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2014 Draft Prep: Picking No. 6 overall

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Pick No. 1 | Pick No. 2 | Pick No. 3 | Pick No. 4 | Pick No. 5 | Pick No. 7
Pick No. 8 | Pick No. 9 | Pick No. 10 | Pick No. 11 | Pick No. 12

Should the owner who draws the sixth overall selection take the best available running back or the best available non-running back? Let the debate begin!

There's no question that if you pass on a running back you'll get an elite player. Calvin Johnson or Demaryius Thomas, Jimmy Graham or Peyton Manning are at your fingertips. All of them are consistent, strong Fantasy choices that can bolster a team. But by taking them, you're putting pressure on yourself to find good running backs later (scope the backs ranked 10th and beyond in our rankings). Maybe you like that pressure -- it's kind of fun to hunt running backs and hope to strike gold with one. But it's painful if you pass up a great running back.

That's the risk you'll take if you don't stay on the ground in Round 1. Guys like Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte and Adrian Peterson are likely to be long gone. You might have a shot at Eddie Lacy, which is the next best back in our opinion. But if he's gone and you're set on getting a rusher, you'll have a big choice to make from:

• Arian Foster is coming off of a minor back surgery and has dealt with minor injuries for a while. He'll be the bell cow for the Texans, but will their passing game push defenders closer to shutting him down?

• DeMarco Murray has been stellar when healthy and the Cowboys figure to have an explosive offense. But could Murray lose some targets in the passing game, and what guarantees are there that he'll stay healthy?

• Montee Ball is next in line to run the ball for the Broncos, and playing next to Peyton Manning has always been a good thing for a rusher. But is he a lock to keep the job even if he struggles or fumbles? Can he be trusted in just his second season?

• Marshawn Lynch has been a beast for several Fantasy seasons, displaying the role of No. 1 Fantasy running back quite well. Will his holdout affect him? And if not, will the 400-plus touches he took on en route to the Super Bowl make for some eventual bad news?

Ugh, it's enough to just make you take a non-running back, isn't it?

We'd consider going with a receiver or a tight end in Round 1 if our league were smaller and/or gave full points for receptions (PPR). That matters because smaller leagues will allow owners opportunities to pick up running backs later on and points for catches mean more points for receivers. We would not go with a quarterback unless owners could start more than one every week -- there's just too much supply for the demand involved. Maybe our tune would change in a league with 16 or more teams. Maybe.

The only person who can settle the debate is you. If it helps, the running backs that will be there all have the potential to be exceptional, just some of them come with more questions than others. And as you'll soon see, passing on a quarterback, receiver or tight end in Round 1 isn't such a bad thing.

We have two teams to show you: One in which we took a running back first and one in which we went with a receiver (a PPR league). Hopefully you'll learn something from the differences in philosophy.

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 55% WR 30% TE 15%
Round 1 - PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 45% TE 15%

In a perfect world, one of the Top 4 running backs slides to this spot for an easy pick. But the world is an imperfect place. Eddie Lacy might be the best you can get and if not him, then someone like we mentioned above. Don't limit yourself to a running back if you're in a PPR league or a small league. One of the perks of taking an elite receiver early on is that you'll never have to replace him except in case of injury, and the production should end up being very consistent. Yes, you will feel a little pressure to add running backs, but you should find one to your liking in Round 2 if you want to take one (which is probably a good plan).

Players you can get here (Standard): Eddie Lacy, Arian Foster, Montee Ball, DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch, Calvin Johnson, Jimmy Graham
Players you can get here (PPR): Jimmy Graham, Demaryius Thomas, Giovani Bernard, DeMarco Murray
My selection at No. 6 standard: Eddie Lacy
My selection at No. 6 PPR: Demaryius Thomas

Round 2

Round 2 - Standard QB 5% RB 60% WR 30% TE 5%
Round 2 - PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 40% TE 15%

You might feel the need to take a running back here regardless of your first-round pick. The position dries up quickly and the likes of Zac Stacy and Doug Martin could be too appealing to pass up. Of course, you might have taken a running back in Round 1 and would like to opt for an elite receiver in Round 2. Those are bound to be there, and it means having a rock solid starter in your lineup. The best reason to wait on a receiver is knowing that there will be pass catchers in the third and fourth tiers waiting for you in Round 3 and potentially Round 4.

