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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.
The incredible season that running backs had in Fantasy last year really cost the zero-RB movement some momentum. Especially in non-PPR drafts. It's almost like we didn't learn from overreacting to one outlier year in 2016.
I didn't go full zero-RB in this draft, but I did start with three straight receivers, which puts you in a really interesting position. For me it greatly increases the chances that I will not take a quarterback or a tight end on the first six rounds (unless everyone chases running backs). It also means you need a combination of upside and security in the running backs you do draft.
I took Mark Ingram in the fourth round, and I talk more about that pick below. But I followed it up with an upside pick (Tevin Coleman) and a safe pick (Frank Gore). Coleman would be a top-five running back if Devonta Freeman were to get hurt, and he offers flex appeal even with Freeman healthy. Gore doesn't really have any upside at all but he's been remarkably consistent, and once Andrew Luck gets back he should be in a good offense.
The one place I screwed up was not getting any more early season reliability later in the draft. I'd feel better if I had a Terrance West or a Jacquizz Rodgers, but Alvin Kamara and Marlon Mack offer upside and protection from a Gore or Ingram injury.
Here is the rest of my team picking from No. 9:
- 1.9 Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
- 2.4 Amari Cooper, WR, OAK
- 3.9 Keenan Allen, WR, SD
- 4.4 Mark Ingram, RB, NO
- 5.9 Tevin Coleman, RB, ATL
- 6.4 Frank Gore, RB, IND
- 7.9 Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN
- 8.4 Emmanuel Sanders, WR, DEN
- 9.9 Cam Newton, QB, CAR
- 10.4 Alvin Kamara, RB, NO
- 11.9 Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG
- 12.4 Marlon Mack, RB, IND
- 13.9 Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
- 14.4 Texans DST
Favorite Pick: Matthew Stafford
Yes, Stafford was my second quarterback, but we need to talk about how ridiculous this value is. Stafford has thrown for at least 4,200 yards in every season that he's played 16 games. He's played 16 games for six straight seasons. He's been a top-10 QB in three of the past four seasons. He's being drafted as the 15th quarterback off the board in CBS drafts.
I expect another 4,000 yard season from Stafford with a small bounce-back from last year's 24 touchdown passes. I also expect him to outscore Jameis Winston, Derek Carr, Dak Prescott and a host of other quarterbacks being drafted before him.
Pick you might regret: Keenan Allen
Allen has had major injury issues, but if he stays healthy I have little doubt he's a value here. Allen was on pace for 134 catches, 1,450 yards and eight touchdowns the last time we saw him healthy. He could easily be a top 12 wide receiver. But even in that rosy scenario, this pick could come back to bite me.
By taking Allen as my third receiver in three picks, I passed on Christian McCaffrey and Joe Mixon. It led to a situation where Mark Ingram is my No. 1 running back. It's not hard to imagine how that goes wrong. Of course, how I feel about the Allen pick may very well be determined by ...
Player who could make or break your team: Mark Ingram
I've mostly ignored the concerns about Mark Ingram's role in New Orleans. I do think he'll have to share the running back role with Adrian Peterson and Alvin Kamara, it's just that this is nothing new. Ingram was a top 12 running back in 2016 with 205 carries. This was on a team that gave Tim Hightower, John Kuhn and Travaris Cadet a combined 233 touches.
So, yes, Ingram will be in a committee. He always has been. My expectation has always been that Adrian Peterson will get close to Tim Hightower's 155 touches from 2016 and Kamara will inherit Travaris Cadet's role in the passing game (assuming he can handle it). Where this could go wrong is if Peterson gets the main role and Ingram is more of a passing downs back. Even if that happens, I have a hard time believing the 32 year-old Peterson will be more effective than Ingram or stay healthy.