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
As we get toward the end of the first round you'll start to consider Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, whether it's here at Pick No. 9 overall or early in the second round. In a point per reception format, Graham is a first-round pick by No. 11 overall.
It might seem too soon for a tight end in a standard league, but based on Graham's potential to dominate the position, especially if Rob Gronkowski (back) misses the start of the season, he should be considered among the elite receivers after Calvin Johnson, including Dez Bryant, A.J. Green and Brandon Marshall.
The thing about drafting Graham early is you shouldn't pair him with a quarterback before Round 5. I wanted to experiment with this theory in the standard league, so I drafted Graham in Round 2 and Peyton Manning in Round 4.
You'll see how the team unfolded here, but my conclusion is taking Manning two rounds after Graham left me thin at running back and some questionable starters at wide receiver. But you can judge for yourself. Sometimes part of us showing you what to do on Draft Day includes showing you what not to do.
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. 9, 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 read all the strategies for each spot to determine which place in the first round is the best place to start.
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%|
As I said with pick No. 7, C.J. Spiller continues to move up my draft board after we completed this draft, and I now have him at No. 2 overall behind Adrian Peterson. He will likely fall to around this spot since other Fantasy owners like Arian Foster, Trent Richardson, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, Doug Martin and Jamaal Charles better than Spiller, but if he's here at No. 9 then pull the trigger with a smile in any format. McCoy is also great value here, and he's our pick in the standard league. Don't worry about Bryce Brown taking touches away from McCoy because he's the star of this backfield.
Players you can get here (standard): LeSean McCoy, Alfred Morris, Matt Forte, Calvin Johnson, Jimmy Graham
Players you can get here (PPR): C.J. Spiller, Matt Forte, Jimmy Graham, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall
My selection at No. 9 standard: LeSean McCoy
My selection at No. 9 PPR: C.J. Spiller
|Round 2 - Standard||QB||5%||RB||30%||WR||30%||TE||35%|
|Round 2 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||30%||WR||50%||TE||5%|
Here's the spot where we'll take Graham in the standard league, and he should have an outstanding season now that he's past last year's wrist and ankle problems. Again, you have to think of Graham like your No. 1 receiver because passing on Bryant, Green, Marshall or Julio Jones will make you miss on a Top 5 receiver, but Graham makes up for it with how he dominates the tight end spot. We'll take Bryant in the PPR league because Graham was already gone, and Bryant is my No. 2 receiver behind Johnson. He closed 2012 with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in seven of his final eight games, and we hope he picks up where last season left off.
Players you can get here (standard): Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Reggie Bush, DeMarco Murray, Maurice Jones-Drew, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Jimmy Graham
Players you can get here (PPR): Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Alfred Morris, Chris Johnson, Stevan Ridley, Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, Rob Gronkowski
My selection at No. 16 standard: Jimmy Graham
My selection at No. 16 PPR: Dez Bryant
|Round 3 - Standard||QB||15%||RB||55%||WR||30%||TE||0%|
|Round 3 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||40%||WR||40%||TE||5%|
In the standard league, we want to make sure we get a capable No. 2 running back to pair with McCoy because the talent at the position dries up in a hurry. Darren McFadden is a polarizing Fantasy option because while most owners see his supreme talent and lack of competition for touches, they also know his lengthy injury history. Still, at this spot he's worth the risk, and hopefully he can play at least 13 games. In the PPR league, we'll also go with a running back in David Wilson, who should shine as the new starter for the Giants. Andre Brown will likely steal touchdowns from Wilson, but he has the potential for 1,500 total yards.
