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Who to pick in NFL Fantasy: A player to target through every round of your draft

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Who to pick NFL fantasy football

We’re not in the business of over-complicating things.

NFL Fantasy is an absolute beast of an industry, but not everyone that plays makes spreadsheets.

Casuals just want the answers to the test a good five or ten minutes in advance. And that’s where we can be of assistance.

Also check out our NFL Fantasy Guide

If you’re looking for some last-minute content or advice, on who to pick in your NFL Fantasy league, look no further.

Here are 12 names to target, as your draft unfolds.

NFL 2023, season preview, dates, contenders, who to pick
The NFL’s star quarterbacks Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow (L to R) | Keep scrolling to find out who to pick in NFL Fantasy

Who to pick in NFL Fantasy

Here are names you can target in your NFL Fantasy draft; one that’s expected to be selected in each round, chronologically.

We’ve looked through several ‘ADP’ tools, the ‘average draft position’ of players, as a guide. These players below are listed off the assumption you’re in a single-QB (start one quarterback), reasonably standard 12-team league — eg your format will look something like this: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, Flex, K, DEF and then some bench slots.

But we’re ignoring kickers and defence in this exercise, because it’s always better to stream those as the season unfolds, based on matchups and also unpredictable events.

ASSUME: 12-team, one QB, half-PPR (half a point per reception)

Round 1: Nick Chubb, RB, Browns

Now in the early rounds, your selections will be dictated to you by your draft slot. If you have pick one in the draft, your targets are quite different to who you might take at pick 10. As the rounds unfold, things will flatten out.

But assuming you’re picking somewhere in the middle of the round, target a ‘hero RB’ and we like Chubb. The Browns’ running back is the best pure runner in the league and even though he’s now been in the league for quite some time, there’s nothing set to threaten his workload this season.

Who to pick, NFL Fantasy, Nick Chubb
Browns Running Back Nick Chubb | NFL Fantasy, who to pick

Cleveland has one of the best offensive lines in the league, the offence can’t be any worse than it was with an undercooked Deshaun Watson last season and there’s even a chance he sees more receiving work than in years past.

Unlike Jonathan Taylor and a couple of others, there’s no doubt surrounding Chubb’s commitment to playing this season over contractual disputes.

Honorary mention: Ja’Mar Chase, WR, Bengals & Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings

If you have an earlier pick and one of these guys is available, pull the trigger.

NFL Fantasy draft strategies, best and worst, kelce, taylor, mccaffrey, jefferson
Fantasy superstars: Travis Kelce, Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey, Justin Jefferson | Who to pick

Round 2: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Lions

Get set for ‘Sun God’ to take yet another leap this season.

After breaking fantasy in the second-half of his rookie season, Amon-Ra returned last year to post 106 catches for 1,161 yards and six scores as a sophomore. Those numbers came in spite of an ankle issue that severely limited him between Weeks 3-7.

St. Brown has ‘that dawg‘ in him; literally nobody works harder at their craft and it will once again show in the Detroit offence this year.

Amon Ra St Brown image
Detroit receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown | Who to pick in NFL Fantasy

Honorary mention: Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys

If you took a receiver earlier in the first round, smash the button on the Dallas running back, who is primed to receive all the Cowboys’ high value RB touches this season.

Round 3: Chris Olave, WR, Saints

Targeting young, elite receivers is a strategy that pretty much always pays off and Olave fits that bill.

He’s set to be a target hog in the New Orleans offence that can win against any style of defence and offers a flush floor-ceiling combination. He works mostly out of the slot, but also poses a deep threat and is more than capable getting down field. He’s straight up a play-maker.

Derek Carr is now the Saints quarterback and he’s good enough to support elite receiver production — see Davante Adams in Las Vegas last season.

Honorary mention: Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens

This third round isn’t a bad time to pivot to Tight End, given the quality of Baltimore’s primary receiver. ‘Set and forget’ is never a bad idea at TE, particularly for the time-poor participants that don’t feel like trawling the waiver wire for replacement-level tight end options.

NFL fantasy draft strategies, Lamar Jackson
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is set for a big season and Mark Andrews will be a key beneficiary.

Round 4: Justin Fields, QB, Bears

Mobile quarterbacks are all the rage these days and emerging Chicago signal caller Justin Fields has as high a rushing ceiling as any QB in the league.

We can safely expect him to take another leap as a passer this season too. The addition of a bona fide WR1 in DJ Moore via trade will work wonders, plus it’s now year two in the Luke Getsy system and Fields has enjoyed the benefit of an extra off-season and training camp to develop.

Who to pick in Fantasy Football, Justin Fields
Bears quarterback Justin Fields | Who to pick in Fantasy Football

Honorary mention: T.J Hockenson, TE, Vikings

If things didn’t fall your way and you’re still on the hunt for a tight end, it’s hard to go wrong here. Hockenson is an elite prospect entering his fourth season, the sweet spot for emergence and breakout campaigns at the TE position. The Vikings will be a high-powered, pass-first offence and he’ll be a core piece of it.