Players you can get here (Standard): Zac Stacy, Doug Martin, Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall, A.J. Green
Players you can get here (PPR): Jordy Nelson, Le'Veon Bell, Andre Ellington, Antonio Brown, Randall Cobb, Alshon Jeffery
My selection at No. 19 standard: Zac Stacy
My selection at No. 19 PPR: Andre Ellington

Round 3

Round 3 - Standard QB 15% RB 35% WR 40% TE 10%
Round 3 - PPR QB 15% RB 30% WR 45% TE 10%

This is a nice spot to take a quality receiver (think 11th to 16th in our wideout ranks), though there's also a chance a Top 3 quarterback falls into your lap. Can't argue with taking a passer like Aaron Rodgers in Round 3 of a standard league or Peyton Manning in a PPR format. That's quality value. Now, if you started your draft with at least one receiver, you might be inclined to roll with a running back. I might fight that feeling since there should be some good enough running back choices coming up in Round 4.

Players you can get here (Standard): Aaron Rodgers, Toby Gerhart, Ryan Mathews, Bishop Sankey, Larry Fitzgerald, Julius Thomas, Michael Crabtree
Players you can get here (PPR): Larry Fitzgerald, Shane Vereen, Peyton Manning, Michael Crabtree, Pierre Garcon
My selection at No. 30 standard: Aaron Rodgers
My selection at No. 30 PPR: Larry Fitzgerald

Round 4

Round 4 - Standard QB 5% RB 45% WR 45% TE 5%
Round 4 - PPR QB 10% RB 40% WR 40% TE 10%

Kind of a simple formula for this pick: If you need a second running back, take one. If you need a second receiver, take one. Anticipate going with one of those two positions; the only players who you might otherwise remotely consider here are Matthew Stafford or Julius Thomas (if Thomas slides). Aaron Rodgers could make it here in a PPR format. Anyway, you might want to lean toward a rusher since that position will drop a tier sooner than the receivers. Players like Joique Bell, Shane Vereen and Ray Rice will make for the best of the bunch before names like Frank Gore and Chris Johnson begin to invade the draft in a round or so.

Players you can get here (Standard): Keenan Allen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Shane Vereen, Matthew Stafford, Joique Bell
Players you can get here (PPR): Keenan Allen, Joique Bell, Cordarrelle Patterson, Roddy White, Michael Floyd
My selection at No. 43 standard: Cordarrelle Patterson
My selection at No. 43 PPR: Joique Bell

Round 5

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

A round ago we talked about running backs dropping down to the next tier. The kind of backs left make decent No. 2 options but are better flexes. Thing is, running backs will fall yet another tier soon, so it's not a bad idea to pick up the best of what's left in Round 5 -- a player with 1,000-yard, six touchdown potential. That's for the owners who already have two capable receivers on their roster -- if you don't have two receivers already then it's probably in your best interests to invest in someone like Roddy White, Wes Welker or Victor Cruz. This pick shouldn't be a quarterback unless someone falls into your lap (not sure Stafford qualifies here if it's a PPR league) and aside from maybe Vernon Davis the tight ends won't pick up again until Round 6.

Players you can get here (Standard): Frank Gore, Wes Welker, Roddy White, Victor Cruz, Vernon Davis
Players you can get here (PPR): Emmanuel Sanders, Trent Richardson, Chris Johnson, Julian Edelman, Vernon Davis, Frank Gore
My selection at No. 54 standard: Roddy White
My selection at No. 54 PPR: Chris Johnson

Round 6

Round 6 - Standard QB 20% RB 25% WR 30% TE 25%
Round 6 - PPR QB 15% RB 30% WR 30% TE 25%

This is a terrific spot to wind up with a tight end or quarterback, assuming you don't have one of each already (you might have one or the other already but it's sort of frowned upon to have both). While running backs and receivers become slim pickings, the tight ends and quarterbacks offer quality value. One name you should find is Jordan Cameron, the breakout Browns tight end from a season ago and likely De facto leading receiver again in 2014. Quarterbacks you'll find available include Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo and Andrew Luck. Thing is, one of those quarterbacks might make it back to you in Round 7, so there could be less urgency to take one now.

Players you can get here (Standard): Torrey Smith, DeSean Jackson, Ben Tate, Jordan Cameron, Andrew Luck, Mike Wallace
Players you can get here (PPR): Golden Tate, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas, Jordan Cameron, Ben Tate
My selection at No. 67 standard: Jordan Cameron
My selection at No. 67 PPR: Jordan Cameron

Round 7

Round 7 - Standard QB 20% RB 20% WR 30% TE 30%
Round 7 - PPR QB 25% RB 25% WR 30% TE 20%

You're either looking for depth, a quality starter at a deep position or a sleeper here. That doesn't really narrow things down, but your roster and your needs will do that for you. If you need a running back or a receiver for comfortable depth this is the last round you'll really feel okay about whoever you take (things take a turn in Round 8). If you need a quarterback or a tight end this is a good time to pick up a solid value (though sleepers and insane values at those positions will start infiltrating the draft in Round 8 and 9). And the sleepers that go here will be the kind that everyone in your league has earmarked. If one of those sleepers could also fill a need for you (like running back depth, for instance), then it's a winner.

