Now that the 2023 NFL preseason has concluded, the anticipation for fantasy football drafts is building. While the second round is brimming with talent, making the right choice is crucial to avoid repeating the disappointment of selecting a player like D’Andre Swift, who had a disappointing season in 2022. To help you make a wise decision, here are the safest picks for the second round in PPR-scoring redraft leagues this season.
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys running back
With his former backfield companion Ezekiel Elliott now in New England, Tony Pollard has a clear path to potentially becoming the top running back in fantasy this season. In 2022, Pollard rushed for 1,007 yards and scored nine touchdowns, while also contributing 39 receptions for 371 yards and three scores. Notably, his 5.94 yards per touch ranked second among running backs with at least 200 opportunities. While emulating such efficiency as a workhorse back may be challenging, Pollard is poised to be a much more valuable asset in fantasy.
The increase in rushing attempts and receptions is sure to bolster Pollard’s floor, and the goal-line opportunities left vacant by Elliott’s departure should propel this fourth-round pick from 2019 into fantasy stardom. Elliott scored nine rushing touchdowns from inside the five-yard line last season, ranking third in the league and accounting for 69.6% of his team’s rushing attempts within that range, the fifth-highest. In contrast, Pollard scored just two rushing touchdowns from this range but still finished as the RB8 overall in PPR scoring formats in 2022. If Pollard secures more red-zone chances in 2023, his fantasy ceiling is as high as anyone’s.
Stefon Diggs, Buffalo wide receiver
Despite some offseason drama, Stefon Diggs’ ADP has surprisingly dropped, often placing him at the top of the second round. This decline feels excessive given that Diggs’ situation in Buffalo remains largely unchanged, and he continues to be one of the most consistently reliable wide receivers in the game, making him an excellent value pick.
Since joining Buffalo in the 2020 offseason, Diggs has consistently ranked no lower than WR7 overall in fantasy. In 2022, he achieved WR4 status, an impressive feat considering that his Week 17 game was canceled due to a teammate’s medical emergency. Additionally, Diggs showcased his efficiency by ranking fifth among receivers with 2.49 yards per route run, and he boasted the ninth-highest average fantasy points per target (2.07) in the NFL, according to Pro Football Network’s Jason Katz. While Buffalo may have strengthened its passing attack in the offseason, these additions are unlikely to significantly impact Diggs’ volume, as the Bills are expected to remain a high-scoring offense.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions wide receiver
Amon-Ra St. Brown still carries a chip on his shoulder for being the 17th wide receiver selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, which fuels his determination to make a remarkable start to his career. At just 23 years old, he already boasts 196 career receptions, tying him with Justin Jefferson and Michael Thomas for the most by a wide receiver in their first two seasons.
In the previous season, St. Brown proved to be a draft steal, finishing as the WR7. However, his performance could have been even more impressive if not for several goal-line tackles. As highlighted by 4for4 Fantasy Football’s John Daigle, St. Brown found the end zone six times but faced seven goal-line tackles within five yards.
With a bit more luck and a similar volume of red-zone targets as last season, St. Brown has the potential to accumulate double-digit touchdowns, solidifying his status as a top-five fantasy option at his position.