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
The more I mock draft, the more I like picking late in Round 1 and going first in Round 2. I also like getting back-to-back picks in a year where every position except running back is rather deep. It doesn't hurt that there are 14 really good running backs and I'm guaranteed two of them if I so choose.
Picking here also opens up two other opportunities: The chance to draft Calvin Johnson in a non-PPR league (he's a cinch to go before your first pick in a league where receptions count) and the chance to get Jimmy Graham in any format. These are two game-changers; everybody expects both of them to top 100 catches for well over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. In Graham's case, he might be the only tight end to accomplish such a feat this year; Johnson won't be the only receiver to but he might end up with over 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns. That's why it's a slim chance he'll make it to 12th overall.
Point is, both guys are phenoms that you'd be lucky to find anywhere else in the draft. You should not be opposed to taking one of them with your second pick, going with a running back first. Just do it with the understanding that you'll have to hit on running backs later on. In a standard league you'll be lucky to see Darren McFadden, Frank Gore or Darren Sproles fall to you in Round 3, but in a PPR league at least one of them will be there.
But say by some fluke Megatron and Graham make it to your back-to-back picks. Should you take both?! I'm not a fan of being weak at running back -- that's a position that's tough to fill. There are breakout candidates (Chris Ivory, Shane Vereen, Daryl Richardson, Mark Ingram), deep sleepers (Zac Stacy, Stepfan Taylor) and has-beens (Ryan Mathews, Ahmad Bradshaw, Rashard Mendenhall, any Panthers running back) who you can definitely find later on.
Your comfort level with these backs should determine whether or not you'd want to splurge on Johnson and Graham. But I will say if you're in a draft where two of the 11 picks in front of you are quarterbacks, and you think others will take quarterbacks in Rounds 2 and 3, and you're very willing to wait for a quarterback (hint: it's a good idea), then you might get lucky with a running back slipping into your paws in Round 3 and could take the chance on this Mega-combo.
Otherwise, enjoy the benefits of taking two running backs with your first two picks, easily the most stable way to start your path to Fantasy dominance.
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||95%||WR||5%||TE||0%|
I'd be very surprised to see Calvin Johnson make it this far. No other receiver is worth a first-round pick. Graham would probably be your next pick no matter what, so think running back here. And think big -- many players remaining include 250-touch backs with goal-line duties and 1,300-total-yard potential. That's not too far off from the types of backs that went in front of you. A pre-draft exercise: Rank the Top 12 running backs and then take the highest name on your list when you're up. You know one will be here if not two, which is great since you pick again right away.
Players you can get here (standard): LeSean McCoy, Alfred Morris, Matt Forte, Steven Jackson, Stevan Ridley
Players you can get here (PPR): Matt Forte, Steven Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Reggie Bush
My selection at No. 12 standard: Matt Forte
My selection at No. 12 PPR: Marshawn Lynch
|Round 2 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||65%||WR||0%||TE||35%|
|Round 2 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||55%||WR||0%||TE||45%|
This is simple. If you made the Top 12 running back list and there's still a name available you really want, take him. If not, take Jimmy Graham. There's no fault in taking Graham at all, just be prepared to settle at running back, wait for a quarterback until at least Round 6 (you'll need your next three picks for rushers and a receiver) and cope with owners who steal tight ends later on in the draft. If Graham isn't an option then go running back -- the receivers that will fall to you in Rounds 3 and 4 are fantastic and the quarterbacks would be a reach here, even Drew Brees.
