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2014 Draft Prep: Picking No. 2 overall

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Pick No. 1 | Pick No. 3 | Pick No. 4 | Pick No. 5 | Pick No. 6 | Pick No. 7
Pick No. 8 | Pick No. 9 | Pick No. 10 | Pick No. 11 | Pick No. 12

Picking second overall is a good deal -- you'll land an elite-level running back with 300-plus-touch potential in Round 1 and end up with three of the Top 25 overall players on your Fantasy rank list.

The dilemma you'll face early on won't be who to take in Round 1 as much as what you'll want to do in Rounds 2 and 3. If you go with two running backs you'll be hurting at receiver. Taking back-to-back receivers might work out better but if you don't like the running backs ranked, say, 21st through 29th, then you probably shouldn't go that route since that will be what's left when you're up in Round 4.

Plan A should be one of each -- a running back and a receiver. But sometimes a better plan pops up and when it does, you should adjust.

That better plan involves an elite quarterback making it to you in Round 3. Call it a quarterback bonus. If you can get Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers by then, that's money. It'll definitely happen if both are available to you in Round 2, since the owner who picked before you to start the draft won't take both. Or shouldn't take both. Unless he's lost, he won't take both.

Another player who could challenge your best laid plans is Rob Gronkowski, a tight end with Jimmy Graham-esque production but more injury risk. Could you potentially take a stud in Round 1, Gronk in Round 2 and a stud quarterback in Round 3? If we're talking about a smaller league then definitely, but if you're in a league with 12 teams or more it might not be a good idea. Sure, you'll have difference makers, but you'll also lag behind at receiver and running back.

I'll say this: If you have a good nose for finding sleepers and maybe even love a lot of receivers and running backs you'll be able to land in Rounds 4 through ... well, pretty much the end of your draft, then it's worth it.

We'd argue that the consistency and productivity of the Top 7 receivers on our rank list outweighs the risk involved with taking Gronkowski. Besides, he might be the guy who slips to you in Round 3. That would be delightful.

So get familiar with running backs and receivers ranked outside of the Top 20 at their positions. Like a lot of them? Plan accordingly. If not, expect to start your draft with two running backs and a receiver.

Editor's note: The percentages listed are what position you should target based on that round for each pick.

Round 1

Round 1 - Standard QB 0% RB 100% WR 0% TE 0%
Round 1 - PPR QB 0% RB 100% WR 0% TE 0%

If you're in a two-quarterback league or some weird receiver-heavy PPR format, this pick will be a running back. And it'll be a good one, one who can start for you every week without question. The candidates are going to be Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson (with Jamaal Charles an option in case he doesn't go at the top of the draft). What's nice about these backs is that a handcuff isn't considered mandatory like some other rushers. All three have backups who aren't expected to play as well as the starters, so you're probably better off picking up a back on another team for depth in case of the unimaginable. There's no wrong answer here but of the three, Forte's the only one who should end up with the most touches (even more than McCoy now that Darren Sproles is in Philly) and doesn't have the career workload concern that Peterson has.

Players you can get here: (Standard and PPR): Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson
My selection at No. 2 standard: Matt Forte
My selection at No. 2 PPR: Matt Forte

Round 2

Round 2 - Standard QB 5% RB 35% WR 40% TE 20%
Round 2 - PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 40% TE 20%

Let value be your guide here. We know there are three top-tier quarterbacks, 13 or so running backs, seven top-shelf receivers and a pair of tight ends worthy of a Top 24 pick (your numbers may vary). Add those numbers up and we get 25, so you're guaranteed one of them. Expect a lot of running backs and receivers to be gone when you're up, but if one of the Top 7 wideouts is there, it's probably a good idea to take one and then aim for another one of those Top 25 players in Round 3. The quarterback bonus we referred to earlier is also in play here -- you probably should not take a quarterback in this spot. What about Gronkowski? If you're not afraid of risk it's a good pick, but pairing him with an elite passer in Round 3 will mean chasing receivers and running backs for the rest of the draft. In a PPR league, expect a running back to fall into your lap, making your next pick a receiver (quarterback shouldn't be in the equation).

