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

What's that saying about two out of 15 not being bad?

Oh right, that's not a saying. That's a consolation prize for drawing the 10th pick in a Fantasy draft.

Ask any owner if they could land two of their Top 15 and they'd rush to say yes. But add the caveat that it means not getting a consensus stud running back or Calvin Johnson or Jimmy Graham and they'd probably cry on the inside a little bit.

But picking 10th isn't that bad. This is a spot where coming away with two running backs with your first two picks is encouraged, because it should mean two Top 12 running backs. It also is acceptable to go with a stud running back and an elite receiver, bolstering two starting spots without hesitation. And when you're up in Rounds 3 and 4 you can pick off two more very good players you'll probably not bother to bench.

The other cool thing about going 10th is that you can sabotage the plans of those at Picks 11 and 12. There are examples of that below, but the general idea is that you can use their needs against them -- if they need a quarterback and you do too, you can take one before they can in the odd-numbered rounds. Or if you need a quarterback and they each have one already, and it's not quite the time to take a backup, you can probably wait a round and steal a running back or a receiver before they get their paws on them. It's beautiful to have an edge in drafting -- creating value is what makes a good draft a great draft.

Prepare for your draft by breaking down the running backs ranked sixth through 10th. You're promised one of those for sure. Rank them so that when you're finally up to pick you'll know exactly who you want. If you're lucky, one will be back in your hands in Round 2. Hard to argue with that!

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 5% RB 75% WR 15% TE 5%
Round 1 - PPR QB 0% RB 75% WR 20% TE 5%

Most owners won't have to worry about picking Calvin Johnson or Jimmy Graham at 10 -- they'll be gone. Instead the best plan of attack is to start with a running back and then re-evaluate your options in Round 2 with the expectation that an elite receiver or very good running back will be worth your while at 15th overall. If you had an earlier pick you'd more than likely take a running back with a shot at 20 touches per week along with the goal-line job. You can still find those kinds of backs at 10th overall, they're just not coming off of prolific seasons like the ones taken earlier. That's pretty much the only difference. Big deal? That's up to you, but there will be a back you'll end up warming up to. As for quarterbacks, you're in good shape to find one from Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers in Round 2 -- if you want one of them. In PPR leagues you might consider a receiver, but the best ones will still be around when you pick in five spots.

Players you can get here (Standard): Arian Foster, Montee Ball, Marshawn Lynch, DeMarco Murray, Alfred Morris, Peyton Manning
Players you can get here (PPR): Giovani Bernard, DeMarco Murray, Arian Foster, Montee Ball, Eddie Lacy, Brandon Marshall
My selection at No. 10 standard: Marshawn Lynch
My selection at No. 10 PPR: Arian Foster

Round 2

Round 2 - Standard QB 10% RB 50% WR 35% TE 5%
Round 2 - PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 50% TE 10%

This is a tough call, and one that will be made based on personal preference with a nod toward your league's scoring system. When you're up here, 14 names will have been called. Most of them will have been running backs, but there will still be some rushers with great appeal on the board -- names like Giovani Bernard, Alfred Morris, Zac Stacy and Doug Martin. There will also be some top-tier receivers like Dez Bryant, Julio Jones and Brandon Marshall. Plus there's a chance Peyton Manning will be there. What's a Fantasy owner to do? If it's a standard league, I'd lean toward the running back (wait until you see what receivers are left in Rounds 3 and 4) and if it's a PPR league, I'd lean toward the receiver assuming a highly targeted back isn't on the board. Manning's another good option if he's there, but the hunch is that you should go RB-RB or RB-WR, assuming Top 10 options at running back and Top 5 options at receiver are in the mix. You'll be able to get a quarterback later.

Players you can get here (Standard): Giovani Bernard, Dez Bryant, Peyton Manning, Doug Martin, Julio Jones, Zac Stacy, Julio Jones
Players you can get here (PPR): Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Jordy Nelson, Le'Veon Bell, Andre Ellington
My selection at No. 15 standard: Giovani Bernard
My selection at No. 15 PPR: Julio Jones

Round 3

Round 3 - Standard QB 10% RB 30% WR 40% TE 20%
Round 3 - PPR QB 5% RB 30% WR 45% TE 20%

By the time you're up in this round the running backs will have dropped off but the receivers haven't. It'll be worse in standard leagues than PPR leagues. Expect to go receiver here while the gettin' is still really good, particularly if the owners in Picks 11 and 12 went running back heavy and are aiming for receivers too. The real bonus is that if you started your draft with two running backs, you'll be thrilled with who's available, not just at this pick but also in Round 4. And if you went running back and receiver in Rounds 1 and 2, you should be satisfied going with a receiver and then a back in Round 4. Only a Top 3 quarterback in a standard league and just Peyton in a PPR league would change the plan.

