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Snake draft advice: Picking from the 1 or 2 spot

This is part two of a four part series where I offer you my advice on who you should be targeting at certain draft positions up until the 7th round since ADP usually starts to go out the window around that point. The advice given is for the most popular league style, 12 team, 1QB, PPR, average roster size. The other columns will address picking from the 11 or 12 spot, the 6 or 7 spot, and the last column will be all of the guys I like in the 7th round and later who I’m targeting regardless of draft position. Last bit of housekeeping, all ADPs being used are from Sleeper, which is the number you see next to all of the names listed. 

You are currently sitting in the draft position that is the apple of everyone’s eye with the 1.01 pick (or close to it with the 1.02). Prior to the draft, you have to listen to all of your league mates throw shade and tell you how easy your life is picking from the top. I’m not here to tell you they are wrong. You do have an easy life, in round one. But whoever you pick will be just one guy. After that you’ve got a lot of work to do and I’m assuming that’s why you are here. (If you are here for the time travellers meeting though, that was last Thursday). 

If you read my other article about picking at the end of round one you are going to find this next paragraph very familiar (spoiler alert: it’s because I pretty much copy and pasted it). When picking at the turn my view has always been that instead of having a pick in every round I have two picks, every other round. Having this point of view allows me to walk the tightrope between drafting for value according to ADP while also being aggressive and getting a player who I believe will have a great season. When you are picking at the turn you have the hidden luxury of stealing the guy who fell through the cracks on your league mates but you also have the additional luxury of living your best life by going after the player you think will be great even if his ADP is 5, 10, or even 15 spots lower than your current pick. YOLO right? When there are more than 20 picks between your last pick and your next pick, being aggressive and reaching for the guy you know in your gut will be awesome this year can pay off. Who might those guys be? Without further ado here are the guys I’m targeting when drafting at the top of my snake draft later this summer.

Round 1 (pick 1/2)

Why am I wasting time writing about this pick when you’ve known for months that you will be picking CMC if you have the first pick and Dalvin Cook if you have the second pick? Two reasons. The first is to remind you, don’t fall for the trap of picking Saquon.  You can read all about that trap in my article, Don’t Draft Saquon.  He still has an ADP of 2.9, ahead of Dalvin Cook! He might not even be on the field for all of training camp or the first few weeks of the season! Also, the Giants O-line stinks!! Don’t do it!! The second reason is to tell you that there is a player you may want to consider. If you are of the mind that CMC can’t get back to 2019 form (he can) or you don’t like the fact that Cook doesn’t play more than 14 games in a season (he doesn’t), may I suggest this new guy named Jonathan Taylor?

Jonathan Taylor (7): I’m not fullying endorsing that you should pick JT over CMC or Cook. Although, if your gut is telling you that something terrible will happen, if you pick CMC or Cook, because drafting early can curse you, then help break that curse with the droid you are looking for, JT. It took half a year but, if you drafted him last year and were able to weather that storm, Taylor most likely won you a championship because of his second half-of-the-year run from 2020. This year I expect him to pick up where he left off and be in contention for the league’s rushing title. The Anthony Costanzo retirement is a hit to one of the league’s best lines.  Though, I’m not overly concerned about it. It might be a bit of a piecemeal job while Eric Fisher tries to regain his form but I am confident the Colts will figure out a suitable replacement. I’m also not concerned about the Colts resigning Marlon Mack. Teams love to have a cheap veteran presence in the backfield for spot duty. He is also coming off a major injury. I don’t see him vulturing much from a super stud like Taylor. So If you want to detour off the beaten path, Taylor is the player you want.

Rounds 2 and 3 (picks 23/26 or 24/25)

This is where your draft really begins. After you painstakingly watch the rest of your mates draft their top two guys and, in theory, after your first pick comes off board, the top 20 guys. Now, you finally get a chance to start filling in the rest of your roster. As I stated earlier, now is your chance to nab the player who fell or it’s time to be aggressive and go after the players you love since you won’t get another chance at them by the time you are on the clock with your 4th round pick. 

Antonio Gibson (24): Get used to seeing his name in this article series and in the top 5 for weekly scoring. Somehow, his ADP has fallen a bit and with reports coming out that Washington has been preparing him for a Christian McCaffery-like role in the offense. They are prepared to unleash him this season. J.D. McKissic can go Mc-Suckit. I’m drafting Gibson with supreme confidence anywhere I can get him in the second round.

Keenan Allen (29): Since you are guaranteed a top running back in the first round, why not pair that with the guy who has Justin Herbert throwing the ball at him 15 plus times per game? Seriously, Allen might lead the league in targets this year. Are you worried Mike Williams is poised for a breakout and will steal some work? I would be, if I thought Williams would be on the field and fully healthy for more than nine games. There’s a reason the Chargers drafted Josh Palmer. He’s the insurance/replacement for when Williams goes down. While I like Palmer a lot, he’s still a rookie and there’s going to be a ton of work heading Allen’s way. Oh, and Hunter Henry and his ninety-three targets are now in New England. Please, seriously consider Keenan here if you are leaning wide receiver in the second round. 

Allen Robinson (34): I get it. Matt Nagy’s offense hasn’t been good the last two years with Mitch Trubisky under center and the team was leaning, heavily, on the run during that time. So, what did Robinson do during that time? He averaged over 150 targets with 100 receptions for 1,200 yards and 6 touchdowns. I would take those numbers, as they are, for this year but with the quarterback upgrades he got (yes, Andy Dalton is an upgrade to Trubisky and don’t argue with me, I don’t want to hear it) I think all of those numbers go up, especially the touchdowns. 

