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Draft Strategy

Perfect Draft: 12-Team Non-PPR (Updated Sept. 2)

By Jared Smola 9:46am EDT 9/2/22


You should go into every fantasy draft with a general plan of attack.

Of course, you’ll need to be able to adjust throughout the draft and pounce on value wherever it presents itself. That’s where the Draft War Room with customized, dynamic rankings comes into play.

But building a round-by-round strategy beforehand certainly helps. That’s exactly what we’re doing with the Perfect Draft series — using the Draft War Room and ADP to get an idea of where the value will be in each round.

This is the 12-Team Non-PPR Perfect Draft. Each strategy guide assumes 16-round drafts and starting lineups of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 Flex, 1 K and 1 DST. The Draft War Room will help you adjust your strategy if your league settings are different.

Note: Sept. 2 updates are in bold. Remember to check your Draft War Room for the most up-to-date rankings customized to your league's rules.


Pick 1, 2, 3 or 4

Round 1

RB: Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry

WR: Cooper Kupp

You’ll likely find a RB topping your rankings here.

If Taylor and McCaffrey are off the board, we’d have no issue playing it “safe” with Kupp.


Round 2

RB: Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, Leonard Fournette

WR: CeeDee Lamb, Tyreek Hill

TE: Mark Andrews

The dream scenario here is Saquon Barkley, although ADP now says he's unlikely to be available.

Kamara and Fournette are nice consolation prizes if you miss on Barkley. We’d recommend having at least 1 RB through 2 picks.

If you opened with a RB, Lamb, Hill and Andrews are solid selections.


Round 3

RB: Leonard Fournette, James Conner

WR: Tee Higgins, Mike Evans, D.J. Moore, A.J. Brown, Michael Pittman

TE: Mark Andrews

Don’t be afraid to open with 3 RBs if Fournette or Conner is still available here.

Outside of RB, Higgins and Andrews stick out as strong values in the early 3rd.


Round 4

RB: Breece Hall

WR: Mike Williams, Courtland Sutton, D.K. Metcalf, Allen Robinson

This is a good time to target a WR, with Williams sticking out as an especially strong pick.

Consider Hall if you don’t yet have your RB2.


Round 5

RB: Elijah Mitchell

WR: Mike Williams, Allen Robinson, Courtland Sutton, Brandin Cooks,

TE: Darren Waller

We again prefer the WRs to the RBs here (which is why we like getting 2 or 3 RBs within your first 3 picks).

Waller is your last shot at a truly elite TE.


Round 6

RB: Dameon Pierce, Clyde Edwards-Helaire

WR: Jerry Jeudy, Gabriel Davis, Rashod Bateman

If you happen to have a shot at 1 of our top-6 QBs here, pull the trigger.

Otherwise, 2022 Honorable Mention Comeback Pick Allen Robinson is your top target, with Davis a strong Plan B.

We’d only consider Sanders and Edwards-Helaire over the WRs if you’re still looking for your RB2.

Robinson's ADP is up to 5.09, so don't bank on him being here.

This is where we'd now consider Dameon Pierce, who's clearly atop Houston's depth chart.


Round 7

RB: Dameon Pierce, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Miles Sanders, Tony Pollard

WR: Rashod Bateman, Adam Thielen, JuJu Smith-Schuster

TE: Dallas Goedert

Lots of different directions to go here, based on your team build through 6 rounds.

This is a good spot to add your RB3.

There’s a chance that 2022 Breakout Player Rashod Bateman makes it back to you in the 8th, but grab him here if you wanna make sure you get him.

This is also the spot for Goedert, 1 of our favorite TE values.


Rounds 8 and 9

QB: Trey Lance

RB: Rhamondre Stevenson

WR: Tyler Lockett, Drake London, Christian Kirk, Brandon Aiyuk

Bateman is the Round 8 pick if still available.

Lance is an awesome pick here if you’re still looking for your QB1. His rushing ability alone gives him a good chance to score as a top-10 fantasy QB.

