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2014 Draft Prep: Picking No. 8 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. 6
Pick No. 7 | Pick No. 9 | Pick No. 10 | Pick No. 11 | Pick No. 12

If you're picking eighth, go ahead and grab a pen and a piece of paper.

Got it? Good. Now make a list of the eight players you'd love to have on your Fantasy team. Go ahead and put names like Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson and Eddie Lacy on there, even though you have a snowball's chance in Belichick's sauna of getting one of them.

Have your list of eight names? Cool. Now add nine more names. That's right, put more names down (hope you didn't write too big). Include quarterbacks if you want, and definitely get some receivers in there.

You should have a list of 17 names. Congratulations! You now have a mini-rank list to get you through the first two rounds of your Fantasy draft.

This exercise is important to do since there's absolutely no consensus picks from about fifth overall through the end of Round 1 in any format. We know running backs will be popular but once the best ones are gone, anything goes. Could Calvin Johnson slip to eighth overall in a standard league? Sure could. Jimmy Graham? Might get that far. Peyton Manning? Perhaps, but why would you take him when you can get someone as good in Round 2 or someone not quite as good but still pretty darn good later on?

So while it stinks that you won't be able to fetch an elite-caliber running back in Round 1, at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you'll pick up two of the Top 17 players on your list to begin your draft.

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 20% TE 25%
Round 1 - PPR QB 0% RB 70% WR 15% TE 15%

You know what you're getting when you take Calvin Johnson or Jimmy Graham in Round 1. Throw Demaryius Thomas in there too if you're in a PPR league -- he warrants it. But if those guys are gone, you should revert to a running back as your top pick. Naturally, you want one that has 20-touch potential every week with goal-line duties, just like the backs that were taken in front of you. The ones you'll likely pick from include Arian Foster, Montee Ball, DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch and in PPR formats Giovani Bernard. All have their strengths and weaknesses but the bottom line is that they're all in a position to help your lineup take shape to begin the year.

Players you can get here (Standard): Jimmy Graham, Arian Foster, Montee Ball, Marshawn Lynch, DeMarco Murray, Peyton Manning
Players you can get here (PPR): Giovani Bernard, DeMarco Murray, Arian Foster, Montee Ball, Eddie Lacy
My selection at No. 8 standard: Arian Foster
My selection at No. 8 PPR: Giovani Bernard

Round 2

Round 2 - Standard QB 25% RB 45% WR 25% TE 5%
Round 2 - PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 50% TE 10%

The best plan for Round 2 is to target the best available player regardless of position. This won't be an easy task. There will be running backs left that make up part of our Top 12, not to mention receivers that are part of our Top 7. And also, Peyton Manning. As much as Fantasy analysts will tell you to wait and wait on quarterbacks, the best advice is to not resist a very good quarterback value, regardless of where you're at come Draft Day. Getting the best quarterback in the game in Round 2 in a standard league qualifies (we'd pass on him in PPR leagues). Note: We would not settle for Brees. If Peyton's not there, it should be a running back or a receiver -- we might lean toward a running back in a non-PPR league and a receiver in a PPR league.

Players you can get here (Standard): Zac Stacy, Peyton Manning, Doug Martin, Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall, A.J. Green
Players you can get here (PPR): A.J. Green, Jordy Nelson, Le'Veon Bell, Andre Ellington, Antonio Brown
My selection at No. 17 standard: Peyton Manning
My selection at No. 17 PPR: Jordy Nelson

Round 3

Round 3 - Standard QB 10% RB 40% WR 30% TE 20%
Round 3 - PPR QB 5% RB 40% WR 35% TE 20%

Pretty straightforward game plan here: If you have just one running back through two picks, you should take another. Backs ranked anywhere from 16th to 20th should make it to around this point but aren't promised to make it back when you're up in Round 4, even if it's just nine picks later. If you have two running backs heading into Round 3 then you're in a pretty good spot to pick up a receiver. Some very good ones will have made it to you, but because other owners after you will be checking out running backs, expect a handful of desirable receivers to be available in Round 4 as well. All the more reason to pursue running backs in Round 3. Julius Thomas, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are the only names that might throw you off your plan.

Players you can get here (Standard): Toby Gerhart, Ryan Mathews, Bishop Sankey, Larry Fitzgerald, Julius Thomas
Players you can get here (PPR): Shane Vereen, Bishop Sankey, Peyton Manning, Michael Crabtree, Pierre Garcon
My selection at No. 32 standard: Ryan Mathews
My selection at No. 32 PPR: Bishop Sankey

Round 4

Round 4 - Standard QB 15% RB 45% WR 35% TE 5%
Round 4 - PPR QB 20% RB 35% WR 35% TE 10%

Obviously you should still hunt for starters with need being part of the equation. The running backs will not be as pretty when you're up in Round 5, while the receivers should still have a few decent names left by then, so perhaps prioritize running backs -- especially if you need one for your starting lineup. Where things could get interesting is if a quarterback falls in your lap -- Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees both could make it here in a PPR league and Matthew Stafford would be a good get in standard leagues.

