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2012 Draft Prep: Strategies for 11th overall

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Don't feel too bad for yourself if you pick 11th this year. Yeah, you're not going to get any elite running backs and you're probably going to whiff on the Top 3 quarterbacks too, but you'll have a decided advantage over the rest of your competition: You'll get two of the Top 14 players in Fantasy Football.

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

And lo and behold, there are three elite quarterbacks, one elite receiver and a worthy Top 10 running back list you should feel comfortable with (that 10th running back might be Marshawn Lynch or Michael Turner depending on your tastes). Do the math -- you're going to start out great, almost significantly better than the poor slob picking 10th who thinks he's got the edge over you.

The general gameplan you should employ is to rank the top five players on your draft board as your pick comes up in the odd-numbered rounds. Then when you're up you're guaranteed two of those five -- one when you pick in the odd-numbered round and another in the even-numbered round.

You can even work in some strategy with your picks this way by keeping tabs on the needs of the owner at Pick 12. If he or she needs a player at a position you also need, you get the first crack at grabbing someone. Take a look at this mock draft we did in early August where I had pick No. 11 and Jamey Eisenberg had pick No. 12. In Round 5, I recognized we both needed a quarterback and a tight end. Left on the board were Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan, Aaron Hernandez and Antonio Gates. I quickly decided Manning was the most desirable of the players left and was fine with either Hernandez or Gates with my next pick in Round 6. So I took Manning then, let Jamey make his picks (Ryan and Hernandez, as it turned out) and picked up Gates. Perfect pick planning should pay off.

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

Round 1
Standard QB 45% RB 45% WR 10% TE 0%
PPR QB 10% RB 65% WR 25% TE 0%

Head into your standard draft prepping for a running back but be open to the idea of going with a top three quarterback or Calvin Johnson if they're there. If only one top three quarterback makes it to 11th overall don't hesitate to draft him. If it's a PPR draft you should eliminate quarterbacks from consideration since the rise in scoring for non-passers makes them a little more valuable. Also keep in mind that if two of the top three quarterbacks are available when you pick in a 12-team league, feel free to pass on both as you're a virtual lock to land one with your next choice if you so choose.

Players you can get here: Drew Brees, DeMarco Murray, Trent Richardson, Michael Turner
My selection at No. 11 standard: Drew Brees
My selection at No. 11 PPR: DeMarco Murray

Round 2
Standard QB 10% RB 75% WR 15% TE 0%
PPR QB 20% RB 55% WR 25% TE 0%

As you did in Round 1, plan on this pick being a running back. It's never a bad thing to kick off your draft with two running backs knowing full well there will be tight ends, quarterbacks and wide receivers available later on. The running backs left when you pick in Round 3 will be from a depleted pool compared to the other positions. But there's a caveat, one that I followed in our PPR draft: If an elite top three quarterback is staring you in the face here, even in a PPR league, it's a mistake to pass him up. The reliability of a Tom Brady or Drew Brees is just too strong to give up on in Round 2. I don't think it will happen too often but if it does, jump on it.

Players you can get here: DeMarco Murray, Trent Richardson, Michael Turner, Matt Forte, Matthew Stafford
My selection at No. 14 standard: DeMarco Murray
My selection at No. 14 PPR: Tom Brady

Round 3
Standard QB 5% RB 35% WR 55% TE 5%
PPR QB 5% RB 35% WR 55% TE 5%

The first position to get thin will be running backs. The second one should be wide receivers. Once the running backs most Fantasy owners are comfortable starting are gone, focus will turn to receivers and they'll get picked en masse. In fact you might be at the end of a receiver run in Round 3. Another factor to keep in mind is that the owner at Pick 12 will almost certainly look for at least one receiver with his picks, so getting a Top 12 option now is smart knowing there might not be one when you're up in Round 4.

Players you can get here: A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall, Demaryius Thomas, Victor Cruz, BenJarvus Green-Ellis
My selection at No. 35 standard: Brandon Marshall
My selection at No. 35 PPR: Demaryius Thomas

Round 4
Standard QB 5% RB 35% WR 55% TE 5%
PPR QB 5% RB 35% WR 50% TE 10%

Whatever leftovers are available from the receiver run of Round 3 should be on your plate here. The obvious exception is if you already have two receivers and do not want a third or if someone falls to you. The likes of Marques Colston, Percy Harvin and Jeremy Maclin should be considered safe, reliable starting options. There probably won't be similar receivers available when you pick again, at least not with the potential these guys have. The story will be different at quarterback and tight end for sure, and running backs might look a little better by this pick in Round 5.

Players you can get here: Marques Colston, Darren Sproles, Percy Harvin, BenJarvus Green-Ellis
My selection at No. 38 standard: Marques Colston
My selection at No. 38 PPR: Percy Harvin

Round 5
Standard QB 15% RB 30% WR 30% TE 25%
PPR QB 15% RB 30% WR 25% TE 30%

I like the idea of having two running backs, two wide receivers and a quarterback or tight end through five picks. We're talking five starters to call the base of your Fantasy team. Round 5 is a good time to find some decent bargains too. The running backs will dry up even further after the next few picks so if you need one now don't hesitate, and the tight ends after Gronk and Graham will begin to fly around this pick if not earlier in the round.