New ADP data has this looking like a much weaker spot at RB than it did a few weeks ago. Try to have at least 2 RBs -- ideally 3 -- through 7 rounds.


Rounds 10 and 11

RB: Darrell Henderson, Alexander Mattison, Raheem Mostert, Rachaad White

WR: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, Chase Claypool, Treylon Burks, Garrett Wilson, George Pickens

We recommend being in “Upside Mode” on your Draft War Room by this point of your draft. Prioritize ceiling.

With no standout values at QB or TE here, continue adding depth at RB and WR.


Rounds 12 and 13

QB: Trevor Lawrence

RB: Jamaal Williams, Rachaad White, Isiah Pacheco

WR: George Pickens, Jahan Dotson, Julio Jones, D.J. Chark

TE: Irv Smith, David Njoku, Albert Okwuegbunam, Evan Engram

Lawrence is our favorite late-round QB value and is a nice pick here if you're still looking for your QB1.

Ditto at TE. Njoku and Engram are our 2 favorite late-round values at the position.


Rounds 14, 15 and 16

RB: Isiah Pacheco, Sony Michel, Zamir White, Eno Benjamin, Ty Davis-Price, Zack Moss, Boston Scott

WR: Jahan Dotson, Julio Jones, D.J. Chark, Romeo Doubs, Parris Campbell, Alec Pierce, Nico Collins, Wan’Dale Robinson, Josh Palmer

TE: Evan Engram, David Njoku, Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett

Add 1 more high-upside bench stash – and use your final 2 picks at DST and K.

DSTs with the best early-season schedules, per the Team Defense Strategy Guide:

Carolina

Cleveland

Denver

N.Y. Giants

San Francisco


Here’s a team you could put together using this plan:



Pick 5, 6, 7 or 8

Round 1

RB: Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, Joe Mixon

WR: Cooper Kupp

TE: Travis Kelce

You’ll likely find a RB topping your rankings here, although we’d also have no issue playing it “safe” with Kupp.

You’ll also see Kelce near the top of your rankings – a testament to the big positional advantage he provides.


Round 2

RB: Saquon Barkley, Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara

WR: CeeDee Lamb

TE: Travis Kelce

Kelce and Barkley are the dream scenarios here. We’d prioritize Barkley if you started with Kupp. If you grabbed a RB in the 1st round, Kelce figures to top your rankings.

If both guys are gone, we’d lean toward Chubb or Kamara.


Round 3

RB: James Conner

WR: Tee Higgins, Mike Evans, D.J. Moore, A.J. Brown

TE: Kyle Pitts

Lots of different directions to go here.

Conner is the pick if you didn’t start with a pair of RBs – and maybe even if you did. Nothing wrong with opening RB-RB-RB, assuming you can start all 3. Check out the Undervalued Players article for more on Conner.

The pass catchers are also strong picks here. Pitts is a difference-maker at TE; Higgins, Evans, Moore and Brown all boast WR1 potential.


Round 4

RB: Breece Hall

WR: Mike Williams, D.J. Moore, D.K. Metcalf, Courtland Sutton

TE: Darren Waller

The WRs look best here (which is why we like getting 2 or 3 RBs in the first 3 rounds). Williams has the best chance to make it back to you in Round 5, so you might lean toward Moore or Pittman.

Hall makes sense here if you’re still looking for your RB2.


Round 5

RB: J.K. Dobbins

WR: Mike Williams, Allen Robinson, Courtland Sutton, Brandin Cooks, Jerry Jeudy

Williams is an awesome value if still available here. There’s a tier drop to the next group of WRs, although Cooks, Robinson and the Broncos WRs are still solid picks.

Dobbins is unlikely to help you much early in the season but still has nice longer-term upside for a 5th-round pick.


Round 6

RB: Dameon Pierce, Clyde Edwards-Helaire

WR: Allen Robinson, Jerry Jeudy, Gabriel Davis

If you happen to have a shot at 1 of our top-6 QBs here, pull the trigger.

