Fantasy Football Draft Strategy - Drafting from the 2nd Spot

Source: USA Today

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy 2023 - Drafting from the 2nd Spot in a 12 Team Non-PPR League

Continuing on in our mock draft series, this week we turn to non-PPR (Standard) leagues.  Now most veteran fantasy football players already know this, but standard leagues do not give any points for receptions, making touchdowns and yardage much more important. 

Mock drafts are filling up these days, which makes it much more interesting than just drafting against computers.  If you have not been mock drafting already, now is a great time to start.  You may want to take a look at the Standard Rankings page and start making your own rankings based on who you like going into the 2023 season.

I spent some time mock drafting in a 12-team Non-PPR (Standard) league and I had the 2nd spot.  Here is a look at the finished draft.  You can also take a look at the overall Standard ADP to get a better understanding of where players are being drafted.  Lets dive in on some strategies for drafting early in non-PPR leagues.

Aim for at Least One Workhorse Back Early, if not Two

Grabbing workhorse Running Backs is getting harder and harder each year as NFL teams move away from overusing their RBs.  More and more teams are turning to a committee, and not really doling out the cash for star Running Backs anymore.

That makes the first few spots of a non-PPR draft even more coveted, since by the second round most “good” backs are gone.

Now I had the second pick so it made the first choice easy.  Austin Ekeler has been a beast for a few years now and should continue this year.  I had to wait quite a while for my second pick, and was left with Dalvin Cook, J.K. Dobbins, and Rhamondre Stevenson as choices.  Seeing as how Cook and Dobbins have some….questions coming into 2023, I decided to go with Stevenson who should have majority control of the Patriots’ backfield (Harris went to Buffalo).



ADPs Still Really Don’t Matter

So as I mentioned in previous articles, drafting from the ends always presents a unique opportunity when it comes to reaching for players.

I won’t go much into it again, but at the 2nd spot, make sure you don’t wait on a guy hoping he gets back to you 20 spots later.

The only difference between the 2nd spot and 1st spot is that if you may have to reach a bit earlier if you don’t want the first spot person to snipe your player.  Make sure you grab your most coveted player first, before the 1st spot turn can steal them.

Grab Wide Receivers on High Scoring Offenses

Non-PPR doesn’t care about your receptions, so we have to look at Wide Receivers who get lots of yardage and lots of touchdown opportunities. 

Take a look at 2022’s passing offense leaders:


Passing Yards

Passing Touchdowns























No real surprise here. And seeing as how all these teams are pretty much back with the same players, you should expect them to perform similarly.  Now of course there is no guarantee (you couldn’t predict what Chief WR would hit week-to-week), but you still shouldn’t shy away from the top two Wide Receivers of each of these teams.

That’s why I went with Jaylen Waddle first.  After that, I kind of was all over the place, but Christian Kirk and Brandin Cooks should both be on decent passing offenses, and maybe, just maybe, Sean Payton can make the Broncos (Jerry Jeudy) Country Ride again.

Decide What TE/QB You Want Before the Draft

Obviously, there is a premium on rushing Quarterbacks in Standard leagues, which is why you will see Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields, Lamar Jackson, etc go a bit higher than usual. 

Tight Ends, on the other hand, drop pretty hard.  Only Kelce went in the first two rounds, and most others went Round Six or later.  Tight Ends aren’t normally huge yardage guys, so look for the biggest scorers.  Obviously, no one really comes close to Kelce, but grabbing him 2nd overall is a bit rich.

I would probably have grabbed Mark Andrews in Round Three, but he was sniped and I had to pivot.  After that, I really didn’t care who my TE was so I waited. 

I knew I wanted Trevor Lawrence, so I passed on all QBs until I felt like I had to go for him. 

Long story short, know which 2-3 QBs/TEs you really want and strategize your draft around that. 

Try to Stack

Again, touchdowns are key in Standard leagues, so stacking one WR with QB is a pretty solid strategy.  Of course, that doesn’t work with every team, but I bet the top 15ish QBs have draftable, startable WRs you can pair with them.

I’ve been high on Trevor Lawrence this year, so knowing I would try and grab him a bit before his ADP, I wanted to make sure I had his WR1.  So, I grabbed Christian Kirk in Round Six right before grabbing Lawrence in Round Seven.

If the Jaguars continue to play like they did last year (and Lawrence continues making positive strides), I could be very happy with this stack.


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