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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. 6 overall in PPR …

  • 1.6 David Johnson , RB, Arizona Cardinals
  • 2.19 Keenan Allen , WR, San Diego Chargers
  • 3.30 LeSean McCoy , RB, Buffalo Bills
  • 4.43 Jeremy Maclin , WR, Kansas City Chiefs
  • 5.54 Doug Baldwin , WR, Seattle Seahawks
  • 6.67 Jeremy Langford , RB, Chicago Bears
  • 7.78 Sterling Shepard , WR, New York Giants
  • 8.91 Tom Brady , QB, New England Patriots
  • 9.102 Isaiah Crowell , RB, Cleveland Browns
  • 10.115 Derek Carr , QB, Oakland Raiders
  • 11.126 Dwayne Allen , TE, Indianapolis Colts
  • 12.139 Chris Johnson , RB, Cardinals
  • 13.150 Justin Tucker , K, Baltimore Ravens
  • 14.163 Bills DST

When is the right time to take a running back in Round 1 of a PPR draft? It’s when you aren’t in love with the receivers still on the board and are okay with the receiver depth that will make its was back to you in Round 2. Ideally, if you take a running back first, you’ll get a receiver next. You want that receiver to be someone you really like.

It worked out for me that way when I grabbed David Johnson in Round 1 and Keenan Allen in Round 2. That’s an ideal start for anyone taking a running back first.

The plan was to go with another receiver in Round 3 but when LeSean McCoy fell to me I had to take him. Knowing how thin running backs get in drafts, I took the opportunity to land two Top 12 rushers when I had the chance.

Taking McCoy might have been a death sentence for my receivers, but taking Jeremy Maclin in Round 4 made me feel better. Maclin is pretty much the last “safe” receiver in my mind, edging out guys with a little more risk like Doug Baldwin and Eric Decker .

Starting a draft with two running backs and two receivers cannot be deemed bad. It provides the basis of your team’s nucleus with an additional focus on taking advantage of depressed value of quarterbacks and receivers.

So the game plan starting in Round 5 was to collect good depth at running back and receiver and find starters at quarterback and tight end. Doug Baldwin and Jeremy Langford accomplished those goals in Rounds 5 and 6, further strengthening the center of my team.

In Round 7 I went for Tom Brady with the intention of finding a quarterback to back him up in Round 9 or later. That couldn’t have worked out better. Derek Carr’s first four games look like potential track meets, which means lots of Fantasy points. Then when Brady comes back I can turn to him and have a stud passer with the rest of my loaded team. The Brady/Carr connection is what I’m aiming for in every draft I am in.

The rest of the team is pretty self-explanatory. Dwayne Allen is a decent late-round tight end to begin the season with and Isaiah Crowell gives my running backs some emergency depth. This is one of my favorite teams this season and it’s all because of the effort I made to prioritize running backs early on and wait for Brady.

Tom Brady QB / New England Patriots (2015 stats)

CMP%: 64.4YDS: 4,770TD: 36INT: 7RUSH ATT: 34RUSH YDS: 53RUSH TD: 3
I made a lot of good value picks with this team but no player carried as much potential for the price as Brady. Where would he get picked if there wasn’t some silly suspension? Round 4? With the potential for him to average close to 300 yards per game again, I’m doing what I can to draft Brady in Round 7 of every draft I am in.

Dwayne Allen TE / Indianapolis Colts (2015 stats)

TAR: 29REC: 16YDS: 109TD: 1
This was a mistake. I should have gone with Martellus Bennett here. He’s going to have the better season, even as the second tight end in New England. It’s great that Allen will play for an offensive coordinator who typically has his tight ends flourish, but Allen is just a big body for the red zone. If he’s not scoring, what’s he doing?

Le’Veon Bell RB / Pittsburgh Steelers (2015 stats)

ATT: 113YDS: 556TD: 3REC: 24REC YDS: 136TD: 0
I was focused on receiver in Round 2, but what if I had taken Le’Veon instead? I would have passed on McCoy in Round 3 for Randall Cobb, who would have been my No. 1. Then I would have targeted DeAngelo Williams in Round 6 instead of Langford. My receivers wouldn’t have quite that same firepower, but my running game would have been the best in the league.


Source: CBS Sports / 2016 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Picking at No. 6 overall in a PPR league