Otherwise, 2022 Honorable Mention Comeback Pick Allen Robinson is your top target, with Jeudy and Davis strong consolations.

We’d only consider the RBs over those WRs if you’re still looking for your RB2.

This is where we'd now consider Dameon Pierce, who's clearly atop Houston's depth chart.


Round 7

RB: Dameon Pierce, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Miles Sanders, Tony Pollard

WR: Rashod Bateman, JuJu Smith-Schuster

TE: Dallas Goedert

This is a good spot for a RB if you don’t have 3 yet. Sanders and Edwards-Helaire are more “floor” plays; Pollard is the upside shot.

If you’re 3-deep at RB, this is the time to target Goedert, 1 of our favorite values at the position.

We also have no issue grabbing Bateman here, although ADP says he’ll likely still be available in the 8th.


Round 8

QB: Trey Lance

RB: Rhamondre Stevenson

WR: Rashod Bateman, Tyler Lockett, Drake London, Christian Kirk, Brandon Aiyuk

2022 Breakout Player Rashod Bateman is a smash value here.

Lance is worth considering if you’re still looking for your QB1, although there’s a decent chance he’s still available in the 9th.

New ADP data has this looking like a much weaker spot at RB than it did a few weeks ago. Try to have at least 2 RBs -- ideally 3 -- through 7 rounds.


Round 9

QB: Trey Lance

RB: Darrell Henderson, Alexander Mattison

WR: Tyler Lockett, Drake London, Christian Kirk, Kadarius Toney

Lance is the pick here if you still need your starting QB. His rushing ability alone gives him a good chance to score as a top-10 fantasy QB.

If you’re set at QB, add a WR with this pick.


Round 10

RB: Darrell Henderson, Alexander Mattison, Kenneth Gainwell

WR: Kadarius Toney, Chase Claypool, Treylon Burks

We recommend being in “Upside Mode” on your Draft War Room by this point of your draft. Prioritize ceiling.

With no standout values at QB or TE here, continue adding depth at RB and WR.


Round 11

RB: Raheem Mostert, Rachaad White, Khalil Herbert

WR: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Garrett Wilson, George Pickens

The WRs here are particularly intriguing. Wilson and Pickens are talented rookies; Valdes-Scantling is in for a significant role with Patrick Mahomes.


Rounds 12 and 13

QB: Trevor Lawrence

RB: Jamaal Williams, Rachaad White, Isiah Pacheco

WR: George Pickens, Jahan Dotson, Julio Jones, D.J. Chark

TE: Irv Smith, David Njoku, Albert Okwuegbunam, Evan Engram

Lawrence is our favorite late-round QB value and is a nice pick here if you're still looking for your QB1.

Ditto at TE. Njoku and Engram are our 2 favorite late-round values at the position.


Rounds 14, 15 and 16

RB: Isiah Pacheco, Sony Michel, Zamir White, Eno Benjamin, Ty Davis-Price, Zack Moss, Boston Scott

WR: Jahan Dotson, Julio Jones, D.J. Chark, Romeo Doubs, Parris Campbell, Alec Pierce, Nico Collins, Wan’Dale Robinson, Josh Palmer

TE: Evan Engram, David Njoku, Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett

Add 1 more high-upside bench stash – and use your final 2 picks at DST and K.

DSTs with the best early-season schedules, per the Team Defense Strategy Guide:

Carolina

Cleveland

Denver

N.Y. Giants

San Francisco


Here’s a team you could put together using this plan:




Pick 9, 10, 11 or 12

Round 1

RB: Joe Mixon, Dalvin Cook, Najee Harris

WR: Ja’Marr Chase

TE: Travis Kelce

There’s a good chance you’ll find Kelce atop your rankings here – a testament to the big positional advantage he provides. But, based on ADP, there’s a good chance he gets back to you in Round 2.

We’d lean toward grabbing 1 of the 3 RBs listed above.


Round 2

RB: Saquon Barkley, Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara

WR: CeeDee Lamb, Stefon Diggs

TE: Travis Kelce

Pencil in either Barkley or Kelce here. Both guys are big values in Round 2.


