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
So you find out before the draft that you are picking at No. 7 overall. Your first thought is to sulk. You know you're not getting a Top 5 running back, and your chances of drafting Calvin Johnson in a point-per-reception league are slim.
Have no fear.
There are more than five good running backs this season in the first round, and even though you likely won't get Johnson, you should get a standout player to start your team. Those owners you envy with the first five picks will have the same feeling toward you when the player they want in the second round is gone -- and on your team.
What we're doing here is a 12-part series looking at each pick in the first round of a standard and PPR draft. This team at No. 7, 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, and you should check out the other strategies for each pick to see how the draft unfolded.
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||90%||WR||10%||TE||0%|
|Round 1 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||20%||TE||30%|
When we did this two-man draft, I originally had C.J. Spiller ranked No. 6 overall behind Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, Arian Foster and Marshawn Lynch, in that order. I've since moved Spiller to No. 3 overall, and before the season starts he could be No. 2. I love his potential as the lead back for the Bills. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry last season and 10.7 yards per catch on just 250 total touches. With 300-plus touches he could get 2,000 total yards and double digits in touchdowns. He's our first choice in the standard league. In the PPR format, with Johnson going at No. 5 overall, we'll take LeSean McCoy. He's going to be the focal point of Chip Kelly's new offense in Philadelphia.
Players you can get here (standard and PPR): LeSean McCoy, Trent Richardson, C.J. Spiller, Jimmy Graham, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall
My selection at No. 7 standard: C.J. Spiller
My selection at No. 7 PPR: LeSean McCoy
|Round 2 - Standard||QB||15%||RB||40%||WR||40%||TE||5%|
|Round 2 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||30%||WR||50%||TE||5%|
When you get into Round 2 at this spot you're going to have your choice of some quality players. The decision you have to make is what you want to do. In a standard league I'd like to come away with two Top 15 running backs with two of my first three picks, and Reggie Bush is the best player on the board. He should have a career season with the Lions if he's able to run like he did the past two years in Miami, and now he has the chance to be used as a receiver like he was in New Orleans. In the PPR league, I love getting a Top 5 receiver, especially one who dominates targets. Brandon Marshall is an easy choice here.
Players you can get here (standard): Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Reggie Bush, DeMarco Murray, Maurice Jones-Drew, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall, Rob Gronkowski
Players you can get here (PPR): Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Alfred Morris, Chris Johnson, Stevan Ridley, Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, Demaryius Thomas, Rob Gronkowski
My selection at No. 18 standard: Reggie Bush
My selection at No. 18 PPR: Brandon Marshall
|Round 3 - Standard||QB||15%||RB||30%||WR||50%||TE||5%|
|Round 3 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||40%||WR||40%||TE||5%|
Since we went with a running back and receiver in the PPR league we should focus on getting a second running back if possible. You should still find quality receivers available for you in Round 4 and even 5, but the running back depth is going to start to get ugly pretty quick. If someone like Lamar Miller or David Wilson is here then don't hesitate to pull the trigger, and we'll go with Miller since he has slightly more upside than Wilson this season. In the standard league, having already locked up two great running backs, we'll take our first receiver with a Top 10 option in Roddy White. He's a forgotten man to a certain degree because of Julio Jones, but White is still posting great stats year over year.
Players you can get here (standard): Peyton Manning, David Wilson, Darren McFadden, Le'Veon Bell, Roddy White, Randall Cobb, Vincent Jackson, Rob Gronkowski
Players you can get here (PPR): Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Miller, David Wilson, Le'Veon Bell, Wes Welker, Victor Cruz, Marques Colston, Rob Gronkowski
My selection at No. 31 standard: Roddy White
My selection at No. 31 PPR: Lamar Miller
|Round 4 - Standard||QB||20%||RB||30%||WR||35%||TE||15%|
|Round 4 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||30%||WR||40%||TE||15%|
I'm never going to pass on running backs I like, especially early when the talent pool is still good, so even though we don't have a quarterback, second receiver or tight end, we'll still draft our third rusher in the standard league in Montee Ball. He's not the starter entering the second preseason game, but he should emerge as the best Fantasy running back in Denver ahead of Ronnie Hillman based on his touchdown potential. In the PPR league, this is a great spot to gamble on Rob Gronkowski. Yes, he's dealing with the back injury and might not be ready for Week 1. But what if he is? Then this pick could be the steal of the draft. And there is enough depth at tight end to cover you early in the season should Gronkowski miss any time.