Players you can get here (standard): Peyton Manning, Darren McFadden, Darren Sproles, Randall Cobb, Vincent Jackson, Victor Cruz
Players you can get here (PPR): Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, David Wilson, Darren McFadden, Victor Cruz, Marques Colston, Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski
My selection at No. 33 standard: Darren McFadden
My selection at No. 33 PPR: David Wilson
|Round 4 - Standard||QB||20%||RB||20%||WR||60%||TE||0%|
|Round 4 - PPR||QB||15%||RB||30%||WR||40%||TE||15%|
Here's the pick I would like back in the standard league because even though Manning is amazing, taking another running back or a receiver would have been the better move. If you give me Montee Ball in this spot in the fourth round and then replace Greg Jennings in Round 9 and give me Russell Wilson you can see how much more complete my team would be (see below for full results). The same if I took Marques Colston or Dwayne Bowe in that spot for Manning. Look, it's still great to have a Top 3 quarterback, a Top 7 running back and the No. 1 tight end. But I'm not sure if overall that helps your roster as a whole. In the PPR league, we can afford to gamble here on Danny Amendola, who should replace Wes Welker for the Patriots as Tom Brady's go-to target.
Players you can get here (standard): Peyton Manning, Montee Ball, Eddie Lacy, Shane Vereen, Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker
Players you can get here (PPR): Peyton Manning, Frank Gore, Shane Vereen, Giovani Bernard, Danny Amendola, Dwayne Bowe, Reggie Wayne, Rob Gronkowski
My selection at No. 40 standard: Peyton Manning
My selection at No. 40 PPR: Danny Amendola
|Round 5 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||20%||WR||80%||TE||0%|
|Round 5 - PPR||QB||20%||RB||30%||WR||20%||TE||30%|
We're now chasing receiver in the standard league, so we need to hit a home run on a potential No. 1 option. That perfectly describes Hakeem Nicks, who was once a Top 10 Fantasy receiver before knee and foot problems ruined him last year. He's in a contract year this season and should rebound at a high level, but he's still not an ideal No. 1 receiver. Just too many ifs. In the PPR league, we'll lock up our flex option with Eddie Lacy, who has the chance to be the best Fantasy running back for the Packers. All he has to do is get a healthy amount of snaps because he could approach double digits in touchdowns in this offense.
Players you can get here (standard): Ryan Mathews, Chris Ivory, Andre Brown, Hakeem Nicks, Danny Amendola, Steve Smith
Players you can get here (PPR): Tom Brady, Eddie Lacy, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Mathews, Tavon Austin, Steve Johnson, Antonio Brown, Tony Gonzalez
My selection at No. 57 standard: Hakeem Nicks
My selection at No. 57 PPR: Eddie Lacy
|Round 6 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||25%||WR||75%||TE||0%|
|Round 6 - PPR||QB||30%||RB||20%||WR||20%||TE||30%|
In the PPR league, we get to grab Nicks as our third receiver, which is amazing. If he comes back at 100 percent this season then this is the steal of the draft. We're going best available receiver in the standard league for a starting option now, and Steve Smith is my top-rated player at his position. I would have preferred another running back here, but since Nicks was my No. 1 receiver I wanted another potential Top 15 option just in case Nicks goes down. At this point, I like the PPR squad much better than the standard league.
Players you can get here (standard): Andre Brown, Daryl Richardson, Ronnie Hillman, Steve Smith, Cecil Shorts, James Jones
Players you can get here (PPR): Tom Brady, Ahmad Bradshaw, Ronnie Hillman, Daryl Richardson, Hakeem Nicks, James Jones, Mike Williams, Tony Gonzalez
My selection at No. 64 standard: Steve Smith
My selection at No. 64 PPR: Hakeem Nicks
|Round 7 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||40%||WR||60%||TE||0%|
|Round 7 - PPR||QB||30%||RB||20%||WR||20%||TE||30%|
The way the draft unfolded I had to reach in the standard league for Bryce Brown to cover myself in case something happens to McCoy. Ideally you'd like to wait on Brown or any other handcuff, but he wouldn't have come back to me. This is becoming a dire situation since he's my third running back, and my flex option will almost certainly be a receiver now. The good news is there's depth there, but I now need my first six picks (McCoy, Graham, McFadden, Manning, Nicks and Smith) to dominate for this team to compete for a Fantasy title. In the PPR league, we'll take a Top 5 tight end in Vernon Davis, who gets a boost in value with Michael Crabtree (Achilles) out.