Players you can get here (Standard): Michael Crabtree, Pierre Garcon, Keenan Allen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Shane Vereen, Matthew Stafford
Players you can get here (PPR): Vincent Jackson, Drew Brees, Keenan Allen, Joique Bell, Cordarrelle Patterson, Roddy White
My selection at No. 41 standard: Pierre Garcon
My selection at No. 41 PPR: Drew Brees

Round 5

Round 5 - Standard QB 15% RB 30% WR 35% TE 20%
Round 5 - PPR QB 15% RB 25% WR 35% TE 25%

There are a couple of different philosophies in play with this selection: Take from the talent pools that are dwindling or aim for a quality starter at quarterback or tight end. Obviously, depth matters in Fantasy Football and if you need a second or third running back or receiver and there's an attractive choice staring you in the face, go for it. But there's something to be said for a potential difference-maker sitting around. Vernon Davis figures to get swiped in Round 5 and is a bit of a bargain to make it this far into the round. While it's unlikely he'll lock up 13 touchdowns again, Davis should still be a sizable contributor for the Niners and should be a lock to finish as a Top 10 Fantasy tight end. Take him if he's there. If not, the likes of Torrey Smith, DeSean Jackson and Ben Tate are what you're looking at.

Players you can get here (Standard): Victor Cruz, Vernon Davis, Golden Tate, Torrey Smith, Ben Tate, DeSean Jackson
Players you can get here (PPR): Julian Edelman, Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, Matthew Stafford
My selection at No. 56 standard: Vernon Davis
My selection at No. 56 PPR: Vernon Davis

Round 6

Round 6 - Standard QB 25% RB 20% WR 30% TE 25%
Round 6 - PPR QB 20% RB 20% WR 35% TE 25%

Picking early in Round 6 provides the chance to backfill a starting lineup spot with a leftover player from the Top 60 or so. You'll be better off looking for a receiver here rather than a running back since the rushers left look like Pierre Thomas, Ben Tate and Steven Jackson. Better running back values await in later rounds. The receivers look better but be on the lookout for quarterbacks and tight ends -- names like Matt Ryan, Tony Romo and Andrew Luck along with Jordan Cameron, Dennis Pitta and Jason Witten will get taken in the very near future. Targeting any of these guys? This is the round to get them.

Players you can get here (Standard): Dennis Pitta, DeSean Jackson, Ben Tate, Jordan Cameron, Andrew Luck, Mike Wallace
Players you can get here (PPR): Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas, Jordan Cameron, Ben Tate, Dennis Pitta, Danny Woodhead
My selection at No. 65 standard: DeSean Jackson
My selection at No. 65 PPR: Marques Colston

Round 7

Round 7 - Standard QB 20% RB 35% WR 25% TE 20%
Round 7 - PPR QB 20% RB 40% WR 25% TE 15%

NFL general managers say they almost never draft for need but they've never been in Round 7 of a Fantasy draft. That's when need should kick in for your roster and you pick where you need a quality starter or depth at running back. Problem is that the starters that are left aren't exactly awesome -- maybe there's some good quarterbacks remaining along with some breakout tight end candidates, but otherwise everyone out there has some warts. Keep this in mind: Running backs tend to be the first position to fall off in drafts and what's left at running back might not be pretty, but it's still better than what's around the corner (even if some sleeper running backs happen to be just around the corner). Cling to this: Running backs that get at least 200 touches have a very good chance of finishing in the Top 24 in Fantasy. Find a back that has that kind of modest potential.

Players you can get here (Standard): Maurice Jones-Drew, T.Y. Hilton, Dolphins RBs, Eric Decker
Players you can get here (PPR): Fred Jackson, Steven Jackson, Sammy Watkins, Andrew Luck, Terrance West
My selection at No. 80 standard: Maurice Jones-Drew
My selection at No. 80 PPR: Fred Jackson

Round 8

Round 8 - Standard QB 15% RB 40% WR 30% TE 15%
Round 8 - PPR QB 20% RB 35% WR 30% TE 15%

If you need a quarterback or a tight end, the time has arrived. If not, keep looking for depth and start combing for sleepers. The cool kids like to take players that serve as depth and also act as sleepers. Doing that can pay off big for you. But at the same time you might not be able to afford passing up a player who's definitely going to play and potentially put up some modest numbers from week to week. Thing is, those modest players you might not like are going to be goners in Round 9, but there will always be sleepers.

