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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
Titans receivers can thrive in YAC with Marcus Mariota's accuracy
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(7/3/2015) The Titans wide receiving corps could gain more yards after the catch this season because of rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota and his accurate throws, per ESPN.com.

The Titans were 24th in the league in yards after the catch last season, but with Mariota under center that can all change.

“If you have an accurate quarterback, it allows us to get more yards after that catch,” wide receiver Harry Douglas said. “And that’s one thing that makes a receiver dynamic -- first being able to catch the ball and then being able to do some things with it after you catch it. I feel like [to this point] Marcus has done everything he needs to do to get the ball to his receivers.”


Saints RB Khiry Robinson doesn't feel he's on outside looking in
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(7/3/2015) Saints running back Khiry Robinson might be the least known of his backfield counterparts, but he doesn't feel like the off man out, per ESPN.com.

Robinson knows the team is heavily invested in the likes of Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller, but he's still confident he can thrive in whatever role the Saints put him in.

“I’m the type of person, I’m gonna get what I get and do what I do with it. So whether it’s 20 carries or one carry, I’m gonna do the best of my ability every play,” Robinson said.

Robinson has shown flashes of success during his three years in the league. Injuries played a key role against him last season, which can ultimately put him as the third back on the depth chart. He will use the offseason to continue to improve and challenge his counterparts for playing time.

“I just gotta keep working,” Robinson. “It’s all love in the backfield. We all work together, try to help each other. So I think it’s a good thing we’ve got a full backfield again. So if anybody goes down, we’ve got another player right up there to do the same thing.”


Browns OL Michael Bowie itching to compete for starting spot
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/3/2015) Browns offensive lineman Michael Bowie is not required to report to training camp until the end of July. But never mind that - he's heading out after the last Independence Day firework explodes in the sky.

Bowie is itching to get started. He missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury after starting for Seattle on its Super Bowl title team in 2013. He is seeking to stay in tip-top shape in an attempt to land a starting spot on a Cleveland line that is the strength of the team.

"It's up to them to decide who is the best five," Bowie told the team website. "All I can do is take care of my business. Hopefully I can get a shot. That's what I'm working for."

Bowie participated fully in the offseason program, working mostly with the second team at right tackle. That will likely be the spot at which he competes for a starting job. Incumbent Mitchell Schwartz has not performed particularly well there and Mike Pettine has vowed there will be competition all over the field in camp.


Redskins OLB Ryan Kerrigan nearly recovered from knee surgery
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/3/2015) Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan appears to be on target to join the team for training camp after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery that prevented him from participating in earlier offseason activities.

Kerrigan, who registered a career-high 13 1/2 sacks a year ago, had the operation to alleviate pain in the area.

"My leg feels really good and I'm glad I got the surgery - not just for football but it makes my everyday life feel better so I'm glad I got it done," he told CSN Washington. "Now it's just a matter of getting stronger and getting into shape."

Kerrigan added that he's been running and now only needs to regain strength to insure his place at training camp.


Texans waive DT Brandon Ivory
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) The Texans waived rookie defensive tackle Brandon Ivory on Thursday, according to ESPN.com

Ivory was arrested on first degree burglary charges in Tuscaloosa, Ala. just one day ago. Ivory's agent Jeff Guerriero said Ivory is not guilty of the charge. 

"I spoke to Brandon he is not guilty and his name will be cleared of all charges," Guerriero said. 


Chargers TE Antonio Gates suspended 4 games for PED use
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drugs policy, the team announced. 

It's unknown at this time what drug Gates tested positive for. Gates, in a statement, said he was unaware that he took a banned substance

"In my 12 years in the NFL, I have taken tremendous pride in upholding the integrity of the NFL shield and all that it entails," Gates said. "I have taken extreme care of my body with a holistic approach and I have never knowingly ingested a substance that was banned by the NFL. In an effort to recover from this past season, I used supplements and holistic medicines, and unfortunately, I have now learned that those substances always present a risk because they may contain banned substances even if the ingredient list doesn’t reflect them.

"As an NFL veteran and team leader, I should have done my due diligence to ensure that what I was taking for recovery was within the NFL guidelines. I understand that I am responsible for what is in my body and I have always believed that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to these issues. I take full responsibility for my actions. I’d like to express my sincere apologies to the Chargers, my teammates, coaches, fans and the league who have always supported me and expected and gotten nothing but the highest level of integrity from me."

With Gates out for four games, the Chargers will turn to Ladarius Green as the team's top tight end, though it was expected for Green to continue getting more looks in the passing game. Green is entering the final season of his rookie contract. 

The Chargers expressed disappointment in Gates for his suspension but plans to stick with the longtime veteran through the suspension. 

"We are tremendously disappointed for our team and our fans as well as Antonio, but no more disappointed than Antonio is with himself," the Chargers stated. "Antonio is a member of the Chargers' family and we will continue to support him 100-percent. We have the utmost confidence he will stay in excellent shape for the season and be ready to go when he returns in Week 5. While it's unfortunate to not have him to start the season, we have complete confidence our tight end group will continue to play at a high level."  


Packers' Datone Jones out 1 game for substance-abuse violation
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Packers defensive lineman Datone Jones will be suspended for one game for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, according to NFL.com. 

Jones will miss Green Bay's season-opener against the Bears. In 2014, Jones totaled 22 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks in 13 games played. 


Cowboys LB Rolando McClain suspended four games for 2015
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) The Cowboys announced that linebacker Rolando McClain has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season due to violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. 

McClain hasn't been able to participate much in offseason workouts due to going under offseason knee surgery. McClain will be eligible to practice in training camp and is expected to be healthy by then. 

"I apologize to my family, the Cowboys organization, my teammates and Cowboys fans for my mistake. I will not break the rules of my profession in the future, and I regret my error," McClain said in a statement, via CSN Bay Area. "I look forward to returning to the field on week 5, when I hope to help my team beat the Patriots.

In 2014, McClain, who had previously retired twice before being traded from the Ravens to the Cowboys, totaled 81 tackles and a sack in 13 games played.


Jets DL Sheldon Richardson suspended four games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was suspended four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, the NFL announced Thursday.

“I apologize for letting down my family, teammates, this organization and the fans," Richardson said in a statement via the Jets, per Fox Sports. "However, words aren't enough. This is something that can only be addressed by how I handle myself from this point on. I don't want this to take away from what the team is trying to accomplish. While I won't be there at the start of the regular season, I will do whatever I can to support my teammates until I'm able to return to the field.”

Richardson, who was a 2013 first-round pick, is entering his third season in the NFL. He was the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2014.

He has totaled 84 tackles and 11 1/2 sacks in 32 career games. He also has one safety.


Texans DT Brandon Ivory arrested on burglary charge
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7/1/2015) Texans defensive tackle Brandon Ivory was arrested Wednesday morning in Alabama and charged with first-degree burglary, according to a Tuscaloosa Police Department report obtained by SportingNews.com.

Ivory and another man were allegedly involved in a home burglary when the two entered the residence by kicking open the back door and then demanding money from the residents. The two stole money and two Ipads from the residence. Ivory and the other suspect were arrested at their apartment shortly after the incident with the stolen money and property.


 
 
 
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