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2013 Draft Prep: Pick-by-pick for No. 4 overall

Senior Fantasy Writer
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No. 1 overall | No. 2 | No. 3 | No. 4 | No. 5 | No. 6 | No. 7
No. 8 | No. 9 | No. 10 | No. 11 | No. 12

Don't feel blue about picking fourth overall -- it's actually a little bit better than picking third or even second overall. After Adrian Peterson, the elite running backs at the top of the rankings aren't too far off.

Arian Foster could slip to you as might Doug Martin. Jamaal Charles, C.J. Spiller and Trent Richardson are also in the mix, as is Calvin Johnson in PPR formats. Awesome players. Can't argue with that.

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Moreover, you'll get to pick your second player before the three stiffs who picked before you get a chance. It improves your odds of obtaining two quality running backs or a Top-5 running back and a Top-5 receiver. Jimmy Graham could also be yours in standard leagues. And also by picking fourth, you won't have to wait long before picking a third player again in Round 3.

A general point worth making is that because you have three early picks and running backs go really fast, you might want to really prepare yourself to take two backs with your first three selections. Unless you're in a league with quilting grandmothers and full-fledged lunkheads, the running back talent pool will shrivel into a group of overhyped and underperforming suspects by the time you're up to pick late in Round 4. That's the optimal time to take a quality receiver or a quarterback that slips, not your second running back.

One last bit of advice: Pay attention to the owners in the first, second and third draft slots. Once the draft gets going you might see that they have players at positions you need. When that happens, you can wait until your subsequent pick to go for the position of need. Example: The first three owners all have quarterbacks and you don't. It's Round 6. Don't rush to take one since it's highly unlikely they'll take one with their two picks after you take a non-passer in Round 6. Then you land the quarterback you want in Round 7. Maximize your draft results just by keeping tabs on those owners' picks.

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

No. 4 overall -- Round 1
Round 1 - Standard QB 0% RB 100% WR 0% TE 0%
Round 1 - PPR QB 0% RB 95% WR 5% TE 0%

My pick here is always a running back, never anything else unless I can start two quarterbacks (then I'd take a quarterback). Quarterbacks are deep this year, I promise you'll get one you love later on. Resist the urge! Calvin Johnson's a beast and we all love him but there are plenty of other really good receivers that will be available in Rounds 2 and 3, so don't reach for him here -- especially at the cost of a luxury running back. Aim for a back with a full-time workload including goal-line time. There will be plenty to pick from. I like Trent Richardson here but Jamaal Charles, C.J. Spiller, Doug Martin, Marshawn Lynch and even Arian Foster come into play here. Don't pass on Foster if he makes it to four, assuming he eventually gets into practice before the season starts. By taking him you must also commit to taking his backup, Ben Tate, in Round 7. He's the only running back you'll take at No. 4 overall that requires a handcuff before Round 10.

Players you can get here (standard): Arian Foster, Doug Martin, Jamaal Charles, Marshawn Lynch, Trent Richardson, C.J. Spiller
Players you can get here (PPR): Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, Calvin Johnson, Ray Rice
My selection at No. 4 standard: Doug Martin
My selection at No. 4 PPR: Arian Foster

No. 4 overall -- Round 2
Round 2 - Standard QB 0% RB 50% WR 40% TE 10%
Round 2 - PPR QB 0% RB 45% WR 45% TE 10%

Be open to anything here but lean toward a running back. This is for your own sanity as the draft unfolds; not being deep at running back could open you up to lineup headaches. No one likes those. But if the decision is a top-flight receiver and a good-but-not-great running back, I'd take the receiver, especially in PPR leagues. That includes Jimmy Graham, by the way. The last Round 2-type back is Maurice Jones-Drew, and I'm not even sure he's worth it as I write this. A good preseason will put him in there. Point is, just don't force it here. That includes quarterback, where if none are taken at this point it's still not a lock to take one here. Round 3 is just around the corner, after all.