Players you can get here (standard): Bryce Brown, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Ben Tate, Steve Johnson, Jordy Nelson, Mike Williams
Players you can get here (PPR): Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick, DeAngelo Williams, Bryce Brown, Ben Tate, T.Y. Hilton, Jordy Nelson, Mike Wallace, Vernon Davis
My selection at No. 81 standard: Bryce Brown
My selection at No. 81 PPR: Vernon Davis
|Round 8 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||50%||TE||0%|
|Round 8 - PPR||QB||40%||RB||30%||WR||30%||TE||0%|
I'm not a big Colin Kaepernick fan this season for his Fantasy value because I think the loss of Crabtree will severely impact his passing stats. But he's still my No. 12 quarterback, and he's the last option left after waiting this long, which I'm OK with. In the standard league, I went with the best talent on the board even though I'm in a hole at running back. Still, getting Kenny Britt here gives me a flex option, and hopefully I can land some running back talent later in the draft.
Players you can get here (standard): Vick Ballard, Zac Stacy, Johnathan Franklin, Kenny Britt, Miles Austin, DeSean Jackson
Players you can get here (PPR): Colin Kaepernick, Ben Tate, Vick Ballard, Mark Ingram, DeSean Jackson, Michael Floyd, Lance Moore
My selection at No. 88 standard: Kenny Britt
My selection at No. 88 PPR: Colin Kaepernick
|Round 9 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||60%||WR||40%||TE||0%|
|Round 9 - PPR||QB||0%||RB||60%||WR||40%||TE||0%|
We're again taking talent over need in the standard league, and at the time of the draft I had Greg Jennings as the top player on the board. I don't consider him an upper-echelon Fantasy receiver anymore, but he could still be a potential flex option or reserve receiver if needed. We just hope Christian Ponder can get him the ball on a consistent basis since Jennings is going to regret leaving Aaron Rodgers. In the PPR league, we'll handcuff Fred Jackson to Spiller. We're now covered in case something happens to Spiller during the season.
Players you can get here (standard): Shonn Greene, Joique Bell, Christine Michael, Greg Jennings, Michael Floyd, Ryan Broyles
Players you can get here (PPR): Fred Jackson, Johnathan Franklin, Jonathan Stewart, Golden Tate, Justin Blackmon, Emmanuel Sanders
My selection at No. 105 standard: Greg Jennings
My selection at No. 105 PPR: Fred Jackson
|Round 10 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||70%||WR||30%||TE||0%|
|Round 10 - PPR||QB||10%||RB||40%||WR||50%||TE||0%|
We're going to get our fourth running back in the standard league with Shonn Greene, but you can almost consider him our No. 3 rusher since Brown is a handcuff. Greene loses value going from the Jets to the Titans, but he could end up as a poor man's LenDale White to Chris Johnson when the two were dominating in 2008. Greene won't score 15 touchdowns like White did that year, but he might get eight with a healthy amount of yards. I wouldn't give up completely on Greene just yet. In the PPR league, given a solid roster so far, we can afford to gamble on Isaiah Pead and hope he gets an extended look this season as the potential starter for the Rams.
Players you can get here (standard): Shonn Greene, Joique Bell, Christine Michael, Anquan Boldin, Emmanuel Sanders, Rueben Randle
Players you can get here (PPR): Isaiah Pead, Joique Bell, Shonn Greene, Emmanuel Sanders, Alshon Jeffery, Kendall Wright
My selection at No. 112 standard: Shonn Greene
My selection at No. 112 PPR: Isaiah Pead
|Round 11 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||40%||TE||0%||DST||10%|
|Round 11 - PPR||QB||10%||RB||20%||WR||60%||TE||0%||DST||10%|
We don't need another receiver in the standard league, but Aaron Dobson might be the best player on the board. He's in a battle for playing time with fellow rookie Kenbrell Thompkins, but Dobson should still have a prominent role in the New England offense this season. In the PPR league, we took Malcom Floyd, and this was before he hurt his knee in practice. He's expected to be OK, and he should be a solid Fantasy option with Danario Alexander (ACL) out.