Players you can get here (Standard): A.J. Green, Jordy Nelson, Doug Martin, Rob Gronkowski, Drew Brees
Players you can get here (PPR): Zac Stacy, Doug Martin, Alshon Jeffery, Randall Cobb, Rob Gronkowski
My selection at No. 23 standard: Jordy Nelson
My selection at No. 23 PPR: Zac Stacy

Round 3

Round 3 - Standard QB 20% RB 35% WR 30% TE 15%
Round 3 - PPR QB 5% RB 40% WR 50% TE 5%

This is sort of a clean-up pick in that you should pick a starter from a position you didn't take in Round 2. It doesn't have to be this way, especially if you end up with a second consecutive receiver you really like (example: A.J. Green in Round 2, Jordy Nelson in Round 3). But expect it to be a running back if you took a wideout in Round 2 or a receiver if you took a rusher with the previous pick, with the standard-league caveat being that if you game-planned for an elite quarterback in Round 2 then get him now. For the first time in several years the idea of taking three backs to start a draft isn't that appealing. You'll be behind the eight ball at nearly every position if you go that route, though it doesn't mean you can't take three backs with your first four picks.

Players you can get here (Standard): Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Antonio Brown, Alshon Jeffery, Randall Cobb, Andre Ellington
Players you can get here (PPR): Andre Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, Reggie Bush, Alfred Morris, Larry Fitzgerald
My selection at No. 26 standard: Drew Brees
My selection at No. 26 PPR: Andre Johnson

Round 4

Round 4 - Standard QB 5% RB 45% WR 45% TE 5%
Round 4 - PPR QB 10% RB 35% WR 45% TE 10%

If Matthew Stafford or Julius Thomas are staring you in the face, draft one. But short of that, aim for a back or a receiver. The bad news is that the running backs remaining won't be ideal -- they'll have warts. The good news? You'll select again in three picks and can sort of use the owner in the Pick 1 slot to help determine what you should take. Like if the owner has two running backs and one receiver, expect him to take at least one receiver when up for two. Maybe you'll take a receiver you really like before that owner gets his filthy mitts on him.

Players you can get here (Standard): Joique Bell, Ray Rice, Stevan Ridley, Trent Richardson, Frank Gore, Michael Floyd
Players you can get here (PPR): Michael Floyd, Wes Welker, Victor Cruz, Aaron Rodgers, Kendall Wright, Ryan Mathews
My selection at No. 47 standard: Ray Rice
My selection at No. 47 PPR: Wes Welker

Round 5

Round 5 - Standard QB 5% RB 40% WR 45% TE 10%
Round 5 - PPR QB 5% RB 45% WR 40% TE 10%

Pretty much the same advice as your previous pick: Fill your lineup up with quality starters at positions you need, with a heavy emphasis on running backs and wide receivers. Last year this was a good spot to take a quarterback, but we'd wait if you don't have one already. Too many quality ones will be available when you're up in Round 6, and if the owner in the Pick 1 slot has a quarterback by then, you can wait until Round 7. Matthew Stafford is the only good pick and he should be gone by this point. The same kind of depth is at tight end -- maybe a case could be made for Vernon Davis, but there's some worry he won't score as many touchdowns as he did last season and thus won't finish as a Top 5 tight end. If you love your first four picks and think of Davis as an elite option, then he's worth taking here. Finally, there's nothing wrong with having three receivers through five picks, especially if we're talking about high-reception wideouts in a PPR league.

Players you can get here (Standard): Emmanuel Sanders, Michael Floyd, Roddy White, Victor Cruz, Vernon Davis
Players you can get here (PPR): Kendall Wright, Ryan Mathews, Emmanuel Sanders, Trent Richardson, Julian Edelman, Vernon Davis
My selection at No. 50 standard: Emmanuel Sanders
My selection at No. 50 PPR: Kendall Wright

Round 6

Round 6 - Standard QB 15% RB 35% WR 35% TE 15%
Round 6 - PPR QB 10% RB 35% WR 40% TE 15%

We're still searching for starters in Round 6, though now you should be more open to the tight end and quarterback positions if you haven't filled them already. But hold on -- remember that advice from Round 4 about sizing up the needs of the owner in Pick 1? If you need a quarterback or a tight end and that owner already has one, chances are he won't draft another one this early. You can wait until Round 7 (an example of this is coming up) to fill a need the other owner has already taken care of. Generally speaking, Round 6 is a good enough time to start taking chances on players who might have some injury risk, playing time concerns, or both.