Players you can get here (Standard): Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston, Terrance Williams, Maurice Jones-Drew, T.Y. Hilton
Players you can get here (PPR): Matt Ryan, Terrance Williams, T.Y. Hilton, Fred Jackson, Steven Jackson, Sammy Watkins
My selection at No. 78 standard: Marques Colston
My selection at No. 78 PPR: Terrance Williams

Round 8

Round 8 - Standard QB 15% RB 40% WR 30% TE 15%
Round 8 - PPR QB 15% RB 40% WR 30% TE 15%

The halfway point of the draft is a good time to pick up some depth at running back if you haven't collected enough already. The longer you wait for running backs, the more likely you'll run into ones with too many question marks or road blocks for playing time. If not that then some quarterbacks along with some high-upside receivers will be in the offing.

Players you can get here (Standard): Fred Jackson, Mike Evans, Danny Woodhead, Jordan Reed, Brandin Cooks, Jeremy Hill
Players you can get here (PPR): Maurice Jones-Drew, Lamar Miller, Devonta Freeman, Zach Ertz, Kyle Rudolph, Brandin Cooks
My selection at No. 91 standard: Danny Woodhead
My selection at No. 91 PPR: Lamar Miller

Round 9

Round 9 - Standard QB 15% RB 35% WR 30% TE 20%
Round 9 - PPR QB 15% RB 30% WR 35% TE 20%

As the draft begins to wind down, this round represents a chance to either go for big-time sleepers that are still on the board or pick up an in-demand handcuff for one of your starting running backs. Rushers like Tre Mason, Stepfan Taylor, Khiry Robinson and Christine Michael are worth taking here because in Round 10 some owners will start to gobble them up, even if they don't have the starter in front of them. If you don't have the desire to get 'cuffed, then find a sleeper with outrageous upside and plunk him on your roster. Do not reach for a DST or a second quarterback.

Players you can get here (Standard): Zach Ertz, Stepfan Taylor, Tre Mason, Jay Cutler, Rueben Randle
Players you can get here (PPR): Khiry Robinson, Mike Evans, Dexter McCluster, Marvin Jones, Christine Michael, Reggie Wayne, Jeremy Hill
My selection at No. 102 standard: Tre Mason
My selection at No. 102 PPR: Mike Evans

Round 10

Round 10 - Standard QB 10% RB 40% WR 35% TE 10% K 0% DST 5%
Round 10 - PPR QB 15% RB 35% WR 35% TE 10% K 0% DST 5%

There's going to be an owner in every league who will be last to draft a starting quarterback. The owner will have incomparable value fall into his lap, making it worth his while to wait on the position. That pick might get made in Round 10, particularly in a PPR format, where people de-value quarterbacks to begin with. That happened here with Nick Foles freefalling into the double-digit round. He would have been a great pick two rounds prior! Things like this happen on Draft Day, which is why as a general rule, it's a good idea to keep track of everyone who's been drafted and pounce if someone falls through the cracks. If there isn't someone in the cracks waiting to get caught, then look for depth or maybe the top DST.

Players you can get here (Standard): Tavon Austin, Riley Cooper, Charles Sims, Dwayne Bowe, Philip Rivers, Seahawks DST
Players you can get here (PPR): Tavon Austin, Stepfan Taylor, Hakeem Nicks, Dwayne Bowe, Carlos Hyde, Seahawks DST
My selection at No. 115 standard: Riley Cooper
My selection at No. 115 PPR: Nick Foles

Round 11

Round 11 - Standard QB 10% RB 35% WR 30% TE 15% K 0% DST 10%
Round 11 - PPR QB 10% RB 30% WR 35% TE 15% K 0% DST 10%

Round 11 is a good time to go sleeper shopping. A DST could also be in order if you so choose, but only if it's a real difference maker. Remember that handcuffs and backup quarterbacks can also double as sleepers -- those are the best ones. Naturally if you feel like you need to pick up a legit handcuff for one of your previously drafted backs, then don't take the chance unless you're positive you can get him later.

