Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: #9 Pick

Fantasy Draft Strategy
Nov 29, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season is almost upon us, and that means fantasy football drafts are happening! Having a strategy going into your draft is extremely important as it sets the stage for a championship winning season. Each and every draft is different, and strategies will vary based on the draft slot. I’m here to show some strategies based off the slots you could be drafting from to help win your league!

The 9th pick is a really solid place to be in your fantasy football draft. I like this pick a lot and think there are a couple guys very worth taking here. I will use a 12 team PPR mock draft on Sleeper to show my strategy and how it plays out over the entire draft.

Pre-draft Strategy

I will go into this draft looking to get two RBs in the first three rounds paired with a top tier WR1. After that I am looking for as much upside as possible anywhere I can get it. This spot is really great and I expect to stick to my strategy for the duration of the draft.

Round 1

Austin Ekeler was my first round pick. I really like him at this spot if Aaron Jones is taken. He is a very solid fantasy RB1 with the potential to get into the top 5. Getting him at this spot or any lower gives great value to your team. Saquon Barkley and Jonathan Taylor were given some consideration, but I have Ekeler ranked higher. He gives me a super good start to my draft.

Rounds 2-5

DeAndre Hopkins was my 2nd round pick. I love snagging the best receiver in the NFL and a top 5 WR1 in fantasy football in this spot. He slides in as my top pass catcher and gives me both consistency and upside.

I was able to stick to my early round strategy and grab James Robinson. He is a very good RB2 to pair with Ekeler and has some pass catching upside with Travis Etienne out for the season. Trevor Lawrence is very talented, but I expect the Jaguars to ease him into the season. That means Robinson could get extra targets and carries early. I’m glad I was able to grab him at the end of the 3rd.

CeeDee Lamb was my 4th round pick. He offers one of the highest upsides of any player in fantasy football. Getting him to pair with Hopkins gives me the potential for the top WR duo in the league. I am very pleased at how my strategy has played out so far.

Here in the 5th round I was debating between Tyler Lockett and Diontae Johnson. I stuck with my strategy and went with the higher upside in Lockett. He has put up WR1 numbers the past two seasons so getting him here in the 5th is an absolute steal. My WR core is insane with the addition of Lockett.

Rounds 6-9

Diontae Johnson ended up sliding to my 6th round pick. He was an obvious choice for me here as I almost went with him the round before. He only improves my already very good WR core. Gus Edwards was given some thought, but as I said, adding Johnson strengthens my WR group so much.

There weren’t too many guys I saw here in round 7 that I thought were worth the pick. So I went with Tom Brady who was the best available QB. I expect him to have a massive season in year 2 in Tampa Bay. He has a plethora of weapons to throw to there so I believe this pick is well worth it with the value Brady will provide.

I got Michael Carter in the 8th to be my RB3. He won’t have to start often with the guys I have at WR, so I can stash him until he starts to get a heavy workload in New York. I like him and the value he gives here with the upside he brings to the table. Ronald Jones was an option here, but I don’t trust Tampa to use him well enough to give me great value here.

The run on TEs here made Logan Thomas my selection in the 9th round. I am not nearly as high on Thomas as many others, but here in the 9th he offers some good value. He slides into my TE spot and I hopefully won’t need to worry too much about him over the course of the season. Tyler Higbee was another guy I thought about here, but I am just barely higher on Thomas. That made him the choice here.

Rounds 10-16

I was looking for some RB depth here to start the later rounds, but Michael Pittman and his high upside was sitting here in the 10th. He is a freak athlete and has the most potential to take the WR1 spot on the Colts. I had to take him here and add him to my stacked WR group.

In the 11th round I was able to snag Jamaal Williams. D’Andre Swift will be available week 1, but Williams gives low end RB2 upside should Swift miss time this season. He does provide some value alone as well though as he could be the main goal line back on the Lions roster.

Phillip Lindsay ends my search for the RB position here in the 12th. David Johnson and Mark Ingram are still in Houston, but I think Lindsay will take over as the main guy sooner rather than later. He is the most talented guy there and has the freshest legs. He doesn’t offer super high upside since he’s stuck in a bad offense, but he can still be valuable as the best athlete in their backfield.

With my 13th pick I selected Marquez Callaway. He gives some super high upside to my team as the de facto WR1 in New Orleans to start the season. Should his connection with Jameis Winston continue into the regular season, he will be a steal this late in the draft.

To fill out my bench I selected TE Pat Feiermuth with my 14th rounder. He is worth the late round flier as he’s received rave reviews in Steelers’ camp and could take over for Eric Ebron as a top red zone target. There were other options, but he gives the highest possible ceiling. He also gives some insurance should I be unhappy with how Logan Thomas plays.

My final two picks were spent on the Carolina Panthers defense and Daniel Carlson. Carolina plays the Jets week 1 which is a great matchup. Carlson is a very solid option, but I will most likely end up streaming both positions in the end.

Final Results

I love how this team ended up. I was able to stick to my strategy I had going into the draft. This led to building an elite WR group supported by some high upside RBs. The value I got at basically every pick while sticking to my guns. I see this team easily making the playoffs with the potential to win the whole league.

  • QB: Tom Brady
  • RB: Austin Ekeler
  • RB: James Robinson
  • WR: DeAndre Hopkins
  • WR: CeeDee Lamb
  • TE: Logan Thomas
  • FLEX: Tyler Lockett
  • D/ST: Carolina Panthers
  • K: Daniel Carlson
  • Bench: Diontae Johnson
  • Michael Carter
  • Michael Pittman
  • Jamaal Williams
  • Phillip Lindsay
  • Marquez Callaway
  • Pat Feiermuth

Below is the entire draft board to see how it all went down.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this was helpful as you draft from the 9 slot! Remember that developing a fantasy football strategy is key, but stay flexible in just as important. Happy drafting!

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