2019 Fantasy Football: Picking 12th – It Can Be Done Well!

Picking 12th in your Fantasy Football draft isn't bad. Dr. Roto recaps a draft last year that didn't go perfectly but easily outperformed expectations.

Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry

Daily Dr. Roto—August 5, 2019

Drafting from Position 12

Congratulations, you just joined a Fantasy Football league, and you are ready to win a league title. You are convinced that you will get Saquon or McCaffrey with the first pick of the draft until your commissioner sends out an email saying that you just got the 12th pick. You curse out loud, wake up the neighbors, and talk about how your season is ruined before it even began. Does that sound familiar? If it does, read on. If it doesn’t, read on anyway as I have plenty of strategies here for you to use at your drafts.

Last season I finished with two teams in the Top 15 overall of the Online Championship. Interestingly enough, one of those teams was with me drafting from position 12. So, the bottom line is this: It’s all about who you draft, not what pick you have!!!!

Let’s take a closer look at my team from last year and see if we can look for any clues to help us in 2019.


My pick at 1.12 was Christian McCaffrey. If you wonder why he was still on the board, I will tell you that this draft took place on 8/31/18, which is why I always argue that drafting early helps get good value. CMC was arguably a top 5 player that I got at 12 due to timing.

My pick at 2.1 was Dalvin Cook. This turned out to be a pretty crappy pick, which goes to show that not every pick that you make in a draft needs to be perfect. Cook was injured for most of the season and would be considered a bust for sure.

At 3.12, I took Jarvis Landry. Landry was solid, but not spectacular last season. I expect a huge rebound from him in 2019.

Pick 4.1 had me taking Steelers WR Juju Smith-Schuster. If you remember last year, many Fantasy owners liked Juju, but they didn’t want to take him too early because of Antonio Brown’s presence. I knew Juju wouldn’t make it back to me, and I wanted to have a part of the Steelers offense, so I took Juju a little before his ADP. As a reminder, ADP goes slightly out the window when you are picking 12 as the player you might like at a certain spot often won’t make it back 24 picks.

At 5.12, I took Josh Gordon—what a disaster that turned out to be. But it goes to show that even with Cook in Round 2 and Gordon in Round 5 I still made this team work!

With Pick 6.1, I took Tarik Cohen. Cohen was solid, and had some great games, but he also let me down in some as well. He is probably a better pick in best ball drafts moving forward.

For Pick 7.12, I selected Lions RB Kerryon Johnson. Johnson was a rookie last season who many experts thought would not play much at all. I took a chance on him a bit earlier than most, and he ended up helping me for quite a few weeks before his season-ending injury.

In Round 8, I took Mike Williams. Williams was buried on the depth charts at the beginning of the season, but as many of you remember he was a beast in Week 15 of the Fantasy playoffs. This catapulted me into first place heading into Week 16 of the Online Championship.

Round 9.12 saw me select TE Delanie Walker. This was a disaster pick as Walker was out for the season.

In Round 10.1, I took Dede Westbrook. Westbrook was okay, but I vowed to try to avoid taking receivers in bad offenses after this pick.

In Round 11.12, I took Latavius Murray. This ended up being a brilliant pick as Dalvin Cook got injured. Remember what I always tell you—handcuff your Running Backs!!

My best pick of the draft was at 12.1 when I took Patrick Mahomes. I LOVED Mahomes before the draft and wanted to take him starting in Round 9, but I WAITED and got him three rounds later. I took him at the last possible point before I knew he would not make it back to me. I encourage everyone who plays Fantasy Football to wait as long as possible before selecting a QB, as there is value even late in drafts.

Round 13.12 I took Ben Roethlisberger just in case Mahomes turned out to be a disappointment. I ended up using Ben in Week 16 against the Saints when he had his best game of the season.

Eric Ebron

My next great pick was in Round 14.12 when I took Eric Ebron. Ebron had a sensational year for the Colts and finally lived up to his potential. This goes to show you that there is still value on the board late in drafts. A lot of people phone it in late in drafts, but this is a critical mistake. Every pick is essential and should not be wasted!

My last five picks were: Chris Ivory (bust), Quincy Enunwa (injured), Greg Zuerlein (stud), Cordarrelle Patterson (bust), Lions defense, and Dallas Goedert (with my 20th round pick).

In all honesty, this draft had plenty of holes in it. I made some bad picks (Cook, Gordon, and Walker) but I was able to cherry-pick some studs (Mahomes, Juju, Ebron, and CMC) to help lead my team to a top ten overall money spot. I can guarantee that I worked the waiver wire and added pieces throughout the season to help propel my team to victory.

So, if you get pick 12 at your draft this season, don’t panic. If you can find four to six guys to help anchor your team, you still have a great chance of making the playoffs. Once you are in the playoffs, anything can happen!

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