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Editor's note: Our latest pick-by-pick series was done prior to the third preseason games, when season-ending knee injuries to Julian Edelman, Spencer Ware and Cameron Meredith occurred. The goal of this series is to show you positions to draft in these spots as much as the players selected, so take that into account if those injured guys are listed here.
There was a time this offseason when T.Y. Hilton was a potential first-round pick in the majority of leagues, but his stock has fallen with every practice Andrew Luck has missed because of a shoulder injury. And now with Luck potentially , Hilton has become a risky pick in the second round.
His Average Draft Position is the No. 11 receiver off the board at No. 30 overall, but I drafted him here in our pick-by-pick series in a standard league at No. 18 overall as the No. 10 receiver. And I'm fine with that, especially pairing him with Mike Evans, who went at No. 7 in the first round.
Luck isn't expected to open the season on the reserve/PUP list, which would keep him out for the first six games, and reports have him on the field no later than Week 3. And when he comes back, the hope is that he's 100 percent, which should lead to big things for Hilton and Jack Doyle, who I drafted here in Round 10.
I'm always excited when I start my team with two standout receivers, but the fun happens when you start looking at running back. I did that here in Round 3, and you can see my next three picks with Dalvin Cook, C.J. Anderson and Spencer Ware.
Here is my team at No. 7 overall:
- 1.7 Mike Evans, WR, TB
- 2.6 T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
- 3.7 Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN
- 4.6 C.J. Anderson, RB, DEN
- 5.7 Spencer Ware, RB, KC
- 6.6 Kelvin Benjamin, WR, CAR
- 7.7 Kareem Hunt, RB, KC
- 8.6 Pierre Garcon, WR, SF
- 9.7 Kirk Cousins, QB, WAS
- 10.6 Jack Doyle, TE, IND
- 11.7 De'Angelo Henderson, RB, DEN
- 12.6 Latavius Murray, RB, MIN
- 13.7 Kenny Stills, WR, MIA
- 14.6 Steelers DST
I like the way this team turned out a lot, and I would encourage you to follow a similar strategy. If you don't like Hilton in Round 2 then you could have taken Doug Baldwin since he was available, and he should be solid again this season.
I have a good group of running backs with plenty of upside with Cook, Anderson and Ware, and I handcuffed Ware with Hunt, which is a solid move if you can pull it off. One of these guys could be a Fantasy star playing for Andy Reid in Kansas City.
I also took Murray as a potential handcuff for Cook, and Henderson might be the handcuff for Anderson in Denver. If he's not, he'll be one of the first players I cut when a good waiver wire option emerges.
Receiver is the strength of my team with Evans, Hilton, Benjamin, Garcon and Stills. Benjamin has overcome his disappointing offseason where his conditioning came into question, and he's a potential steal in Round 6 as a No. 3 receiver with upside. Garcon is also an excellent No. 4 option in Round 8 now that he's the No. 1 receiver for Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco.
As usual, waiting on a quarterback and tight end paid off given the value and upside for Cousins in Round 9 and Doyle in Round 10. Both could be top-10 options at their respective positions.
The key to this team will be the running backs and how they perform, along with Hilton getting quality production from a healthy Luck. I'm expecting big things from Cook, Anderson and one of the Chiefs running backs, as well as Evans, Hilton, Benjamin and Garcon playing at a high level.
Cousins and Doyle should be solid, and this team should be a playoff squad in a standard league.
Favorite pick: Dalvin Cook
I'd prefer it if Cook was my No. 2 running back instead of my No. 1 option, but he was the best running back available when I picked in Round 3. So far, he's had a solid training camp and preseason with Murray coming back from offseason ankle surgery. I expect Murray to have a significant role this season, which slightly lowers the ceiling for Cook in his rookie campaign. But Cook has the talent to post outstanding stats, and he's easily worth drafting at No. 31 overall since he could challenge for rookie of the year.
Pick I might regret: T.Y. Hilton
Hilton has been terrible over the past 10 games without Luck, so any extended absence for Luck could be a disaster for Hilton. Over those past 10 games, which goes back to 2015, Hilton has just 41 catches for 630 yards and two touchdowns. If Luck does somehow play all 16 games, Hilton could be a star as we saw last season, but he's a risk in the first 20 overall picks. Still, for now, take a long-term approach with Hilton on Draft Day and hopefully this pick is worth it.
Player who could make or break my team: Spencer Ware
Ware's expected demise this season is a little overblown, and I was guilty of it myself following the NFL Draft when Hunt was selected in the third round. Ware should remain the starter for the Chiefs and do well, even with Hunt now on the roster. There's a chance Hunt puts Ware on the bench during the season, but I'm covered with both on my Fantasy roster. And I would encourage you to do the same whenever possible at the right price. I'll take Ware all day at No. 55 overall, which is later than his ADP at No. 45 overall.
And while I might have reached for Hunt at No. 78 overall (his ADP is No. 96), I made sure to lock up this backfield. I hope Ware has a big season, but should he falter, I can follow Kansas City's lead and replace Ware with Hunt.