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): Eric Ebron, Heath Miller, Doug Baldwin, Harry Douglas, Travaris Cadet, Darren McFadden
My selection at No. 126 standard: Eric Ebron
My selection at No. 126 PPR: Travaris Cadet

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%

If you don't have a kicker and a DST, and don't want one of those, then this is your last pick. Two options: A handcuff or yet another sleeper -- no such thing as too many sleepers! It's not a bad thing to go with a DST in this spot, especially if all of the owners picking after you in Round 12 don't have a DST already. That's because they'll all have to take one in Round 13 (assuming you're in a 14-round draft and assuming you have to take a DST). You can beat them to the punch and take a solid unit and then have a sleeper available with your next pick.

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): Any non-Top 3 DST, Kelvin Benjamin, James White, Anquan Boldin, Carson Palmer, Justin Hunter, Rod Streater, any middle- to low-end running back handcuff
My selection at No. 139 standard: Kelvin Benjamin
My selection at No. 139 PPR: Rams DST

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%

The advice for Round 13 is the same as Round 12, though most owners will have splurged on a sleeper with their previous pick and now should be shoe-horned into taking a DST here. Handcuffs and serious late-round fliers will be in play if you don't need a DST.

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. 150 standard: Broncos DST
My selection at No. 150 PPR: Antonio Gates

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%

Most Fantasy owners know by now not to be sentimental with their own players -- and that includes kickers. Maybe a Jaguars fan wants "at least one of my guys" on his roster and takes Josh Scobee. Great. He's not a prolific kicker and his offense figures to be meh. You wasted a pick. Don't go for kickers on offenses that have issues. Sure, sometimes it works out and the kicker turns out to be great -- Dan Carpenter is an example from 2013. But just roll with those guys off of waivers instead of turning to them on Draft Day.

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): A kicker
My selection at No. 163 standard: Mason Crosby
My selection at No. 163 PPR: Shayne Graham

The two teams

Standard PPR
QB Aaron Rodgers Nick Foles
RB Eddie Lacy Andre Ellington
RB Zac Stacy Joique Bell
WR Cordarrelle Patterson Demaryius Thomas
WR Roddy White Larry Fitzgerald
FLEX Marques Colston Chris Johnson
TE Jordan Cameron Jordan Cameron
K Mason Crosby Shayne Graham
DST Patriots Rams
Reserve Danny Woodhead Terrance Williams
Reserve Tre Mason Lamar Miller
Reserve Riley Cooper Mike Evans
Reserve Eric Ebron Travaris Cadet
Reserve Kelvin Benjamin Antonio Gates

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Player News
49ers' Phil Dawson makes only FG try in loss vs. Seahawks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:28 am ET) 49ers kicker Phil Dawson was successful on his only field-goal attempt Thursday, making a 40-yard kick in his team's 19-3 loss to the Seahawks in Week 13.

Dawson was the victim of a flailing performance by the 49ers offense, as the team was only able to put together one long drive in the loss. The kicker has been held to only one field-goal try in each of his last two games. He'll hope to see more chances against the Raiders in Week 14.


49ers' pass catchers share very small pie in loss vs. Seahawks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:25 am ET) There wasn't much offense to go around for the 49ers' wide receivers and tight ends in the team's 19-3 loss to the Seahawks in Week 13, with wide receiver Steve Johnson leading the receiving unit with three catches for just 28 yards.

Running back Carlos Hyde led the team with 38 receiving yards, but there was simply no offense to speak of for the 49ers on Thanksgiving. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin caught three of his five targets for just 18 yards, while teammate Michael Crabtree managed just 10 yards on three catches of his own. Tight end Vernon Davis kicked in two receptions for 13 yards.

The 49ers will hope for a big bounce-back performance in Week 14 against the Raiders.


49ers' Frank Gore, Carlos Hyde sputter in loss vs. Seahawks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:21 am ET) The 49ers couldn't find much success on the ground in Thursday's 19-3 loss to the Seahawks, with running back Frank Gore leading the way with 10 carries for just 28 yards and an eight-yard reception in Week 13.

Rookie Carlos Hyde was the more explosive of the two backs Thursday, rushing for 19 yards on five carries while catching all three of his targets for a team-high 38 receiving yards, but the Seahawks defense virtually shut down the entire 49ers offense on Thanksgiving. The pair will look to bounce back in a much better matchup against the Raiders in Week 14.


49ers QB Colin Kaepernick shut down in loss vs. Seahawks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:18 am ET) 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had no answer for the Seahawks defense Thursday, completing 16 of his 29 passes for only 121 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions while adding 17 rushing yards on three carries in his team's 19-3 loss to the Seahawks in Week 13.

