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2012 Draft Prep: Strategies for ninth overall

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The No. 9 overall pick is really the first time Fantasy owners can start thinking about their first two selections on Draft Day. You should go into your draft with an idea of your first pick, and then you should be able to gauge which players should be available for you early in Round 2.

Pick-by-pick strategies
Our Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard share a unique draft strategy for each position in a standard 12-team draft.
No. 1 overall No. 5 overall No. 9 overall
No. 2 overall No. 6 overall No. 10 overall
No. 3 overall No. 7 overall No. 11 overall
No. 4 overall No. 8 overall No. 12 overall

Of course, you'll always be thrown a curveball or two when someone slips like Aaron Rodgers or Calvin Johnson falling too far, which happened here, so you never want to pass up good value. But you should go into Draft Day with the anticipation of who you want in Round 1 and then how you plan to follow that up with your second pick.

The good thing about this slot is if you want a running back first you should have the choice of Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden or Trent Richardson. You should also have the chance to take one of the stud quarterbacks in Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady.

Depending on how Round 1 goes, you then will have the chance at a standout receiver like Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald, one of the top tight ends in Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham or even another high-end running back if any of those aforementioned guys gets pushed down.

Most people prefer picking at the beginning of Round 1, but I don't mind picking at the end. You end up with two quality players with the chance to draft a Top 3 quarterback, receiver or tight end, which is a great way to start your team.

Editor's note: The percentages listed are what position you should target based on that round for each pick.

