While there is no “one size fits all” draft strategy for dynasty fantasy football, having the second overall pick places managers in a prime position and can set the tone for the remainder of the draft. As leagues continue to be filled with more and more managers making the leap to dynasty, we go over a potential fantasy football mock draft for your team if selecting from the second slot.
For this draft, we will be using a 12-team league with PPR (point per reception) scoring and a 1QB format with two running backs, two receivers, a tight end, and two flex spots as the starting roster. Also, rookies will be included in the startup. Depending on your league settings, you might need to tweak your draft strategy to match your scoring format and roster requirements.
1.02) Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
My strategy going into a dynasty draft if I have the second spot is about as simple as it gets. Either I’m selecting the first wide receiver or Jonathan Taylor. That’s it.
At receiver, Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson are in a tier of their own, and it’s a coin flip of who is ahead. Taylor is the RB1, but to me, dynasty drafts don’t start until the fourth pick as they are the locked-in, no questions asked first three picks.
With Chase off the board first, my pick was made for me in Taylor. He is unquestionably the top RB and has multiple seasons of incredible production. Last season alone, Taylor racked up 2,171 total yards from scrimmage with 20 TDs across 17 games as the RB1 (21.9 PPR/game).
After a fifth-place finish in red-zone touches as a rookie, Taylor led the NFL with a staggering 92 in 2021. No one else was even close once they got closer to the end zone. Taylor had 42 inside the 10-yard line alone, which is 12 clear of Damien Harris in second.
Heading into Year 2, Taylor is the most polished running back in the NFL and has years of high-level production ahead of him. He also gets a boost with Matt Ryan, as no QB targeted his running backs more per game than Ryan (8.6).
By going RB early, I’ll be more on the win-now side of things as Chase or Jefferson will likely maintain value for much longer (barring injuries).
2.11) Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
The second round of a dynasty draft is always intriguing, especially on the back end of the round. There are times where value slides your way and others where ADP is followed, if not exceeded. Here we saw both Kyle Pitts (1.11) and Mark Andrews (2.10) be selected, finally breaking the RB/WR run.
Having selected Taylor, I hoped to secure one of the many talented young receivers, ideally one of A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel, or Stefon Diggs. However, nine WRs have come off the board since my last pick. That means the value has slid towards us. In this case, that meant Alvin Kamara was available at 2.11.
Drafting from the second spot and losing the luxury of back-to-back picks, I had to make an educated guess on who could and likely would not fall to me. With the 1.01 drafter selecting Chase, I selected Kamara as they were probably looking to double-tap the position on the turn.
Going RB/RB, I am committed to a win-now approach, a strategy you will see carried through this dynasty draft. The value of Kamara was just too good. He showed last season there is far more left in the tank.
When Jameis Winston was under center, Kamara was the RB5, averaging a staggering 23.3 touches and 5.5 targets per game. With Winston back and re-signed, Kamara is a top-10 RB with top-five upside for at least the next handful of years. Perfect for what this team is trying to do.
3.02) Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills
I gambled, and it paid off. Sometimes in a dynasty draft, you have to make an educated guess, and like in poker, try to read what your league-mates will do. Having selected Chase with the 1.01, I was gambling on the player going RB/RB with their second and third-round picks. After I selected Kamara, they quickly followed with Nick Chubb and Derrick Henry.
The gamble paid off, and not only did I land Kamara, but I got a player I traditionally target in the second with Stefon Diggs. Whether it’s redraft, Best Ball, or dynasty, I cannot get enough Diggs on my teams. If available, he’s an auto pick for me.
Since joining the Bills, Diggs has found nothing but success, averaging 18.6 PPR/game in his 33 active games from 2020 to 2021. Over that same time, he finished as a WR1 (top 12) in 27% of his games and inside the top 24 (WR2+) in 53%.
Playing in 17 games, Diggs hauled in 103 of 163 targets for 1,225 yards and 10 TDs to finish as the WR7 in fantasy (10th in PPR/game at 16.8). Diggs was No. 10 amongst WRs in team target share (27%) and 12th in intended air yards (35.4%). However, given the verticality of this offense, his 35.4% was still 1,841 air yards (second-most in the NFL).
I’m all-in on the Bills in 2021 as my Super Bowl favorites and just want to enjoy the ride with Bills Mafia. Tables be warned, Diggs and this team are about to be fun to watch.
4.11) Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
We are in a golden zone for receivers between the third, fourth, and fifth rounds. Unfortunately for this draft, it hit hard during the long wait. After Diggs, 10 of the following picks were receivers. Mixed in were the first two QBs — Josh Allen (3.07) and Patrick Mahomes (3.10) — along with Travis Kelce (3.12) and George Kittle (4.07).
