Who Should Be the 12th Pick in Fantasy Football Drafts This Year?

The 2023 regular season is almost upon us! As you prepare for your fantasy drafts, let's take a look at who might be available at the end of the first round.

When given the option of draft position, you will often find that fantasy football managers like the picks at the end of the first round as much as the start. Picking 11th or 12th in a snake-style draft means you’re going to get two very good players.

Compare that to picking first or second, where you get an elite player and someone a few more tiers down when the pick finally gets back to you late in Round 2.

For this reason, picking 12th in your drafts shouldn’t be considered a bad spot at all. You have an opportunity to draft a cornerstone player with both of your first two picks. It’s a great way to establish how you want to build your team.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some options for you at the 12th pick in your fantasy drafts. Coming away with one of these players at 12 and 13 could set you up for a fun year in 2023.

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Picking the Right Player For You At No. 12 Overall

Before digging into this list, make sure you are aware of the strategy you want to play out for your team before making your selection at 12. Do you want to focus on wide receivers early? Grab a hero running back? Or are you ready for a tight end if Travis Kelce was to fall?

You need to be prepared for what you want your team to look like. Also, it’s always a good idea to get a feel for what will be available to you at picks 36 and 37. Typically, when we pick at 12, we’re only thinking of those first two players we can grab.

But what will the board look like when we finally get to our third and fourth-round selections? Is there a scarcity of a certain position we should address early?

Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

Nick Chubb is one of my biggest targets when we get to the end of the first round in drafts. Specifically, I love that I know Chubb is going to produce for me as an RB1 the entire season. Chubb has averaged 84.5 yards per game his entire career and has been a top-tier back ever since joining the NFL.

The other great aspect of Chubb is I don’t have many question marks with his role on his team or with his health right now. Other running backs in this area have had contract disputes, injury concerns, or are stepping into a bigger role than they have had before. Meanwhile, Chubb is the tried and true back in Cleveland that we can rely on.

On top of this, Chubb may be much more involved in the passing game this year with the Browns moving on from Kareem Hunt. If Chubb starts getting targets and catches at a higher rate than before, it’s fantastic news for fantasy owners.

Bottom line: I don’t want to miss with this pick. I want a contributor and someone who will be sure to get me strong numbers week in and week out. Chubb is that guy.

By the time our pick comes in Rounds 3 and 4, we’re looking at options like Joe Mixon, Aaron Jones, and Ken Walker III. Taking Chubb now ensures us that we have that top guy and gives us flexibility with the board when the picks come back around to us.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry makes this list for just as many reasons as Chubb. But Henry has the potential to be even a better back in 2023. Of course, he also has a few more question marks with his age and the wear on his legs from years of production.

These concerns aren’t new. We’ve heard that Henry is past his prime for the past two offseasons, but he continues to plow away, finishing one spot ahead of Chubb in 2022 as RB4. Until those numbers start to decrease and we see a clear drop in production, it’s hard to bet against Henry.

MORE: PFN Consensus Top 100 RBs To Draft

The main difference between Chubb and Henry is how risk-averse you are as a manager. Henry has the higher upside and ceiling, but he also has a larger chance of having an injury or slowing down. If you think you want to be a little riskier, Henry can be a league winner. He’s done it in his career several times before.

Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

There was concern a year ago that Davante Adams may not have a great 2022. Without Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball anymore, could Adams still be elite? Then he came out and had a 1,516-yard and 14-touchdown season.

Of course, this was with Derek Carr as his quarterback. Not that Carr was quite like Rodgers, but his abilities likely gave Adams managers a bit more confidence than Jimmy Garoppolo.

But the fact is this: Adams is yet to slow down. He has been successful in his career with any quarterback. Even in eight career games in Green Bay with a backup QB, Adams finished four of them with over 80 yards. He’s such a complete wide receiver that he becomes a trusted target for whoever is playing quarterback.

While Adams’ numbers could take a slight dip from 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns, he’s still an elite talent that can win you weeks. Pairing him with one of the above backs at 12 and 13 is a great start to your fantasy team.

A.J. Brown, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

If Adams has you worried with another QB in Vegas, then stick with a guy who had one of the best quarterbacks in the league a year ago. In his first year in Philadelphia, A.J. Brown was electric. His chemistry with Jalen Hurts showed immediately and led to a fantastic 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Brown is a physical specimen that defies a lot of reasoning. Guys this big and strong shouldn’t also be this fast. And having that physicality and speed combination makes him a weapon all over the field.

Who Should Be the 12th Pick in Fantasy Football Drafts This Year?

Brown is in an offense that includes some other good pass catchers like DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert, so I do have some concerns that the numbers this year won’t be as big as 2022. But I still fully expect Brown to be in the top-five WR conversation for the majority of the year.

If you’re a manager who loves to get elite WR talent, pairing Adams and Brown at 12 and 13 is a really exciting start. You’ll need to commit to a running back with at least one of your follow-up picks, but this strategy has certainly worked for fantasy players in the past.

The Final Verdict: Who Goes 12th Overall?

Ultimately, we have some really good options here, and we’re set to get two of these players. But if I had to pick just one, I’m going with Nick Chubb.

I believe that finding consistency and reliability is the most important thing with your early picks. Chubb’s prospects for the 2023 season feel much better than Henry, Adams, and Brown.

Chubb is not only an option I can trust, but he has the opportunity to be even better than in years past. In the end, that gets me to pull the trigger on the Browns’ halfback over some very strong alternatives.

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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