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (26): Did you draft CEH last year and get burned? I get it, he didn’t live up to his ADP and he got hurt down the stretch but here’s some aloe. Year two, looks to be an entirely different story. He’s running behind a completely revamped offensive line on a team that just lost the superbowl and is highly motivated to get back there, and win it. The Chiefs are going to be more explosive than ever across all facets of their offense, running game included. If I can pair CEH with my first round pick, I’m leaving rounds 2 and 3 a very happy man. 

Terry McLaurin (33): The old adage has been that year 3 is the big breakout year for wide receivers and I can’t think of a better candidate for this year than McLaurin. He pretty much had a breakout year last year with 87 receptions for 1,118 yards but he was held back by only scoring four touchdowns. He did all of that in the regular season with the deadly quarterback combination of Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen, and Alex Smith. All due respect to Alex Smith and what he was able to overcome but from an objective statistical point of view he wasn’t good. Enter stage left: The Gunslinger, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzmagic is gonna put on a show this year for the WFT and it’s going to lead to wonderful things for McLaurin and his statline. 

Rounds 4 and 5 (picks 47/50 or 48/49)

Ceedee Lamb (47): There was bound to be some overlap in this article series since ADP’s are constantly changing, especially, once preseason games start. As of this writing, Amari Cooper and Lamb are separated by only five spots in their ADP’s. I recommend you wait and take the later player.  Since he will eventually be the true number one receiver on the team. Cooper has a challenging schedule as far as facing opposing corners, not to mention he isn’t entirely healthy. 

Dak Prescott (58): Another overlap but I don’t really care. Prescott’s ADP of 58 is way too low. The Cowboys offense is going to be explosive, if they can stay mostly healthy, and their defense still stinks. There will be a lot of positive game scripts for Dak to take advantage of and I expect shootout potential for a large majority of their games. Don’t miss out on a top 3 fantasy quarterback if he’s there for the taking. 

Justin Herbert (59): If one of your league mates got smart and snagged Dak before you could get him, don’t despair. You didn’t miss out on a potential top quarterback. Justin Herbert in year two is going to be even better than year one and that’s something you can use to your advantage. Sure his rushing isn’t spectacular but it gets the job done. A stack with Keenan Allen will do great things for your fantasy teams’ win column. 

Cooper Kupp (46): There’s a good chance he doesn’t make it to you at the end of round four but if he does you should jump at the opportunity. Now that Cam Akers is down, all due respect to Darrell Henderson, but I don’t think he’s as talented. The Rams are going to throw and throw and throw some more. Stafford is looking to rejuvenate his career and Sean McVay is the man to help him do that. I expect Stafford to throw for over 5,000 yards this season and it’s more than likely Kupp eats up a good chunk of that. With positive touchdown regression coming his way Kupp is in line for a big season. 

Rounds 6 and 7 (picks 71/74 or 72/73)

Noah Fant (71): Did you miss out on the big tight ends early? No worries, the future of the position is here to save the day. Fant is going to be Fant-tastic (Tired of that one yet? Too bad. I’m here to run it deep into the ground). He’s got the size, speed, and hands to be one of the best in the game. Also, I actually think he was on track to show that talent as early as last year until an ankle injury hindered him for most of the season. This year, he’s healthy and while his quarterback situation isn’t great, it also isn’t terrible. Teddy Bridgewater is a competent NFL quarterback so if Drew Lock is starting that means he is playing better than competent. So, either way, Fant is in good shape. 

Raheem Mostert (77): Again? Yes, again. As I said in the other article the 49ers have a high chance of being the league’s most run heavy team this year. WIth a good offensive line and a phenomenal play calling coach, I am all in on it. Don’t think Mostert will be the starter all year and get replaced by Trey Sermon? I agree. Keep reading to see my solution to that problem.

Mike Davis (68): This might be the least sexy pick you can make in your draft and, while I don’t think he remains the starter for all 17 games this year, I do think he is someone to take advantage of in the first half of the season. This pick is especially advantageous if you didn’t go running back heavy early in the draft. He’s got the starting job and an Arthur Smith offense that also has a decent quarterback and passing attack. I won’t mention any names but you could do a lot worse than if you went with a zero RB strategy early on. OK fine, I will mention names. Davis is going to be way better than Chase Edmunds, Melvin Gordon, and any individual Tampa Bay running back. 

Trey Sermon (87): See? I told you I had a solution to the Raheem Mostert problem and here it is. Draft his back up at the turn along with him. Still not convinced? Let me put it to you this way: Let’s say I told you that for a 6th and 7th round pick you could get over 1,400 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns, 62 receptions for 542 yards and 5 receiving touchdowns, would you take it? You bet your sweet patootie you would. Good, because those stats are the combined stats from 2020 of Raheem Mostert, Jerrick McKinnon and Jeffery Wilson. In case you forgot they all played for a 49ers team that had a carousel at the quarterback position and saw thirty (THIRTY!!) players land on IR throughout the season. I don’t see the injury bug biting them that hard again this year. Don’t be afraid to get in on this action and feel free to thank me at the end of the year that you did. (If I’m wrong though you don’t have to mention that.)

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