Round 5: DJ Moore, WR, Bears

Whether you’re also the Justin Fields owner or not, Moore slots straight into your starting lineup. The Fields-Moore stack will send shivers down your opponent’s spine every single week.

And Moore’s not just a ceiling play, either; he should command a 30% target share in this Bears offence.

Honorary mention: Cam Akers, RB, Rams

Akers looks set to receive a sizeable workload in a Rams offence that’s generally kind to backs. Head Coach Sean McVay is an offensive mastermind and he has little competition for touches behind him.

Round 6: Darren Waller, TE, Giants

Eagles TE Dallas Goedert is also floating around in the sixth round, but you may as well shoot for more upside here.

Former Raider Waller is now in New York and will be the primary receiving option for Daniel Jones in an offence that’s looked nothing but competent since Brian Daboll took over last off-season.

Staying fit and healthy is the main knock on Waller, which is why he isn’t going three rounds higher.

Darren Waller, Who to pick in Fantasy Football
Giants Tight End Darren Waller | Who to pick in Fantasy Football

Honorary mention: Rachaad White, RB, Buccaneers & Christian Watson, WR, Packers

White is an emerging three-down talent that’s set to get the bulk of Tampa’s running back touches, while Christian Watson appears to have the it-factor and could emerge into one of the league’s best receiving weapons by season’s end, if new quarterback Jordan Love can make some magic happen.

Round 7: David Montgomery, RB, Lions

Detroit head-hunted and paid David Montgomery in a world where running backs are protesting for pay cheques. The Lions plan on using him plenty.

Last year’s Lions bruiser back Jamaal Williams rushed for 17 touchdowns in a potent offence and the offensive line will be just a solidified this campaign.

He’ll probably go close or even out-score the highly-drafted rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, who’s going three-to-four rounds earlier in drafts. At 200lbs, Gibbs doesn’t have the size to shoulder a primary workload and it’s doubtful the Lions will use him between the tackles in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

Honorary mention: Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos

Williams was going five rounds earlier last year. He blew out his knee and it’s been a long road back in the rehab room since, but he’s an incredible running back talent and by all reports is on schedule for Week 1. The workhorse back in a Sean Payton offence will pay the bills.

Round 8: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seahawks

‘JSN’ is the top receiver prospect out of this year’s NFL Draft and it won’t be long before everyone is falling over themselves to get a piece of him in fantasy.

He’s only this cheap because there’s competition in Seattle, with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett also on the depth chart. So there’s contingent upside, if one of those two get hurt, but this pick is also just about backing the talent; the cream will rise to the top.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Who to pick in NFL Fantasy
Seattle wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba | Who to pick in NFL Fantasy

Honorary mention: George Pickens, WR, Steelers

Second-year pass-catcher George Pickens has the capacity to take a big step forward, as this offence grows in proficiency under emerging QB Kenny Pickett.

Round 9: Rachaad Penny, RB, Eagles

If you can get the starting running back for the Philadelphia Eagles – one of the most prolific offences in football, with a stellar offensive line and a defence that will help generate positive game scripts – you do it.

Penny struggles to stay healthy, but when he does he’s awfully effective.

Honorary mention: Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks

If you simply must grab a backup quarterback, grab a guy that possesses some mobility, has three elite pass-catching options (which includes Smith-Njigba) and continues showing improvement.

Round 10: Elijah Moore, WR, Browns

Traded out of a bad situation in New York, Cleveland seems committed to making Moore a staple of their offence; working out of the slot, close to the line of scrimmage, as a YAC guy and in gadget situations too.

He may well have a breakout season, becoming a weekly starter or an incredibly handy trade piece.

Round 11: Greg Dulcich, TE, Broncos

If your TE1 is as fragile as a Waller type, Dulcich has the upside to emerge as a second-year tight end that new HC Sean Payton looks desperate to make a core piece of his offence.

Round 12

After a receiver-heavy draft, scoop up some upside running backs that could emerge during the season.

Target Bears rookie Roschon Johnson, Miami’s projected starter Jeff Wilson, Steelers backup Jaylen Warren, Eagle Kenneth Gainwell and Panther No.2 Chuba Hubbard.

who to pick nfl fantasy, amon-ra st. brown
Amon-Ra St. Brown | NFL Fantasy, who to pick
Phil Prior
Phil Prior
Phil is the editorial lead at Only Sports, bringing more than 12 years of wide-ranging sports media experience to the team. But it’s his unrivalled passion that sets him apart. He also commentates AFL on SEN Radio, plus Rugby on Stan Sport. Find Phil on LinkedIn.

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