We have reached the sixth pick in our dynasty fantasy football draft strategy article. As you get further back into the first round of dynasty startup drafts, the emphasis can switch a little. With the obvious starting options off the table, which young RB could be the building block of your roster, and how does the strategy play out through the first part of your dynasty draft?
Dynasty draft strategy picking from sixth overall
This draft will be for a 12-team PPR (point per reception) league with a 1QB format. The remainder of the starting lineup consists of two running backs, two receivers, a tight end, and two flex spots. Rookies will be included in the startup alongside veteran options. Depending on your league settings, you might need to tweak your draft strategy to match your scoring format and roster requirements.
These picks were made using the Fantasy Pros Mock Draft Simulator, with all selections outside of the picks listed below selected by the system. To see how all these players rank for dynasty leagues, check out PFN’s top 250 dynasty consensus rankings.
1.06) Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos
Once we get to the sixth pick, the strategy we can employ somewhat shifts from the earlier selections. The top four picks allow you to really employ a win-now strategy with the options available. However, as we shift further back in the first round, the more it becomes a case of hedging the now with looking a year or two down the line.
In this mock, Austin Ekeler went fifth, who was the best conceivable win-now option left on the board. That leaves a choice of three RBs in Christian McCaffrey, D’Andre Swift, and Javonte Williams. The alternative options would be to go with Joe Mixon, who presents solid value in 2022, or the wide receiver options, led by CeeDee Lamb.
However, the play here is to look at the upside presented by either D’Andre Swift or Javonte Williams. While McCaffrey is talented, his injury risk is so high, having played just 10 games combined in the past two seasons. Swift has also missed eight games in the last two years, but his potential is sky-high, and he is three years younger than McCaffrey.
Swift has already caught 108 balls on 135 targets in two seasons, while Williams pulled in 43 receptions on 53 targets. Williams has the bigger threat to touches in 2022 in the form of Melvin Gordon, but he still had 246 last season with Gordon present. Both Williams and Swift present fantastic upside, so really this is a case of going with your preference between those two. For me, that is Williams, but it is very close.
2.07) Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Things get interesting in the second round. There are a lot of good options available here at both RB and WR. Additionally, Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Mark Andrews remain on the board if going for a tight end early is in your plans. If Kyle Pits was available, he is a player to consider here for his upside.
While there are a number of good options available at multiple positions, the one that feels like a definite avoid here is RB. Alvin Kamara, Nick Chubb, Cam Akers, and Saquon Barkley are all talented, but each comes with major question marks in terms of their future potential. If Josh Allen were still on the board, then QB would also be in play here, but he was the first pick of the second round.
Therefore, we turned out attention to WR. The options are Davante Adams, Deebo Samuel, Tee Higgins, and Stefon Diggs. All four are intriguing, but the main two are Samuel and Higgins because of their age. Higgins is the No. 2 receiver in his offense but still saw over 100 targets last season. While he should see that regularly, the elite target numbers of 130-plus are hard to imagine. Thus, Higgins needs to be super-efficient with those targets to be a consistent top-10 fantasy option at the position.
As a result, if he is on the board here, Samuel is the pick. He had 121 targets last season and added 59 carries. While he may never have that number of carries again, his talent should make him a regular threat, especially near the goal line. Samuel is the clear No. 1 in his offense and should remain so, even if he is traded to another team. His ceiling is just a touch higher than Higgins.
3.06) Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Commanders
Now things get really fun because there are so many options. We could go for Barkley, who has all the upside of a first-round pick. Alternatively, there is Antonio Gibson, J.K. Dobbins, or Travis Etienne at RB. At WR, we could look at Jaylen Waddle, DJ Moore, or Diontae Johnson, who are all intriguing, with Kelce and Kittle still available at tight end.
Ultimately, with RBs coming off the board at somewhat of a premium in this draft, that is the position I am looking at. The choice comes down to Gibson, Barkley, and Etienne because of their pass-catching upside. Gibson and Etienne are young talents who have had injury issues, while Barkley’s injury concerns are well documented.
When you look at the roster for 2022, Barkley has supreme upside. He has no clear competition on the roster but is in his final year with the Giants and could be a free agent next offseason. That future uncertainty leads me to a player in Antonio Gibson, who despite competition around him, continues to succeed.
Gibson had 250 rushing attempts and 52 targets in 2021. He has 1,000-plus yards from scrimmage and double-digit touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. Despite the presence of J.D. McKissic, Jaret Patterson, and Brian Robinson, the dual-threat nature of Gibson’s game makes him the play in the third round.
4.07) Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
If Kelce makes it to the middle of the fourth round, his value is too good to pass up. While he is 32, he is coming off six straight 1,000-yard seasons and has scored double-digit touchdowns in three of the past four years. The departure of Tyreek Hill makes him the main target in this offense. That could work as a positive or negative, but Kelce’s talent and size makes him hard for teams to simply neutralize.
If Kelce were gone here, then RB would be the play. David Montgomery and Leonard Fournette are the leaders of their respective backfields, and both are effective enough as pass catchers. Kenneth Walker III is also tempting but getting a veteran RB who can be a big factor in the next two years is key.
5.06) Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans is another case of if he makes it to this point, the value is too good to pass up. Evans, much like Kelce, is getting up there age-wise, but he is still just 28, and the talent is undeniable. Evans has had 1,000-plus yards receiving in each of his eight seasons. He has also scored double-digit touchdowns in each of the last two years. If Brady leaves next offseason, his value will dip, but in 2022, his contribution at this value could win you a championship.
Josh Jacobs also provides an option as a third RB, but his future is incredibly uncertain. Jacobs is set to be a free agent next offseason, and there is no guarantee he will wind up somewhere as a lead back. AJ Dillon sits in a timeshare with Aaron Jones, and while that could turn his way this year, there is no certainty. Elijah Mitchell is intriguing but trusting Kyle Shanahan with RBs is a risky proposition.
Dynasty draft strategy from the sixth overall spot | Rounds 6-15
6.07) James Conner | RB, Arizona Cardinals
7.06) Mike Williams | WR, Los Angeles Chargers
8.07) Devin Singletary | RB, Buffalo Bills
9.06) Trevor Lawrence | QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
10.07) Justin Fields | QB, Chicago Bears
11.06) Pat Freiermuth | TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
12.07) Jakobi Meyers | WR, New England Patriots
13.06) Russell Gage | WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14.07) Nico Collins | WR, Houston Texans
15.06) Kyren Williams | RB, Los Angeles Rams
Projected Week 1 roster
QB – Trevor Lawrence
RB – D’Andre Swift
RB – Antonio Gibson
WR – Deebo Samuel
WR – Mike Evans
TE – Travis Kelce
Flex – James Conner
Flex – Mike Williams