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
No. 8 | No. 9 | No. 10 | No. 11 | No. 12
We're at the No. 5 pick in our series breaking down each draft spot for a 12-team league, and this is likely the point where most standard and point-per-reception formats differ. This is the time for Calvin Johnson.
In the standard league, running back is still a priority, and you will have your choice of several candidates, including Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, C.J. Spiller and Trent Richardson. You can take Johnson in this format, but it might be too soon based on the depth of elite running backs vs. elite receivers.
But this is the spot in PPR leagues where Johnson should come off the board. He was the top non-quarterback scorer in PPR leagues in 2012, and that was with scoring just five touchdowns. He's better than a running back in this format, and you can argue he should be the No. 1 overall pick based on his upside.
You might be concerned that taking Johnson this early will leave you thin at running back, but we'll illustrate why that's not the case. And in the standard league, you can see that picking in this spot still allows you to build a quality roster.
This team, which is based off a two-man draft I conducted with my colleague, Dave Richard, features a lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, FLEX (RB/WR/TE), K, DST and five reserve spots. We'll go over all 14 picks for the No. 5 overall selection, and you should check out the other strategies for each pick to see how the draft came together.
Editor's note: The percentages listed are what position you should target based on that round for each pick.
|Round 1 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||100%||WR||0%||TE||0%|
|Round 1 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||50%||TE||0%|
As we explained at the top, taking Johnson at this spot makes a lot of sense. In this draft, the first four picks in order were Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Charles and Foster. You can argue taking Spiller over Johnson makes sense, and I'm OK with Spiller at No. 5. But Johnson is a better choice than Lynch, Ray Rice, Richardson or LeSean McCoy based on his upside. Just imagine if Johnson scores more than the five touchdowns he had last year -- keep in mind he was tackled an NFL-high eight times inside the 5-yard line and five times inside the 1-yard-line -- how good he can be. Lynch is our choice in the standard league because consecutive seasons of 1,400 total yards with 25 total touchdowns over that span is hard to overlook.
|Round 2 - Standard||QB||15%||RB||40%||WR||40%||TE||5%|
|Round 2 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||70%||WR||10%||TE||5%|
Taking Johnson in the first round is great, but now you're facing a dilemma of chasing a valuable commodity in a top-end running back. The good thing for you in PPR leagues is a running back like Alfred Morris or Stevan Ridley should be available, as well as potential standouts like Maurice Jones-Drew, Chris Johnson or Lamar Miller. In this case we'll go with Morris, who only caught 11 passes for 77 yards as a rookie, but still scored 13 touchdowns with 1,613 rushing yards. Don't always overlook running backs with poor hands when they still find the end zone on a consistent basis. In the standard league, we'll pair Lynch with DeMarco Murray. He's a risk based on his injury history, but he also presents plenty of upside if he can stay healthy.
Players you can get here (standard): Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, DeMarco Murray, Maurice Jones-Drew, Lamar Miller, Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall, Demaryius Thomas, Rob Gronkowski
Players you can get here (PPR): Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Alfred Morris, Chris Johnson, Stevan Ridley, Demaryius Thomas, Andre Johnson, Randall Cobb, Rob Gronkowski
My selection at No. 20 standard: DeMarco Murray
My selection at No. 20 PPR: Alfred Morris
|Round 3 - Standard||QB||15%||RB||30%||WR||50%||TE||5%|
|Round 3 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||55%||WR||25%||TE||5%|
We're following a pretty simple formula in the standard league of two standout running backs followed by a Top 10 receiver with our pick here of Andre Johnson. He might be getting older (32), but he just had 112 catches for 1,598 yards, which was the third time in the past four years he reached at least 1,200 receiving yards. He only scored four touchdowns, which is a problem, but he's a good No. 1 receiver in the third round. We'll grab another running back in the PPR league here with Darren Sproles. The return of coach Sean Payton should only enhance Sproles' dynamic value in this format. He has 161 catches for 1,377 yards and 14 touchdowns in two years in New Orleans.
