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2012 Draft Prep: Strategies for fifth overall

by | Senior Fantasy Writer

In looking at Average Draft Position, which is a great tool to determine what most people are doing on Draft Day, the first four picks are Arian Foster, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy and Aaron Rodgers. After that, you're looking at Calvin Johnson, Ryan Mathews, Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew as options for your next selection at No. 5.

Pick-by-pick strategies
Our Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard share a unique draft strategy for each position in a standard 12-team draft.
No. 1 overall No. 5 overall No. 9 overall
No. 2 overall No. 6 overall No. 10 overall
No. 3 overall No. 7 overall No. 11 overall
No. 4 overall No. 8 overall No. 12 overall

The No. 5 pick can go a number of different directions on Draft Day. You can take the first quarterback (Rodgers) or receiver (Johnson), or if you're lucky, Mathews will be sitting there at your draft spot.

I have Mathews as the No. 4 running back on my draft board, and I hope he falls to No. 5, which he did in this draft. Mathews has more upside than any running back other than Foster, Rice and McCoy, and I value running back more than quarterback and receiver this season based on depth at each position.

When you pick in the middle of a 12-team draft, which is No. 5 through No. 8, you are really looking at best player available at each spot. As you'll read here, after taking Mathews you can start filling your team with the best player on the board, hopefully coming out of your first five picks with at least two good running backs and receivers and a standout quarterback or tight end.

This is a 12-part series outlining a strategy for you to use with each pick. Dave Richard and I are looking at all 12 picks individually in a 14-round draft and giving you an idea of what positions to target in each round.

We'll highlight some players who should be available with each pick, and hopefully this is a guide you can use on Draft Day in standard and PPR formats with a lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, FLEX (RB/WR/TE), K, DST and five reserve spots.

Editor's note: The percentages listed are what position you should target based on that round for each pick.

