Hello all. I am Jared and this is my first of - hopefully - many blogs. This one is about fantasy football, or more specifically, the fantasy football draft.
I am a big NFL fan and like fantasy football just as much if not more than the next guy. I spend countless hours after the NFL Draft preparing for my numerous fantasy football drafts. This year I have also used the Sportsline Mock Draft option which has been very useful. I will tell about the highs and lows of my most recent mock draft. I picked last in this 12-team league.
Team 1 - Tomlinson - Duh. You would have to be Matt Millen not to draft LT.
Team 2 - Brady - I wouldn't take Brady before the top 4 RB's. Don't get me wrong, he should be the best QB again but the Patriots plan on running more, trying to become more balanced... And the Super Bowl runner-ups have always seemed to struggle in their next year.
Team 3 - Westbrook - It's hard to tell who will be the best out of the "second tier" of RB's (Westbrook, Peterson, and Jackson). I would go Jackson-Peterson-Westbrook in normal leagues and Westbrook-Jackson-Peterson in PPR leagues. I think they all will be very close and you can really argue for any of them for picks 2-4
Team 4 - Peterson - see Westbrook
Team 5 - Jackson - see Peterson
Team 6 - Barber - He has been flying up draft boards as of late and I'm not sure why. I love the guy, but if anything, his draft stock should have gone down after the draft, not up. He is unproven as a full-time starter and he has Felix Jones taking away some carries. He is a high-potential guy so this isn't too much of a reach, but I see him as more of a late first round guy. If you get him anywhere in the second he is a steal.
Team 7 - Gore - I like this pick. Mike Martz has said that he would like to make Gore the "core" of the offense, maybe similar to how Faulk was used in the "Greatest Show on Turf". This could be a monster year for Gore. Addai and Lynch are also options here.
Team 8 - Manning - This is about where you can expect Manning to go. I would have taken either Addai or Lynch, though.
Team 9 - Addai - Great value for Addai at this pick. I would take him between 5 and 8, no later than 9.
Team 10 - Moss - Moss is the best WR in the league, no question. Depending on your league, Moss may go anywhere from the middle of the first round to the middle of the second. I would think about him with the last couple of picks in the first and consider it highway robbery to get him after pick 13.
Team 11 - Owens - Once Moss is off the board, expect Owens and a few other receivers to follow soon thereafter. Elite WR's are few and far between (I would say that there are 5-6 of them with Moss and Owens leading the way) and even though I would have taken Lynch in this situation, it is not a bad pick.
Team 12 - Lynch - If Lynch falls to me at the 12th pick in any of my real leagues, I would be more than happy to take him - hopefully he can stay out of trouble.
Value - Larry Johnson (21 overall) - I consider Johnson a low-end number one RB this year worth a look at the end of round one or the beginning of the second. He's a great value here and gives this team a scary RB duo of AP and LJ.
Reach - Rudi Johnson (24 overall) - I expect him to bounce back from last year's poor performance, but not enough to warrant a second round selection.
My Pick - Braylon Edwards (13 overall) - Look for a very strong passing game in Cleveland this year.
Value - Marques Colston (27) and Ryan Grant (34) - I thought these guys should have been taken in the second round... great picks in the third.
Reach - Chad Johnson (29) and Carson Palmer (30) - Not awful picks, but the question marks around Johnson make them risky at this point. There are a couple other WR's I would have taken ahead of Johnson and I would have taken Derek Anderson ahead of Palmer (see my pick).
My Pick - Derek Anderson (36) - Maybe a slight reach, but I couldn't pass up the connection of Anderson throwing to Edwards on my team.
Value - Maurice Jones-Drew (37) - If you can get Jones-Drew after round 2 he is a great value. He should be a solid number two fantasy back.
Reach - Darren McFadden (39) - Don't expect him to go any later than this in most drafts, but let someone else take the risk. Reason 1: He is a rookie RB, they rarely live up to the hype (see Reggie Bush). Reason 2: He plays for the Oakland Raiders, enough said.