Players you can get here (standard): Peyton Manning, David Wilson, Frank Gore, Darren McFadden, Andre Johnson, Roddy White, Randall Cobb, Rob Gronkowski
Players you can get here (PPR): Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Darren Sproles, Maurice Jones-Drew, Lamar Miller, Wes Welker, Victor Cruz, Marques Colston, Rob Gronkowski
My selection at No. 29 standard: Andre Johnson
My selection at No. 29 PPR: Darren Sproles
|Round 4 - Standard||QB||20%||RB||30%||WR||35%||TE||15%|
|Round 4 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||30%||WR||40%||TE||15%|
We've now surrounded Calvin Johnson with two Top 20 running backs, and we can either go with a quarterback, second receiver or add depth in the backfield here. Instead, we'll divert and get arguably the third-best PPR tight end in Jason Witten. All he did last season was catch 110 passes, and he has at least 94 catches and 1,000 receiving yards in three of the past four seasons. If only he scored more touchdowns -- he's had five or less in four of the past five years -- he would challenge Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski for the No. 1 tight end spot in any format. In the standard league, we'll take a Top 15 receiver in Dwayne Bowe, who should get a solid boost in production with the additions of coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith in Kansas City.
Players you can get here (standard): Matt Ryan, Eddie Lacy, Shane Vereen, Giovani Bernard, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker, Reggie Wayne, Jason Witten
Players you can get here (PPR): Cam Newton, Shane Vereen, Giovani Bernard, Montee Ball, Dwayne Bowe, Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Jason Witten
My selection at No. 44 standard: Dwayne Bowe
My selection at No. 44 PPR: Jason Witten
|Round 5 - Standard||QB||30%||RB||40%||WR||20%||TE||10%|
|Round 5 - PPR||QB||20%||RB||30%||WR||50%||TE||0%|
You might be surprised what happens this year if you wait on a quarterback. Most leagues will likely take quarterbacks earlier than we do, but if you get lucky and someone like Matt Ryan, Tom Brady or Matthew Stafford fall -- Average Draft Position shows Ryan and Stafford going in Round 4 -- then your team will look great. In the standard league, we get lucky with Brady in this spot, and the roster looks like this: Brady, Lynch and Murray, Andre Johnson and Bowe. That's called winning. In the PPR league, we'll get our second receiver in Eric Decker. He's going to lose value with the addition of Wes Welker, but don't expect this contract-year player, who was second in the NFL in receiving touchdowns with 13 last season, to disappear.
Players you can get here (standard): Tom Brady, Ahmad Bradshaw, Ryan Mathews, Chris Ivory, Pierre Garcon, Eric Decker, Hakeem Nicks, Tony Gonzalez
Players you can get here (PPR): Mathew Stafford, Eddie Lacy, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Mathews, Eric Decker, Cecil Shorts, Steve Smith
My selection at No. 53 standard: Tom Brady
My selection at No. 53 PPR: Eric Decker
|Round 6 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||40%||WR||40%||TE||20%|
|Round 6 - PPR||QB||30%||RB||40%||WR||30%||TE||0%|
Getting running back depth is important, especially if you want the chance to start a quality option at the flex position. In the standard league, we'll grab Andre Brown here. David Wilson is the running back to covet for the Giants, but Brown scored eight touchdowns last season and should have a bigger role in tandem with Wilson this season. In the PPR league, we'll take a high-upside player in Ronnie Hillman. Even if Montee Ball eventually knocks Hillman to No. 2 on the depth chart, he should still see plenty of action, especially on passing downs. He's a great third running back to go with Morris and Sproles.
Players you can get here (standard): Andre Brown, Daryl Richardson, Ronnie Hillman, T.Y. Hilton, Antonio Brown, Torrey Smith, Jason Witten
Players you can get here (PPR): Robert Griffin III, Ronnie Hillman, Daryl Richardson, Andre Brown, Mike Williams, Torrey Smith, Kenny Britt
My selection at No. 68 standard: Andre Brown
My selection at No. 68 PPR: Ronnie Hillman
|Round 7 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||30%||WR||40%||TE||30%|
|Round 7 - PPR||QB||20%||RB||40%||WR||40%||TE||0%|
We waited on quarterback in the PPR format and again got a player you should be excited about in Andrew Luck. He should take the next step as a sophomore with the addition of his college offensive coordinator in Pep Hamilton, who should help him improve on his 54 percent completion percentage from last year, as well as an upgraded offensive line. This is another example of why waiting on a quarterback pays off. You now have Luck, Morris, Sproles and Hillman, Calvin Johnson and Decker and Witten with your first seven picks. I'd enjoy playing out this league if I had this roster. In the standard league, we'll grab Vernon Davis in this spot to secure a Top 5 tight end. He should see a boost in production with Michael Crabtree (Achilles) out since now Colin Kaepernick can't avoid him like he did for the majority of the regular season in 2012.
