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Fantasy Football Today

Draft Do-over: 12-team standard league

By Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer

Most of the time when I draft, I have my way. Picks fall into my lap I am at least "okay" with taking. Sometimes I get steals that really put my roster in a position to dominate.

In our recent 12-team standard league mock draft, I felt like I was drafing with sharks. It became tough to land players I liked, particularly running backs, at spots I wanted them at. I didn't break Rule No. 1 and only took players I really liked, but I came close to taking some players I really just don't like a lot. I also nearly chucked my computer through a window about five times when players in my queue were taken right before I picked!

I thought I could take a look back and see what else I could have done. I had the 10th pick out of 12 teams.

Round 1: Alfred Morris, RB, WAS
Once my Top 7 running backs and Calvin Johnson and Jimmy Graham were off the board, I was left with two decisions: Go WR-WR to begin the draft and settle for whatever was left at running back in Rounds 3 and 4, or take the best available rusher and then grab an elite receiver in Round 2. I chose the latter because I knew there would be a stud wideout waiting for me in Round 2 whereas I feared what would have been left at running back in Rounds 3 and 4. Morris still stands out to me as a trustworthy No. 1 Fantasy running back with 1,300-yard, 10-TD potential.
I could have also taken: Demaryius Thomas, Giovani Bernard

Round 2: Julio Jones, WR, ATL
No-brainer. Top 4 Fantasy receiver, a candidate for 100 catches and 1,500 yards and 10-plus touchdowns. I knew I'd get someone like this at 15th overall.
I could have also taken: Le'Veon Bell, Peyton Manning

Round 3: Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
This is the first of several picks I struggled with. Literally, my queue had four names in it and they went consecutively before my pick. My thought process switched to taking a player from the position closest to falling off a tier. Besides Mathews, the best RBs left were Bishop Sankey and Shane Vereen. At receiver there was Michael Crabtree, Larry Fitzgerald, Vincent Jackson, Andre Johnson, Pierre Garcon and Keenan Allen. There were more receivers I was OK with taking in Round 4 than running backs, plus the owner at Pick 12 went with two receivers with his first two picks, so I figured one of those first three receivers I listed would make it back to me. That made the decision easy to go with a running back. I bit the bullet and took Mathews.
I could have also taken: See above

Round 4: Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
Just like Jones in Round 2, I was pumped to get Crabtree in early Round 4. He's in my Top 12 receivers (11th!) and I have him penciled in for a big year. He's the perfect No. 2 receiver to get in Fantasy since he has potential to play better than expectations with Colin Kaepernick. Shane Vereen was tempting -- I'm really warming up to him -- but I wanted to lock up another wideout from one of my first three tiers.
I could have also taken: Shane Vereen

Round 5: Ben Tate, RB, CLE
As much as I didn't like taking Mathews in Round 3, this one was even more of a struggle. Two players in my queue -- Ray Rice and Emmanuel Sanders -- went within four picks before mine. Rashad Jennings would have been someone I wouldn't have been upset about taking but he went before Rice and Sanders! For whatever reason I couldn't bring myself to taking Vernon Davis in Round 5 and the best receiver left was Torrey Smith. To put Tate in as my flex to begin the season isn't so bad. It's hoping I can count on him to stay there for 16 games that I don't like. I also had to start praying to the Fantasy Gods that Terrance West would make it back to me in Round 7 (I wasn't going to reach for West in Round 6), which was highly unlikely.
I could have also taken: Vernon Davis, Torrey Smith, Lamar Miller, Matt Ryan

Round 6: Vernon Davis, TE, SF
Don't ask me to explain the logic of passing on Davis in Round 5 but taking him five picks later in Round 6 and feeling good about it. Maybe I just felt like I needed more value from him. Or maybe I knew Tate wasn't going to make it back to me in Round 6 but Davis would. Yeah, that's it. I originally intended to go with Lamar Miller here and bulk up at running back but with my roster in need of a potential difference maker, I couldn't pass up Davis.
I could have also taken: Lamar Miller, Colin Kaepernick