Players you can get here (standard): Reggie Bush, DeMarco Murray, Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall, Demaryius Thomas, Larry Fitzgerald
Players you can get here (PPR): Chris Johnson, Alfred Morris, Demaryius Thomas, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson
My selection at No. 21 standard: Julio Jones
My selection at No. 21 PPR: Chris Johnson

No. 4 overall -- Round 3
Round 3 - Standard QB 15% RB 40% WR 35% TE 10%
Round 3 - PPR QB 0% RB 50% WR 45% TE 5%

The top priority is to make sure you have two running backs by now but it's really, really hard to pass up Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers if they make it this far in a standard league (way easier to pass on them in a PPR). Elite players normally don't last into the 30s and here are two that could be there. If you love your first two picks, even if they're not both running backs, splurge on the quarterback. It's just too good of a value versus running backs like Frank Gore, Le'Veon Bell and Darren McFadden. Just be prepared to prioritize running backs later. Otherwise, if you have two running backs already you should find a receiver to your liking. If you have a rusher and a pass catcher and those quarterbacks are gone then there's either a really, really great receiver or a good-enough running back sitting there for you to nab.

Players you can get here (standard): Lamar Miller, Roddy White, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Andre Johnson, Frank Gore
Players you can get here (PPR): Stevan Ridley, Roddy White, DeMarco Murray, Vincent Jackson, Darren Sproles
My selection at No. 28 standard: Aaron Rodgers
My selection at No. 28 PPR: Vincent Jackson

No. 4 overall -- Round 4
Round 4 - Standard QB 15% RB 40% WR 35% TE 10%
Round 4 - PPR QB 0% RB 50% WR 45% TE 5%

There's still a lot of very nice talent left at this spot, just not quite as rich at running back. If a good value at quarterback is available and you need one, go for it. Otherwise fill up a starting spot with either a running back you have a feeling about or a receiver. I happen to think you'll be most pleased with the receivers left here, all the more reason to look at running backs and/or an elite non-rusher with your first three picks. Rob Gronkowski would be a smart choice here so long as it's not clear he'll miss more than two games to start the season.

Players you can get here (standard): Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe, Montee Ball, Wes Welker, Matt Ryan
Players you can get here (PPR): Peyton Manning, Dwayne Bowe, Reggie Wayne, Jason Witten, Shane Vereen
My selection at No. 45 standard: Wes Welker
My selection at No. 45 PPR: Dwayne Bowe

No. 4 overall -- Round 5
Round 5 - Standard QB 25% RB 35% WR 35% TE 5%
Round 5 - PPR QB 30% RB 30% WR 25% TE 15%

This is a great time to go quarterback shopping. The likes of Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford should be available and they'd be bargains here. The receiver talent should also be fairly stocked. The running backs remain slim and any selection here -- especially if you're pinning No. 2 RB duties on him -- should be followed up with another option in the next round. You can't trust guys like Rashard Mendenhall, who specifically might be the best heavy-carry back left to take. Ultimately use the pick to bolster the roster.

Players you can get here (standard): Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Giovani Bernard, Pierre Garcon, Rashard Mendenhall
Players you can get here (PPR): Montee Ball, Matt Ryan, Eric Decker, Cecil Shorts, Steve Smith
My selection at No. 52 standard: Rashard Mendenhall
My selection at No. 52 PPR: Matt Ryan

No. 4 overall -- Round 6
Round 6 - Standard QB 25% RB 35% WR 35% TE 5%
Round 6 - PPR QB 30% RB 30% WR 25% TE 15%

If you don't love your running backs then this pick is a good time to bolster the depth and quality of the position before things start to get ugly. This is the position I particularly like to go in, assuming there isn't a stud receiver I want to lock up. I had a close call in one draft between T.Y. Hilton and Daryl Richardson -- while I like Richardson, I really think Hilton is on the cusp of a huge year. I went with the receiver, hoping I'd find some running backs in Round 7 and 8. Your tolerance for mediocre running backs may not allow you to make such a decision. Also, if you've gone five picks without a quarterback, now's a good time to find one (or in Round 7 if the owners slotted at first, second and third overall already have passers).

Players you can get here (standard): T.Y. Hilton, Daryl Richardson, Antonio Brown, Andre Brown, Tony Gonzalez, Tony Romo
Players you can get here (PPR): Ronnie Hillman, Daryl Richardson, Robert Griffin III, Andre Brown
My selection at No. 69 standard: T.Y. Hilton
My selection at No. 69 PPR: Daryl Richardson

No. 4 overall -- Round 7
Round 7 - Standard QB 20% RB 30% WR 35% TE 15%
Round 7 - PPR QB 20% RB 30% WR 35% TE 15%

It feels like this is "Last Chance Saloon" to get a capable running back with 1,000-yard potential -- everyone else past this point carries even more risk. That's not the same at receiver, where there's still 1,000-yard candidates even at this stage of the game. I like the idea of targeting a receiver in Round 7. The only quarterbacks that should be left are Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Fantasy backups (Andrew Luck might make it this far in a PPR). If you happen to land Arian Foster in Round 1, this is the time to back him up with Ben Tate.