Players you can get here (Standard): Bishop Sankey, Michael Crabtree, Larry Fitzgerald, Julius Thomas, Andre Johnson
Players you can get here (PPR): Bishop Sankey, Peyton Manning, Michael Crabtree, Julius Thomas, Pierre Garcon
My selection at No. 34 standard: Larry Fitzgerald
My selection at No. 34 PPR: Pierre Garcon

Round 4

Round 4 - Standard QB 15% RB 35% WR 40% TE 10%
Round 4 - PPR QB 15% RB 35% WR 35% TE 15%

How many receivers do you have? If it's one or none, get one while you can still pick a player you can feel reasonably good about. If you have two or more, then look toward the best available running back. Pretty straightforward. If Julius Thomas falls here, pounce. If an elite quarterback is here you could also think about it, but know this: By the time you're up in Round 5, there will be a very limited supply of appealing running backs and wideouts, whereas quarterbacks and tight ends will start heating up in Round 6.

Players you can get here (Standard): Michael Crabtree, C.J. Spiller, Pierre Garcon, Keenan Allen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Shane Vereen, Matthew Stafford
Players you can get here (PPR): Michael Crabtree, C.J. Spiller, Vincent Jackson, Drew Brees, Keenan Allen
My selection at No. 39 standard: Michael Crabtree
My selection at No. 39 PPR: C.J. Spiller

Round 5

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

If you've snared two running backs and two wide receivers, you should be in the perfect spot to nab a quarterback. Matthew Stafford would be an incredible bargain but expect Colin Kaepernick to be a name in the mix, particularly in standard leagues (we'd wait on him in a PPR). If Vernon Davis tumbles to 58th overall, that's a better choice than the quarterback, since you can still get a real good passer in Round 6. You could also apply the Davis advice to any running back or receiver you see on the board that floats your boat. Maybe the only motivation to take a quarterback here is if he's a small bargain (a prerequisite for drafting one) and if the owners in Picks 11 and 12 don't have a passer yet. You can beat them to the punch.

Players you can get here (Standard): Vernon Davis, Colin Kaepernick, Golden Tate, Torrey Smith, Rashad Jennings, Chris Johnson
Players you can get here (PPR): Frank Gore, Matthew Stafford, Rashad Jennings, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Witten
My selection at No. 58 standard: Colin Kaepernick
My selection at No. 58 PPR: Matthew Stafford

Round 6

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

This is just as good of a spot to take a quarterback as it was in Round 5. It's also pretty much the last chance you'll have at adding one of the second-tier tight ends to your team (Jordan Cameron, Dennis Pitta, Jason Witten). But above all, it's probably also the last chance at finding a running back or receiver you'd comfortably take as your flex. Aim for a rusher or pass catcher with a shot at 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. You'll be surprised how many there are who fit that qualification. That might be enough to sway you in that direction since there will still be some good values at quarterback and tight end in Round 7.

Players you can get here (Standard): Matt Ryan, Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta, DeSean Jackson, Ben Tate, Jordan Cameron, Andrew Luck
Players you can get here (PPR): Rashad Jennings, Golden Tate, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas, Jordan Cameron, Ben Tate, Dennis Pitta
My selection at No. 63 standard: Torrey Smith
My selection at No. 63 PPR: Rashad Jennings

Round 7

Round 7 - Standard QB 20% RB 35% WR 30% TE 15%
Round 7 - PPR QB 20% RB 35% WR 30% TE 15%

One of the perks of the No. 10 slot is seeing what your opponents need at Picks 11 and 12 and adjusting your needs accordingly. For instance, if you're up in Round 7 and need a tight end but both the teams picking after you (and before you in the ensuing round) already have a tight end, you can wait. Take another position player first and double back in Round 8. It also works for the other positions -- for instance, say the rival teams are thin on running backs when you're up in Round 7. Take one yourself (someone with 200-touch potential), leaving less for them to pick from. Finally, expect to see the big-time breakout players start to get noticed in Round 7. It's never a bad idea to take them since we're basically at the mid-point of the draft and you don't have much to lose.

