[2022] Fantasy Football Draft Strategy – Pick 5

We’re going to go through a 15-round, 12-team PPR Mock Draft via Sleeper and build a draft strategy for Pick 5.

First, here is my general fantasy football redraft strategy summed up:

Go running back heavy and wide receiver deep; snag a late-round quarterback and a “great or late” tight end; punt on the kickers and defenses until the very last rounds; avoid the low-ceiling players unless they have very high floors.

At Pick 5, we have the opportunity to go with the “Hero RB” strategy if we so choose. That’s where we take a running back in the first round and then obliterate the wide receivers thenceforth. But I still prefer to get two running backs in the first two rounds if the value presents itself.

The running back “dead zone” — the point in the draft where there is a poor hit rate on selecting running backs — can fluctuate from year to year, but is typically between Rounds 4 and Round 6. We want to avoid selecting running backs here, which is why we should try to grab two of them in the first three rounds, if possible.

I like like to wait on quarterbacks until the double-digit rounds because there is usually such good depth at the position. If one should happen to slide much further than his ADP, I will consider jumping in and snagging him.

As for tight ends, if I can’t get one of the premium ones who plays like a receiver, I will wait until the double-digit rounds on that position as well.

Here’s a little outline of how I like to target positions from the 5 slot. This is just a guideline, though, because I will be flexible and look to add the best value possible.

Round 1RB
Round 2Premium TE, RB or WR
Round 3WR or RB
Round 4WR
Round 5WR
Round 6WR
Round 7RB or WR
Round 8RB or WR
Round 9RB or WR
Round 10QB, RB, WR, or TE
Round 11QB, RB, WR, or TE
Round 12QB, RB, WR, or TE
Round 13QB, RB, WR, or TE
Round 14DST
Round 15K

Round 1 – Austin Ekeler, RB/LAC
We’re getting closer to the cutoff for the running back run at the top of the first round. Some people are selecting Cooper Kupp early, and I can’t say that’s a bad pick, particularly in PPR leagues. But I still like Ekeler here more because of the need for good running backs. We’ll look at best value in Round 2.

Round 2 – Saquon Barkley, RB/NYG
Barkley has had trouble staying healthy the past few years, but I don’t think he’s chronically injury-prone. I think 2022 could be his best season since his rookie year as he gets ready for a new contract. New head coach Brian Daboll will dramatically improve the Giants’ offense in just one season.

Round 3 – Keenan Allen, WR/LAC
A couple quarterbacks and a tight end have gone since our last pick, leaving some extra running backs and receivers on the board. I was tempted to go with James Conner here to really solidify our run game. Instead, we went with Allen here. Allen has been consistently good throughout his career and is playing in a strong offense with a great quarterback. Solid player atop our depth chart.

Round 4 – Travis Etienne, RB/JAX
I was tempted to go with Jaylen Waddle here, but there is a lot of solid receiver depth while the running back position in wearing out. If, indeed, Barkley suffers another unfortunate injury or Ekeler experiences some major regression, we need another back to solidify the position. Etienne could really have a breakout season. We’ll look at adding a receiver next round.

Round 5 – Marquise Brown, WR/ARI
I’m perfectly happy to scoop up Kyler Murray’s No. 1 option in Arizona for the first six weeks of the season. The concern, obviously, is that when DeAndre Hopkins returns that he nudges Brown down the depth chart. But I think there’s enough offense to go around that makes Brown a safe WR2 choice. Besides, we’ll continue to add to our depth chart as a security blanket.

Round 6 – Darnell Mooney, WR/CHI
I like the Mooney value here. There is concern that the Bears offense will not be very good this year, but considering how talented Justin Fields is and the fact that there are not many options outside of Mooney, I think he’ll receive a ton of targets and offer big play value for our team.

Round 7 – JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR/KC
Nobody quite knows how the Chiefs’ receiving corps will shake out, but that means that Smith-Schuster will have as good a chance as any to be atop that depth chart. I think we’ve already seen what JuJu’s ceiling is when he played in Pittsburgh, but he still has WR2 upside, and could be a great WR4 on our fantasy team.

Round 8 – Rashaad Penny, RB/SEA
Penny has had trouble staying healthy throughout his career and the Seahawks drafted Ken Walker in the second round. But Pete Carroll has said that he believes in Penny and that he’s their starter. To get a starter in Round 8 as our fourth running back is good value. We’ll see what kind of quarterbacks and tight ends are available next round.

Round 9 – Trey Lance, QB/SF
Every other team but ours has taken a quarterback but us — exactly the way I like it. But the team right before us took a backup quarterback, which I don’t understand, frankly. Normally I would wait at this point, but the possibility that other teams would make such a foolish decision makes me worried. I like the gamble on Lance at this point. Sure, there’s a chance he could struggle and the 49ers put Jimmy Garoppolo back in — if they haven’t traded him by the season. But there’s also a chance Lance is a Top 7 quarterback thanks to his rushing ability.

Round 10 – Michael Gallup, WR/DAL
Status check: we’ve got a quarterback, four running backs and four receivers at this point. We could look at a tight end here, but the talent doesn’t jump off the page to me. I think we should hit the receiver position instead and I like Gallup here. He’s working his way back from an ACL injury and might not be ready to start the season, but he’ll be back in the lineup at some point and providing good value for a WR5 for us.

Round 11 – Nyheim Hines, RB/IND
I’m happy with this pick. Hines offers decent FLEX appeal at certain points and head coach Frank Reich recently said, “If I was a fantasy owner … I think I’d pick Nyheim this year.” That’s good enough for me. Good depth at the running back position here.

Round 12 – Jahan Dotson, WR/WAS
Terry McLaurin is back with a new contract so I wouldn’t count on a huge season from Dotson, by any means. But I like the rookie’s upside and big-play ability. We’ll look at filling our tight end vacancy next round with our last pick before the defense and kicker rounds.

Round 13 – David Njoku, TE/CLE
The Browns signed Njoku to a long-term extension this offseason, showing they believe in him. With uncertainty at the receiver position, he could have an expanded role. My concern, of course, is the quarterback position. If Deshaun Watson returns at some point this season, then Njoku could return decent value.

Round 14 – Dallas Cowboys, DST/DAL
Sure, why not?

Round 15 – Younghoe Koo, K/ATL
He’s got a cool name.

I hope this Pick 5 draft strategy along with its application in a mock draft has given you some general guidelines and principles in how to maximize your roster from this draft slot.

In summary, you can lay out a plan of attack but you must remember to always be flexible and look for value when it presents itself.

Good luck!

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