Before training camp started, picking 10th overall didn't feel special. But since then, a shrinkage of elite receiver talent has helped make the spot a lot more appealing. Now it's a primo spot to go Zero RB.
This is because you're a cinch to land two of the top-eight receivers on Draft Day, a combo that won't be replicated by many teams. It's a difference-making combo that is sure to help make you feel good about your weekly lineup.
What could happen that could break up that receiver-receiver duo? How about a potential running back superstar? What about Travis Kelce? It's hard to commit to the wideout double-down when great talent at other positions is staring you in the grill. It'll come down to personal choice, which isn't easy as you'll soon see.
Before you draft, ask yourself how much you value Kelce, because you're unlikely to get a chance at George Kittle or Zach Ertz in Round 3, you won't want to reach for Evan Engram in Round 4 and O.J. Howard and Hunter Henry aren't promised to slide to you in Round 5. Your best (and maybe only) chance to land an elite tight end comes in Round 1 or 2.
Also make sure you know which receivers you'll take over the likes of Nick Chubb, David Johnson and Le'Veon Bell. If they're too risky for you, go with a receiver. You'll see how I feel about one of these backs in a second.
Here's my team from No. 10 overall:
- 1.10 Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
- 2.03 Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
- 3.10 Antonio Brown, WR, Raiders
- 4.03 Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
- 5.10 Sony Michel, RB, Patriots
- 6.03 Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
- 7.10 Jared Cook, TE, Saints
- 8.03 Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
- 9.10 Anthony Miller, WR, Bears
- 10.03 Damien Harris, RB, Patriots
- 11.10 Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns
- 12.03 DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Broncos
- 13.10 DK Metcalf, WR, Seahawks
- 14.03 Adrian Peterson, RB, Redskins
- 15.10 Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens
Don't be surprised to see Jones go before 10th overall in a PPR draft. Why did he slip this late? Who cares?! I was thrilled to get him.
From there, three of the next four picks were pass-catchers (including Kelce) and the fourth was a running back I valued a lot, James Conner. That left just two options: the last top-eight receiver in Mike Evans and a potential top-five running back in Nick Chubb. It felt too soon for Evans and felt just right for Chubb, so I skipped my plan to take two pass-catchers at the top of my draft and went with the running back.
For the record, there's nothing wrong with starting your draft with one receiver and one running back. It ensures you'll have some balance each week in your lineup. Most drafters will do this. It keeps your options open in Rounds 3 and 4 and doesn't "pressure" you into reaching for a player at a position you need.
With that in mind, I had absolutely no problem selecting Antonio Brown in late Round 3. It kind of felt like a steal. I know there were spots earlier in the round where he might have gone, but the slip to this spot was amazing. I didn't even mind pairing him with his real-life teammate, Josh Jacobs, in early Round 4.
Honestly, it felt like I was on cruise control from this point on. Sony Michel in late Round 5 offers some upside, and Allen Robinson fills a need in Round 6. Not only was Cook a need pick in Round 7, but because the drafter at Pick 11 also had a tight end on his want-list, I wanted to grab him and not risk losing him. That felt OK, but it was especially sweet when Matt Ryan fell into my lap in Round 8. That's the kind of steal I'm looking for at quarterback.
For weeks I had preached waiting for Brown to fall into Round 3. I'm thinking that might be too good of a thing to hope for. Perhaps given the climate at receiver in Fantasy at this point, he should go sooner. For this draft, he went in late Round 3 and solidified my lineup. I'm thrilled and you should be too to have him this late.
Consider this my way of saying my lineup wasn't full of regretful picks. Hamilton could prove to be a low-ceiling bust receiver who will sit on my bench more often than not. I could have gone with a dart-throw running back or a higher-upside wideout. Regardless, he won't be the reason why my team tanks or thrives. All the more reason why I should have gone in a different direction.
If Jacobs plays to expectations, he'll easily finish as a quality No. 2 running back. If he struggles or shares touches more than I think he will, then he'll be a waste of a fourth-round pick and a problem for my lineup. Luckily, I have Michel to replace him in case he does struggle ... at least for as long as Michel is healthy.