Players you can get here (Standard): Maurice Jones-Drew, T.Y. Hilton, Dolphins RBs, Eric Decker, Sammy Watkins
Players you can get here (PPR): Fred Jackson, Steven Jackson, Sammy Watkins, Andrew Luck, Terrance West, Darren Sproles
My selection at No. 82 standard: Lamar Miller
My selection at No. 82 PPR: Sammy Watkins

Round 8

Round 8 - Standard QB 20% RB 35% WR 25% TE 20%
Round 8 - PPR QB 20% RB 30% WR 30% TE 20%

The plan here is simple if you waited through Round 7 to take a player you knew your opponents would pass on. But if you didn't have such a plan, maybe now is a good time to double check your lineup and see if there are any empty spots. No quarterback? No tight end? Those positions will start to get gross soon, so think about going that way. If not, there's always the opportunity to get deeper at receiver and running back. In fact, this is when you'll find sleepers as well as high-profile handcuff rushers and modest, older players that still carry some value.

Players you can get here (Standard): Fred Jackson, Mike Evans, Devonta Freeman, Knowshon Moreno, Jordan Reed, Brandin Cooks
Players you can get here (PPR): Darren Sproles, Greg Olsen, Jordan Reed, Maurice Jones-Drew, Tony Romo, Lamar Miller
My selection at No. 87 standard: Knowshon Moreno
My selection at No. 87 PPR: Greg Olsen

Round 9

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

Turn your focus to sleeper and breakout candidates in Round 9 and beyond. The cool thing is that you can pick players who double as sleepers/breakouts. That's a smart move -- always better to have a guy come out firing in your lineup, helping your Fantasy team dominate. To that end, Round 9 might see the likes of Jay Cutler, Kyle Rudolph, Rueben Randle and Zach Ertz get taken, with some running backs that double as handcuffs getting in the mix here and in Round 10. And don't pass up the old guys -- some of them are still worth a draft pick and Round 9.

Players you can get here (Standard): 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, Tre Mason
My selection at No. 106 standard: Kyle Rudolph
My selection at No. 106 PPR: Reggie Wayne

Round 10

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

Keep putting pressure on your opponents by picking off appealing players. How's that for advice? PICK GOOD PLAYERS. Seriously, there are still some guys who either have underrated skills or are one injury away from dominating playing time just sitting there this late in drafts. Those are the kinds of players that get picked in Round 10. Taking a DST is another option and it's not a bad option if you're really happy with your first nine picks. Just make sure it's the best DST in Fantasy -- the Seahawks have finished in the Top 6 each of the last three years. That's good.

Players you can get here (Standard): Philip Rivers, Dwayne Bowe, Charles Sims, Riley Cooper, Tavon Austin, Carlos Hyde, Seahawks DST
Players you can get here (PPR): Carlos Hyde, Hakeem Nicks, Tavon Austin, Stepfan Taylor, Chris Ivory, Seahawks DST
My selection at No. 111 standard: Philip Rivers
My selection at No. 111 PPR: Carlos Hyde

Round 11

Round 11 - Standard QB 15% RB 35% WR 30% TE 15% K 0% DST 5%
Round 11 - PPR QB 15% RB 30% WR 35% TE 15% K 0% DST 5%

These are either fun picks or "necessary evil" picks. If you're drafting a player who has potential for a nice year, really what's the harm? It's Round 11 after all. The "necessary evil" is picking a backup quarterback or a handcuff running back, someone you know you need but isn't overly flashy. That's just being smart, not necessarily fun. If things work out for you, a player or two you were looking at in Round 10 makes his way back in Round 11.

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): Doug Baldwin, Dexter McCluster, Harry Douglas, Lance Dunbar, Ben Roethlisberger, Jordan Matthews
My selection at No. 130 standard: Harry Douglas
My selection at No. 130 PPR: Andre Brown

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%

This pick is early in Round 12, meaning that when you're up again in Round 13 (the second-to-last round), a number of owners will have already taken a DST. So ... how much do you value DSTs? If you don't value them much, or if you have a sleeper in mind that you want to grab, then go ahead and pass on a DST. Otherwise, this is your chance to snake a DST from the rest of the league and still get some kind of sleeper or handcuff or backup or whatever in the next round. It's an option, particularly if you can still get a Top 5 DST.

