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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. 4 overall in PPR …

  • 1.4 DeAndre Hopkins , WR, Houston Texans
  • 2.21 Amari Cooper , WR, Oakland Raiders
  • 3.28 Doug Martin , RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 4.45 DeMarco Murray , RB, Tennessee Titans
  • 5.52 John Brown , WR, Arizona Cardinals
  • 6.69 Larry Fitzgerald , WR, Cardinals
  • 7.76 Rashad Jennings , RB, New York Giants
  • 8.93 Justin Forsett , RB, Baltimore Ravens
  • 9.100 Carson Palmer , QB, Cardinals
  • 10.117 Julius Thomas , TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 11.124 Gary Barnidge , TE, Cleveland Browns
  • 12.141 Javorius Allen , RB, Ravens
  • 13.148 Cincinnati Bengals DST
  • 14.165 Adam Vinatieri , K, Indianapolis Colts

Antonio Brown , Odell Beckham and Julio Jones are probably going to be the first three picks in every PPR draft this summer. You have the pleasure of taking the next-best player.

Oh joy.

Actually, it’s not all that bad. If you want a receiver, major-upside studs like DeAndre Hopkins, Dez Bryant and A.J. Green are there. If you want a running back, David Johnson will be there. If you want a tight end, Rob Gronkowski will be there.

In this draft I took a receiver, which is the best position to go with. A lot of Fantasy owners will take receivers not just after your pick in Round 1, but after your pick in Round 2. That pushes running backs down the board — expect a very good one to make it back to you in Round 2. You could take one, or another receiver in case you want to double-dip. And double-dip I did by getting Amari Cooper.

I felt fortunate to find Doug Martin in Round 3, especially since I really needed a safe starting option there. If he had been taken then LeSean McCoy would have been a good alternative. But that specific spot, 28th overall, is where the running back drop-off could happen. I was comfortable and weirdly happy to have DeMarco Murray fall to me in late Round 4.

This was a good strategy to take on — I had two very good receivers and two good running backs. My next few picks were all about collecting depth while snagging good values at quarterback and tight end. I kind of went hog wild on Cardinals, taking two of their top three receivers and their quarterback, Carson Palmer. The idea behind that was to lock up at least one very good receiver to contribute to my point total along with a quarterback who should easily outperform his 100th overall standing.

Two tight ends? Especially when one of them isn’t Tyler Eifert ? Not always a smooth move, but the feeling was between the two of them, one should be a safe weekly starter. In a perfect world they both begin the season hot and I can flip one of them for an upgrade at receiver or running back. In a horrible world they both stink and I have to cut both and find a new one on waivers. At least I didn’t spent a decent pick on them — this was a situation where the best player on my board in Round 11 was Barnidge, so I took him.

At the end of the day, the team has some excellent depth at receiver, a couple of players who could become reliable tight ends from week to week and a handful of good running backs topped by two guys in Martin and Murray who can start every week. All that and a quarterback with humongous upside. This was a good team to field.

Doug Martin RB / Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2015 stats)

ATT: 288YDS: 1,402TD: 6REC: 33REC YDS: 271REC TD: 1
Doug Martin is the running back you’ll settle for in Round 2 but get amped to get in Round 3. It’s all about that draft value. Martin should be in line for another busy workload in Tampa Bay, particularly with Dirk Koetter’s aggressive offensive tendencies in place. The Bucs didn’t re-sign him to let Charles Sims take 50 percent of the reps — bank on Martin keeping his numbers productive thanks to a 20 touch-per-game average.

Julius Thomas TE / Jacksonville Jaguars (2015 stats)

TAR: 80REC: 46REC YDS: 455REC TD: 5
The mistake I made was drafting Thomas when I should have drafted Barnidge, then draft someone else in the next round and have only one tight end! Someone else could have dealt with Thomas and his touchdown-or-bust profile. I suppose he has more upside than that, but until he starts to get some serious red-zone attention from Blake Bortles, he’ll be a late-round pick who owners will be antsy to replace.

Dez Bryant WR / Dallas Cowboys (2015 stats)

TAR: 72REC: 31YDS: 401TD: 3
The one that got away? That would be Dez Bryant, who, in retrospect, I should have taken in the first round. Through the first half of the preseason, Bryant has shined with a rookie quarterback who’s been protected marvelously from the Cowboys offensive line. Just imagine what he’ll do when Tony Romo is under center! And, if Romo gets hurt, rookie Dak Prescott proved he can connect with Dez. With health concerns in the rear view mirror, Bryant has the look of a receiver with more upside than DeAndre Hopkins.


Source: CBS Sports / 2016 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Picking at No. 4 overall in a PPR league