Players you can get here (standard): Torrey Smith, Ronnie Hillman, Tavon Austin, DeAngelo Williams, Vernon Davis, Colin Kaepernick
Players you can get here (PPR): Mike Williams, Torrey Smith, Kenny Britt, Andrew Luck, Bernard Pierce
My selection at No. 76 standard: DeAngelo Williams
My selection at No. 76 PPR: Kenny Britt

No. 4 overall -- Round 8
Round 8 - Standard QB 10% RB 25% WR 40% TE 25%
Round 8 - PPR QB 10% RB 25% WR 40% TE 25%

This is pretty much the last best round to fill up holes in your lineup, though next round qualifies too in case there's a sleeper you don't want to let get away. If you don't have a quarterback now is the time to get two with back-to-back picks. If there's a running back with some upside that makes his way to you, don't be shy. Take him. This round and the next round will have some appealing receivers with high upside, so plan for that. Finally, the tight ends should start going here as well -- Jared Cook is one I like a lot.

Players you can get here (standard): DeSean Jackson, Jared Cook, Mike Wallace, Zac Stacy
Players you can get here (PPR): Michael Floyd, Vick Ballard, Jared Cook, Lance Moore, Ryan Broyles
My selection at No. 93 standard: Jared Cook
My selection at No. 93 PPR: Jared Cook

No. 4 overall -- Round 9
Round 9 - Standard QB 10% RB 25% WR 40% TE 25%
Round 9 - PPR QB 10% RB 25% WR 40% TE 25%

I think Round 9 is best designated as a sleeper round, especially in a PPR format. There's a plethora of wide receivers that have immense potential that will likely be available. Receivers like Golden Tate, Michael Floyd, Ryan Broyles and DeAndre Hopkins will get swiped here. This is your shot at a receiver facing plenty of playing time and potential for big numbers.

Players you can get here (standard): DeSean Jackson, Jared Cook, Mike Wallace, Zac Stacy
Players you can get here (PPR): Michael Floyd, Vick Ballard, Jared Cook, Lance Moore, Ryan Broyles
My selection at No. 100 standard: Jonathan Stewart
My selection at No. 100 PPR: Zac Stacy

No. 4 overall -- Round 10
Round 10 - Standard QB 10% RB 40% WR 40% TE 10%
Round 10 - PPR QB 10% RB 40% WR 35% TE 15%

Keep the pressure on your opponents by drafting players with a lot of potential, even if their immediate future doesn't look so good. Young running backs qualify here -- guys like Christine Michael and Joique Bell qualify. If they don't work out, so what? Cut 'em. All you lose is a late pick. Backup quarterbacks might also be on the menu as are younger receivers. Just don't waste the pick on a DST -- too soon for that.

Players you can get here (standard): Andy Dalton, Christine Michael, Emmanuel Sanders, Greg Olsen, Joique Bell
Players you can get here (PPR): Antonio Gates, Alshon Jeffery, Kendall Wright, Jermichael Finley
My selection at No. 117 standard: Emmanuel Sanders
My selection at No. 117 PPR: Kendall Wright

No. 4 overall -- Round 11
Round 11 - Standard QB 10% RB 35% WR 35% TE 20%
Round 11 - PPR QB 10% RB 35% WR 35% TE 20%

With four picks to go the focus remains on drafting high-upside players with low-risk picks. This also means accounting for two spots for a kicker and DST, so make sure you know what direction you want to go in. One sleeper running back to check out is Stepfan Taylor of the Cardinals -- he might be the only healthy back they have once the season gets going. I like him as the handcuff for Rashard Mendenhall, if not a potential Flex sleeper. This pick is the perfect place to take him or any other late-round sleeper (Tyler Eifert is one of my favorites).