Players you can get here (standard): Pierre Thomas, Bernard Pierce, Bryce Brown, Steve Johnson, Jordy Nelson, Mike Williams, Vernon Davis
Players you can get here (PPR): Andrew Luck, Bernard Pierce, Pierre Thomas, Danny Woodhead, T.Y. Hilton, Jordy Nelson, Mike Wallace
My selection at No. 77 standard: Vernon Davis
My selection at No. 77 PPR: Andrew Luck
|Round 8 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||50%||TE||0%|
|Round 8 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||40%||WR||60%||TE||0%|
Both teams now have their full starting lineups, so this is the point in the draft to take high-upside players. In the standard league, we'll go with DeSean Jackson. I wasn't a big Jackson fan when training camp started, but the injury to Jeremy Maclin (ACL) changes that. Jackson is now the only legitimate receiver on the roster, and we hope Chip Kelly's new offense will maximize his skills. He's a potential flex option as well as a great No. 3 receiver. In the PPR league, we'll take what could be a solid value pick in Vick Ballard. Heading into the second week of the preseason, Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) was still unable to practice, and if he's out at any point in the regular season then Ballard would regain his starting job. Look for Ballard's ADP to rise as we get closer to the end of preseason action.
Players you can get here (standard): Zac Stacy, Johnathan Franklin, Bilal Powell, DeSean Jackson, Mike Wallace, Josh Gordon
Players you can get here (PPR): Vick Ballard, Mark Ingram, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Lance Moore, Ryan Broyles, Vincent Brown
My selection at No. 92 standard: DeSean Jackson
My selection at No. 92 PPR: Vick Ballard
|Round 9 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||60%||WR||40%||TE||0%|
|Round 9 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||50%||TE||0%|
We're at the point in the draft where you're focusing on what makes the most sense for your team vs. talent on the board. And we're split here in both formats. In the PPR league, we already have four quality running backs but only two receivers. So even though it might be worth it to gamble on another rusher like Bilal Powell or Johnathan Franklin, we'll take a third receiver in Anquan Boldin, who ascends to the No. 1 spot on the depth chart in San Francisco with Crabtree out. In the standard league, we'd love a fourth running back here, but nothing is as appealing as Lance Moore, who has been an underrated Fantasy option for the past couple of years in New Orleans. If you can land someone like Moore in this spot consider it a steal.
Players you can get here (standard): Danny Woodhead, Fred Jackson, Isaiah Pead, Lance Moore, Greg Jennings, Michael Floyd
Players you can get here (PPR): Bilal Powell, Fred Jackson, Johnathan Franklin, Anquan Boldin, Josh Gordon, Greg Jennings
My selection at No. 101 standard: Lance Moore
My selection at No. 101 PPR: Anquan Boldin
|Round 10 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||70%||WR||30%||TE||0%|
|Round 10 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||40%||WR||60%||TE||0%|
Since we went tight end, receiver, receiver with our last three picks in the standard league, we missed out on adding running back depth. If that happens to you don't panic. Just start locking up your handcuff options to guarantee a starter in an emergency situation. We'll take the No. 2 running back behind Lynch with Christine Michael, but hopefully we'll never have to play him. In the PPR league, we'll go with an upside pick in Alshon Jeffery. The Bears offense should see an uptick in production thanks to new coach Marc Trestman, and Jeffery could be a sophomore sensation in 2013.
Players you can get here (standard): Christine Michael, Knile Davis, Stepfan Taylor, Emmanuel Sanders, Rueben Randle, Alshon Jeffery
Players you can get here (PPR): Joique Bell, Shonn Greene, LaMichael James, Alshon Jeffery, Kendall Wright, Rueben Randle
My selection at No. 116 standard: Christine Michael
My selection at No. 116 PPR: Alshon Jeffery
|Round 11 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||40%||TE||0%||DST||10%|
|Round 11 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||40%||TE||0%||DST||10%|
We're going to go with talent over need in the standard league again and take a shot on Vincent Brown, who should be the new No. 1 receiver for the Chargers with Danario Alexander (ACL) out and Malcom Floyd (knee) banged up. Brown, who missed 2012 with a broken ankle, isn't the healthiest of players either, but his talent and opportunity make him a quality sleeper this late. In the PPR league, our team has come together nicely, so we can open the door on a DST and grab the Seahawks. We can still add a handcuff running back or another skill player in the next two rounds, so being aggressive in this spot makes sense.