Players you can get here (standard): Matt Ryan, Montee Ball, Eddie Lacy, Shane Vereen, Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker, Tony Gonzalez
Players you can get here (PPR): Peyton Manning, Shane Vereen, Giovani Bernard, Montee Ball, Dwayne Bowe, Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Rob Gronkowski
My selection at No. 42 standard: Montee Ball
My selection at No. 42 PPR: Rob Gronkowski
|Round 5 - Standard||QB||30%||RB||20%||WR||40%||TE||10%|
|Round 5 - PPR||QB||20%||RB||30%||WR||50%||TE||0%|
Since we started the PPR team with two running backs, one receiver and a tight end, we should look at either receiver or quarterback to not get stuck at those spots. The best guy on my draft board here is Steve Smith, who is a low-end starting option in this format. He should again have at least 70 catches, 1,100 yards and four touchdowns like he did the past two seasons with Cam Newton, and if he exceeds those stats this team has the chance to dominate. In the standard league, we'll also take a receiver in Pierre Garcon, who is underrated. He was injured last season, which hurt his overall production, but he had double digits in Fantasy points in four of the eight games where he was close to 100 percent and should improve on that production this year.
Players you can get here (standard): Robert Griffin III, Ryan Mathews, Chris Ivory, Andre Brown, Pierre Garcon, Eric Decker, Hakeem Nicks, Tony Gonzalez
Players you can get here (PPR): Matthew Stafford, Eddie Lacy, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Mathews, Steve Smith, Tavon Austin, Steve Johnson
My selection at No. 55 standard: Pierre Garcon
My selection at No. 55 PPR: Steve Smith
|Round 6 - Standard||QB||30%||RB||25%||WR||25%||TE||20%|
|Round 6 - PPR||QB||30%||RB||40%||WR||30%||TE||0%|
You should find in most leagues, especially PPR formats, that waiting on a quarterback will pay off. You might miss out on the top tier of guys like Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Cam Newton, but someone from the next group of Matt Ryan, Tom Brady or Matthew Stafford could fall into your lap starting in Round 5 or 6. That happened here with Brady in the PPR league, and we're not going to pass him up. You can now dream of all those double points with touchdowns from Brady to Gronkowski assuming all goes right in the health department. In the standard league, we'll take a good bench option or potential flex in James Jones. He won't score 14 touchdowns like he did last season, which led all receivers, but he benefits with Jordy Nelson (knee) hurt. If Nelson is out for an extended period of time then Jones could shine.
Players you can get here (standard): Colin Kaepernick, Eli Manning, Andre Brown, Daryl Richardson, Ronnie Hillman, James Jones, T.Y. Hilton, Antonio Brown, Tony Gonzalez
Players you can get here (PPR): Tom Brady, Ronnie Hillman, Daryl Richardson, Andre Brown, Mike Williams, Torrey Smith, Kenny Britt
My selection at No. 66 standard: James Jones
My selection at No. 66 PPR: Tom Brady
|Round 7 - Standard||QB||40%||RB||20%||WR||10%||TE||30%|
|Round 7 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||60%||WR||40%||TE||0%|
It was a total coincidence ending up with Pierre Thomas in both leagues in this spot. I like him better in the standard league where he's my No. 4 running back compared to my third in PPR, but he should do fine this season for the Saints. There have been three times in Thomas' career where he's had at least 110 carries (2008, 2009 and 2011). Each time he's had over 900 total yards and six touchdowns. While Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles remain road blocks, don't be surprised when you're starting Thomas for several weeks, especially as a flex option.