Kaepernick also took four sacks for 21 yards, giving him just 100 net yards of passing offense in the rough outing. He managed to piece together just one significant drive, taking the offense from his own 19-yard line to the Seahawks' 19-yard line before taking a sack on third down and settling for a field goal in the third quarter with the 49ers down 16-0. Kaepernick will look to get back on track in Week 14 against the Raiders.


49ers WR Michael Crabtree quiet in Week 13 after rib, knee issues
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:11 am ET) 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree caught all three of his targets for jut 10 yards in his team's 19-3 loss to the Seahawks in Week 13.

Crabtree was hit by an injury almost immediately on the team's first drive but was able to resume play. The team had announced that he was dealing with a rib injury, but coach Jim Harbaugh added after the game that the receiver was also suffering from a knee injury. He's in line for a few extra days of rest going into his Week 14 matchup against the Raiders.


Seahawks CB Richard Sherman notches two INTs vs. 49ers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:08 am ET) Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman picked off two passes to help spearhead a dominant performance by the Seahawks defense in his team's 19-3 win over the 49ers in Week 13.

The Seahawks were relentless against the 49ers offense on Thanksgiving, holding the opposition to only 164 total yards on offense and just 3.2 yards per play. Sherman's first interception came on a misfired 20-yard pass from San Francisco's 30-yard line that made it appear the Seattle cornerback was the intended target. His second pick came on one of San Francisco's few trips into Seattle territory as Colin Kaepernick appeared to lose the cornerback in coverage and threw another pass directly to the defender.

The Seahawks defense managed a total of four sacks and three turnovers in the win. They'll look to keep rolling in Week 14 against the Eagles.


Seahawks K Steven Hauschka nails four FGs in win vs. 49ers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:02 am ET) Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka made all four of his field-goal attempts and one extra point in Thursday's 19-3 win over the 49ers in Week 13.

Hauschka was called upon to provide plenty of points with the Seahawks offense continually stalling deep in 49ers territory. He picked up field goals of 21 and 36 yards in the second quarter before adding two more kicks from 35 and 46 yards out in the second half. He's now racked up eight field goals in his last two games, and he takes a 90 percent success rate into a Week 14 matchup with the Eagles.


Seahawks' pass catchers limited by light workload in Week 13
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/27/2014) Seahawks tight end Tony Moeaki led his offense with 63 receiving yards on just one reception in his team's 19-3 win over the 49ers in Week 13.

Moeaki caught a pass of about 12 yards near the sideline early in the second quarter and ran past his defender to bring the ball all the way down to the one-yard line before being caught. The Seahawks weren't able to punch the ball into the end zone on the drive, but a dominant performance by the defense meant the points left on the board wouldn't come back to haunt the offense.

The rest of the receiving corps didn't have much of a workload in the win Thursday, with quarterback Russell Wilson completing just 15 passes on 22 attempts. Tight end Luke Willson led the Seahawks with four receptions and six targets, gaining just 39 yards in the game. Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse managed three receptions for 34 yards, while wide receiver Doug Baldwin could only haul in two passes for 28 yards. Rookie Paul Richardson was able to catch his only target for six yards.

The Seahawks have a trip to Philadelphia on the schedule in Week 14.


Seahawks' Robert Turbin scores lone TD in win vs. 49ers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/27/2014) Seahawks running back Robert Turbin caught both of his targets for 47 yards and a touchdown while adding eight rushing yards on four carries in his team's 19-3 win over the 49ers in Week 13.

Turbin grabbed a short pass to the left and was able to work his way towards the end zone and maintain his balance to score a 13-yard touchdown that put his team up 7-0 in the first quarter. The Seahawks would pile on two field goals before halftime in a game where the 49ers had virtually no answers for the Seattle defense. Turbin's touchdown was just his second of the season and his first since Week 2. He'll match up with the Eagles in Week 14.


Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch racks up 104 rushing yards Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/27/2014) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 104 yards on 20 carries while adding a seven-yard reception in his team's 19-3 win over the 49ers in Week 13.

Lynch took a heavy portion of the workload on Thanksgiving as the Seahawks jumped out to an early lead and leaned on the defense. Despite struggling against the Cardinals in Week 12, Lynch has posted three 100-yard performances on the ground in his last four games. However, he hasn't reached the end zone in any of his last three games. He'll look to rectify the recent lack of scoring against the Eagles in Week 14.


 
 
 
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