Round 1
Standard QB 20% RB 40% WR 40% TE 0%
PPR QB 20% RB 40% WR 40% TE 0%
I would pass on Rodgers even if he's there at No. 5. I would rather have a combination of Mathews and Matthew Stafford, which is what happened in this draft, than Rodgers and Jamaal Charles based on ADP. Mathews was the No. 8 running back last year in standard leagues, but that was sharing touches with Mike Tolbert, who is now with the Panthers. Give Mathews all the touches, and he should shine. In the PPR league, Calvin Johnson is who I would target at No. 5 overall, especially if Mathews is gone. He's the easy choice in a format that rewards big-play receivers.
Players you can get here: Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson, Ryan Mathews, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew
My selection at No. 5 standard: Ryan Mathews
My selection at No. 5 PPR: Calvin Johnson
Round 2
Standard QB 30% RB 30% WR 30% TE 10%
PPR QB 20% RB 30% WR 40% TE 10%
I prefer to wait on a quarterback as long as possible, but sometimes it's difficult to pass up value when it's staring you in the face. Cam Newton went one spot before this pick at No. 19, so we'll snatch up Stafford here in the standard league. Quarterback is extremely deep this year, but if you want a Top 5 passer this is where you have to pull the trigger. You might end up hurting yourself at receiver and second running back, but if Stafford has another 5,000-yard season then you'll be OK. In the PPR league, we'll go running back after taking Johnson in Round 1. Darren Sproles is the easy choice here because he's dominant as a receiver out of the backfield for Drew Brees.
Players you can get here: Matthew Stafford, Fred Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Darren Sproles, Ahmad Bradshaw, Wes Welker, A.J. Green. Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones
My selection at No. 20 standard: Matthew Stafford
My selection at No. 20 PPR: Darren Sproles
Round 3
Standard QB 0% RB 40% WR 50% TE 10%
PPR QB 20% RB 30% WR 30% TE 20%
Like the standard owner in Round 2, you never want to pass on value, and in the PPR league you could find Newton falling to Round 3. The reason for that is this format lends itself to running backs and receivers going earlier than expected, and quarterback could fall. It's unlikely Newton will drop this far in most leagues, but don't hesitate to draft him if he's sitting there in this spot. In the standard league, we'll take our first receiver in Jordy Nelson. He might not be a true No. 1 Fantasy option even though last year he was No. 2 in Fantasy points, but keep this in mind: he has reached double digits in Fantasy points in 13 of his past 22 games, including the postseason.
Players you can get here: Cam Newton, Ahmad Bradshaw, Doug Martin, Jordy Nelson, Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Marshall
My selection at No. 29 standard: Jordy Nelson
My selection at No. 29 PPR: Cam Newton
Round 4
Standard QB 0% RB 40% WR 40% TE 20%
PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 40% TE 20%
In the standard league you now have your No. 1 running back and receiver and starting quarterback, which leaves you with three choices: drafting a No. 2 running back or receiver or a tight end. This is too early for tight end, so we'll consider one of the other two spots. Again, receiver is deep this season, so taking a second running back is more of a priority. I don't plan to target Charles in most leagues, but I would gamble on him here in Round 4. Hopefully he can rebound at 100 percent from last year's torn ACL and also keep Peyton Hillis off the field. In the PPR league, we'll also go running back with the same positions locked up. Doug Martin is a great pick in this spot since he should shine in Greg Schiano's offense.
Players you can get here: Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Beanie Wells, Miles Austin, Jeremy Maclin, Steve Johnson, Aaron Hernandez
My selection at No. 44 standard: Jamaal Charles
My selection at No. 44 PPR: Doug Martin
Round 5
Standard QB 0% RB 30% WR 40% TE 30%
PPR QB 0% RB 30% WR 40% TE 30%
It's time to focus on receiver or tight end here since you don't want to get caught short without an elite talent in your starting lineup. In the standard league, there is a group of receivers who should be available in this spot with Vincent Jackson, Brandon Lloyd, Dwayne Bowe, Kenny Britt and DeSean Jackson. We'll take Lloyd here since he could be a star with Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who he knows well. He followed McDaniels from Denver to St. Louis, and now the two are reunited with the Patriots. In 27 games with McDaniels calling plays, Lloyd has 128 catches for 2,131 yards and 16 touchdowns. In the PPR league, you should also consider receiver unless a standout tight end falls to you, which happened here. We'll go with Antonio Gates, who has rebound written all over him now that his foot appears to be 100 percent.