My Pick - Maurice Jones-Drew (37)
Value - Marc Bulger (49), Matt Hasselbeck (51), and Donovan McNabb (55) - Expect at least one of these guys to break out in a huge way this year. Which one? My bet is on McNabb because of his supporting cast (a.k.a. Westbrook). It is very possible that all three of these guys will outperform Anderson who I took in the third round. If there was ever a draft to wait on a QB, it would be this one.
Reach - Marvin Harrison (60) - Age and injuries are finally getting to him. Take him as your third WR, consider yourself weak at WR if he is your first or second receiver.
My Pick - Marvin Harrison (60) - Unfortunately I waited too long to get my number 2 WR and got stuck with Harrison. I would have taken another WR with my 3rd rounder if I could do it over.
Value - Edgerrin James (61) - I would expect James to go a little higher in most drafts. He has a good chance to redeem himself this year and still has little competition at RB. He could be a solid number two RB but will be drafted as a low number two or a great number three guy.
Reach - Jake Delhomme (69) - Delhomme could have a good year, but I have never been a fan. He probably would have been available a couple rounds later anyway.
My Pick - Edgerrin James (61) - I'd like to say that this pick made up for my previous one.
Value - Dwayne Bowe (73) - This guy will post some good stats for a couple of reasons. 1: He is one of few receiving targets in the offense. 2: Tony Gonzalez is reportedly having trouble learning the new offense and is getting up there in age. 3: Defenses will be playing to stop Larry Johnson which should leave very little coverage on the receivers.
Reach - Vikings and Chargers Defenses (74 and 79) - I only say this because the general ideology in fantasy football is to wait until the end of the draft for a defense and the last pick for a kicker. I don't necessarily agree with this. If you are comfortable with your team at this point in the draft, I think it is a great idea to take a defense and maybe even a kicker. Let me explain. If you look at the RB's and WR's available here, you can usually get someone of about the same talent a couple rounds later. In contrast, when looking at defenses in particular, you can get an elite defense here or you can wait and draft another reserve running back or receiver who might not even play for your team. This works especially well in leagues like mine where you have to draft a certain number of players at each position so that talent does not run dry at primary positions.
Let's look at the RB's taken in round 7. Chester Taylor, Fred Taylor, and Deuce McAllister. Ironically, they are all NFL veterans who are now stuck behind very young and talented players on their rosters. No one can be sure how they will produce or even if they will see significant playing time. Now let's look at the RB's taken in round 10. Felix Jones, Ryan Torain, and Ricky Williams. The Colts defense (ranked 16th by Sportsline) was also taken in round 10. You can argue about which of those RB's will be better, but the truth is that they are all backups on their respective teams and they are all very similar in value. However, if you look at the difference in value of defenses taken in that period it is much more drastic. If you passed up on one of the top two defenses in the 7th round and waited until the 10th (just three rounds), you could have gotten stuck with a team like the Colts. That's nothing against the Colts, but the Vikings and Chargers defenses are clearly better and worth more in fantasy football. The same strategy can be used for kickers, but I would still wait until later to draft one.
Sorry if that confused you, but if you were able to follow me you should consider this strategy. Just promise you won't use it against me. :) Anyway, back to the draft...
My Pick - Laveranues Coles (84) - I needed depth at WR and he was the best one available, nothing special.
Value - Chris Johnson (86) and Anthony Gonzalez (87) - I was going to get Johnson in the next round if he was there, but unfortunately he seems to be on everyone else's radar also. Don't expect to get him as a late round flier even thought that is what he is worth at this point. He will be taken in the middle to late rounds in most drafts. Also, expect big things from Gonzalez this season with Harrison slowing down and of course with the quarterback he has throwing to him... What was his name? Peyton something? Gonzalez played extremely well last year during Marvin's injury.
Roddy White, Bernard Berrian, and Donte' Stallworth were also good picks in this round.
Reach - Vernon Davis (85) and Todd Heap (92) - Not bad picks for teams needing a TE, but only six more TE's were taken in the rest of the draft meaning that similar value could have been found in the last round.
My Pick - Vernon Davis (85) - He's a player with a very high ceiling.
