Who Should Be the Second Pick in Fantasy Football Drafts This Year?

For those who are lucky to draw the second pick in fantasy football drafts, here are the top options to consider in 2023.

In most years, there’s a consensus No. 1 overall pick in fantasy football. This season, however, is not like most years.

Minnesota Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson is the most popular choice for drafters at 1.01, but the rising fourth-year veteran has some competition. San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, Cincinnati Bengals wideout Ja’Marr Chase, and Los Angeles Rams pass catcher Cooper Kupp all have viable cases to go first overall.

Luckily for those drafting second overall, they don’t have to make the tough choice of who to take with the first pick. However, which player to use the second pick on is arguably just as difficult of a decision.

So, who should be the second pick in fantasy drafts?

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Christian McCaffrey and Ja’Marr Chase Two of Four Options to Consider With the Fourth Overall Pick

Assuming Jefferson is off the board, there are three good options for fantasy players to select at No. 2 overall. Let’s take a look…

Christian McCaffrey, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Entering his first full season in the Bay Area, Christian McCaffrey is no stranger to the top of fantasy boards. After finishing RB1 overall in 2019, the 27-year-old has been a consensus top-three pick each year since.

McCaffrey finished the 2022 season as the RB2 overall in all formats; Josh Jacobs was RB1 in standard, while Austin Ekeler earned the top spot in both half- and full-point PPR.

From Week 8 on, however, McCaffrey was by far the best fantasy running back. That happens to be the same week he was traded from Carolina to San Francisco.

In McCaffrey’s 11 games with the 49ers, he averaged 23.0 fantasy points per game in PPR formats, 3.2 fantasy points more than the RB2. The do-it-all RB played a major role in San Francisco’s passing game, too, as he averaged just under five receptions per game.

As the NFL has transitioned into a pass-happy league, the value of the running back has decreased. Yet, in fantasy football, having an elite rusher remains the most valuable asset, especially when the number of true RB1s is dwindling by the year. McCaffrey is by far the best running back in fantasy and warrants top-pick consideration.

MORE: Is Christian McCaffrey the Top Fantasy Running Back in 2023?

It’s no secret that there are several mouths to feed in San Francisco between McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk, which might scare away some drafters. But McCaffrey is by far the best bet of that bunch to consistently produce, largely due to the significant role he plays in the offense both as a rusher and pass catcher.

Injuries hampered McCaffrey in both 2020 and 2021, limiting him to just 10 total games over those two seasons. Yet, he played in 17 games a season ago and turned in one of the most productive stretches of his career. Drafting in fear is never recommended, and McCaffrey’s upside far outweighs the potential injury risk.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Like his former LSU teammate Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase is plenty worthy of a top selection in fantasy football drafts this year.

In 2021, Chase recorded the second-most receiving yards (1,455) by a rookie ever and finished as the WR5 overall. Last year, he played in just 12 contests yet still finished as the WR11 overall. Chase averaged 20.6 fantasy points per game a year ago, the third-best mark of any wideout.

Who Should Be the Second Pick in Fantasy Football Drafts This Year?

In the Bengals’ pass-heavy scheme, Chase has WR1 upside every single week. He’s a home-run threat on every play and is one of the most dangerous wide receivers after the catch. His target share was just short of 30% a season ago, a number that clearly shows he’s the No. 1 option for star signal-caller Joe Burrow.

If he stays healthy, Chase provides arguably the toughest competition to Jefferson for WR1 overall. He deserves to be drafted like one as well.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Cooper Kupp single-handedly won hundreds of fantasy players their league in 2021, scoring the seventh-most fantasy points in a single season ever (and the most of any WR in history).

In 2022, Kupp was on pace for another WR1 season, as he averaged 22.4 fantasy points per game through the first 10 weeks before an ankle injury ended his season.

Yet, Kupp isn’t getting the preseason hype that both Jefferson and Chase are, and it’s hard to understand why. Yes, he’s missed multiple weeks in training camp with a hamstring injury. Yes, the Rams offense isn’t expected to be on the same level as Minnesota’s or Cincinnati’s. And yes, he’s 30 years old, while Jefferson and Chase are 24 and 23, respectively.

MORE: WR Fantasy Football Sleepers To Draft

The numbers don’t lie, however. Kupp has outperformed both of them on a per-game basis in each of the past two seasons. Matthew Stafford is still under center for the Rams, so it’s not like Kupp has undergone a significant QB change, either.

Kupp is a PPR machine. He had a 31% target share in 2022 and was on pace for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns. Like Chase, should Kupp stay healthy, he could easily turn in the most fantasy points of any non-quarterback.

The Final Verdict: Who Goes Second Overall?

All three of McCaffrey, Chase, and Kupp have legitimate cases to be the second overall pick in fantasy drafts. It truly is a toss-up, which is why many drafters believe the third and fourth picks are the two best spots to have this year.

Personally, putting injuries aside, McCaffrey is the best pick at No. 2, considering he’s more valuable at his position than Chase and Kupp are at theirs. But you truly can’t go wrong with any of these players.

Who Should You Draft In Other Slots?

Have another league where you’re drafting in a different slot? Want to see what options might be available before or after your pick? We have you covered.

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