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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
Cowboys LB Bruce Carter back at practice Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:43 pm ET) Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter returned to practice Thursday after missing the last three games due to a strained quadriceps. The Cowboys are preparing to face the Redskins in Week 8.

LB Darin Drakeford back with Chiefs
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:42 pm ET) The Chiefs have signed linebacker Darin Drakeford to their practice squad. He played briefly with that team in 2013.

Drakeford was cut by Atlanta before the regular season.


Browns QB Brian Hoyer: 'Maybe it's good we lost last week'
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:08 am ET) Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer has expressed both anger over his effort Sunday at Jacksonville and hopefulness that the dud of the team performance will prove to be a positive in the long run.

Hoyer had his worst game with Cleveland, completing just 16 of 41 passes for 215 yards. He also threw an interception, lost a fumble, had four tosses batted down and finished with a career-worst passer rating of 46.3.

"Of all the games I've every played, that's the worst I've ever felt after one, and it's something you have to deal with learning on the job," he told the Akron Beacon Journal. "...For the first time in my career in the NFL, I played a bad game, and it sucks. I take a lot [of blame] on myself, and that's why I probably wasn't too pleasant to be around the past two days."

Hoyer, however, claims that the team could benefit from the 24-6 defeat to a Jaguars team that had been winless entering play. After all, the Browns are preparing to play the 0-6 Raiders in Cleveland on Sunday.

"Maybe it's good we lost last week," he said. "I don't think we underestimated anyone. But I think now we see that no matter who we're playing, we have to be at our best, and there's no excuses and we have to go out and execute."


Jets WR Percy Harvin to media: Mum's the word
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:50 am ET) Newly acquired wideout Percy Harvin has told media members covering the Jets on Wednesday that he has been instructed not to conduct any interviews with them, per the New York Daily News.

It remains to be seen if Harvin fulfills media obligations by being allowed to speak on Friday, as the team promised.

With the Jets already having careened out out of the playoff race, the controversial acquisition of Harvin from Seattle has undergone great scrutiny. Harvin spoke on Monday about the circumstances involed in his departure from the Seahawks - including fights with fellow receivers Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate.


Falcons WR Harry Douglas back at practice, might play Week 8
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) After missing the last 10 practices, Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas finally returned to the practice field Thursday, coach Mike Smith announced. Smith added Douglas, who has missed the last four games, was limited in practice.

Smith hinted at a possibility of Douglas playing Week 8 against the Lions. Smith said the team will have to monitor Douglas' status over the next few days, per the team's official website.


Titans' Whisenhunt explains why Akeem Ayers was traded to Patriots
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(10:36 am ET) Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt expressed Wednesday part of the reason the team traded Akeem Ayers to the Patriots was that he didn't provide a big enough boost on special teams, according to The Tennessean. Ayers, who was inactive for five of the team's seven games, was a second-round pick in 2011.

"I think we had an opportunity, and I think it was good for both parties,'' Whisenhunt said. "It gave Akeem a chance to get a fresh start, and it gave us a chance to get something in exchange for that.

"I think really a big part of it was special teams. When you're in that role, you've got to be able to contribute special teams wise, and we needed that, and we just didn't feel like we were getting enough in that area."


Healthy Gerhart could put squeeze on Jaguars RB Robinson
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(10:30 am ET) Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart appears on the verge of returning to game action after missing the last two weeks with a foot sprain. He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.

"He said he felt pretty good," Gus Bradley told the Florida Times-Union. "I think the last two weeks have been tough on him, but today he felt a lot better and felt like it was beneficial to have that time off."

Now it must be determined if he's still the featured back. He managed a 2.6 YPC average in 48 attempts before going down. Meanwhile, Denard Robinson emerged in Week 7 to rush for 127 yards on just 22 carries in the team's first victory of the season, a lopsided defeat of Cleveland.

"I think we'll continue to mix and match a little bit," said offensive coordinator Jeff Fisch. "I don't exactly how that will all play out yet."

The Jaguars host Miami on Sunday.


Seahawks coordinator 'disappointed' about Harvin's tenure with team
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(10:29 am ET) Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell expressed his disappointment wide receiver Percy Harvin wasn't able to have more personal success with the team prior to being traded to the Jets last week. Bevell, who was the Vikings offensive coordinator during Harvin's first two years in the NFL (2009-10), was hoping his history with Harvin would be a major factor during his tenure with Seattle.

"I was disappointed, you know. I was disappointed. I did have a history with him, and I thought it would be a different outcome. But I guess that’s just the way it went," Bevell said, per The News Tribune. "I think we have a phenomenal atmosphere here. It’s led by coach (Pete) Carroll. I think he gives the guys great freedom to be who they want to be. I think he sets the tone for the whole program. It’s an upbeat program. Obviously we are very positive here. It’s just disappointing."

Harvin recently expressed his disappointment with how he was used on offense in Seattle. Bevell said he called bubble screens and hitch routes for Harvin to keep teams from double-teaming him downfield.

"I had many conversations with him about it, just about his role and the things that we would ask him to do. He never articulated that to me," Bevell said. "I mean, he caught a deep ball in the Washington game (40 yards for what would have been a touchdown but for a personal foul on guard James Carpenter that negated the catch); unfortunately it got called back. But the thing was we wanted to make sure he was going to be involved in the game and get the touches. You know, you can just double team somebody and just take him out of the game (with deeper balls). He never did. But we’ve moved on past that. It’s left in the past."


Report: Lions blew protocol Sunday in case of LaAdrian Waddle
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:19 am ET) The Lions allowed right tackle LaAdrian Waddle to return to the game Sunday against New Orleans after slamming his head to the turf on the extra point that secured the victory, the Detroit Free Press has reported.

Jim Caldwell admitted that Thursday despite claiming that he and general manager Martin Mayhew followed NFL concussion protocol "to the letter."

Waddle stayed in the game for the kneel-down play that ran the final seconds off the clock. "We knew exactly when it occurred and what happened within the context of it," Caldwell said. "It was the last play of the game for him. It was actually on a field goal, the PAT at the end. It's the last play of the game for him."

Protocol requires that a player must be removed if a brain injury is suspected. Yet Waddle was indeed in the game thereafter. Why was he allowed to return to the field?

"Well, in terms of they knew exactly what happened to him in terms of he banged his head on the ground after where he gets up," Caldwell said. "It wasn't to the point where they thought he was concussed at the time. The final snap of the game, we knew it was only one snap, then the doctors reviewed him, took a look at him, it wasn't one of those situations where he felt he had to go in the locker room right away. But they did know he banged it when he came off, and that he was good."

Waddle did not participate in Wednesday practice.


Reggie Bush, three TEs sit out practice Thursday for Lions
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:18 am ET) Lions running back Reggie Bush (ankle), tight end Eric Ebron (hamstring), tight end Joseph Fauria (ankle) and tight end Brandon Pettigrew (foot) all sat out practice Thursday. Bush was the only player of the four to practice Wednesday.

The Lions are preparing to play the Falcons in Week 8.


 
 
 
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