Players you can get here (Standard): Fred Jackson, Mike Evans, Devonta Freeman, Danny Woodhead, Jordan Reed, Brandin Cooks
Players you can get here (PPR): Maurice Jones-Drew, Tony Romo, Lamar Miller, Devonta Freeman, Zach Ertz, Brandin Cooks
My selection at No. 89 standard: Mike Evans
My selection at No. 89 PPR: Maurice Jones-Drew

Round 9

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

Remember what I said about picking between a modest player who will get touches versus a player who can provide depth and also act as a sleeper? Repeat half of that here -- the undesirable heavy-touch backs like MJD will be gone and hot sleeper material will be the catch of the day. I like earmarking this round for some good receivers with plenty of upside. However, this is also about the time where you might start fetching running backs to handcuff to your top picks. If you have a popular handcuff (such as a rookie running back) you may not want to gamble on him falling to you in Round 10.

Players you can get here (Standard): Tre Mason, Jay Cutler, Rueben Randle, Kyle Rudolph, Andre Williams, Reggie Wayne
Players you can get here (PPR): Marvin Jones, Christine Michael, Reggie Wayne, Jeremy Hill, Charles Sims, Andre Williams
My selection at No. 104 standard: Rueben Randle
My selection at No. 104 PPR: Marvin Jones

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%

Maybe you'll be inclined to take a top-shelf DST, but this is just another opportunity to add high-upside talent to your roster. It happens in every draft -- a handful of players tend to go undrafted and are sort of waiting there to get picked up. Feel free to consult your needs but keep aiming for players with breakout and sleeper potential -- and it's not just rookies and second-year players either.

Players you can get here (Standard): Dwayne Bowe, Charles Sims, Riley Cooper, Tavon Austin, Carlos Hyde, Seahawks DST
Players you can get here (PPR): Tavon Austin, Stepfan Taylor, Hakeem Nicks, Chris Ivory, Carlos Hyde, Seahawks DST
My selection at No. 113 standard: Charles Sims
My selection at No. 113 PPR: Hakeem Nicks

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%

Handcuff running backs and shot-calling for breakouts is what Round 11 is pretty much all about. It's a decent time to invest in a backup quarterback too, if you so choose. Is taking a DST wrong? Not necessarily, but it has to be one of the very best. Hopefully a player or two you were thinking about in Round 10 are still available here.

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): Jarrett Boykin, Doug Baldwin, Dexter McCluster, Harry Douglas, Lance Dunbar, Ben Roethlisberger, Darren McFadden, Anquan Boldin
My selection at No. 128 standard: Doug Baldwin
My selection at No. 128 PPR: Darren McFadden

Round 12

Round 12 - Standard QB 10% RB 30% WR 30% TE 10% K 0% DST 20%
Round 12 - PPR QB 10% RB 30% WR 30% TE 10% K 0% DST 20%

Most owners won't invest in a DST before this pick and most of them won't take one here, either. With most teams taking a DST in Round 13 (and you picking late in the odd-numbered rounds), you could opt to beat most of the other teams in the league to the punch and take a DST if you believe it's a quality option. It's not that important, particularly since you can still pick up a quality unit a round later. So ... handcuff or sleeper, anyone?

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): Any non-Top 3 DST, Russell Wilson, Justin Hunter, Kelvin Benjamin, James White, any middle- to low-end running back handcuff
My selection at No. 137 standard: Andre Brown (handcuff to Arian Foster)
My selection at No. 137 PPR: Doug Baldwin

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 DSTs left by now won't be the marquee names but will have some positive qualities. For instance, the Steelers defense has a very good schedule to begin the year. The Patriots have added plenty of talent, as have the Saints and Texans. They're all good, and they're all worth waiting for.

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. 152 standard: Saints DST
My selection at No. 152 PPR: Steelers DST

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%

If you're clueless on which kicker to take, do a little research. Find one that's regularly above 80 percent on field goals and has a decent track record from 50-plus yards. That's a good kicker. It helps if he's on an offense that can move the ball and set up a bunch of field goal opportunities. The best part is if you pick a kicker who doesn't deliver you can always find another on waivers.

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): A kicker
My selection at No. 161 standard: Matt Bryant
My selection at No. 161 PPR: Mason Crosby

The two teams

Standard PPR
QB Peyton Manning Drew Brees
RB Arian Foster Giovani Bernard
RB Ryan Mathews Bishop Sankey
WR Pierre Garcon Jordy Nelson
WR DeSean Jackson Marques Colston
FLEX Maurice Jones-Drew Fred Jackson
TE Vernon Davis Vernon Davis
K Matt Bryant Mason Crosby
DST Saints DST Steelers DST
Reserve Mike Evans Maurice Jones-Drew
Reserve Rueben Randle Marvin Jones
Reserve Charles Sims Hakeem Nicks
Reserve Doug Baldwin Darren McFadden
Reserve Andre Brown Doug Baldwin

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