Players you can get here (standard): Michael Bush, Mikel Leshoure, Rashad Jennings, Aaron Dobson, Denarius Moore, Rod Streater
Players you can get here (PPR): Jacquizz Rodgers, Lance Dunbar, Kendall Hunter, Malcom Floyd, Sidney Rice, Aaron Dobson
My selection at No. 129 standard: Aaron Dobson
My selection at No. 129 PPR: Malcom Floyd
|Round 12 - Standard||QB||0%||RB||50%||WR||40%||TE||0%||DST||10%|
|Round 12 - PPR||QB||10%||RB||30%||WR||50%||TE||0%||DST||10%|
Since we passed on running back -- too much for my taste -- we'll take another handcuff option in the standard league with Rashad Jennings. There's no guarantee he's No. 2 on the depth chart for the Raiders behind McFadden all year, but he'll get the first shot if McFadden goes down ahead of rookie Latavius Murray and fullback Marcel Reece. We'll go with a high-upside receiver in Chris Givens in the PPR league, and don't expect him to be in this spot in a week or two if he continues to perform at a high level during the preseason.
Players you can get here (standard): Rashad Jennings, Lance Dunbar, Toby Gerhart, Rod Streater, Chris Givens, Malcom Floyd, Bears DST
Players you can get here (PPR): Kendall Hunter, Daniel Thomas, Denard Robinson, Chris Givens, Aaron Dobson, Brian Hartline, Bears DST
My selection at No. 136 standard: Rashad Jennings
My selection at No. 136 PPR: Chris Givens
|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 DST and kicker in both leagues, and the picks will mirror each other in each draft. We'll take the Steelers in this spot, and Dick LeBeau's unit should still be a quality option, especially if you miss out on the top-tier DSTs. Consider them a fallback option on Draft Day.
Players you can get here (standard): Steelers DST, Falcons DST, Vikings DST
Players you can get here (PPR): Ravens DST, Steelers DST, Falcons DST
My selection at No. 153 standard: Steelers DST
My selection at No. 153 PPR: Steelers 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%|
Matt Bryant is everything I look for in a kicker because he plays in a dome and has a high-powered offense propping him up. He has averaged 30 field goals and 44 extra points over the past two seasons, and he should be around those stats again this year. He's my No. 2 kicker this season behind Stephen Gostkowski, and I expect Bryant to again shine.
Players you can get here (standard): Matt Bryant, Phil Dawson, David Akers
Players you can get here (PPR): Matt Bryant, Phil Dawson, David Akers
My selection at No. 160 standard: Matt Bryant
My selection at No. 160 PPR: Matt Bryant
|QB||Peyton Manning||QB||Colin Kaepernick|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||RB||C.J. Spiller|
|RB||Darren McFadden||RB||David Wilson|
|WR||Hakeem Nicks||WR||Dez Bryant|
|WR||Steve Smith||WR||Danny Amendola|
|FLEX||Kenny Britt||FLEX||Eddie Lacy|
|TE||Jimmy Graham||TE||Vernon Davis|
|K||Matt Bryant||K||Matt Bryant|
|BENCH||Bryce Brown||BENCH||Hakeem Nicks|
|BENCH||Greg Jennings||BENCH||Fred Jackson|
|BENCH||Shonn Greene||BENCH||Isaiah Pead|
|BENCH||Aaron Dobson||BENCH||Malcom Floyd|
|BENCH||Rashad Jennings||BENCH||Chris Givens|