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): Top 5 DST, Russell Wilson, Justin Hunter, Kelvin Benjamin, any middle- to low-end running back handcuff
My selection at No. 135 standard: Travaris Cadet
My selection at No. 135 PPR: 49ers DST

Round 13

Round 13 - Standard QB 10% RB 20% WR 15% TE 10% K 20% DST 25%
Round 13 - PPR QB 10% RB 20% WR 15% TE 10% K 20% DST 25%

If you need a DST, look for one with a good early schedule or one that has added an infusion of talent this offseason. But if you don't need a DST (maybe you took one already, maybe you don't need to draft one) then take a big swing at a running back or receiver who could develop into a stud. Think younger than older, not necessarily a rookie, and someone with a shot at playing right away. Let's put one last thought into your head: What about a kicker? Some call it crazy to take a kicker before the final round of a draft, but it might be worth doing if you can get the top kicker in the game, Stephen Gostkowski. Here's the thinking: If you're the first to get a kicker and everyone else in your league is going to take a kicker in the next round, the guy you'd pick here has a really good chance of making it back to you in Round 14 and you have arguably the best kicker in Fantasy.

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. 154 standard: Stephen Gostkowski
My selection at No. 154 PPR: Stephen Gostkowski

Round 14

Round 14 - Standard QB 0% RB 5% WR 0% TE 0% K 80% DST 15%
Round 14 - PPR QB 0% RB 5% WR 0% TE 0% K 80% DST 15%

And now if you've already taken a kicker you can pretty much get whichever DST you'd like. Or if you have a kicker and a DST, feel free to gorge on one last sleeper, perhaps a running back? Naturally, if you're like most of the Fantasy universe, this will be a kicker pick. Make it someone with a good track record of success and someone who plays with a good offense.

Players you can get here (Standard and PPR): A kicker or whatever else you need.
My selection at No. 159 standard: Bears DST
My selection at No. 159 PPR: Bryce Brown

Here's what the teams look like following the draft:

The two teams

Standard PPR
QB Colin Kaepernick Matthew Stafford
RB Marshawn Lynch Arian Foster
RB Giovani Bernard C.J. Spiller
WR Larry Fitzgerald Julio Jones
WR Michael Crabtree Pierre Garcon
FLEX Torrey Smith Rashad Jennings
TE Kyle Rudolph Greg Olsen
K Stephen Gostkowski Stephen Gostkowski
DST Bears DST 49ers DST
BENCH Lamar Miller Sammy Watkins
BENCH Knowshon Moreno Reggie Wayne
BENCH Philip Rivers Carlos Hyde
BENCH Harry Douglas Andre Brown
BENCH Travaris Cadet Bryce Brown

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Player News
Patriots running back Stevan Ridley: 'I have something to prove'
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Patriots running back Stevan Ridley is expected to become a free agent in the coming weeks and he is ready for the experience.

"I'm excited about it," Ridley told Sirius XM Radio Friday. "As a player coming into the league, you get there and your first contract you kind of have to establish yourself and see what you can do. Everybody is a good player if you get to make it to the NFL, but there is something to be said if you get to that second contract."

Ridley has rushed for 2,817 yards and 22 touchdowns in his first four seasons in the league with the Patriots.

"Where I'll be playing, and who I'll be playing for, is still unknown, but I know I've come in and done my job up to this point and now I have to put it in my agent's hands to get me on another team, or stay where I'm at, and make sure I’m in pads playing ball somewhere next year. I know if you think about it too much it will worry you sick."

Ridley has played in 20 of a possible 32 games the last two seasons, starting in just 11 of them.

"I take it personal to any team or anybody that says I can't be a very productive player on whatever team I land on," he said. "I've been playing ball my whole life, I'm going to come in and be a leader, and I'm going to be a guy that comes in and busts his butt in the weight room and busts his butt on the field. I'm a good teammate, I have fun with my guys, but when the lights come on Sundays, it's all business and I plan on going out there and making plays."


Patriots' Aaron Dobson doing well in rehab of hamstring injury
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson is still recovering from a hamstring injury that ended his season in 2014. Trainer Brett Fischer said Friday he thinks Dobson is going to turn heads when he heads back to Foxboro for training camp, according to the Boston Herald.

"He was talking about, 'When I go up there (to Foxboro) and they see me again, I want to make sure they know I'm in the best shape of my life.' He is really determined," Fischer said. "That is the underlying theme every day: 'Hey, I've got to be ready when April comes, be ready as far as the best shape of my life.' It's frustrating with two years of freaky-type stuff."

Dobson finished a disappointing 2014 season with three catches for 38 yards.