Round 7: Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
Jackson is a back I've come around on, especially after watching his role develop in Buffalo over last season and this preseason. They use him in dedicated spots including the two-minute offense and at the goal line. Normally I might shoot for him in Round 8, but I knew that I would have one quarterback from Nick Foles, Tom Brady and Tony Romo fall to me in the following round. So I earmarked Round 8 for one of those passers and took the best available running back on my board.
I could have also taken: Devonta Freeman

Round 8: Tom Brady, QB, NE
I was surprised to see two quarterbacks get picked between my last pick and this pick, but that didn't compare to the feeling of elation of having Brady fall into my lap. This is what I mean by letting a quarterback fall to you in drafts. There was no other direction I would have gone with this pick.
I could have also taken: Sammy Watkins, Zach Ertz

Round 9: Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
I realized I needed a third receiver. I went to my draft board. Wayne was there. End of thought process.
I could have also taken: Justin Hunter, DeAngelo Williams

Round 10: Josh Gordon, WR, CLE
I recognized Danny Woodhead as a player who had some "fun" and Christine Michael as a player with some "serious upside." I consider Gordon, at least at the stage of not knowing how long he'll be suspended for, as a potentially fun player with serious upside we've actually seen. The double-digit rounds are for gambles and handcuffs.
I could have also taken: Christine Michael, Danny Woodhead

Round 11: Danny Woodhead, RB, SD
If there's a player you were going to take and he makes it 15-plus picks back to you the next round, take him.
I could have also taken: Robert Turbin

Round 12: Dexter McCluster, RB, TEN
Yep, not a PPR league and I still went with Dex. Not a panic pick, just looked for a running back with some upside. If Shonn Greene is hurt and Bishop Sankey doesn't get the promotion we're all counting on, then guess who's leading the running game for the Titans.
I could have also taken: Carson Palmer, Tre Mason, Riley Cooper

Round 13: Bobby Rainey, RB, TB
Just another lotto ticket.
I could have also taken: Jordan Matthews, Roy Helu, Steelers DST

Rounds 14 and 15: Broncos DST and Shayne Graham
Broncos DST actually fell to me. Nice!

Final roster:
QB: Tom Brady (Round 8)
RB: Alfred Morris (1)
RB: Ryan Mathews (3)
WR: Julio Jones (2)
WR: Michael Crabtree (4)
FLEX: Ben Tate (5)
TE: Vernon Davis (6)
K: Shayne Graham (15)
DST: Broncos (14)
BENCH:
Fred Jackson (7)
Reggie Wayne (9)
Josh Gordon (10)
Danny Woodhead (11)
Dexter McCluster (12)
Bobby Rainey (13)

Had I started WR-WR, my team could have been ...

QB: Tom Brady (8)
RB: Ryan Mathews (3)
RB: Shane Vereen (4)
WR: Demaryius Thomas (1)
WR: Julio Jones (2)
FLEX: Ben Tate (5)
TE: Greg Olsen (9)
K: Shayne Graham (15)
DST: Steelers (13)
BENCH:
Lamar Miller (6)
Fred Jackson (7)
Josh Gordon (10)
Danny Woodhead (11)
Dexter McCluster (12)
Bobby Rainey (14)

And if I had started RB-RB, my team could have been ...

QB: Matt Ryan (5)
RB: Alfred Morris (1)
RB: Le'Veon Bell (2)
WR: Michael Crabtree (3)
WR: Andre Johnson (4)
FLEX: Lamar Miller (6)
TE: Zach Ertz (8)
K: Shayne Graham (15)
DST: Steelers (13)
BENCH:
Fred Jackson (7)
Reggie Wayne (9)
Josh Gordon (10)
Danny Woodhead (11)
Riley Cooper (12)
Roy Helu (14)

Which team do you think is/would have been the best? Answer below in the comment section.

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