Fantasy Football draft prep: How to draft from the ninth overall pick in a full-point PPR league

You just got notice from your league’s commissioner that you drew the No. 9 overall pick in your Fantasy Football drafts and now it’s time to prep. Below, I’ll break down what I felt was an ideal draft when picking out of the No. 9 overall spot. If you find yourself picking No. 9 in your drafts, you can view this as a guide, blueprint or at the very least some context as to which players might be around in which rounds when you’re on the clock.

The Fantasy Football Today team got together to do a pick-by-pick draft and here’s my full team from the No. 9 spots:

1.9: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
2.4: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys
3.9: James Conner, RB, Cardinals
4.4: Allen Robinson, WR, Rams
5.9: Gabriel Davis, WR, Bills
6.4: Rashod Bateman, WR, Ravens
7.9: Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles
8.10: Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
9.3: Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Falcons
10.10: Ronald Jones, RB, Chiefs
11.3: Jameson Williams, WR, Lions
12.1: Tyrion Davis-Price, RB, 49ers
13.3: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Browns
2.10pm: Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Giants
15.3: Daniel Jones, QB, Giants

With the ninth overall pick, I couldn’t help but grab Cook in this full-point PPR. I understand the injury risk with Cook, but the upside is not being baked into his current ADP. The Vikings are moving to a modern pass-heavy offense, and that could mean big things for Cook’s target total. And we already know that in full-point PPR leagues, targets are worth more than 3x the value of a carry.

Although I’m a bit concerned with my depth at wide receiver, I feel confident in my 1-2 at running back with James Conner set to take on a potentially heavier workload now that Chase Edmonds is gone. Prescott and Goedert give me a fighter’s chance to compete on a weekly basis at both QB and TE vs. my opponents. And both Jones and Patterson profile as depth I can get behind — Jones for his upside to take over the main role in a top-five offense and Patterson for his receiving upside in this format.

Favorite pick: Rashod Bateman

As a big-time believer in Bateman’s talent entering the draft, I couldn’t be more thrilled to get him in Round 7 as he prepares for the Year 2 leap. Outside of Mark Andrews, Bateman has very little target competition. There has been speculation that Baltimore will go run-heavy again in 2022, but even if that comes true, it will be outweighed by Lamar Jackson’s improved health and thus the upgrade in the pass game for Baltimore.

Pick I might regret: James Conner

I like Conner a lot as a late-third-round pick, but it’s impossible to deny his injury history dating back to his early career with the Steelers. And if Eno Benjamin’s early training camp hype is for real, and he carves a big chunk into Conner’s passing game role, then it’s going to be very tough to get value out of Conner.

Player who could make or break my team: Dalvin Cook

Early-round draft capital spent on a running back these days will almost always qualify them for a make-or-break player. Very few backs have a fully clean injury bill — Najee Harris being one of them — but he’s only entering Year 2. Cook’s lower-body injuries have been consistent in recent seasons, but ultimately, he hasn’t missed too much time. The flip side is that he could be the RB1 if this Vikings offense does enter the current century and the defense — in rebuilding mode — forces them to play catch up early and often.

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