Players you can get here: Vincent Jackson, Brandon Lloyd, Dwayne Bowe, Kenny Britt, DeSean Jackson, Antonio Gates, Jason Witten
My selection at No. 53 standard: Brandon Lloyd
My selection at No. 53 PPR: Antonio Gates
Round 6
Standard QB 0% RB 40% WR 40% TE 20%
PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 50% TE 10%
In drafting a quarterback in the first five rounds in the standard league, or a quarterback and tight end in the PPR format, you have now left yourself thin at running back and receiver. In the standard league, we're going to look at best player available for our flex spot, and Antonio Brown looks like a quality option here. He's entering his third year, and he should remain heavily involved, especially if Mike Wallace is a holdout. In the PPR league, we need to address our second receiver, and DeSean Jackson should be in line for a rebound year. He's not a great PPR option, but he has more upside than the other receivers on the board.
Players you can get here: Jonathan Stewart, Peyton Hillis, DeSean Jackson, Torrey Smith, Eric Decker, Reggie Wayne
My selection at No. 68 standard: Antonio Brown
My selection at No. 68 PPR: DeSean Jackson
Round 7
Standard QB 0% RB 40% WR 40% TE 20%
PPR QB 0% RB 50% WR 40% TE 10%
Since each team has just two running backs you should attempt to bolster that position with some depth or another flex option. In the standard league you're looking at a No. 3 Fantasy running back and someone who is part of a tandem. We'll go with C.J. Spiller here since he should play a prominent role even while sharing touches with Fred Jackson. Spiller would be a solid No. 2 Fantasy option if Jackson was out of the picture as we saw last season when Jackson broke his leg, but the Bills won't completely bench Spiller this year. In the PPR format we'll go with Stevan Ridley, who should be the No. 1 rusher for the Patriots. He's not a great PPR running back, but he does have the potential for double digits in touchdowns just like BenJarvus Green-Ellis did the past two years.
Players you can get here: Stevan Ridley, C.J. Spiller, Jonathan Stewart, James Starks, Denarius Moore, Robert Meachem, Pierre Garcon, Anquan Boldin
My selection at No. 77 standard: C.J. Spiller
My selection at No. 77 PPR: Stevan Ridley
Round 8
Standard QB 0% RB 40% WR 30% TE 30%
PPR QB 10% RB 40% WR 40% TE 10%
Now that you have three receivers and three running backs in the standard league you should consider adding depth at either spot unless you want to target tight end. With several tight ends available in Jermaine Gresham, Brent Celek, Jacob Tamme and Brandon Pettigrew, we can wait, which is a good strategy this year based on depth at the position. We'll take another running back with upside in Ryan Williams. He might not start ahead of Beanie Wells, but if he's back at 100 percent after sitting out as a rookie with a knee injury then Williams could play a prominent role in this backfield. In the PPR league, we'll take another receiver here, and Denarius Moore makes the most sense. He's not the best PPR receiver, but he does present tremendous upside as the No. 1 target for Carson Palmer.
Players you can get here: Toby Gerhart, Pierre Thomas, Ryan Williams, David Wilson, Denarius Moore, Justin Blackmon, Sidney Rice, Malcom Floyd
My selection at No. 92 standard: Ryan Williams
My selection at No. 92 PPR: Denarius Moore
Round 9
Standard QB 10% RB 20% WR 20% TE 50%
PPR QB 10% RB 40% WR 40% TE 10%
It's all about the tight end here in the standard league, and we're going with Gresham. He stacks up as the No. 2 receiving threat for the Bengals behind A.J. Green, and he has the potential to be this year's breakout tight end. He's someone I plan to target in all leagues. In the PPR league, we'll add another receiver based on the talent on the board, and Lance Moore is our selection. He's extremely undervalued as the No. 2 receiver for the Saints, and his targets should increase this season with Robert Meachem now in San Diego.
Players you can get here: David Wilson, LeGarrette Blount, Ronnie Hillman, Lance Moore, Malcom Floyd, Randy Moss, Jacob Tamme, Brandon Pettigrew, Jermaine Gresham, Brent Celek
My selection at No. 101 standard: Jermaine Gresham
My selection at No. 101 PPR: Lance Moore
Round 10
Standard QB 10% RB 40% WR 40% TE 10%
PPR QB 10% RB 40% WR 40% TE 10%
Backup quarterback should start to enter your radar, but we have some time based on ADP. In this spot we're looking at best player available, and this could be a time to swing for the fences. In the standard league we have three solid receivers, but we'll take a gamble on Randy Moss here. All the offseason reports have been glowing, and he could be a steal in this round if he returns to form. We don't need to address receiver again with Nelson, Lloyd, Brown and Moss. In the PPR league, we'll look at a running back here who could be a starter in Tim Hightower. Now, while we like Roy Helu much better than Hightower, Washington coach Mike Shanahan could stick to the veteran even though he's coming back from last year's torn ACL. It's that reason why he's worth the gamble here.
