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Fantasy Football: Best-ball draft strategy for picks 9-12 on DraftKings

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs the ball in the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Drafting from a late position can be tricky this year. There is a dropoff at running back in the mid-third round, and it is easy to fall into the trap of drafting multiple players from bad teams at this spot.

Over the last 14 days, I drafted 27 best-ball teams on DraftKings in an effort to put my draft strategies and tier articles into an actionable format and test my convictions. Ultimately, the goal is to combine experience with the research already done to craft the right draft strategy for each position.

Earlier this week, we covered picks Nos. 1-4 and picks Nos. 5-8, and today, we will focus on picks Nos. 9-12 by walking through a recent draft round by round. Some of the key concepts we will cover:

  • Roster construction goals
  • When to be aggressive vs. ADP
  • When to wait for value vs. ADP
  • Stacks and correlation
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DraftKings Best Ball Overview

Starters: 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1FLX (RB, WR, TE)
Scoring: PPR with 3-point bonuses for 300 yards passing, 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving
Teams: 12
Roster spots: 20

The contests have a top-heavy payout structure that requires advancing through multiple rounds to ultimately play in a final week, similar to a DFS contest.

Round 1: Weeks 1-14, top-2 seeds out of 12 advance
Round 2: Week 15, the top seed out of 12 advances
Round 3: Week 16, the top seed out of 12 advances
Round 4: Week 17, 969-team pool for $3.5M Millionaire ($1M to first) and 135-team pool for $300K Play-action ($30K to first)


DraftKings $3.5 Millionaire: Pick 10
Position Player Team Pick ADP
Starting Lineup QB Trey Lance SF 82 96
RB Dalvin Cook MIN 10 10
RB James Conner ARI 34 32
WR Stefon Diggs BUF 15 12
WR Terry McLaurin WAS 58 47
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown DET 63 61
TE Darren Waller LV 39 41
FLX Brandon Aiyuk SF 87 91
Bench QB Aaron Rodgers GB 106 99
RB Rachaad White TB 135 131
RB Isaiah Spiller LAC 154 140
RB Jamaal Williams DET 178 177
RB Zamir White LV 202 200
RB Chris Evans CIN 207 228
WR Christian Watson GB 111 112
WR Tim Patrick DEN 130 132
WR George Pickens PIT 183 174
WR Nico Collins HOU 226 210
WR Romeo Doubs GB 231 224
TE Tyler Higbee LAR 159 161

Build: 2QB, 7RB, 9WR, 2TE
Quarterback-receiving stacks: 2 (Lance-Aiyuk), (Rodgers-Watson-Doubs)
Super-Stack 12 Players: 14 (SF, ARI, BUF, LV, GB, TB, LAC, CIN, GB, LAR)
Week 17 Stacks: 4 (SF-LV, GB-MIN, BUF-CIN, LAC-LAR)


Round 1 (Pick 10): Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Targets: Travis Kelce (9), Cook (10), Davante Adams (11), Stefon Diggs (12)

There is a lot of buzz around Cook in the new Kevin O’Connell offense, but ultimately, the Vikings' pace and how the targets flow in the passing game should be similar. We should see more 11 personnel, which could lighten boxes, but the talent profile is the more significant feather in Cook’s cap.

The sixth-year veteran remains an explosive playmaker with an explosive rush rate (10-plus yards) 3.5 percentage points above the NFL average while sporting a 20% target-per-route rate over the last four seasons. There is a chance Cook is the No. 3 option in this passing game because he is a valuable player to target in space.

When passing on RB with the first two picks, fantasy managers are hoping Travis Etienne or James Conner makes it back in the third, which can be hit or miss. Grabbing a back with one of the first two selections isn’t a must, but it helps build a balanced roster where we don’t have to worry as much about positional runs later.

Additional target notes:

Kelce will likely serve as the focal point of the Kansas City Chiefs’ passing offense despite heading into his age-32 season. No other schedule packs as many 50-point games as Kansas City’s nine, so he would have been the pick if he had made it.

Adams and Diggs are great selections in the first round, as they have top-notch talent profiles in solid offenses with plenty of game-stack options.


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