Players you can get here: Roy Helu, Aaron Hernandez, Steve Johnson, Willis McGahee, Eli Manning, Jason Witten (in PPR)
My selection at No. 59 standard: Roy Helu
My selection at No. 59 PPR: Jason Witten

Round 6
Standard QB 30% RB 20% WR 20% TE 30%
PPR QB 30% RB 20% WR 30% TE 20%

The options here should be to pick up a starter at a position you haven't filled or pick up depth at running back. In a PPR format a backup receiver could be a consideration. The running backs left aren't exactly gems but they'll look like Emmitt Smith compared to what you'll see in Round 7. Particularly if you weren't in love with your previous running back pick, backing him up with another potential No. 2 rusher isn't a bad idea in the least. Neither is a tight end if one's on board at a tier that will be empty by the time you pick again. If deciding between the two, just remember that tight ends run deep in drafts and rushers do not.

Players you can get here: Roy Helu, Steve Johnson, Willis McGahee, Antonio Gates
My selection at No. 62 standard: Willis McGahee
My selection at No. 62 PPR: Roy Helu

Round 7
Standard QB 25% RB 30% WR 30% TE 15%
PPR QB 25% RB 30% WR 30% TE 15%

If you need a starter, do a quick check to see if it's at a position the owner at Pick 12 needs. For instance if Pick 12 needs a tight end and you also need a tight end, take the tight end now before your rival gets two chances to get one. But if this isn't an issue then the move is to find depth at running back and wide receiver as best as you can. Look for guys who have a chance to total 1,000 yards and score seven times, a benchmark that isn't exactly starter material but certainly quality backup material.

Players you can get here: Titus Young, Anquan Boldin, Matt Ryan, Ronnie Hillman, Pierre Garcon
My selection at No. 83 standard: Anquan Boldin
My selection at No. 83 PPR: DeAngelo Williams

Round 8
Standard QB 20% RB 35% WR 30% TE 15%
PPR QB 15% RB 35% WR 35% TE 15%

The advice is the same as before: Unless you have a need you want to fill, aim for depth at running back and wide receiver with guys who could find their way close to 1,000 yards and seven-touchdowns. This also might be the time to start looking for running back sleepers because in Round 9 a lot of owners will start looking for sleepers and you'll be at the end of the round after they've picked through some good choices.

Players you can get here: Ronnie Hillman, Matt Ryan, Anquan Boldin, Pierre Garcon, Fred Davis
My selection at No. 86 standard: Ronnie Hillman
My selection at No. 86 PPR: Anquan Boldin

Round 9
Standard QB 15% RB 25% WR 30% TE 30%
PPR QB 15% RB 30% WR 25% TE 30%

If you've been waiting for a tight end, and after missing on the first four or five, why wouldn't you, this is a nice spot to pick one up. Tony Gonzalez is a name I have on my radar for Round 9 or Round 10 -- plenty of consistent production and in a good offense. Jacob Tamme is another who may or may not make it to here but is the type of tight end I'm looking for. Round 9 is also a good time to start thinking about handcuffing your primary running back before other owners start to look for decent running back low-risk grabs.

Players you can get here: Tony Gonzalez, Felix Jones, Jacquizz Rodgers, Santonio Holmes, Nate Washington
My selection at No. 107 standard: Tony Gonzalez
My selection at No. 107 PPR: Felix Jones

Round 10
Standard QB 20% RB 30% WR 30% TE 20%
PPR QB 20% RB 30% WR 30% TE 20%

Depth is the name of the game by Round 10. Look for a player rich in potential or a guy you'd feel comfortable using in place of a starter a pinch. As of this writing Tim Hightower is technically a starter for the Redskins and a receiver like Darrius Heyward-Bey could lead the Raiders in receiving stats for the second year in a row. If one of them does well, this is a tremendous pick. If not, then it's a waste of a 10th-round pick. Worse things could happen.

Players you can get here: Santonio Holmes, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Tim Hightower, Jay Cutler, Laurent Robinson
My selection at No. 110 standard: Tim Hightower
My selection at No. 110 PPR: Darrius Heyward-Bey

Round 11
Standard QB 20% RB 30% WR 30% TE 20%
PPR QB 20% RB 30% WR 30% TE 20%

It's not time to start looking for DSTs or kickers and if you're looking for starters now you're probably gonna get sick. So the plan remains to pad depth with the good talent that's left. It so happened when we did our mock for this that I landed two players who weren't hot names at the time but became hot because of teammates around them getting hurt. I do not expect Nate Washington or Kevin Smith lasting into Round 11, but they serve as proof that NFL players can go from late-round afterthoughts to relevant potential starters in the blink of an eye.