Players you can get here (standard): Eli Manning, Pierre Thomas, Bernard Pierce, Bryce Brown, Steve Johnson, Jordy Nelson, Mike Williams, Jared Cook
Players you can get here (PPR): Pierre Thomas, Danny Woodhead, DeAngelo Williams, T.Y. Hilton, Jordy Nelson, Mike Wallace
My selection at No. 79 standard: Pierre Thomas
My selection at No. 79 PPR: Pierre Thomas
|Round 8 - Standard||QB||40%||RB||10%||WR||10%||TE||40%|
|Round 8 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||50%||TE||0%|
It's time to take a quarterback in the standard league, and although most of you might grimace at the thought of starting Eli Manning based on what he did last season, he will rebound this year as a potential Top 10 option. Prior to last year, Manning had consecutive seasons of at least 4,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. He could easily get there again with a healthy Hakeem Nicks and improvements from second-year players Rueben Randle and Wilson. In the PPR league, we would have liked to handcuff McCoy to Bryce Brown here, but he went three picks earlier. Instead, we'll steal the Foster handcuff in Ben Tate, who could end up as a Top 10 running back if Foster were to miss an extended period of time for any reason.
Players you can get here (standard): Eli Manning, Zac Stacy, Johnathan Franklin, Bilal Powell, Miles Austin, DeSean Jackson, Mike Wallace, Jared Cook
Players you can get here (PPR): Ben Tate, Vick Ballard, Mark Ingram, Lance Moore, Ryan Broyles, Vincent Brown
My selection at No. 90 standard: Eli Manning
My selection at No. 90 PPR: Ben Tate
|Round 9 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||30%||WR||30%||TE||40%|
|Round 9 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||40%||WR||60%||TE||0%|
Handcuff options might prove more important this year than ever before with a lack of depth at running back. We're not going to wait to back up Spiller, so we'll draft Fred Jackson. We all saw what Spiller did last season when Jackson got hurt. It wouldn't be the same scenario if Spiller went down, but at least now we have that security blanket. In the PPR league, having only drafted two receivers at this point, we'll start adding depth with Josh Gordon. He falls this far because of his two-game suspension, but he should easily outperform his draft value if he stays healthy. The offense in Cleveland is going to feature him in the passing game, and he could emerge as a Top 24 Fantasy receiver in 2013.
Players you can get here (standard): Fred Jackson, Isaiah Pead, Shonn Greene, Greg Jennings, Michael Floyd, Ryan Broyles, Kyle Rudolph
Players you can get here (PPR): Fred Jackson, Johnathan Franklin, Jonathan Stewart, Josh Gordon, Greg Jennings, Golden Tate
My selection at No. 103 standard: Fred Jackson
My selection at No. 103 PPR: Josh Gordon
|Round 10 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||70%||WR||30%||TE||0%|
|Round 10 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||50%||TE||0%|
We'll continue with the same theme we started in Round 9 in both leagues. In the PPR league, we'll get another receiver for depth in Emmanuel Sanders, who elevates to a starter this season with Mike Wallace gone. Sanders should improve dramatically on his stats from last year (44 catches, 626 yards and one touchdown), making him a breakout candidate. In the standard league, we'll go with another handcuff in Joique Bell, who has moved past Mikel Leshoure for the No. 2 job in Detroit. Should Bush go down Leshoure and Bell would work in tandem, but Bell has the chance for more work based on his receiving skills.
Players you can get here (standard): Joique Bell, Christine Michael, Knile Davis, Emmanuel Sanders, Rueben Randle, Alshon Jeffery, Greg Olsen
Players you can get here (PPR): Joique Bell, Shonn Greene, LaMichael James, Emmanuel Sanders, Alshon Jeffery, Kendall Wright
My selection at No. 114 standard: Joique Bell
My selection at No. 114 PPR: Emmanuel Sanders
|Round 11 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||20%||WR||20%||TE||50%||DST||10%|
|Round 11 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||40%||WR||40%||TE||10%||DST||10%|
Don't overlook using a tight end as a flex option in PPR leagues, especially during bye weeks. Martellus Bennett last season had 55 catches, 626 yards and five touchdowns, and he could see an uptick in production playing for Marc Trestman in Chicago. He also gives you a standout starting option if Gronkowski is hurt, and we like his value better than any backup running back or receiver here. In the standard league, we'll go with our starting tight end in Antonio Gates. He's past his prime and might not be an elite Fantasy option any more, but when you wait on a starter he's a great fallback option in this round.
