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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.
The 12th pick in the draft is awful. Let's get that out of the way right away.
You're going to spend your draft either reaching for guys you want who shouldn't be drafted until later or scooping up players no one else wants who should have been drafted earlier. You can't rely on anyone "making it back" to you, and entire position runs happen in between your two picks. So now you know what to look forward to.
The one thing I don't want to have to deal with, in addition to all those pitfalls, is feeling like I have to draft a certain position, at least not in the middle of the draft. That's why I generally take one running back and one wide receiver at the first turn. In this draft, that was the combination of Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray. Both of these players often fall below younger, less proven options in Fantasy drafts but they're proven elite performers with huge touchdown upside.
After that first turn I went wide receiver heavy, because that's where the value fell to me. I still feel that was the right decision, but it's also put me in a serious running back crunch. Since I've locked up a top-10 back, I'm OK with that. I feel reasonably confident in my ability to find reasonable No.2 RB production on the waiver wire if one of my late picks doesn't step up.
Here's the rest of my team from the No. 12 pick:
- 1.12 Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
- 2.1 DeMarco Murray, RB, TEN
- 3.12 Michael Crabtree, WR, OAK
- 4.1 Davante Adams, WR, GB
- 5.12 Allen Robinson, WR, JAC
- 6.1 Russell Wilson, QB, SEA
- 7.12 Derrick Henry, RB, TEN
- 8.1 Hunter Henry, TE, SD
- 9.12 Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN
- 10.1 Duke Johnson, RB, CLE
- 11.12 Jordan Matthews, WR, BUF
- 12.1 James White, RB, NE
- 13.12 Cardinals DST
- 14.1 Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA
Favorite Pick: Jordan Matthews
Matthews was a disappointment in his third season, and his chest injury is holding down his ADP, but he has a huge opportunity as the best wide receiver in Buffalo.The Bills seem confident he'll be ready for Week 1 and we have little reason to think he won't see 110-plus targets. And let's remember, Matthews was pretty good his first two years in the league.
In 2014 and 2015 combined, Matthews caught 152 passes and 16 touchdown passes. I don't believe the Monstars stole his talent before the 2016 season. Matthews is becoming one of my favorite sleepers and an easy pick in the 11th round.
Pick you may regret: Hunter Henry
Hunter Henry is remarkably talented, but he had better see a huge uptick in targets, because you can't reasonably expect a touchdown rate like that from any tight end. But my concern over this pick isn't necessarily about Henry's ceiling or floor. It's about the fact that Giovani Bernard and Duke Johnson are my third and fourth running backs.
Thomas Rawls, Rex Burkhead and Jacquizz Rodgers were all drafted after I took Henry but before I picked again. Rodgers in particular would have given me a three-week cushion before I needed another No. 2 running back.
Player who could make or break your team: Duke Johnson
It's hard to imagine a 10th round pick "breaking" your team, but I really need the Browns to use Duke Johnson the way they've said they want to. Johnson has caught 114 passes over the past two seasons and totaled 1,785 yards from scrimmage. That would make him a valuable Fantasy asset if it wasn't for the fact that he's only scored three touchdowns.
Johnson could make this team if he could catch 60 passes, top 900 total yards and score five touchdowns. The rest of the positions are strong enough that I can stomach that from my No. 2 RB. If he doesn't I'll be counting on a Giovani Bernard resurgence or some waiver wire magic.