"He is doing great," Fischer said. "I'm really excited for him. He has put the time and effort into it, comes in early, gets all his work in and he is hungry. There are a few specific things we found, minor little things we're working on, that make his program a little bit unique to everybody else's. Nothing major."


Report: Should be a 'very active market' for Broncos' Julius Thomas
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Broncos tight end Julius Thomas turned down a five-year, $40 million contract for a reason. That's because it's believed he will have a "very active market" when the new league year begins on March 10, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. 

Two teams that are expected to target Thomas in free agency are the Raiders and Jaguars, both of which need to upgrade considerably at their skill positions to help out their young quarterbacks. The expectation is for Broncos general manager John Elway to let Thomas test the waters in free agency to see what he's offered. 

The Falcons have also reportedly been interested, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter. 

Injuries slowed what was an otherwise fast start to his 2014 season. Thomas' season ended with 489 yards and 12 touchdowns. 


Report: Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be on the way out of Cleveland
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) With the signing of Josh McCown Friday, Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer could be looking elsewhere for employment. Coach Mike Pettine called Hoyer to inform him the team was signing McCown and Hoyer appears ready to move on, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network.

Hoyer played in 14 games for the Browns in 2014, throwing for 3,326 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He lost his starting position to Johnny Manziel in Week 15, but was forced back into action after Manziel suffered a season-ending injury.


Quarterback Josh McCown agrees to terms with Browns
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Free agent quarterback Josh McCown has agreed to terms with the Browns on a contract, according to his agent Mike McCartney. The team later confirmed the report. The deal is reportedly set to have McCown on the Browns for three seasons, according to ESPN.

McCown, who will turn 36 before the season begins, previously visited with the Bills before signing with the Browns. McCown threw for 2,206 yards with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2014 with the Buccaneers.


Jets WR Percy Harvin will not accept pay cut
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Jets receiver Percy Harvin will not agree to a reduction in his 2015 salary, reports CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. 

Harvin is slated to earn $10.5 million this season, something the Jets cannot afford. Teams around the league are interested signing Harvin to a short-term deal. With his expensive contract, though, the Jets will be hard-pressed to find a suitor interested in trading Harvin. 

The Seahawks traded Harvin to the Jets for a conditional pick during the 2014 season. 


Report: Colts' Wayne undergoes triceps surgery, mulling retirement
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(2/27/2015) Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne underwent surgery Friday to repair his injured triceps, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Wayne, 36, is beginning rehab for the injury and is reportedly considering retirement, according to Rapoport.

Wayne played in 15 regular season games for the Colts in 2014, totaling 779 yards on 64 catches with two touchdowns.


Dolphins WR Mike Wallace interested in return to Steelers
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Though the Dolphins are shopping Mike Wallace to prospective suitors, there is one team that is of interest to the speedy receiver. 

According to CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, Wallace has interest in potentially returning to the Steelers. Of course, the Steelers would have to decide if they'd be willing to take on a contract that's going to have a $12.1 million cap figure for 2015. 

Wallace has underperformed in relation to the five-year, $60 million contract he signed before the 2013 season. He's failed to reach 1,000 yards with the Dolphins in either season after recording that mark twice with the Steelers in his first four NFL seasons. 


Buccaneers' Vincent Jackson not accepting pay cut for 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson is likely to remain with Tampa Bay this offseason, but he is not willing to accept a pay cut, according to CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

Jackson, who was shopped by the team before the trade deadline, is set to make $10 million in base salary and has a $12.2 million cap hit. He totaled 70 catches for 1,002 yards and two touchdowns in 2014.


Falcons' Dan Quinn wants to re-sign Sean Weatherspoon
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Though Sean Weatherspoon missed most of the past two seasons due to injuries, Falcons coach Dan Quinn is hopeful the franchise can re-sign the standout inside linebacker to a new contract before he hits the free agent market on March 10. 

"With him, it's that toughness and the speed that he can play with so, yes, definitely someone that we're talking to," Quinn said via ESPN.com. "I know he's got that kind of attitude. And you know me, just from watching our style of defense, it's fast and physical. And that's what Sean is. So, we're certainly hoping that he can be a big part of it moving forward."

Weatherspoon played in only seven games during the 2013 season due to a Lisfranc sprain in his foot. He missed all of 2014 due to an Achilles tear. 

Weatherspoon was the Falcons' first-round pick in the 2010 draft. He's totaled 290 tackles, eight sacks and two interceptions during his career. 


 
 
 
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