Round 3

RB: James Conner

WR: Tee Higgins, D.J. Moore, A.J. Brown, Michael Pittman

TE: Kyle Pitts

Conner is the dream scenario here, especially if you didn’t start RB-RB. Check out the Undervalued Players article for more on Conner.

If Conner is gone, pivot to 1 of the pass catchers listed above. Pitts is a difference-maker at TE; Higgins, Moore and Pittman all boast WR1 potential.


Round 4

WR: Mike Williams, D.J. Moore, Courtland Sutton

TE: Kyle Pitts

We love Pitts if he’s still hanging around here.

Otherwise, the WRs look like the best values.


Round 5

RB: J.K. Dobbins

WR: Allen Robinson, Brandin Cooks, Jerry Jeudy, Marquise Brown

This looks like another prime spot for a WR.

We’d consider Dobbins in the late-5th with news on his health trending up.

Dobbins is unlikely to help you much early in the season but still has nice longer-term upside for a 5th-round pick.


Round 6

QB: Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts

WR: Allen Robinson, Jerry Jeudy, Marquise Brown, Gabriel Davis, Rashod Bateman

Plan on going WR or elite QB here.

2022 Honorable Mention Comeback Pick Allen Robinson is your top target at WR.

Murray and Hurts both have the potential to lead all QBs in fantasy points.


Rounds 7 and 8

RB: Dameon Pierce, Tony Pollard, Rhamondre Stevenson, Cordarrelle Patterson, Chase Edmonds, Kareem Hunt

WR: Rashod Bateman, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyler Lockett, Drake London, Christian Kirk, Brandon Aiyuk

TE: Dallas Goedert

Lots of different directions to go here.

This is a good place to grab your RB3 if you don’t have one yet.

2022 Breakout Pick Rashod Bateman is an excellent value here.

And Goedert, 1 of our favorite values at TE, is a great target if you still need a starter at that spot.

This is where we'd now consider Dameon Pierce, who's clearly atop Houston's depth chart.


Rounds 9 and 10

QB: Trey Lance

RB: Darrell Henderson, Alexander Mattison, Raheem Mostert, Kenneth Gainwell

WR: Drake London, Kadarius Toney, Christian Kirk, Chase Claypool, Treylon Burks

We recommend being in “Upside Mode” on your Draft War Room by this point of your draft. Prioritize ceiling.

Lance is an awesome pick here if you’re still looking for your QB1. His rushing ability alone gives him a good chance to score as a top-10 fantasy QB.

If you’re set at QB, continue adding to your RB and WR depth.


Rounds 11 and 12

QB: Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields

RB: Raheem Mostert, Rachaad White, Jamaal Williams, Kenneth Gainwell, Khalil Herbert

WR: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Garrett Wilson, George Pickens, Skyy Moore, D.J. Chark, Rondale Moore

This is a solid spot to look at QB if you don’t have one yet. Lawrence is our favorite late-round QB value; Fields’ athleticism gives him intriguing upside.

Otherwise, add another upside RB or WR.


Rounds 13 and 14

RB: Isiah Pacheco, Boston Scott, Eno Benjamin, Zamir White, Zack Moss

WR: D.J. Chark, Jahan Dotson, Parris Campbell, Alec Pierce, Nico Collins, Romeo Doubs, Wan'Dale Robinson

TE: Irv Smith, David Njoku, Albert Okwuegbunam, Evan Engram, Gerald Everett

There are a bunch of quality TEs still likely to be available here. You could even wait until this point for your TE1 and be ok at the position.

We highlighted Robinson, Pacheco, Dotson, Pickens, Campbell, Doubs, Robinson, Engram and Njoku in our Sleepers article.


Rounds 15 and 16

Use these last 2 picks to grab your K and DST.

DSTs with the best early-season schedules, per the Team Defense Strategy Guide:

Carolina

Cleveland

Denver

N.Y. Giants

San Francisco


Here’s a team you could put together using this plan:



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