Top mid-round fantasy values

Updated: August 22, 2012, 6:13 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

Ask 10 fantasy football owners how they interpret the term "mid-round value" and there might be 10 different answers. Drafts are all about value, after all, but not all picks will fit the term. For example, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers are hardly value picks. They're at the top of the draft. Similarly, taking the third Washington Redskins running back in the 13th round or any defense doesn't fit the bill. The middle rounds are where the steals come in, and whether your goal is to hit the jackpot with upside or to find a consistent statistical provider, or just to fill a starting spot or seek insurance for someone else, the middle rounds are critical.

So how do we define those rounds? I think the first five rounds need not apply; in general most teams will have filled three or four running back/wide receiver slots by then, perhaps a quarterback or one of the two record-setting tight ends. Round 6 seems like a good starting point for the middle rounds, ending in, say, the 10th round. There are 16 rounds in an ESPN standard draft. Use all picks wisely, but here we're focusing on the mid-round values.

Several names jump right off the page for me, but let's divide by position for further clarity.