Players you can get here: Santana Moss, Daniel Thomas, Rashad Jennings, Coby Fleener, Joe Flacco
My selection at No. 131 standard: Nate Washington
My selection at No. 131 PPR: Kevin Smith

Round 12
Standard QB 10% RB 25% WR 20% TE 10% K 0% DST 35%
PPR QB 10% RB 25% WR 20% TE 10% K 0% DST 35%

Now might be the time to start thinking about a DST. If you really love how your roster looks after 11 picks, it's not horribly wrong to take one, especially if it's a consensus top DST like the Niners. If they're gone and there isn't a DST you're in love with, take a shot on a player to pad that depth one last time. Do it now because with two picks left and holes at DST and kicker, you're going to be limited with your choices.

Players you can get here: Rashad Jennings, Coby Fleener, Joe Flacco, Brandon Pettigrew
My selection at No. 134 standard: Coby Fleener
My selection at No. 134 PPR: Nate Washington

Round 13
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%

There's still a little bit of strategy you can work, even this late in the draft. Your typical second-to-last round will be littered with DSTs as teams scoff at the notion of taking a kicker before the final round. But if you're up to pick again in two picks and the remaining DSTs all look the same anyway, why not take a kicker ahead of the pack and settle for whatever's left at DST with your last pick? Granted, you'll probably still get a good kicker if you don't take one here, but getting a cinch like David Akers will only help your team's bottom line from week to week.

Players you can get here: David Akers, Stephen Gostkowski, Bills DST, Lions DST
My selection at No. 155 standard: David Akers
My selection at No. 155 PPR: David Akers

Round 14
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%

What to look for in a DST: A good schedule helps but it's really all about the talent. A great sleeper I like late is the Lions, who have a tremendous front seven and could come out with a big game in Week 1 against the Rams and play in a close battle against the Niners in Week 2. Whether you decide to play the matchups or stick with them after that is up to you, but the Lions can help you out to a quick start.

Players you can get here: Lions DST, Seahawks DST, Cowboys DST, Falcons DST
My selection at No. 158 standard: Lions DST
My selection at No. 158 PPR: Lions DST

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

Standard Point-per-reception
QB Drew Brees QB Tom Brady
RB DeMarco Murray RB DeMarco Murray
RB Roy Helu RB Roy Helu
WR Brandon Marshall WR Demaryius Thomas
WR Marques Colston WR Percy Harvin
FLEX Willis McGahee FLEX Kevin Smith
TE Tony Gonzalez TE Jason Witten
K David Akers K David Akers
DST Lions DST Lions
BENCH Anquan Boldin BENCH Anquan Boldin
BENCH Ronnie Hillman BENCH Felix Jones
BENCH Tim Hightower BENCH Darrius Heyward-Bey
BENCH Nate Washington BENCH DeAngelo Williams
BENCH Coby Fleener BENCH Nate Washington

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

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Player News
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Okoye, a former British Olympics discus thrower and rugby player, is feeling confident about his improvements and feels like his potential is worth a roster spot.

“It’s very different from the first time I came here. I’m feeling very good about things,” Okoye said Thursday while sitting at his locker. “I’m just happy I was given the opportunity to stay here so long, so I could catch up. I have a good opportunity to show what I can do.”

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(3:00 pm ET) NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith is growing impatient awaiting word from Roger Goodell on the request of the NFL commissioner to recuse himself as arbitrator of the appeal hearings ofPatriots quarterback Tom Brady.

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Smith is claiming that neither Goodell nor the Wells Report, which investigated the incident, could legitimately claim impartiality. He added that the NFLPA will "advance the volume" of the request if they don't hear from Goodell by next week. Part of the union's press release reads as follows:

Given a process that has contained procedural violations of our collective bargaining agreement, the Commissioner's role as a central witness in the appeal hearing and his evident partiality with respect to the Wells report, the Commissioner must designate a neutral party to serve as arbitrator in this matter. The players also believe that the Commissioner's history of inconsistently issuing discipline against our players makes him ill-suited to hear this appeal in a fair-minded manner.

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GM: Dolphins LT Branden Albert should be fine for Week 1
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"It's been a long rehab and he's really attacked it every day," Hickey told SiriusXM NFL Radio, adding that there was a "reasonable explanation" that he would be ready for Week 1. "We really like his progress. He's out there with his team working out. We're really encouraged by what we're seeing with him."

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Shanahan: Struggles of Robert Griffin III unrelated to injury
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Griffin sustained a serious knee injury in the 2012 playoffs. He then struggled in 2013 in an offense designed to transform him into a drop-back quarterback rather than one that took advantage of his mobility. He suffered another knee injury last year and did not perform well in the offense of new coach Jay Gruden.

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Richardson pointed out in another tweet that he "jus' wasn't at practice," but that he was still "putting in work tho'"


 
 
 
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