Players you can get here (standard and PPR): Martellus Bennett, Stepfan Taylor, Knile Davis, Vincent Brown
My selection at No. 124 standard: Stepfan Taylor
My selection at No. 124 PPR: Stepfan Taylor

No. 4 overall -- Round 12
Round 12 - Standard QB 10% RB 30% WR 35% TE 10% K 0% DST 15%
Round 12 - PPR QB 10% RB 30% WR 35% TE 10% K 0% DST 15%

There's no shame with taking a DST with your third-to-last choice provided it's one of the best. That being said, some owners might have started taking defenses with their late 11th-round picks, leaving you with good options but none necessarily worth drafting now. There are still some good low-end sleeper receivers left, guys with 800-yard, five-touchdown potential. If you've already taken a lot of receivers (say, five) then maybe go for a handcuff running back. Dion Lewis, Knile Davis and Toby Gerhart are options, albeit ones that might frost the owners of the starters in front of them. Too bad for them.

Players you can get here (standard and PPR): Malcom Floyd, Chris Givens, Bears DST, Broncos DST, Aaron Dobson
My selection at No. 141 standard: Chris Givens
My selection at No. 141 PPR: Aaron Dobson

No. 4 overall -- Round 13
Round 13 - Standard QB 10% RB 20% WR 15% TE 10% K 0% DST 45%
Round 13 - PPR QB 10% RB 20% WR 15% TE 10% K 0% DST 45%

The rule of thumb is to take a DST before a kicker unless you pick in the 10th or 11th slots. That's not you. If you get a kicker now then pretty much everyone left in the draft will get a DST before you do. Now, if you're into the Buccaneers, Rams or Dolphins DSTs as sleepers then be my guest and take a kicker now knowing you'll get your favorite choice later. But I'd rather spend the pick on a defense I can lean on for much of the year.

Players you can get here (standard and PPR): Bears DST, Broncos DST, Patriots DST, Denard Robinson, Matt Schaub
My selection at No. 148 standard: Bears DST
My selection at No. 148 PPR: Packers DST

No. 4 overall -- Round 14
Round 14 - Standard QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% K 100% DST 0%
Round 14 - PPR QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% K 100% DST 0%

I'm always a big fan of picking a kicker that plays with a good offense -- but not a great offense. Remember when the Colts' offense was clicking under Peyton Manning? Kicker Adam Vinatieri wasn't an ideal guy because he kicked more extra points than field goals. The offense kept scoring touchdowns. That doesn't necessarily make Matt Prater a bad kicker this year but it might be better to look at a kicker on a team with a good but not great quarterback surrounded by a solid offense (or a very good quarterback surrounded by a pile of garbage).

Players you can get here (standard and PPR): A kicker
My selection at No. 146 standard: Greg Zuerlein
My selection at No. 146 PPR: Greg Zuerlein

No. 4 overall -- Final Rosters
Standard PPR
QB Aaron Rodgers QB Matt Ryan
RB Doug Martin RB Arian Foster
RB Rashard Mendenhall RB Chris Johnson
WR Julio Jones WR Vincent Jackson
WR Wes Welker WR Dwayne Bowe
FLEX T.Y. Hilton FLEX Daryl Richardson
TE Jared Cook TE Jared Cook
K Greg Zuerlein K Greg Zuerlein
DST Broncos DST Packers
BENCH DeAngelo Williams BENCH Kenny Britt
BENCH Jonathan Stewart BENCH Zac Stacy
BENCH Emmanuel Sanders BENCH Kendall Wright
BENCH Stepfan Taylor BENCH Stepfan Taylor
BENCH Chris Givens BENCH Aaron Dobson

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Player News
Report: Vikings, Adrian Peterson can communicate with each other
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:32 pm ET) Now that Adrian Peterson has been moved back to the Commissioner's Exempt list, the Vikings can reach out and communicate with him, according to a report from Pro Football Talk

Peterson had been suspended by the NFL until April 15 and upheld by an arbitrator. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Doty overturned the arbitrator's decision, sending the case back down to go through the CBA. The NFL has removed the suspension, for now, while moving Peterson back to the Commissioner's Exempt list. 

The NFL announced in a statement that it is appealing Doty's ruling

Since the Vikings want Peterson to remain with them, they can now reach out and hold talks directly. While suspended by the NFL, the Vikings were unable to communicate with him. This is an interesting development because the Vikings have publicly stated they want him to stay in Minnesota. 

However, at least one report as indicated Peterson wants to leave and continue his NFL career elsewhere


Falcons release running back Steven Jackson
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:27 pm ET) The Falcons released running back Steven Jackson on Thursday, the team announced.

Jackson was owed $3.75 million in 2015, but with running back Devonta Freeman on the roster, it appears Jackson is expendable. In 2014, Jackson rushed for 707 yards and six touchdowns on 190 carries.