Players you can get here (standard): Kendall Hunter, Michael Bush, Mikel Leshoure, Vincent Brown, Aaron Dobson, Denarius Moore, 49ers DST
Players you can get here (PPR): Jacquizz Rodgers, Lance Dunbar, Kendall Hunter, Mohamed Sanu, Rod Streater, Malcom Floyd, Seahawks DST
My selection at No. 125 standard: Vincent Brown
My selection at No. 125 PPR: Seahawks DST
|Round 12 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||60%||WR||30%||TE||0%||DST||10%|
|Round 12 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||50%||TE||0%||DST||0%|
As we said in Round 11, if you miss on running backs you like for depth, go after your handcuff options. And since we drafted Murray, who has missed nine games in two seasons, it could be imperative to draft the No. 2 running back for the Cowboys. Rookie Joseph Randle was expected to handle the job, but Lance Dunbar has outplayed him heading into the second preseason game. We'll take Dunbar here and go with the Seahawks backfield, the Cowboys backfield and Brown as our running back corps. In the PPR league, we'll also take a handcuff option in Roy Helu, who could end up as a sleeper in his comeback from last year's toe injury. Morris should again be solid, but Helu could play on passing downs and turn out to be a surprise Fantasy option.
Players you can get here (standard): Lance Dunbar, Toby Gerhart, Chris Givens, Malcom Floyd, Sidney Rice, Bears DST
Players you can get here (PPR): Roy Helu, Toby Gerhart, Marcel Reece, Aaron Dobson, Brian Hartline
My selection at No. 140 standard: Lance Dunbar
My selection at No. 140 PPR: Roy Helu
|Round 13 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||0%||WR||0%||TE||0%||DST||80%||K||20%|
|Round 13 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||50%||TE||0%||DST||0%||K||0%|
The pick in the standard league is easy with DST and kicker the last two spots open. We'll go with the Patriots and hope they continue to force turnovers since they have at least 34 turnovers in each of the past three seasons. In the PPR league, we'll gamble on our fifth receiver here in Brian Hartline. He won't duplicate his performance from last year with 74 catches for 1,083 yards and one touchdown, but he should still be above 50 catches and 800 yards. If he scores three or four touchdowns then he's a decent fifth receiver in any format.
Players you can get here (standard): Patriots DST, Packers DST, Ravens DST
Players you can get here (PPR): Brian Hartline, Mikel Leshoure, Stephen Gostkowski
My selection at No. 149 standard: Patriots DST
My selection at No. 149 PPR: Brian Hartline
|Round 14 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||0%||WR||0%||TE||0%||DST||0%||K||100%|
|Round 14 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||0%||WR||0%||TE||0%||DST||0%||K||100%|
Some Fantasy owners might want to abolish using a kicker in their leagues, which is fine, but most formats still require one. It's up to you how to approach the position, but I like high-powered offenses, preferably indoors, or kickers on teams with a good defense. Justin Tucker applies for the latter, and hopefully he will have another successful campaign. Sebastian Janikowski is the other choice in the PPR league, and he should remain a high-end kicker since the Raiders will move the ball but probably have trouble finding the end zone.
Players you can get here (standard): Justin Tucker, Greg Zuerlein, Garrett Hartley
Players you can get here (PPR): Sebastian Janikowski, Greg Zuerlein, Garrett Hartley
My selection at No. 164 standard: Justin Tucker
My selection at No. 164 PPR: Sebastian Janikowski
|QB||Tom Brady||QB||Andrew Luck|
|RB||Marshawn Lynch||RB||Alfred Morris|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||RB||Darren Sproles|
|WR||Andre Johnson||WR||Calvin Johnson|
|WR||Dwayne Bowe||WR||Eric Decker|
|FLEX||Andre Brown||FLEX||Ronnie Hillman|
|TE||Vernon Davis||TE||Jason Witten|
|K||Justin Tucker||K||Sebastian Janikowski|
|BENCH||DeSean Jackson||BENCH||Vick Ballard|
|BENCH||Lance Moore||BENCH||Anquan Boldin|
|BENCH||Christine Michael||BENCH||Alshon Jeffery|
|BENCH||Vincent Brown||BENCH||Roy Helu|
|BENCH||Lance Dunbar||BENCH||Brian Hartline|