (Round 4) and RB Alexander Mattison (Round 5).

Interestingly, the No. 12 spot is the worst draft position in 12-team PPR leagues, according to ADP. Our projections show Nick Chubb (Round 1), A.J. Brown (Round 2), Calvin Ridley (Round 3), and Dalvin Cook (Round 6) as poor values from that draft spot.

After No. 12, the No. 2, 3 and 4 spots are the next three worst draft positions.

   

Best Draft Position for 12-Team Half-PPR Leagues

Draft Position Total DMVP
10 375.4
1 370.6
8352.8
3349.1
7345.8
12339.8
4339.6
5330.1
11 327.9
6326.8
2322.9
9316.9

The No. 1 pick is the second-best draft position in 12-team half-PPR leagues, according to ADP.

The best spot? That honor goes to pick No. 10.

Here’s a look at where ADP places players by draft position in 12-team half-PPR leagues:

The No. 10 pick lands strong values in each of the first six rounds. In fact, the Draft Sharks projections have Joe Mixon as the best fourth-round pick and Tyler Lockett as the best sixth-round pick.

On the flip side, you don’t wanna be drafting by ADP from the No. 9 spot in half-PPR leagues. Jahmyr Gibbs (Round 3), George Kittle (Round 5), and Christian Kirk (Round 6) are all poor values.

TIP

Pursuing value is a key tenet of our fantasy football draft strategy.

   

What’s REALLY the Best Draft Position in 2023?

So far, we've looked at the best draft positions if you were picking exactly by ADP.

That's not optimal, of course. You can do better.

How much better?

We ran through the same exercise as above ... but instead of picking based on ADP, we picked the most valuable player at each spot according to the custom and dynamic fantasy football cheat sheet on the Draft War Room.

The result was a significant increase in total DMVP value -- and a new answer to the question of best draft position.

In PPR, the best draft position is pick No. 1.

Pick Player DMVP
1.01 Justin Jefferson 100.0
2.12 Josh Jacobs 65.3
3.01 Mark Andrews 64.2
4.12J.K. Dobbins49.5
5.01Rachaad White47.9
6.12Tyler Lockett450
Total=371.9

Those 371.9 DMVP points using Draft Sharks player rankings are a 9.4% increase over the 339.9 DMVP points picking straight from ADP from the No. 1 spot in a 12-team PPR draft.

It's even an 8.0% increase over the 344.5 DMVP points picking from ADP at the No. 11 spot (which we found was the best draft position by straight ADP).

Best PPR Draft Positions Ranked

Here's how all 12 spots stack up in terms of maximum DMVP points in PPR drafts:

draft position total dmvp
1 371.9
5 370.2
6 370.1
7367.4
4364.5
2364.0
3364.0
8363.8
9362.2
10360.6
11357.1
12357.1

Two takeaways from those numbers:

  1. There's not a ton of difference between the best and worst draft positions -- only 14.8 DMVP points, or 4.1%. So you can truly win your draft from any position.
  2. The Draft Sharks optimal is better by at least 3.7% at every single draft position -- and by 10% or more at eight spots.

Get the most out of YOUR draft position with a customized, dynamic cheat sheet.

  

In Half-PPR, the best draft position is pick No. 1.

Pick Player DMVP
1.01 Justin Jefferson 100
2.12 Josh Allen 76.9
3.01 Josh Jacobs 68.7
4.12J.K. Dobbins53.3
5.01Cam Akers51.7
6.12Dallas Goedert36.9
Total=387.5

The No. 1 pick is not the best draft position in 12-team half-PPR leagues picking straight by ADP ... but it is the best if you make the optimal pick each round. Not only do you land Justin Jefferson, but you can also secure an elite QB with Josh Allen and strong RBs values in Josh Jacobs, J.K. Dobbins, and Cam Akers

The 387.5 DMVP points netted here are a 4.6% increase from picking straight by ADP from the No. 1 spot.

Best Half-PPR Draft Positions Ranked

draft position total dmvp
1 391.2
2 387.5
3 384.9
4384.9
5384.3
7382.2
10380.5
8375.8
6374.1
11373.3
9373.1
12363.4

The gap between the best and worst draft positions in half-PPR is a bit bigger than in PPR -- 18.7 DMVP points, or 5.1%. But that's certainly not insurmountable with smart drafting.

And, once again, the Draft Sharks optimal provides a significant edge. An improvement of at least 4.6% at every draft position -- and 11+% at seven spots.

TIP

Yeah, it would be great to land the ideal draft position for your league format.

But your chances are 1-out-of-12 at getting that “best draft position.”

What we at Draft Sharks have learned in 25 seasons is that drafting for value is the best fantasy football draft strategy.

It’s not up to luck. It’s up to you. Keep reading to see what we mean…

   

Beat Your Draft Position By Picking Smarter

Most fantasy players aren’t able to choose their draft position. That means you might get stuck in a bad spot.

Here’s the good news: You’re not restricted by ADP. You can draft smarter with a custom, dynamic fantasy football cheat sheet on the Draft War Room.

ADP is just one of 17 value indicators the Draft War Room considers to help you make the best pick every time you’re on the clock.

Optimize your fantasy team with the Draft War Room.

  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best spot to draft in fantasy football 2023?

In PPR, position 11 is the best pick using ADP, netting you 344.5 DMVP points. That's 5% above the average. However, using Draft Sharks rankings, pick No. 1 is the best. From the 1 spot, you net 371.9 DMVP points, a 9.4% increase from picking by straight ADP. That might be surprising to some, but the math supports our answer. 

What is the best draft order spot in fantasy football?

If you go strictly by ADP, the No. 11 pick is the best draft position in 12-team PPR leagues. CeeDee Lamb, Davante Adams, Lamar Jackson, and Alexander Mattison are all strong values available at pick No. 11. But, if you draft by Draft Sharks DMVP values, the No. 1 spot is the most valuable for PPR drafts in 2023.

What position should I draft first in fantasy football?

Most managers should draft a wide receiver with their first pick this season in fantasy football. Six of Draft Sharks' top 12 players in our fantasy football rankings are wide receivers, 5 are running backs, and a single TE slipped into the top 12.

Where is the best place to pick in the snake draft?

The best place to pick in the snake draft varies from year-year. After some research, and using Draft Sharks rankings, the No. 1 pick looks to be the most valuable in PPR drafts. As an example, in PPR, No. 11 is the best pick when simply following ADP. That strategy nets you 344.5 DMVP points — 5% above the average. Using Draft Sharks rankings, however, pick No. 1 is the best, netting you 371.9 DMVP points.

What is the best slot to draft in fantasy football 2023?

In PPR, the best draft slot is pick No. 1.

You can expect to net 371.9 DMVP points — a 9.4% increase over the 339.9 DMVP points picking straight from ADP from the No. 1 spot. 

     

Learn more about how the Draft War Room works.

Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

Draft using the best dynamic tool in the industry. Our fantasy player valuations (3D Values) change during your draft in response to...

  1. Exact league settings - direct sync
  2. Opponent and Team Needs
  3. Positional scarcity & available players
  4. Ceiling, injury risk, ADP, and more!

You need a dynamic cheat sheet that easily live-syncs with your draft board and adapts throughout your draft using 17 crucial indicators.

Get your Draft War Room Today
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