Players you can get here (standard): Michael Bush, Mikel Leshoure, Rashad Jennings, Aaron Dobson, Denarius Moore, Rod Streater, Antonio Gates, Jermichael Finley, Owen Daniels
Players you can get here (PPR): Jacquizz Rodgers, Lance Dunbar, Kendall Hunter, Mohamed Sanu, Rod Streater, Malcom Floyd, Sidney Rice, Martellus Bennett, 49ers DST
My selection at No. 127 standard: Antonio Gates
My selection at No. 127 PPR: Martellus Bennett
|Round 12 - Standard||QB||20%||RB||30%||WR||30%||TE||0%||DST||20%|
|Round 12 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||40%||WR||40%||TE||0%||DST||20%|
We'll go with a handcuff option in the PPR league to backup Miller with Daniel Thomas. He might eventually lose his job to rookie Mike Gillislee, but so far in camp Thomas was the frontrunner for the No. 2 running back position. Hopefully we never have to see Miller go down to find out what happens. In the standard league, since we took Manning as our starter, we'll back him up with a high-end No. 2 quarterback in Jay Cutler. Like we said about Bennett, the addition of Trestman should help the passing game in Chicago improve dramatically.
Players you can get here (standard): Jay Cutler, Lance Dunbar, Toby Gerhart, Rod Streater, Chris Givens, Malcom Floyd, Bears DST
Players you can get here (PPR): Daniel Thomas, Denard Robinson, Roy Helu, Bears DST
My selection at No. 138 standard: Jay Cutler
My selection at No. 138 PPR: Daniel Thomas
|Round 13 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||0%||WR||0%||TE||0%||DST||80%||K||20%|
|Round 13 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||0%||WR||0%||TE||0%||DST||80%||K||20%|
We're down to our last two picks, meaning your DST and kicker. We'll take the Ravens in both leagues here. Don't overlook Baltimore just because Ed Reed, Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe are gone. Led by Terrell Suggs, this Ravens DST will still be among the best in all Fantasy leagues.
Players you can get here (standard): Ravens DST, Steelers DST, Falcons DST
Players you can get here (PPR): Ravens DST, Steelers DST, Falcons DST
My selection at No. 151 standard: Ravens DST
My selection at No. 151 PPR: Ravens DST
|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%|
We had the chance at Justin Tucker here in both leagues, but we passed on him for David Akers. The reason being is even though I like Tucker more, I want to avoid drafting a DST and kicker from the same team, and we already have the Ravens. I don't want to burn two waiver moves in the same week if I don't have to for those positions, and this allows me more flexibility. Besides, Akers still has plenty of upside kicking for the Lions this year since they should score a boatload of points and play indoors.
Players you can get here (standard): Justin Tucker, Sebastian Janikowski, David Akers
Players you can get here (PPR): Justin Tucker, Sebastian Janikowski, David Akers
My selection at No. 164 standard: David Akers
My selection at No. 164 PPR: David Akers
|QB||Eli Manning||QB||Tom Brady|
|RB||C.J. Spiller||RB||LeSean McCoy|
|RB||Reggie Bush||RB||Lamar Miller|
|WR||Roddy White||WR||Brandon Marshall|
|WR||Pierre Garcon||WR||Steve Smith|
|FLEX||Montee Ball||FLEX||Pierre Thomas|
|TE||Antonio Gates||TE||Rob Gronkowski|
|K||David Akers||K||David Akers|
|BENCH||Pierre Thomas||BENCH||Ben Tate|
|BENCH||Fred Jackson||BENCH||Josh Gordon|
|BENCH||Joique Bell||BENCH||Emmanuel Sanders|
|BENCH||Jay Cutler||BENCH||Martellus Bennett|
|BENCH||James Jones||BENCH||Daniel Thomas|