Round 1
Standard QB 20% RB 40% WR 40% TE 0%
PPR QB 20% RB 40% WR 40% TE 0%
Average Draft Position suggests Rodgers will be selected No. 4 overall and Calvin Johnson will go No. 5. But since most Fantasy owners prefer to draft running backs first you could see those guys fall. In this mock draft Dave Richard and I did for this series, Johnson was there at No. 9 in the standard league, and Rodgers fell in the PPR format. That's unlikely to happen in the majority of leagues, but don't hesitate to draft either player if they fall on Draft Day. Most likely you will be choosing from the running back group of Chris Johnson, Jones-Drew, McFadden or Richardson or a quarterback out of Brees or Brady. Any of these guys would be great selections at this spot.
Players you can get here: Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Calvin Johnson, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden, Trent Richardson
My selection at No. 9 standard: Calvin Johnson
My selection at No. 9 PPR: Aaron Rodgers
Round 2
Standard QB 20% RB 50% WR 20% TE 10%
PPR QB 0% RB 50% WR 40% TE 10%
If you pass on running back in Round 1 you might want to make it a focal point in Round 2 based on the lack of depth at the position. You might not like any of the running backs in the bottom of the Top 12 in Matt Forte, Steven Jackson or Michael Turner, but at least you know they have the potential for a lot of touches. If you take a quarterback in Round 1 like we did with Rodgers in the PPR league you should wait on receiver since there is a lot of depth there. The only position you might consider aside from running back is tight end to lock up Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski, but getting a rusher is probably the more prudent move.
Players you can get here: Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, Steven Jackson, Jamaal Charles, Darren Sproles, Matt Forte, Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Jennings, Roddy White, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham
My selection at No. 16 standard: Matt Forte
My selection at No. 16 PPR: Steven Jackson
Round 3
Standard QB 20% RB 40% WR 20% TE 20%
PPR QB 0% RB 30% WR 50% TE 20%
One of the biggest decisions Fantasy owners need to make on Draft Day is when to take Adrian Peterson. If he looks good in training camp coming back from last year's knee injury he could be drafted toward the end of Round 1. Most likely, Fantasy owners will gamble on Peterson in Round 2, which is what his ADP suggests. We are cautiously optimistic with Peterson, which is why we wouldn't draft him before Round 3. He was there in this mock, so he is worth the risk in the standard league after taking Calvin Johnson and Forte. In the PPR format, we'll lock up our first receiver, and Julio Jones could be a steal at this spot if he has a standout sophomore campaign as expected.
Players you can get here: Ahmad Bradshaw, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, Jordy Nelson, Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones
My selection at No. 33 standard: Adrian Peterson
My selection at No. 33 PPR: Julio Jones
Round 4
Standard QB 20% RB 30% WR 40% TE 10%
PPR QB 0% RB 30% WR 50% TE 20%
Since you waited on receiver until Round 3 in the PPR league you might want to make receiver a priority here to get a second Top 15 option to pair with Jones. We like Cruz to prove he's not a one-year wonder, and he should see plenty of targets if Hakeem Nicks (foot) isn't 100 percent. He's a great starting option to grab at this point in a PPR format. In the standard league we'll also look at receiver with the best-player available, which happens to be Steve Smith. It would not be a surprise to see Smith finish as a Top 5 receiver this season if he and Cam Newton continue to build off what they did last year. Smith is a steal at this point in any draft.
Players you can get here: Michael Vick, Tony Romo, Darren Sproles, Marshawn Lynch, Reggie Bush, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Miles Austin, Jeremy Maclin, Steve Smith, Victor Cruz, Aaron Hernandez
My selection at No. 40 standard: Steve Smith
My selection at No. 40 PPR: Victor Cruz
Round 5
Standard QB 30% RB 40% WR 20% TE 20%
PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 40% TE 20%
Something we discuss on our podcast all the time is drafting for value vs. need. In the standard league, we have a need at quarterback and tight end, especially with a solid squad so far of Forte and Peterson at running back and Johnson and Smith at receiver. But at this point in the draft you could still have several quality quarterbacks on the board including Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan. And at tight end, you should have the choice of most options aside from Graham and Gronkowski. We'll address our flex spot here, and in both leagues you should have the choice of potential starting Fantasy running backs in Isaac Redman, Roy Helu or Willis McGahee. We'll go with Redman since he could be a star this season with Rashard Mendenhall (knee) out or limited for some, if not all, of the year. In the PPR format, Redman is actually our No. 2 running back.
Players you can get here: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Isaac Redman, Roy Helu, Willis McGahee, Dwayne Bowe, Vincent Jackson, Brandon Lloyd, DeSean Jackson
My selection at No. 57 standard: Isaac Redman
My selection at No. 57 PPR: Isaac Redman
Round 6
Standard QB 30% RB 20% WR 30% TE 20%
PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 40% TE 20%
We need to focus on running back in the PPR league with only Jackson and Redman on the roster. That means passing on tight end here even though Vernon Davis and Jermichael Finley are available. Shonn Greene isn't a great PPR running back, but he could do well with the majority of touches even though he will likely lose some touchdowns to Tim Tebow. In the standard league, we'll again pass on quarterback and take the best player available with Steve Johnson. He's a great No. 3 receiver, but passing on quarterback again could be detrimental.
Players you can get here: Shonn Greene, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Donald Brown, Jonathan Stewart, Steve Johnson, Torrey Smith, Eric Decker, Reggie Wayne, Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley
My selection at No. 64 standard: Steve Johnson
My selection at No. 64 PPR: Shonn Greene
Round 7
Standard QB 40% RB 30% WR 10% TE 20%
PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 30% TE 30%
Our quarterback situation is shaping up well in the standard league. The owner who picks No. 10 doesn't have a quarterback, but the owner at No. 11 and No. 12 does. Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan remain on the draft board, so we can gamble one more round on another position. We'll solidify our running back spot with James Starks, who could present tremendous value as Green Bay's starter with little competition. We now have Forte, Peterson, Redman and Starks, which should be as competitive a running back corps as you'll find, especially if Peterson is 100 percent healthy. In the PPR league, we'll also look at running back one more time with C.J. Spiller. Fred Jackson is back as the No. 1 option in Buffalo, but Spiller will still play a prominent role.
