Fantasy Football Draft Slot Strategies – Pick 12

by Daniel Johnson
Fantasy Football Draft Slot Strategies - Pick 12

We've been at it for twelve days straight, and we've finally reached the end. Happy to be here with you for the grand finale: Fantasy Football Draft Slot Strategies - Pick 12.

Ah, the either dreaded or beloved first turn! Personally, it's one of my favorites. And I think there are A+ teams to be drafted from this slot.

You know the drill by now. Let's get into three strategies I think are going to be the common—and successful—at Pick 12. We referenced the FantasyPros Mock Draft Wizard, and our tactics will be for 12-team, half-PPR leagues with 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 4 BN, 1 K and 1 DST roster settings.

Fantasy Football Draft Slot Strategies - Pick 12

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Henry and Chubb at the Turn

This isn't altogether unlike my Stable-and-Stablemaster tactic from an earlier strategy column. Seeing as we're talking about PPR leagues, here, and Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb both tend to get faded slightly because of their lack of usage in the passing game, they might actually both make it to 1.12 and 2.01.

In truth, in most of my mock drafts, both of them have. Take that for what you will—mock drafting, I feel, is notoriously deceiving, even in the first rounds.

The hidden benefits to this strategy are that they open you to:

  • Target Alvin Kamara in the middle rounds for your FLEX, which so many of your leaguemates will not do because of the suspension.
  • Perhaps get in early on Lamar Jackson in the third/fourth rounds to create another stable with a stablemaster.
  • Believe in the fifth-and-sixth round wide receivers (Tyler Lockett, D.J. Moore, Michael Thomas, etc.) to fill out your FLEX.

I think Henry and Chubb are going too low in PPR leagues so far this year. They both might be the truest runners of our generation. Grabbing them back-to-back in the first round is a glorious tactic, no matter how you play out the rest of your draft.


I have a buddy in my hometown league who's employed this strategy every year since Stefon Diggs came to Buffalo. It's worked out pretty well for him; he finished second in 2021, fourth in 2022, even though Diggs had a bit of a frustrating season last year.

Put simply: take Stefon Diggs at 1.12, then take Josh Allen at 2.01. I told you in the Fantasy Draft Slot Strategies - Pick 4 column that I'm wildly high on Diggs this year; he's my overall WR3 for PPR. Unless you have a card-carrying, table-breaking member of Bills Mafia picking in any of the eleven slots ahead of you, I'm pretty certain Diggs will be available at 1.12.

I feel far more confident that you'll be able to get Josh Allen at 2.01, barring the above scenario in your draft room. There's always something comforting in a stack. I know there've been some unfortunate rumbles out of Bills camp, rumors that the relationship between Diggs and Allen & Co. in Buffalo is fraying. Pay no attention to it.

Stacking the most dynamic quarterback in the NFL with his absolute dog of a WR1 is a fantastic idea. It's the keystone of this draft strategy.

Feel free to proceed confidently through the rest of the rounds as you see fit using any of the aforementioned or otherwise approaches. In my favorite draft using the Stack Mafia strategy, my roster looked as follows:

That should give you an idea of the player ranges available to you for skill positions after you secure your stack.

Deep Stashes Only

Two picks in a row is as much a blessing as it is a curse. Any of us who've had the first-or-last-overall picks know all too well that excruciating wait between each set of two picks. Sure—it all averages out in the end. But it's no fun spending most of the draft watching names you had queued and guys you had flagged fly off the board to your other league members.

So—how best to combat this? I think we need to buck traditional draft logic, here. It would normally state that you draft for value, not necessarily with the intent of populating the majority of your starting roster first. Which is to say: if you've already got four wide receivers in your lineup (one in your FLEX), and your next pick comes around, and the best value is another wide receiver, you take him.

Not at the twelve-slot, for me. As your leaguemates are yanking marquee names off the board in between each set of your picks, you're going to feel the pressure to populate your lineup. I say this emphatically: do so.

What this means, in my experience mock drafting from this slot this year, is quite possibly "reaching"—but are you really, with all twenty-two of those picks in between?—for a quarterback and a tight end at the five/six turn. When I've done so, I've been able to get Justin Fields, Justin Herbert, and/or Trevor Lawrence.

I've also been able to easily snag Kyle Pitts and/or George Kittle. Both of whom are worthy of snagging, there.

From there, focus on filling out the rest of your roster, and populate your bench with deep stashes, like:

It's an intimidating prospect, sometimes, letting your bench be all deep fliers in the interest of making sure your starting lineup is secure. But with twenty-two—again, I say twenty-two—picks in between each of your double-picks, better to have a weekly lineup you love to roll out.

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