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Drafting from No.| | | | | | | | | | |
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.
This is our second installment of the pick-by-pick series for non-PPR drafts. For this edition I drew the No. 6 pick, which is my favorite place to be. A.J. Green is an easy pick for me as the sixth player off the board and I don't see a huge difference between him and the top tier of three wide receivers. Before Green was injured in 2016, he was on pace for more than 110 catches and 1,700 yards. If Green finishes 2017 as the No. 1 receiver in Fantasy, no one should be surprised.
What is more difficult right now is deciding when to draft Andrew Luck. I took the plunge in Round 8 in this draft, which is an excellent value as long as you draft a second quarterback for insurance early in the year. Carson Palmer is the perfect quarterback to be that insurance policy.
Palmer starts his season off with a dream quartet of Detroit, Indianapolis, Dallas and San Francisco. I can't imagine you'll need him for that long, but if you do you should feel confident you'll get top-12 production for the first quarter of the season. The real benefit here is you shouldn't have to start Luck in his first start back if you want to see proof that he's 100 percent.
Once Luck is back to full strength you've got a top-four quarterback at a discount without sacrificing performance while he was out. It's really the best of both worlds.
Here is the rest of my team from No. 6 overall:
- 1.6 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
- 2.7 Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA
- 3.6 Travis Kelce, TE, KC
- 4.7 Carlos Hyde, RB, SF
- 5.6 Ameer Abdullah, RB, DET
- 6.7 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
- 7.6 Desean Jackson, WR, WAS
- 8.7 Andrew Luck, QB, IND
- 9.6 Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
- 10.7 Corey Coleman, WR, CLE
- 11.6 Darren Sproles, RB, PHI
- 12.7 Matt Forte, RB, NYJ
- 13.6 Carson Palmer, QB, ARI
- 14.7 Falcons DST
Favorite pick: Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald is going to benefit from that same early schedule as Palmer, but this is far more than that. We're talking about a receiver who has topped 100 receptions and 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons. There is no way he should be available in the sixth round of any draft, regardless of format. Yes, Fitzgerald is another year older and there's certainly a risk he'll lose a step, but that's baked into this cost.
Pick you might regret: Travis Kelce
Let's be clear, I don't think I'm going to regret having Travis Kelce on my team. He was the No. 1 tight end in Fantasy last year and has been remarkably consistent. Kelce has had at least 800 yards receiving each of the past three seasons. He was a monster when Jeremy Maclin was out last year and he's the No. 1 receiver on the Chiefs. But there's an opportunity cost to taking a tight end this early.
I passed on three rookie running backs (Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey and Joe Mixon) who were all taken before my next pick. All three have the upside to justify a third round pick but I largely agree with Chris Towers that this rookie class is being overvalued as a whole.
My starting running backs are Carlos Hyde and Ameer Abdullah, which could make passing on one of the rookies for Kelce look very foolish if they both bust.
Player who could make or break your team: Carlos Hyde
I have great faith in the talent of Carlos Hyde. His situation and health are another story. Hyde has seemingly fought off the bevy of mediocre talents the 49ers brought in to compete with him, but that doesn't make him safe. He still needs to stay healthy and overcome what should be a very bad team.
San Francisco's usage of Hyde so far this preseason gives me hope that he may be able to do the latter. They've employed him on a high percentage of first team snaps including third downs. If he can increase his production in the passing game and maintain last year's efficiency he could easily be a top-12 back. He's worth this cost, even if it does give me anxiety to start him as my No. 1 running back.