Third round standard fantasy football draft strategy

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We’re fully into the draft now. The first and second rounds are harder to screw up because it’s the top of the talent pool. But with round three, things start to become more clear in your league.

Soon, you’ll know which owners know what they’re doing and which ones came unprepared, or simply don’t know anything about fantasy football. And so… let’s see who those people are.

  1. Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers (Previous picks: Brown, Cooks)
    Hey, this is a steal, right? After going WR in the first two rounds, a slimmed-down Lacy is there for the taking. He was terrible last year, but just think of what he can do when in shape. This team is already salivating with the best trio (maybe) in the league.
  1. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills (Previous: Julio, Evans)
    I almost went with Cam Newton here, but decided McCoy would cut it considering all of his backups are shooting themselves in the foot. If McCoy can make it 16 games, he has top-five potential. If so, this team could easily be looking at the playoffs with two solid WRs already in tow.
  1. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (Previous: OBJ, Ingram)
    I already have one RB and WR, so what’s the harm in going with the top quarterback? With Kelvin Benjamin back, Newton should reach last year’s totals, right? This may be a reach, but none of the skill-position players really stand out here and getting Newton at least takes away thinking about a QB the rest of the way.
  1. Latavius Murray, RB Oakland Raiders (Previous: Hopkins, Freeman)
    My trust in Devonta Freeman is minimal, so I go with another running back in case Freeman does disappoint. I like Murray more than other questions like C.J. Anderson and Carlos Hyde. Murray will be behind a better offensive line and last year’s numbers should be a floor. Maybe a stretch, but I had to. 
  1. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders (Previous: Gurley, Bell)
    I went two RBs early, yet Cooper still fell into my lap as my top wide receiver and I’m content with that. Cooper and Derek Carr should be more in touch and with a year on his belt, Cooper can be a top-12 WR. That’s just enough to go with my dynamic duo at running back.
  1. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos (Previous: A.J. Green, Allen)
    I couldn’t wait any longer on my first running back so I took the bait on Anderson. He’s going to get the touches, which is about all I care about already with two top WRs on the roster. If Anderson comes through, great. If not, I can live with it.
  1. Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills (Previous: David Johnson, Nelson)
    Watkins has all the potential in the world given his skill set, but injuries and inconsistent quarterback play derailed his first two seasons from something more. If Watkins and Tyrod Taylor can stay healthy, reaching 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns is definitely on the table for the wide receiver. Getting that production in the third round is almost a steal.
  1. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (Previous: Peterson, Marshall)
    The receiver known as “Ghost” was the opposite last year, finishing with disappointing numbers in his fourth season. But with Andrew Luck back under center, this may be the year for Hilton to break out. The difference between Luck and Matt Hasselbeck is everything, especially for a speedster. Expect Hilton to return to his 80-catch, 1,300-yard levels with touchdowns the only question. As said with Watkins, this is a steal if Hilton can get more than last year’s five touchdowns. 
  1. Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers (Previous: Zeke, Jeffery)
    Speaking of steals, Hyde can be just that… if healthy. If he can get past last season’s foot issues (big if), he’ll be the lead back in a Chip Kelly-run offense. This team’s first three picks are the makings of the ultimate upside team with Zeke Elliott and Alshon Jeffery. If all three of these guys come through, anything is possible.
  1. Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks (Previous: Robinson, Martin)
    It’s becoming a theme in the third round with upside-heavy picks. Rawls fits the bill, especially if he can be Seattle’s starter for the entire season. But the Seahawks drafted three backs because they had their doubts about Rawls; if he could hold up for a full campaign or not.
  1. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos (Previous: Dez, Lamar)
    This seems late for Thomas, until you realize Peyton Manning of two years ago is gone. Thomas is the ultimate bust prospect in the third round with Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian his likely QBs. But it’s hard to pass up a receiver of his caliber this late.
  1. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers (Previous: Gronk, Jamaal)
    Without a receiver on the squad, I pushed for Cobb to at least give some reliability. Cobb’s numbers dipped last year when he become the No. 1 target, but with the return of Jordy Nelson, it wouldn’t be entirely surprisingly for Cobb to once again surpass 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Never underestimate the power of Aaron Rodgers.

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