Fantasy football mock draft: Dynasty draft strategy when picking 12th overall

As managers continue to focus on fantasy football mock drafts, how would a possible dynasty draft strategy from the 12th overall spot look in 2022?

While there is no “one size fits all” draft strategy for dynasty fantasy football, having a draft slot on the turn with the 10th or 12th pick places fantasy managers in a difficult spot as their draft is not always in their hands to control. As leagues continue to fill with more and more managers making the leap to dynasty, we go over a potential fantasy football mock draft for your team if selecting from the 10/12 turn.

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Dynasty mock draft strategy from the 12th position

For this draft, we will use a 12-team league as an example of strategy on the turn. The format will be PPR (point per reception) scoring, with 1QB, two running backs, two receivers, a tight end, and two flex spots as the starting roster. Also, rookies will be included in the startup. Depending on your league settings, you might need to tweak your draft strategy to match your scoring format and roster requirements.

1.12) Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

When drafting at the turn of a dynasty draft, you do not control your fate. Your roster is dependent on who falls to you. While drafting by ADP, tiers, or rankings is always advised, there is wiggle room. With 22 picks until back on the clock, drafting “your guys” can take precedence because if you pass on them, they won’t be coming back around. It’s something you need to keep in mind when trying to plan out your dynasty draft strategy.

Sure Cooper Kupp is on the older side for a first-round dynasty draft pick (29), but his upside in 2022 is higher than anyone else at his position. He is coming off a historic season where he led the NFL in targets (191), receptions (145), yards (1,1947), and touchdowns (16). Although I don’t expect a similar result this year, a conservative regression has him in the 120-reception and 1,600-yard range. No one else can touch that.

2.01) A.J. Brown, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

After taking a wide receiver, balancing things out with a running back would be a smart play. Current options still on the board are Austin Ekeler, Alvin Kamara, and Breece Hall. Of those, I lean Hall and almost hit the draft button on him. However, the longevity of receivers is hard to pass up.

With A.J. Brown sitting on the board, I opted for an elite receiver entering just his fourth season in the NFL. In his three years with the Titans, Brown hauled in 185 catches for 2,995 yards and 26 touchdowns, crossing the 1,000-yard mark each of his first two seasons. The Eagles haven’t had a wide receiver eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in a season since 2014 when Jeremy Maclin did it. I expect that to change in 2022.

Brown has yet to clear 110 targets in a season, finishing 30th in targets each of the last two years. Yet, he is one of the most efficient receivers in the NFL per target (2.30 PPR/target, fourth in 2020). What Brown lacked in opportunities, he makes up for in after-the-catch ability. That should serve him well in Philadelphia.

3.12) Travis Etienne Jr., RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Going WR/WR leaves you vulnerable to the inevitable RB run, which will take place in rounds two and three. It’s hard to be upset with Travis Etienne falling into our lap. Etienne is an upside pick as we have yet to see him in the NFL.

Everything points to Etienne being a significant player in the receiving game, as this was his best trait while at Clemson. If not his receiving ability, explosiveness was his calling card. With the Tigers, Etienne led the NCAA with 55 runs of 20+ yards during his four years (2017-2020). On those explosive plays, he scored 21 TDs and rushed for 2,053 yards, averaging 37.3 yards per carry. Etienne also had six receptions of 30 or more yards, giving him 61 explosive plays. Now in Year 2 and in an RB-friendly offense under Doug Pederson, Etienne should flourish.

4.01) Kenneth Walker III, RB, Seattle Seahawks

In dynasty, I prefer to have my running backs as young as possible or at least on their rookie deals. While this is not a hard rule I won’t break, during the draft, it is preferred as it maximizes the time a fantasy manager can get top-tier production levels. Although I passed on Hall earlier, two rounds later, the No. 2 RB of the class came off the board.

Kenneth Walker III is a sensational rusher. The case could be made he is the best pure rusher of the 2022 NFL Draft class. Walker was No. 1 in the NCAA in yards after contact (1,169) and would rank 19th in the nation in rushing using only that total. He was No. 1 in the FBS in carries of 10+ yards (46) and 15+ yards (30). The concern for 2022 is Seattle’s poor offense and timeshare backfield. However, Rashaad Penny is in the final year of his deal, and the reports suggesting Walker will be involved in the passing game check the only box left on his résumé.

5.12) Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers

Here is the problem when picking from the 12th draft slot and trying to plan out a dynasty draft strategy. When a run hits in your dynasty draft, there is nothing you can do about it. It is why most managers draft a more balanced team on the turn as it builds in some protection. After selecting Walker, 16 of the next 22 picks were wide receivers, including 12 of the last 13. When that happens, I am not going to force a position. Instead, I’ll go after the best value, and in this case, it is Justin Herbert.

Landing Herbert at the 5.12 solidifies the QB position for the next decade-plus. The former NFL Rookie of the Year took his game to another level in 2021. Passing for 5,016 yards and 38 TDs, Herbert’s QB2 performance was not a fluke. Just five PPR points from the elusive 400-club, only Josh Allen and Tom Brady had more QB1 performances than Herbert. He also tied Brady in 300-yard passing games with nine, raising his average to 53% of his games for his career.

6.01) AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers

After starting Etienne and Walker, I need to secure a high-quality RB3 as neither is a proven product. Because I am worried about the talent pool when it comes back in the seventh, AJ Dillon made too much sense.

With Aaron Jones potentially on the move after 2023, the team could begin the shift this season. Dillon already led Jones in red-zone rushing (39 to 34), but he didn’t take over the role until the second half of last year. Add in four games of 4+ targets, and Dillon also carries some sneaky PPR upside which boosts his floor.

Last season, Dillon was the RB23 in PPR scoring while averaging 10.9 PPR/game. Recording 224 total opportunities, he was just 2.4 touches/game behind Jones (15.7). While Dillon did lead the team in rushing (187 carries for 803 yards), he was marginally behind in per-game attempts, with Jones averaging 11.4 to Dillon’s 11.

Dynasty draft strategy from the 12th overall spot | Rounds 7-15

7.12) Marquise Brown | WR, Arizona Cardinals
8.01) Gabriel Davis | WR, Buffalo Bills
9.12) Pat Freiermuth | TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
10.01) Melvin Gordon | RB, Denver Broncos
11.12) Rachaad White | RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
12.01) Zamir White | RB, Las Vegas Raiders
13.12) Michael Gallup | WR, Dallas Cowboys
14.01) Deshaun Watson | QB, Cleveland Browns
15.12) Wan’Dale Robinson | WR, New York Giants

Projected Week 1 Roster

QB – Justin Herbert
RB – Travis Etienne Jr.
RB – Kenneth Walker III
WR – Cooper Kupp
WR – A.J. Brown
TE – Pat Freiermuth
Flex – Marquise Brown
Flex – Gabriel Davis/Melvin Gordon

Tommy Garrett is a Fantasy Analyst for Pro Football Network and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can read all of Tommy’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter: @TommyGarrettPFN.

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