Players you can get here: Bernard Scott, Tim Hightower, LeGarrette Blount, Mark Ingram, Greg Little, Brandon LaFell, Randy Moss, Sidney Rice
My selection at No. 116 standard: Randy Moss
My selection at No. 116 PPR: Tim Hightower
Round 11
Standard QB 30% RB 40% WR 30% TE 0%
PPR QB 30% RB 40% WR 30% TE 0%
We'll look at another running back in this spot for depth, and you should target a backup option who might see increased playing time. One rookie I like this year is Isaiah Pead for the Rams. Steven Jackson is 29 with more than 2,100 career carries, and he's nearing the end of his run as a workhorse rusher. Jackson should still be quite productive this year, but if he falters then Pead should get a chance to shine.
Players you can get here: Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Daniel Thomas, Isaiah Pead, Rashad Jennings, Kevin Smith, Michael Crabtree, Santana Moss, Brian Quick
My selection at No. 125 standard: Isaiah Pead
My selection at No. 125 PPR: Isaiah Pead
Round 12
Standard QB 50% RB 20% WR 20% TE 10% K 0% DST 0%
PPR QB 50% RB 20% WR 20% TE 10% K 0% DST 0%
Backup quarterback might not be needed if you draft Newton or Stafford, but we're going to play it safe since Newton is relatively unproven and Stafford could get hurt again. We'll go with the best options on the board based on bye weeks. Joe Flacco will replace Stafford in Week 5, and the Ravens will travel to Kansas City. It's not the best matchup for Flacco, but he should do well this season in a potential contract year. Another backup Fantasy quarterback I like a lot is Josh Freeman, who also takes on the Chiefs in Week 6 when Newton is off. The Bucs gave Freeman plenty of new weapons in Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin and Dallas Clark, which should help his outlook this year.
Players you can get here: Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andrew Luck
My selection at No. 140 standard: Joe Flacco
My selection at No. 140 PPR: Josh Freeman
Round 13
Standard QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% K 0% DST 100%
PPR QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% K 0% DST 100%
We're down to our last two picks, which means you need to secure your DST and kicker. I will almost never draft a DST or kicker prior to my last two picks, and I will settle for the best option on the board. In this case, we'll go with the Eagles DST. Despite all their issues with new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo last year, the Eagles DST still finished No. 7 in Fantasy points in a standard league. We expect them to play at a high level again this year, and they are a Top 10 option on Draft Day in all formats.
Players you can get here: Giants DST, Eagles DST, Texans DST, Bears DST
My selection at No. 149 standard: Eagles DST
My selection at No. 149 PPR: Eagles DST
Round 14
Standard QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% K 100% DST 0%
PPR QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% K 100% DST 0%
When you draft a kicker, you should look for one who plays in an explosive offense, kicks indoors and preferably has a late bye week. Garrett Hartley is off in Week 6, which isn't ideal, but he should have plenty of chances to score kicking for the Saints. Now, there is some concern Hartley might not win the job in a training camp battle with John Kasay, who kicked in New Orleans last year when Hartley was out with a hip injury. But if that happens then you can just drop Hartley and add Kasay. Hartley is a candidate for 30 field goals and 60 extra points, and he could be the No. 1 kicker in all Fantasy leagues this season based on his team.
Players you can get here: Garrett Hartley, Robbie Gould, Matt Prater, Matt Bryant
My selection at No. 164 standard: Garrett Hartley
My selection at No. 164 PPR: Garrett Hartley

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

Standard PPR
QB Matthew Stafford QB Cam Newton
RB Ryan Mathews RB Darren Sproles
RB Jamaal Charles RB Doug Martin
WR Jordy Nelson WR Calvin Johnson
WR Brandon Lloyd WR DeSean Jackson
FLEX Antonio Brown FLEX Stevan Ridley
TE Jermaine Gresham TE Antonio Gates
K Garrett Hartley K Garrett Hartley
DST Eagles DST Eagles
BENCH C.J. Spiller BENCH Denarius Moore
BENCH Ryan Williams BENCH Lance Moore
BENCH Randy Moss BENCH Tim Hightower
BENCH Isaiah Pead BENCH Isaiah Pead
BENCH Joe Flacco BENCH Josh Freeman

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .


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