Players you can get here (standard): Alfred Morris, Matt Forte, Steven Jackson, Stevan Ridley, Jimmy Graham, Chris Johnson
Players you can get here (PPR): Steven Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Jimmy Graham, Reggie Bush, Alfred Morris
My selection at No. 13 standard: Steven Jackson
My selection at No. 13 PPR: Reggie Bush
|Round 3 - Standard||QB||10%||RB||25%||WR||60%||TE||5%|
|Round 3 - PPR||QB||20%||RB||30%||WR||45%||TE||5%|
That Top 12 running back list you made will make a nice paper airplane by the time you're up in Round 3. Expect at least 21 running backs to be taken in the draft by the time you're up again. And expect all the top-tier receivers to be snagged as well. That doesn't mean receivers are a lost cause. There will be reputable names still on the board, especially in standard leagues, and if you landed two running backs already then going back-to-back with receivers is a good idea. If you have only one running back, now's the time to take another, even if it means someone going with a guy you don't love. Trust me when I say you do not want to search for a starting Fantasy running back later on. The only quarterbacks I'd even entertain here are Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers and I'd have to be depressed with the receivers left on the board and have two running backs already.
Players you can get here (standard): Randall Cobb, Vincent Jackson, Victor Cruz, Darren Sproles, Rob Gronkowski
Players you can get here (PPR): Victor Cruz, Drew Brees, Darren McFadden, Marques Colston, Frank Gore, Rob Gronkowski
My selection at No. 36 standard: Vincent Jackson
My selection at No. 36 PPR: Drew Brees
|Round 4 - Standard||QB||5%||RB||25%||WR||60%||TE||10%|
|Round 4 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||30%||WR||45%||TE||10%|
If you don't feel good about your running backs, take another. If you do feel good about your running backs (hopefully you have two by now) you can afford to go in another direction. Wide receiver is still going to be attractive and while the position won't become weak by the time you pick again in Round 5, there won't be the same class of talent there. That's where I would lean. Rob Gronkowski is another option if you've got a Las Vegas state of mind. The Round 4 price tag isn't steep if there's nothing suggesting he'll miss the start of the season. You know what kind of potential he has -- heck he might be Jimmy Graham two rounds later.
Players you can get here (standard): Randall Cobb, Victor Cruz, Darren Sproles, Rob Gronkowski
Players you can get here (PPR): Victor Cruz, Drew Brees, Darren McFadden, Marques Colston, Frank Gore, Rob Gronkowski
My selection at No. 37 standard: Victor Cruz
My selection at No. 37 PPR: Marques Colston
|Round 5 - Standard||QB||10%||RB||65%||WR||20%||TE||5%|
|Round 5 - PPR||QB||10%||RB||65%||WR||20%||TE||5%|
Your roster will still have needs to fill but I think you can take care of that with your next pick. I'd earmark Round 5 for a third running back. While the names left aren't a who's-who of Fantasy heroes they will make great Flex plays and quality backups. This is simply a case of taking advantage of how the draft board shakes out -- someone with relative value will be available at running back and it's a good idea to take him to strengthen your roster.
Players you can get here (standard): Ryan Mathews, Chris Ivory, Danny Amendola, Andre Brown
Players you can get here (PPR): Eddie Lacy, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Mathews, Chris Ivory
My selection at No. 60 standard: Chris Ivory
My selection at No. 60 PPR: Ryan Mathews
|Round 6 - Standard||QB||30%||RB||30%||WR||35%||TE||5%|
|Round 6 - PPR||QB||30%||RB||30%||WR||35%||TE||5%|
Knowing how rapidly the quality of talent will be at running back in Rounds 7 and 8, going for the kill at running back isn't a bad idea. But there will still be 1,000-yard receivers on the board here and they're not a bad way to go, especially if you still need a starter. What might be most alluring, however, are the quarterbacks on the board. In typical 10- and 12-team leagues there's an abundance of passers, so much so that everyone will have a great one. This is why it makes sense to pass on quarterbacks earlier on unless it was a ridiculous value. In Round 6, when other positions are dwindling, quarterbacks are fantastic.
Players you can get here (standard): Chris Ivory, Danny Amendola, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Tony Romo, Andre Brown
Players you can get here (PPR): Chris Ivory, Steve Johnson, Antonio Brown, Hakeem Nicks
My selection at No. 61 standard: Andrew Luck
My selection at No. 61 PPR: Steve Johnson
|Round 7 - Standard||QB||10%||RB||40%||WR||40%||TE||10%|
|Round 7 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||40%||WR||35%||TE||10%|
I think you can clean up with your next two picks. We'll start with this one, where you should see a couple of running backs with some appeal. Maybe they're starters, maybe they can begin the year with 15 touches per game. I'm all for building depth there and if you can be so fortunate to find one like that amid the backups and handcuffs that otherwise litter the round, take a shot. If you already have a lot of rushers then it's not a bad call to look for similar traits in receivers -- guys that slipped but still have prominent roles in their offense.