Value - Ahman Green (100) and Aaron Rodgers (106) - Any starting RB is a steal in the 9th round. Rodgers is a fantastic number 2 QB. With his supporting cast, he has the potential to be a solid number one by the end of the year. I was going to take Rodgers with my next pick (only 2 picks later) but it still worked out okay. You should go into drafts knowing that someone will probably take "your guy" or the guy you were going to draft a pick or two before your turn. It happens in every draft. Don't get upset and change your philosophy because of it. Your season will not be altered because of one player, especially this late in the draft.
Reach - Javon Walker (97) - You can take risks later in the draft because you lose less if the guy sucks it up. I'd say that Walker is definitely a risk at this point. He has had some problems off the field and he is an injury risk. The upside is that he is in Oakland's vertical offense, although they do have QB problems.
My Pick - Patriots defense (108) - They lost a couple great players, but they should still be solid.
Value - Eli Manning (109) - He's another one of those QB's who could be a starter if he was your best one, but is a fantastic backup.
Reach - Colts defense (112) - There were better defenses available such as the Jaguars and Packers. I think the owner switched to auto-pilot the round before so it wasn't his decision.
My Pick - Eli Manning (109) - I'm set at QB.
Value - Justin Fargas (125) and Vince Young (126) - great value in this late of a round.
Reach - Michael Bush (130) - He's third on his own team's depth chart. He has talent, but I wouldn't draft him.
My Pick - Shayne Graham (132) - I ran out of time on my pick and it automatically took Graham.
Value - Bryant Johnson (138) - He could be the number one in San Francisco which would be a great situation with Mike Martz setting up his offense there.
Reach - Michael Pittman (143) - Another RB who is third on his team's depth chart, but less upside than Michael Bush (see round 11).
My Pick - Adrian Peterson (133) - He will get touches even though Forte will be ahead of him. If Forte falters or gets hurt, "the other Adrian Peterson" will be in prime position to be the primary back.
Value - Mason Crosby (147) - Proof that you can wait to get a quality kicker. He was the top kicker last year.
Reach - Warrick Dunn (150) - Obviously you have little to lose this late in the draft, but Dunn is currently behind Graham who will get a majority of the carries and the goal-line duties. Cadillac Williams will probably be ahead of Dunn when he returns and the team is reportedly looking into signing Kevin Jones. Take him if you want... I'm not going to.
My Pick - Matt Leinart (156) - He's worth a late round flier. He'll be on a very short leash this year, but if he performs well, he could be great with the supporting cast he has.
Value - Devin Hester (161) - I wouldn't draft him much higher than this, but he could post some solid numbers because there is hardly any competition at WR for the Bears.
Reach - Jeff Garcia (164) - It is uncertain whether or not he will even be in the NFL next year. He is worth a waiver wire pick-up if things get worked out, but I wouldn't draft him.
QB - Derek Anderson, Eli Manning, Matt Leinart
RB - Marshawn Lynch, Maurice Jones-Drew, Edgerrin James, Adrian Peterson (CHI), Tatum Bell
WR - Braylon Edwards, Marvin Harrison, Laveranues Coles
TE - Vernon Davis
K - Shayne Graham
DST - Patriots
My only weakness is at WR, but it is a pretty large weakness. If I could go back and change my draft, I would have taken another WR in the third round instead of Anderson. I could have gotten Brandon Marshall, Roy Williams, or Greg Jenings in the third. Here's what my team would look like:
QB - Eli Manning, Matt Leinart
RB - Marshawn Lynch, Maurice Jones-Drew, Edgerrin James, Adrian Peterson (CHI), Tatum Bell
WR - Braylon Edwards, Brandon Marshall, Marvin Harrison, Laveranues Coles
TE - Vernon Davis
K - Shayne Graham
DST - Patriots
This would have balanced my team out more and I would still have a decent starting QB with Eli (IN THE 10th ROUND!) Maybe I should stick to my own advice of waiting for a QB this year. I know it is difficult to watch Brady, Manning, Romo, Brees, Anderson, and other QB's go off the board, but when you can get Eli Manning in the 10th round and Leinart in the 13thor 14th, it makes no sense to take a QB early.
Well, thank you all. It's been great. Feel free to make comments. I will continue mock drafting and see what else I can find out in the world of fantasy football and everything else.
Fantasy Football Draft Insider
Posted on: July 2, 2008 12:54 am
Edited on: July 2, 2008 10:18 pm