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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
Chargers OLB Melvin Ingram sheds 20 pounds
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(12:50 am ET) Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram is sporting a different body these days.

During the offseason, Ingram changed his eating habits and dropped 20 pounds — going from 266 to 246. Ingram stopped eating beef and pork, electing to consume chicken, fish, vegetables, fruit and rice. He's no longer eating breads, pastas or potatoes either. 

"Being at 260 or 265, 266, wasn't working, really," Ingram told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I felt quick but I kept getting injured. You've got to nitpick at your own body, your own self, your own game. ... I felt like playing lighter would be a better thing for me. The lighter you are, the less stress it is on your body, the less stress it is on your knees, your hips, your joints or your ankles, your toes — everything."

Ingram now only has a body fat of eight percent and underwent a new training program while away in Miami. Now, Ingram said he feels ready to show what he can do on the football field this season. 

"I feel it's going to be a whole different explosion, a whole different Melvin," Ingram said. "I feel like that 260-Melvin is gone."


Report: Tom Brady appeal won't be heard by Wednesday
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/25/2015) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's appeal won't be heard by Wednesday, the Associated Press reported, citing sources. 

Brady is appealing his four-game suspension as a result of the investigation into deflated footballs prior to the AFC Championship Game. 

The NFL collective bargaining agreement requires appeals to be heard within 10 days, a window that expires on Wednesday. As of Monday, no hearing had been scheduled. 

Appeals can be heard after the 10-day window, if the league and players union agree to extend the deadline, which is likely to occur in the Brady case. 


Falcons could be without Beasley, Reed when OTAs start
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/25/2015) The Falcons could be without two key components of their defense when OTAs start this week.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter, first-round pick Vic Beasley and free-agent signee Brooks Reed may not be present when voluntary practices kick off.

Beasley has yet to sign his rookie contract, which could keep him away from the team's facility. Reed is dealing with a groin injury that could keep off of the practice field.

Reed's absence is understandable due to to it being an injury. Beasley, however, is a different issue since there is little to negotiate due to the rookie wage scale. 

The remaining draft picks the Falcons selected have signed. 


Bears release troubled DT Ray McDonald after second arrest
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/25/2015) The Bears have announced that they have released troubled defensive tackle Ray McDonald, the Chicago Tribune has reported.

McDonald was arrested in California for domestic violence and child endangerment. It marked his second arrest in six months. He received the same fate in December for sexual assault and domestic violence before signing with the Bears in the offseason.

The 30-year-old McDonald has been a full-time starter in the NFL since 2008. He was an All-Pro in 2011.


Chargers S Eric Weddle not expected to attend OTAs
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/25/2015) Chargers safety Eric Weddle is not expected to attend Tuesday's start of offseason training activities as he and the team remain far apart on talks for a contract extension, per NFL.com. 

Weddle is in the final season of his deal, but has been extremely vocal about his desire to have a new contract in place before taking part in team activities. Weddle contributed to 114 tackles last season and has averaged 103 over his last seven years.

While attendance is voluntary, Weddle's absence could mark the start of a long stalemate between the parties. 


Broncos' Tevrin Brandon hit by car, suffers minor injuries
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/25/2015) Broncos cornerback Tevrin Brandon was hospitalized on Sunday after getting hit by the car while crossing the street, the team confirmed to the Denver Post.

Police believe that Brandon was struck by a Ford F-150 pickup in Belmar, New Jersey. The driver then fled the scene. 

Brandon suffered minor injuries and was relesaed from the hospital after a brief stay. He's expected to participate in Broncos' OTAs, which start on Wednesday. 


Report: Bears DT Ray McDonald arrested for domestic violence
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/25/2015) According to NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo, Bears defensive tackle Ray McDonald has been arrested for domestic violence and possible child endangerment in California. No other information has been made available.

McDonald, who was released by the 49ers last December after being arrested in the second of separate sexual assualt and domestic violence cases, signed with the Bears in the offseason and said he was planning to sue the accuser in one of his sexual assault charges. 


Report: Vikings' Adrian Peterson won't attend OTAs on Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is reportedly set to skip organized team activities on Tuesday, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Peterson is frustrated with management in Minnesota for not showing him support through his legal case for child abuse. Peterson has not participated in any offseason activities so far, but skipping Tuesday's workout will cost him $250,000 in bonuses if he does not attend 90 percent of OTAs and minicamps.

Peterson has three years, $44.25 million left on his contract with Minnesota.


Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu finally cast-free
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/24/2015) After a couple of injury-plagued seasons, Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu enters training camp almost completely healthy, without a brace on his knee or cast on his thumb, per NFL.com. 

The Cardinals will need a healthy Mathieu to offseason the loss of former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and cornerback Antonio Cromartie. In two seasons, Mathieu has 100 tackles and three interceptions but has been hampered by nagging injuries. 

"It just feels good to be free," he said. 


Giants' Bennett Jackson making transition to safety
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Giants second-year cornerback Bennett Jackson is spending the offseason transitioning to safety. 

"At the end of the day, I’m a DB,’" Jackson said, per the New York Post. "I think my strengths are cover skills, I got good speed and I got good ball skills. The thing it’s gonna take for me to get out there and make an impact is, I just got to learn the defense and really just communicate the calls fluently."

"It is all in front of him," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We think he can cover. He has done a good job of getting us lined up and then we will see how he plays."


 
 
 
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