Players you can get here (standard): Steve Johnson, Jordy Nelson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Mark Ingram, Kenny Britt
Players you can get here (PPR): T.Y. Hilton, Vernon Davis, Jordy Nelson, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Wallace, DeSean Jackson
My selection at No. 84 standard: BenJarvus Green-Ellis
My selection at No. 84 PPR: DeAngelo Williams
|Round 8 - Standard||QB||10%||RB||40%||WR||40%||TE||10%|
|Round 8 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||40%||WR||35%||TE||10%|
If your last pick was to pick up a value player who slipped on the draft board, this pick is to find a sleeper. In fact, many of your next picks should be used to pick up sleepers. But we're talking cream-of-the-crop sleepers here, not the kind of "Oh, I guess I'll take ... " sleepers you'll end up with later on. Look for players, particularly young players who are either an injury away from a huge opportunity or already have the huge opportunity but not the track record. Just make sure you don't take one of those guys over a proven commodity with a good track record. If for some reason you've waited this long to take a quarterback, take one now and another with one of your next two picks just to have two shots at landing a reliable starter.
Players you can get here (standard): Mark Ingram, Kenny Britt, Ben Tate, Mike Williams, Eli Manning
Players you can get here (PPR): DeAngelo Williams, Mike Wallace, Colin Kaepernick, DeSean Jackson
My selection at No. 85 standard: Ben Tate
My selection at No. 85 PPR: Mike Wallace
|Round 9 - Standard||QB||10%||RB||35%||WR||45%||TE||10%|
|Round 9 - PPR||QB||10%||RB||35%||WR||45%||TE||10%|
This is the time to start taking more risks with your picks, finding sleepers that don't carry a lot of trouble in case you miss. I'll give you an example: Four receivers I am looking for around this time in drafts are Golden Tate, Michael Floyd, Ryan Broyles and DeAndre Hopkins. I like all four of them and would love to have at least one on my roster since they carry some serious breakout potential. By comparison, the running backs left aren't nearly as enticing but would be if they found a full-time role. Count up your running backs -- if you want to bulk up there do so now, but be prepared to spend your next pick on a receiver. If you have enough rushers then aim for a receiver here, one of the four guys I like perhaps. Tight end can wait until your next pick if you so desire.
Players you can get here (standard): Michael Floyd, Ryan Broyles, DeAndre Hopkins, Kyle Rudolph, Shonn Greene
Players you can get here (PPR): Golden Tate, DeAndre Hopkins, Johnathan Franklin, Josh Gordon, Bilal Powell
My selection at No. 108 standard: DeAndre Hopkins
My selection at No. 108 PPR: DeAndre Hopkins
|Round 10 - Standard||QB||10%||RB||35%||WR||45%||TE||10%|
|Round 10 - PPR||QB||10%||RB||35%||WR||45%||TE||10%|
More sleepers, more often. That's the thinking you should have in Round 10. Don't think about just rookies or trendy sleepers, though. You will find players with some meaningful value slip through the cracks. One such player is Justin Blackmon, who might be taken a smidge too early in Round 10 because he's useless for the first four weeks of the season but has obvious potential as a threat in Jacksonville's passing game. Jonathan Stewart carries similar risk (who knows when he'll be healthy) but also carries some hope as at least a one-week replacement once he gets back on the field. It's OK to draft players like this when all you're burning is a 10th round pick.
