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The perfect 2022 fantasy football draft strategy round by round - Picks 7-9

Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) reacts after the pay during overtime against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris is the ideal option for someone picking seventh, eighth or ninth in 2022 fantasy football drafts.

• Anyone picking in this range is well-suited to pick an elite quarterback and tight end, such as Baltimore Ravens Lamar Jackson, and San Francisco 49ers George Kittle.

• Waiting at wide receiver gives a chance to draft multiple young, high-upside players. Following this strategy can land you Baltimore Ravens Rashod Bateman, Tennessee Titans Treylon Burks and New York Jets Garrett Wilson.

• Find Nathan Jahnke's other draft strategy articles here: Picks 1-3, 4-6, 10-12.

It’s impossible to have an exact fantasy football draft strategy without knowing which pick you're starting with. But it's essential to plan ahead since the route to a fantasy title looks different depending on your draft slot. 

This is obvious in the first round: You're never going to land someone like Jonathan Taylor in the back half of the first. Players generally come off the board near their average draft position (ADP), especially early in the draft. It's usually bad to reach for a player early, but once the draft begins to play out, your strategy should start to take shape.

We continue this series on the perfect draft strategy by looking at how to approach the seventh, eighth and ninth picks in a 2022 fantasy football draft. We'll consider the ADP and which players we can expect to be available with later picks.

This exercise assumes a 12-team league with PPR scoring. We won't plan for any dramatic ADP fallers, but it's important to remain flexible and take advantage of opponents' mistakes when that does happen.

Last updated: August 11, 2022

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Round 1, Picks 7-9: Draft an RB

Possible Targets: Najee Harris, Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon

Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson will both likely be off the board at this point, leaving the running back position as the best Round 1 option. Luckily, a few Tier 2 running backs will still be on the board to choose from.

Najee Harris is the best option in PPR formats, as he is used the most in the passing game. He led all running backs in targets and receptions last season. That didn’t lead to as many touchdowns as other receiving backs, which hurt his production, but Harris would be considered a Tier 1 running back if he played in a better offense.

Derrick Henry is another fine option. He played only half of last season but would have finished close to Jonathan Taylor had he continued at the same pace. The biggest concern for Henry is that he’s at a point where a decline in production is expected. Henry will be 29 years old by the end of the season and has over 1,400 career carries. His 74.9 PFF rushing grade in 2021 was better than only his rookie-season mark.

For fantasy football purposes, this is mostly concerning if the Titans start limiting Henry’s touches. Tennessee traded away its other great offensive weapon in A.J. Brown, so Henry’s workload should remain among the highest in the league.

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