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When it comes to Fantasy Football, it’s your job to be prepared. Every year, it’s our job to help you prepare, which is why Jamey Eisenberg and I take part in a two-man draft. It’s to give you an example of what you might (and might not) expect when it comes to drafting in your 12-team PPR league.

Naturally, there are picks that we love, some we hate and some we wish we could have had. By the time you’re done reading this you should at least have a baseline of what we’d recommend doing from your draft slot.

Here is my team at No. 12 overall in PPR …

  • 1.12 Ezekiel Elliott , RB, Dallas Cowboys
  • 2.13 Jordy Nelson , WR, Green Bay Packers
  • 3.36 Golden Tate , WR, Detroit Lions
  • 4.37 Jordan Reed , TE, Washington Redskins
  • 5.60 Matt Jones , RB, Redskins
  • 6.61 Drew Brees , QB, New Orleans Saints
  • 7.84 Josh Gordon , WR, Cleveland Browns
  • 8.85 Jay Ajayi , RB, Miami Dolphins
  • 9.108 Corey Coleman , WR, Browns
  • 10.109 Kenneth Dixon , RB, Baltimore Ravens
  • 11.132 Tajae Sharpe , WR, Tennessee Titans
  • 12.133 Alfred Morris , RB, Cowboys
  • 13.156 New England Patriots DST
  • 14.157 Matt Bryant , K, Atlanta Falcons

Picking 12th isn’t easy. When you’re not picking, everyone else in the league is picking twice. A lot of players you’ll target won’t make it back to you. You can’t strategize off of your opponents’ needs and you really can’t predict who may or may not “make it back” to you.

But you do get to take two players on every turn. That’s cool.

The overall strategy for picking on the ends like this is to take the two best available players every time. After a few rounds you’ll have to pick for need a little more but it’s still really the same thing. Take two players you like, then watch everyone else you like get picked before you’re up again.

I loved getting Ezekiel Elliott and Jordy Nelson with my top picks. Those were no-brainers, plus I didn’t wedge myself into a spot where I needed a certain position that the other draft spots couldn’t prey upon. For instance, if I took two receivers, others in my league would know I would want some running backs with my next picks and they’d take them before I could.

I really followed through with the “best available” advice with my next two picks, taking a receiver who (at the time) I was excited about and the second-best tight end. At 37th overall in a PPR, Jordan Reed is a good value. As for Tate — this probably should have been another receiver but at least Tate should catch a ton of passes.

Almost the exact same thing happened in Rounds 5 and 6 when I settled for Matt Jones as my second running back and Drew Brees as my quarterback. Again, I got one of the best passers on the board and built talent at another position.

So by the time I had six players I had two running backs, two receivers, a Top 3 tight end and a Top 5 quarterback. Forget the names — landing that combination is what you should aim for when you’re at the end of the round.

The door was open for me to load up on rushers and receivers after that — no need for a backup at tight end or quarterback. So I took some shots on Josh Gordon and Kenneth Dixon, and I followed through with my sleeper of the summer, Tajae Sharpe. I even got one of my old favorite sleepers, Alfred Morris, to back up Elliott.

The lineup has it perks. If we replace Golden Tate and Matt Jones with slightly better options, we’re looking at a contender! Proof positive that the strategy is sound.

Drew Brees QB / New Orleans Saints (2015 stats)

CMP%: 68.3YDS: 4,870TD: 32INT: 11
Round 6 for a Top 5 Fantasy quarterback? That’s like buying a Ferrari at the price of a used beat-up hooptie! Maybe not that great, but it’s still awesome. This is an example of why it’s always a good idea to wait on a quarterback.

Golden Tate WR / Detroit Lions (2015 stats)

TAR: 128REC: 90YDS: 813TD: 6
OK, full disclosure: When we did this draft, Tate was still a popular pick. He still is, just not Top 40 popular after it looks like Marvin Jones will be a prime target in Motown. I like that Tate will still pick up a slew of targets and catches in the Lions offense. I don’t like that he was taken ahead of Julian Edelman, Jeremy Maclin and a bunch of other receivers. Tate is better as a Round 6 or 7 choice in PPR.

Jarvis Landry WR / Miami Dolphins (2015 stats)

TAR: 166REC: 110YDS: 1,157TD: 4
Landry went one measly pick in front of me in Round 3 — I was so close to getting him and not Golden Tate. Landry is an obvious PPR stud, but his profile was magnified this preseason when it became apparent he was the Dolphins best receiver. Too bad I couldn’t get my mitts on him.

Source: CBS Sports / 2016 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Picking at No. 12 overall in a PPR league