Players you can get here (standard): Ryan Broyles, Kyle Rudolph, Shonn Greene, Justin Blackmon
Players you can get here (PPR): Golden Tate, Johnathan Franklin, Josh Gordon, Jonathan Stewart
My selection at No. 109 standard: Justin Blackmon
My selection at No. 109 PPR: Jonathan Stewart
|Round 11 - Standard||QB||5%||RB||45%||WR||35%||TE||15%|
|Round 11 - PPR||QB||5%||RB||45%||WR||35%||TE||15%|
The late-round grind remains a search for sleepers as well as handcuffs for your top running backs. But don't be surprised if you find yourself still looking for a starting tight end late in your drafts. That's right, a position you might have filled earlier could slip through the cracks either by accident or by design. In my case, I like to wait for a tight end if I can't draft one at a good value. Three start-worthy sleepers -- Tyler Eifert, Jordan Cameron and Coby Fleener -- top my list of Tight Ends You Can Draft And Cut Bait On If They Stink (TEYCDACBOITS for short). Don't be afraid to begin your season with one of these guys in your lineup.
Players you can get here (standard and PPR): Aaron Dobson, Denarius Moore, Tyler Eifert, Owen Daniels, Michael Bush, Mikel Leshoure, Rashad Jennings
My selection at No. 132 standard: Michael Bush
My selection at No. 132 PPR: Tyler Eifert
|Round 12 - Standard||QB||5%||RB||25%||WR||25%||TE||10%||K||0%||DST||35%|
|Round 12 - PPR||QB||5%||RB||25%||WR||25%||TE||10%||K||0%||DST||35%|
You're going in one of three directions here: A sleeper, a handcuff running back or a DST. A lot of people suggest waiting until your second-to-last pick to take a DST, myself included, but you're in a rare situation. Most owners will not take a DST until they're up in the second-to-last round. If it's an even-numbered round draft like the ones I'm in you can cherry pick a DST now and then wait for your sleeper in Round 13. If it's an odd-numbered draft then the cherry picking wouldn't even happen -- you'd just take a good DST with your second-to-last pick and fire up a kicker with your last pick. I'll list the DSTs you could get here but just for the purpose of showing the alternative, I'm not taking DSTs until my second-to-last pick. It's up to you if getting a Top-5 DST is worth waiting on a sleeper or handcuff.
|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%|
Pretty simple here: If you still need a DST, take one. If you already have a DST, go with a sleeper/handcuff. In the event that this is a DST for you, aim for one that has a favorable Week 1 matchup. The Buccaneers play at the Jets, the Colts host the Raiders, the Browns host the Dolphins and the Chiefs play at the Jaguars. I like the Bucs DST plenty but they nor any other DST I listed is expected to be a major Fantasy factor. They should all be there when you pick and if you don't like them after Week 1 or want to play another matchup in Week 2, just tap into the waiver wire.
Players you can get here (standard and PPR): Falcons DST, Vikings DST, Buccaneers DST, Blair Walsh, Phil Dawson
My selection at No. 156 standard: Vikings DST
My selection at No. 156 PPR: Buccaneers DST
|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%|
Unless some dorkus malorkus decides to get cutesy and pick a kicker before his last choice, you're going to land a premier kicker. Look for the guys working with good, not elite, offenses and a solid track record. The choice here should either be Blair Walsh, Phil Dawson, Matt Prater or Stephen Gostkowski.
Here's what the teams look like following the draft:
|QB||Andrew Luck||QB||Drew Brees|
|RB||Matt Forte||RB||Marshawn Lynch|
|RB||Steven Jackson||RB||Reggie Bush|
|WR||Vincent Jackson||WR||Marques Colston|
|WR||Victor Cruz||WR||Steve Johnson|
|FLEX||Chris Ivory||FLEX||Ryan Mathews|
|TE||Tyler Eifert||TE||Tyler Eifert|
|K||Blair Walsh||K||Blair Walsh|
|BENCH||BenJarvus Green-Ellis||BENCH||DeAngelo Williams|
|BENCH||Ben Tate||BENCH||Mike Wallace|
|BENCH||DeAndre Hopkins||BENCH||DeAndre Hopkins|
|BENCH||Justin Blackmon||BENCH||Jonathan Stewart|
|BENCH||Michael Bush||BENCH||Lance Dunbar|