Players you can get here (Standard): Jeremy Maclin, Steven Jackson, Mike Wallace, Andrew Luck, Jordan Cameron, Ben Tate
Players you can get here (PPR): Pierre Thomas, Danny Woodhead, Stevan Ridley, DeSean Jackson, Torrey Smith, Jordan Cameron
My selection at No. 71 standard: Jeremy Maclin
My selection at No. 71 PPR: Stevan Ridley

Round 7

Round 7 - Standard QB 20% RB 20% WR 30% TE 30%
Round 7 - PPR QB 30% RB 20% WR 30% TE 20%

Round 7 still offers plenty of good starting options and certainly some good values at every position except running back and maybe receiver in standard leagues. This is a good spot to pick up a tight end or a quarterback, particularly if you use the needs of the Pick 1 owner against him. If that owner already has a quarterback and/or a tight end, you should have waited for one in Round 6 and gone with it here. Last year the running back depth dropped off a cliff here, but we suspect you'll have some decent options for third and fourth running backs when you're up late in Round 8 and early in Round 9.

Players you can get here (Standard): Jason Witten, Tony Romo, Terrance West, Kendall Wright, Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston
Players you can get here (PPR): Colin Kaepernick, Mike Wallace, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Terrance Williams, Fred Jackson
My selection at No. 74 standard: Jason Witten
My selection at No. 74 PPR: Colin Kaepernick

Round 8

Round 8 - Standard QB 20% RB 30% WR 30% TE 20%
Round 8 - PPR QB 20% RB 30% WR 30% TE 20%

If you're still shopping for starters, it better be at quarterback or tight end. That's because we're entering backup and rookie territory at running back and receiver. The most-wanted handcuffs will begin getting picked off (if you drafted Ray Rice, this is the spot to get Bernard Pierce) and the quality upside receivers will also get snatched up. If you don't feel good about your running backs, then that's the direction to go in. Remember, you're up for another pick soon and can address other needs then.

Players you can get here (Standard): Jordan Reed, Brandin Cooks, Jeremy Hill, Bernard Pierce, Robert Griffin III
Players you can get here (PPR): Devonta Freeman, Brandin Cooks, DeAngelo Williams, Knowshon Moreno, Bernard Pierce, Kyle Rudolph, Jay Cutler
My selection at No. 95 standard: Bernard Pierce
My selection at No. 95 PPR: DeAngelo Williams

Round 9

Round 9 - Standard QB 20% RB 30% WR 25% TE 25%
Round 9 - PPR QB 10% RB 30% WR 35% TE 25%

Things could start getting ugly at quarterback and at tight end, so if you don't have a starter at those spots by now then make a move for one. Depth at running back will go before depth at receiver. Make sure you don't actually see a receiver you'd want before taking the best available back. Players I'd expect to get drafted in Round 9: Zach Ertz, Jay Cutler, Rueben Randle, Christine Michael and Khiry Robinson.

Players you can get here (Standard): Christine Michael, DeAngelo Williams, Greg Olsen, Zach Ertz, Tre Mason, Jay Cutler, Rueben Randle
Players you can get here (PPR): Kyle Rudolph, Jay Cutler, Rueben Randle, Khiry Robinson, Mike Evans, Dexter McCluster, Marvin Jones
My selection at No. 98 standard: DeAngelo Williams
My selection at No. 98 PPR: Kyle Rudolph

Round 10

Round 10 - Standard QB 10% RB 30% WR 35% TE 10% K 0% DST 15%
Round 10 - PPR QB 15% RB 30% WR 30% TE 10% K 0% DST 15%

The fun part about the late rounds of a Fantasy draft is that there's no commitment. Draft someone who blows out a knee or struggles to get playing time? Cut 'em! So this is the time to start looking for two types of players: Relative bargains for quality depth or high-upside youngsters, especially if it's a receiver coming off a decent season or a running back with an older player with breakdown potential in front of them. Or ... you could take the best, most difference-making DST in Fantasy and find sleepers later on (like three picks later).

Players you can get here (Standard): Carlos Hyde, Marvin Jones, Kenny Stills, Knile Davis
Players you can get here (PPR): Tavon Austin, James White, Seahawks DST, Jarrett Boykin, Knile Davis
My selection at No. 119 standard: Marvin Jones
My selection at No. 119 PPR: Seahawks DST

Round 11

Round 11 - Standard QB 15% RB 30% WR 30% TE 10% K 0% DST 15%
Round 11 - PPR QB 15% RB 30% WR 30% TE 10% K 0% DST 15%

Sleepers and quality backup running backs (or both in the case of guys like James White, Andre Williams and Travaris Cadet) are your targets. Nothing wrong with going for an older back who would get a ton of work in case the starter in front of them goes down. Also nothing wrong with taking a DST you have a major hunch about or even a backup quarterback that slides right under your nose. One factor is that roster spots are filling up and when you're up in the next round you might only have one or two open spots to fill before taking a kicker and a DST (assuming you have to take them).