Ideally, I like to target another young receiver or running back, but in this case, I went with a receiver who always seems to slide in drafts, Mike Evans. Yes, Evans is approaching the age cliff and is 28 years old. Also, yes, I likely will not be able to trade him for the exact investment cost down the line. I get that. But do you also know what I’m getting? One of the most consistent receivers we’ve seen.
In 2021, Evans made it eight in a row, reaching 1,000 receiving yards in every season of his career. He’s finished as a top-20 WR in weekly scoring in all but one season, and there is every chance Evans is about to have his best season yet.
As Chris Godwin continues to rehab from a late-season torn ACL, Evans is unquestionably the top target for Tom Brady. Until Godwin is back, Evans’ only competition is a recently acquired Russell Gage. In the red zone, where Evans was already 11th in targets, he could easily lead the league this year if Rob Gronkowski doesn’t return.
Evans’ floor is as stable as it gets, and he heads into 2022 primed for a top-10 finish. Since this dynasty draft strategy maximizes our team early into its lifespan, Evans makes far too much sense.
5.02) Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
I’ve always been a late-round QB kind of guy. You can be the last one to draft a quarterback and still walk out with a top-12 option. In dynasty, that’s not the case. You want to have a high-upside QB as they will be a cornerstone year over year for virtually as long as you have the team.
In 1QB leagues, quarterbacks can be devalued too much as managers brush off the position. Do that enough, and you are staring at Zach Wilson as the best available. I don’t want to do that here, and I secure a seemingly consensus top-three gunslinger in Justin Herbert.
For me, Herbert is a Tier 1 QB in dynasty. While 5.02 might seem pricey compared to Allen and Mahomes, Herbert nearly two full rounds later is a bargain.
The former NFL Rookie of the Year took his game to another level in 2021. Passing for 5,016 yards and 38 TDs, Herbert’s QB2 performance was not a fluke. Just five PPR points from the elusive 400-club, only Allen and Brady had more QB1 performances than Herbert. He also tied Brady in 300-yard passing games with nine, raising his average to 53% of his games for his career.
The Chargers are trying to win a ridiculously stacked AFC West in 2022. To pull this off, Herbert needs to be on his game. For fantasy, that’s a perfect storm of opportunity and talent.
6.11) AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers
After starting with Taylor and Kamara, I haven’t touched the position since. After picking Herbert, an expected mini-run of RBs went, with Elijah Mitchell, Ezekiel Elliott, Josh Jacobs, Leonard Fournette, and James Conner all going in a row to close the fifth. Then a WR run followed with eight of the next 11 picks.
When the dust settled, AJ Dillon was left waiting for us and represented the end of a tier. If you draft based on tiers, this is excellent value as taking the last one tends to produce better value.
As my RB3, I love the Dillon selection. With Aaron Jones potentially on the move after 2023 due to an opt-out in his contract, the team could begin the shift this season. Dillon already led Jones in red-zone rushing (39 to 34), but he didn’t take over the role until the second half of last year. Add in four games of 4+ targets, and Dillon also carries some sneaky PPR upside which boosts his floor.
Last season alone, Dillon was the RB23 in PPR scoring while averaging 10.9 PPR/game. Recording 224 total opportunities, he was just 2.4 touches/game behind Jones (15.7). While Dillon did lead the team in rushing (187 carries for 803 yards), he was marginally behind in per-game attempts, with Jones averaging 11.4 to Dillon’s 11.
The prevailing belief is due to Davanta Adams now being in Las Vegas, Jones could be used as a receiver more, allowing Dillon to lead the backfield in carries. Even if it is a 1a/1b, we have seen both produce for fantasy. At 24 years old, Dillon is also a much-needed injection of youth which helps to balance out the win-now approach and having longevity.
Dynasty draft strategy from the second overall spot | Rounds 7-15
7.02) Mike Williams | WR, Los Angeles Chargers
8.11) Gabriel Davis | WR, Buffalo Bills
9.02) Brandin Cooks | WR, Houston Texans
10.11) James Robinson | RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
11.02) Melvin Gordon | RB, Denver Broncos
12.11) Pat Freiermuth | TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
13.02) Cole Kmet | TE, Chicago Bears
14.11) Tyrion Davis-Price | RB, San Francisco 49ers
15.02) Tua Tagovailoa | QB, Miami Dolphins
Projected Week 1 roster
QB – Justin Herbert
RB – Jonathan Taylor
RB – Alvin Kamara
WR – Stefon Diggs
WR – Mike Evans
TE – Pat Freiermuth
Flex – Mike Williams
Flex – AJ Dillon/Gabriel Davis/Brandin Cooks