Players you can get here: Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning, James Starks, C.J. Spiller, DeAngelo Williams, Jahvid Best, Titus Young, Robert Meachem, Pierre Garcon, Anquan Boldin
My selection at No. 81 standard: James Starks
My selection at No. 81 PPR: C.J. Spiller
Round 8
Standard QB 50% RB 10% WR 10% TE 30%
PPR QB 0% RB 30% WR 30% TE 40%
As we're all well aware, sometimes when you gamble on Draft Day sometimes it comes back to haunt you. The owner at No. 12 in the standard league made a value pick with Peyton Manning to open Round 8. That obviously forced the owner at No. 10 to take Ryan, leaving us with the last Top 12 quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger. While that's far from a huge problem, you'd rather draft a player you want then settle for the scraps. Roethlisberger will again post outstanding stats, but he's at the tail end of the starting group of passers. In the PPR league, we'll lock up our third receiver in Titus Young. He's not the ideal PPR receiver, but he could be an outstanding weapon in Detroit's offense, especially if he starts opposite Calvin Johnson this year.
Players you can get here: Ben Roethlisberger, Toby Gerhart, Pierre Thomas, Ryan Williams, David Wilson, Denarius Moore, Titus Young, Greg Little, Malcom Floyd, Fred Davis, Jermaine Gresham, Jacob Tamme
My selection at No. 88 standard: Ben Roethlisberger
My selection at No. 88 PPR: Titus Young
Round 9
Standard QB 20% RB 10% WR 10% TE 60%
PPR QB 0% RB 20% WR 20% TE 60%
Tight end is now a must in both leagues, but waiting this year on the position should pay off based on depth. You should have the choice of Jermaine Gresham, Brent Celek, Jacob Tamme, Tony Gonzalez and Brandon Pettigrew in this round, and all are solid tight ends with the chance to be Top 10 options. Tamme was the best player left at this spot, and we'll take him in both leagues. He should shine in his reunion with Peyton Manning in Denver.
Players you can get here: Jermaine Gresham, Brent Celek, Jacob Tamme, Tony Gonzalez, Brandon Pettigrew
My selection at No. 105 standard: Jacob Tamme
My selection at No. 105 PPR: Jacob Tamme
Round 10
Standard QB 30% RB 30% WR 30% TE 10%
PPR QB 10% RB 40% WR 40% TE 10%
If you pass on quarterback and settle for someone in the Peyton Manning, Ryan and Roethlisberger range you should probably look at a backup soon thereafter. In the standard league, we'll lock up a top No. 2 quarterback in either Matt Schaub, Robert Griffin III or Jay Cutler, with Cutler the option here. In the PPR league, you don't need to draft a No. 2 quarterback when you take Rodgers, Brees or Brady, so ignore that position until needing to make a transaction during the bye week, with Rodgers off in Week 10. Some quarterbacks who could be available then are Andrew Luck (at JAC), Blaine Gabbert (vs. IND), David Garrard or the Dolphins starter (vs. TEN) and Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker (at MIA). Instead of quarterback, we'll take a flier on Randy Moss, who has reportedly looked great this offseason.
Players you can get here: Robert Griffin III, Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer, Josh Freeman, Bernard Scott, Tim Hightower, Jacquizz Rodgers, Mike Goodson, Randy Moss, Santonio Holmes, Malcom Floyd, Darrius Heyward-Bey
My selection at No. 112 standard: Jay Cutler
My selection at No. 112 PPR: Randy Moss
Round 11
Standard QB 0% RB 40% WR 40% TE 20%
PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 40% TE 20%
We'll add depth at receiver here with some guys who could have great upside. In the standard league, we'll snag Brian Quick, who could emerge as the No. 1 receiver for the Rams and of this rookie class. He has the chance to start right away and see a hefty amount of targets from Sam Bradford. In the PPR league, we'll take Mike Williams and hope he bounces back in Tampa Bay. Williams doesn't have to carry the load as the No. 1 receiver with Vincent Jackson now in town, and he could return to his rookie form in 2010 when he had a breakout campaign.
Players you can get here: Daniel Thomas, Isaiah Pead, Rashad Jennings, Kevin Smith, Michael Crabtree, Mike Williams, Brian Quick, Danny Amendola
My selection at No. 129 standard: Brian Quick
My selection at No. 129 PPR: Mike Williams
Round 12
Standard QB 0% RB 50% WR 40% TE 10% K 0% DST 0%
PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 50% TE 10% K 0% DST 0%
With your last pick before taking a DST and a kicker you should look for someone with upside. In both leagues we'll draft a running back who could end up seeing significant time in Rashad Jennings and Kevin Smith. Jennings could be the starter in Jacksonville if Maurice Jones-Drew has a lengthy holdout, and Smith could benefit early in the year with Jahvid Best (concussion) banged up and Mikel Leshoure suspended for the first two games. These are easy selections at this point in the draft if you like the rest of your team.
Players you can get here: Robert Turbin, Kevin Smith, Bernard Pierce, Rashad Jennings
My selection at No. 136 standard: Kevin Smith
My selection at No. 136 PPR: Rashad Jennings
Round 13
Standard QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% K 0% DST 100%
PPR QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% K 0% DST 100%
We're going with a DST in this spot, and the Jets should be in line for a bounce-back year. The addition of Quinton Coples up front and LaRon Landry in the secondary should help, and we like that Rex Ryan is going to be calling plays on defense. If you miss on the elite DST options, then settle for the Jets with your second-to-last pick.
Players you can get here: Patriots DST, Jets DST, Bills DST, Lions DST
My selection at No. 153 standard: Jets DST
My selection at No. 153 PPR: Jets DST
Round 14
Standard QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% K 100% DST 0%
PPR QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% K 100% DST 0%
Mason Crosby fills two of the three major criteria I look for when drafting a kicker. He has a late bye in Week 10, and he kicks for an explosive offense. The trifecta would be complete if he kicked indoors, but we'll gladly take the Packers' kicker in any league. He should be a dominant Fantasy kicker in all formats.
Players you can get here: Mason Crosby, Jason Hanson, Dan Bailey, Alex Henery
My selection at No. 160 standard: Mason Crosby
My selection at No. 160 PPR: Mason Crosby

Here is a look at what the teams look like following the draft:

Standard PPR
QB Ben Roethlisberger QB Aaron Rodgers
RB Matt Forte RB Steven Jackson
RB Adrian Peterson RB Isaac Redman
WR Calvin Johnson WR Julio Jones
WR Steve Smith WR Victor Cruz
FLEX Isaac Redman FLEX Shonn Greene
TE Jacob Tamme TE Jacob Tamme
K Mason Crosby K Mason Crosby
DST Jets DST Jets
BENCH James Starks BENCH C.J. Spiller
BENCH Kevin Smith BENCH Rashad Jennings
BENCH Steve Johnson BENCH Mike Williams
BENCH Brian Quick BENCH Titus Young
BENCH Jay Cutler BENCH Randy Moss

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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