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): Knile Davis, Harry Douglas, Riley Cooper, LeGarrette Blount, Chris Ivory, Eric Ebron, Jarrett Boykin
My selection at No. 122 standard: LeGarrette Blount
My selection at No. 122 PPR: Harry Douglas

Round 12

Round 12 - Standard QB 10% RB 30% WR 25% TE 10% K 0% DST 25%
Round 12 - PPR QB 10% RB 25% WR 30% TE 10% K 0% DST 25%

Unless you splurged on a DST already, only one of your next two picks will be an actual skill-position player. This might be your last sleeper or a backup quarterback or tight end -- but it doesn't have to happen now. Most leagues have DSTs litter the second-to-last round of a draft. If this is your third-to-last round and you're up again in three picks, you might as well wait to take your sleeper unless it's someone you just don't want to risk losing. The benefit? You can rack up a Top 5 DST. Note that if the owner in Pick 1 already has a DST then you should pass on a DST since he'll draft a sleeper with one of his picks (two if he unfathomably has a DST and a kicker already).

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): Any non-Top 3 DST, Carson Palmer, Justin Hunter, any middle- to low-end running back handcuff
My selection at No. 143 standard: Cardinals DST
My selection at No. 143 PPR: Justin Hunter

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%

Most owners will end up with the best-available DST in this spot. Units like the Patriots and Steelers stand out because of their improved personnel and easy schedule (especially for the Steelers). Going for a kicker (and probably the best kicker you can get) is only an option if you're sure you can land the player you want with your final pick -- someone like a low-end handcuff or a player no one else in your league has heard of. But why risk that for a kicker? Wait until the last round for the boot.

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): Any middle- to low-end running back handcuff, any DST not ranked in the Top 5, any kicker
My selection at No. 146 standard: Ka'Deem Carey (handcuff to Matt Forte)
My selection at No. 146 PPR: Ka'Deem Carey

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%

Your last pick should be the most dispensable one -- a kicker. Pick one that either has a track record of consistency (Shayne Graham, Steven Hauschka, Adam Vinatieri, Robbie Gould) or plays with a team that has a good early-season schedule (Alex Henery, Greg Zuerlein, whoever kicks for the Redskins)

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): A kicker
My selection at No. 167 standard: Robbie Gould
My selection at No. 167 PPR: Robbie Gould

The two teams

Standard PPR
QB Drew Brees Colin Kaepernick
RB Matt Forte Matt Forte
RB Ray Rice Zac Stacy
WR Jordy Nelson Andre Johnson
WR Emmanuel Sanders Wes Welker
FLEX Jeremy Maclin Kendall Wright
TE Jason Witten Kyle Rudolph
K Robbie Gould Robbie Gould
DST Cardinals DST Seahawks DST
Reserve Bernard Pierce Stevan Ridley
Reserve DeAngelo Williams DeAngelo Williams
Reserve Marvin Jones Harry Douglas
Reserve LeGarrette Blount Justin Hunter
Reserve Ka'Deem Carey Ka'Deem Carey

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Player News
WR A.J. Jenkins: 'Blessed and humbled' to be part of Cowboys
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(3:01 pm ET) The Cowboys signed former first-round pick A.J. Jenkins earlier this week, and it didn't take long for him to acknowledge he needs to make an impression soon, per The Dallas Morning News.

“I got to hurry up and make some plays and do something,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins was drafted with the 30th pick of the 2012 draft by the 49ers, but only plaed in three games as a rookie. In 2013, the 49ers traded him to the Chiefs where he played in every game but caught only eight passes. Last season he caught nine passes in nine games for the Chiefs before they released him in February.

Now, Jenkins is just happy that a tryout with the Cowboys resulted in the team giving him another shot.

“It was a lift off of my shoulders,” Jenkins said. “It really was because you don’t really know how it goes. There are a lot of guys who stay waiting for a long time and they don’t get a phone call. I’m blessed and humbled for the opportunity, and it being the Cowboys, an organization that’s known for a lot of things. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”


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(2:52 pm ET) Ravens coach John Harbaugh said cornerback Jimmy Smith is "ahead of schedule" with his recovery from a Lisfranc sprain, according to ESPN.com. 

Smith was limited in practice on Thursday but was able to get some work done. 

Smith is expected to be close to full strength for training camp in August. He signed a new deal worth $41.1 million over four years this offseason. 