Redskins sign Ricky Jean Francois to three-year contract
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(6:58 pm ET) The Redskins signed defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois to a three-year deal Thursday, reports the NFL Network.

The deal is believed to be worth $9 million with $4 million guaranteed. With incentives, the deal can reach $11.25 million.

Jean Francois was cut by the Colts on Monday. In 2014, Jean Francois totaled 28 tackles and three sacks.


Report: Browns believe they still have a shot at Josh McCown
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6:44 pm ET) The Browns remain confident that they can snag quarterback Josh McCown from the free agent ranks, according to a report from ESPN.com

McCown visited the Browns this week and has also received interest from the the Jets, Bills and Bears. The Browns are in the market for a starting-caliber quarterback with Brian Hoyer possibly leaving in free agency and with Johnny Manziel's status up in the air with the off-field issues hes working through. 

McCown threw 13 touchdowns to just one interception with the Bears in 2013, doing this while filling in for an injured Jay Cutler. His performance earned him a contract with the Buccaneers, though injuries and poor play resulted in a season that saw him throw 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. 

McCown was released by the Buccaneers earlier this offseason. 


Report: Cardinals sign cornerback Damond Smith
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(6:12 pm ET) The Cardinals signed cornerback Damond Smith on Thursday, reports The Baltimore Sun.

Smith did not play during the 2014 season after being cut by the Chiefs. He has never played in an NFL game.


Chargers officially cut OL Jeromey Clary from roster
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:52 pm ET) Chargers offensive lineman Jeromey Clary announced his retirement in January. However, the Chargers finally removed him from the offseason roster with a failed physical designation, according to the NFL transaction wire. 

Clary did not play during the 2014 season due to two hip surgeries. 

Clary spent all nine of his NFL years with San Diego. 


Chiefs release veteran tight end Anthony Fasano
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:46 pm ET) The Chiefs announced Thursday that they have released tight end Anthony Fasano.

Fasano has been with Kansas City for the past two seasons after stints with the Dolphins (2008-12) and the Cowboys (2006-07). The Cowboys selected Fasano in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft. 

In 2014, Fasano caught 25 passes for 226 yards and four touchdowns. 


NFL plans to appeal ruling on Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:25 pm ET) The NFL will appeal the Thursday ruling that reversed an arbitrator's decision on Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's suspension until April 15. 

U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled for the NFL to vacate the upheld suspension via arbitration, with the case going back to arbitrator Harold Henderson. Peterson pleaded no contest to reckless assault on his son, which originated with child abuse allegations. 

With the ruling, Peterson will revert back to the Commissioner's Exempt list.

The NFL released a statement on its desire to appeal the ruling. 

"Judge Doty's order did not contain any determinations concerning the fairness of the appeals process under the CBA, including the commissioner's longstanding authority to appoint a designee to act as hearin officer," the statement reads. "Even so, we believe strongly that Judge Doty's order is incorrect and fundamentally at odds with well-established legal precedent governing the district court's role in reviewing arbitration decisions. As a result, we have filed a notice of appeal to have the ruling reviewed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the interim, Adrian Peterson will be returned to the Commissioner Exempt List pending further proceedings by appeals officer Harold Henderson or a determination by the Eighth Circuit Court."

         


NFL on Panthers' Greg Hardy: He hasn't been disciplined
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:11 pm ET) Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy reportedly is ready to immediately file for reinstatement from the Commissioner's Exempt list. However, the NFL's stance at this time is that there is nothing for Hardy to be reinstated from.

“He hasn’t been disciplined," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Charlotte Observer. "There is nothing for him to seek reinstatement from at this point."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell placed Hardy on the Commissioner's Exempt list early this season. Hardy was accused of assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, and was found guilty by a judge last summer. However, upon appeal to a jury, the case was dismissed after Holder failed to show up to court and shut off communication with the prosecution. 

Hardy wants to be reinstated to the 53-man roster now that a federal judge ruled in favor of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in his case against the NFL. Judge David Doty ruled that an NFL arbitrator wrongly upheld the league's suspension against him and referred his case back to the collective bargaining agreement. 


Report: Lions to sign linebacker Phillip Hunt
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:35 pm ET) The Lions are on the verge of signing linebacker Phillip Hunt, reports ESPN.

Hunt spent three seasons with the Eagles and totaled 16 tackles. He did not play in the NFL during the 2014 season.


 
 
 
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