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by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
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Geathers has earned plenty of practice reps, including some with the first team. Chuck Pagano is impressed.

"He's further ahead," Pagano told ESPN. "He's kind of exceeded our expectations to this point."

Geathers boasts the size and athleticism to cover tight ends. He showed that at Central Florida, where he racked up 383 tackles, three interceptons, five forced fumbles and 30 passes defensed.

"We're playing him down in the box in sub-packages as a dime backer," Pagano said. "So he's learning the backend plus he's learning the sub stuff. He's been really impressive as far as picking things up. He's an athletic guy."


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by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
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"You can't dwell on who you don't have," Brees said."I love Ben Watson and Josh Hill and I feel like they can make a big impact for us."

The Saints traded Graham to the Seahawks this offseason, but added runningback C.J. Spiller, who has already impressed Brees.

"There's really nothing he can't do," Brees said of Spiller.

Graham caught 85 passes for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for the Saints.


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by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2:45 pm ET) Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady suffered a torn ACL in practice on Wednesday and will probably miss the 2015 season, the team announced. 

This is a crucial blow for the Broncos offense, which will rely a lot on its offensive line under Gary Kubiak. Options to replace Clady at left tackle are Michael Schofield or rookie Ty Sambrailo.

Sambrailo was taken in the second round of the 2015 draft and Schofield was a third-round pick in the 2014 draft. 


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(2:42 pm ET) Browns running back and unsigned third-round pick Duke Johnson did not miss voluntary OTAs this week because of any contract squabble, the Northeast Ohio Media Group is reporting. Rather, he was sidelined due to a family matter.

"We did not instruct him to miss OTAs," said agent Alex Gavilla. "We're not trying to take an aggressive negotiating strategy. Duke is very close to his family and he had a personal matter to attend to. He has no plans of holding out of anything."

Johnson, who will compete with Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell for playing time, is the only one of 12 Browns draft picks to remain unsigned. But the two sides are close.

"We're looking at all of the deals that relate to Duke and just trying to find a middle ground with the team," Gavilla said. "We're in constant communication with the Browns front office and having good dialogue."


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"(I'm) motivated, determined and ready to work," he told The Tennessean. "I am ready to bring it all and lay it on the line, man. I just want to get back in the rhythm of being talked about as one of the best receivers in the league, as I was in the past. ... I need to go out there and prove it. No need to say words."

Nicks enjoyed successive 1,000-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011 and tallied 24 touchdowns in his first three years in the NFL. But he faded to the point in which he caught a career-low 38 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns a year ago.

"I feel like where I am at in my career - I just turned 27 - I feel like I still have a lot in my tank," he said. "I wanted to go somewhere and prove I can still be a No. 1 receiver and be the guy I was in the past, statistically and being a guy that likes to make plays and be on the feld consistently.

"With six years of experience, playoff experience and a Super Bowl, I thnk I can definitely bring (leadership) to a team. And I want to compete for Super Bowl teams here."


Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles wants to play another six years
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:45 pm ET) Jamaal Charles is 29 but hasn't showed any signs of slowing down. 

In his battle to prove that you can hit the 30-year mark in age and still be a capable running back in the NFL, Charles said it's his goal to continue playing this game for an additional half-decade.

“I want to play another six years so, my form is to keep on taking my diet," Charles said, via the Chiefs' official team site. "I’m seeing guys at 37 or 38 still playing football in the trenches and that’s somewhere where you don’t want to play. So I just want to change the game with the running backs. I want this to last longer and then when I retire, I’ll be happy with where I end my career at.”

Charles ran for 1,033 yards and nine touchdowns while going for 291 receiving yards and five touchdowns. 


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Kelly emphasized that Tebow has improved behind center.

"You guys will see him today. Watch him throw. I think he's improved," Kelly said of Tebow. "He's spent a lot of time in the last few years in terms of working on his game."

Tebow hasn't played in the NFL since 2012.


Kelly: 'We've to plenty of time' to wait for Eagles QB Sam Bradford
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:20 pm ET) Chip Kelly has stated that Eagles presumed starting quarterback Sam Bradford must get back on the field and prove something before he is proclaimed as such.

It hasn't happened yet. He was limited in workouts this spring and has been absent from OTA drills, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. Chief competitor Mark Sanchez has recieved the first-team reps instead.

Bradford is just nine months removed from a torn ACL, his second in two seasons. Kelly stated that Bradford is on schedule with his rehab and could do some 7-on-7 work next week.

"We've got plenty of time," Kelly added.


 
 
 
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