Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Fantasy Football Draft

I just completed my first fantasy football draft of the season, and I just wanted to share with you all. I know I posted before that I was going to share some of my mock drafts, but time sometimes will get away from you when you are writing every day. Anyway I'm going to talk about my strategy and then go over my picks and why I made each one.


Strategy

My basic strategy going into any fantasy draft is to pick the best player available at the time of the pick regardless of what position they play. At some point you have to make an effort to fill other positions to put together the best possible starting lineup available. With that in mind, I wanted to pick the best player available taking into account their value and average draft position. There are a couple of players that I wanted but waited too long on and ended up missing out on, but that's only because they were ranked so low I thought I could wait and snag them up a round before their average draft position. It happens sometimes when you're trying to get a good deal. Now let's take a look at my picks.

The Draft

I'm just going to go over my picks rather than showing the whole draft. There will be a brief description as to why I made the pick and any players I was targeting with the pick who I may have missed out on. Before we start I will say that I had the 4th pick in the draft in a 12 team draft. Middle picks are the worst you can have because there are so many picks in between your picks. Also you never have one of the top 3 picks in any round. It puts you at a disadvantage going forward.
  1. Matt Forte - McCoy, Charles, and Peterson were gone in the first 3 picks. I really agonized over this pick because Forte, while a great player, I put in the next level down behind the top 3 RBs. I wanted to try to get 2 or 3 elite players in their position. Ultimately I decided that Forte was worth picking here over Peyton Manning or Megatron, but it was really close.
  2. Giovani Bernard - By the time this pick came around all of the 'elite' players were long gone. I hate middle picks. Anyway, there were still a lot of quality RBs left and Gio Bernard is a dynamic playmaker if used correctly. He also catches the ball well out of the backfield, and this is a partial PPR league. The last elite player that I was targeting was Aaron Rodddgers, and he went 2 picks prior to my pick. It's perhaps a bit early to pick him here, but there weren't any other players available that I wanted more other than my 3rd pick, and I knew I could wait 1 more round for him.
  3. Alfred Morris - As much as I love my Redskins, I can admit that RG3 has looked like crap in the preseason. I think our offensive success is going to revolve around Morris. He's a beast, so I'm not too worried. The main problem is that he doesn't catch many balls out of the backfield, so they take him out on third downs. He doesn't have any competition for goalline carries though. I would have taken a WR in this spot, but there were a ton of them taken in the first two rounds. I didn't feel like I could pass up a solid flex/RB2. Especially since I have had a lot of success with picking up WRs in later rounds or off the waiver wire. There are also a lot of QBs left that are around the same value that I can pick up later. I didn't expect to take RB with my first three picks, but I was targeting Morris for my 3rd pick. I feel like he is grossly undervalued in most rankings lists.
  4. Wes Welker - I took a chance here that he would be healthy for more than 3/4 of the season and into the fantasy playoffs. I was really hoping that Andre Johnson would fall to me, or that the other teams would realize that they needed running backs too, but it didn't happen. There were more WRs taken in the first two rounds than any other position.
  5. Cordarelle Patterson - I saw this guy play last year, and he was a beast. This is one of the players I wanted to target because I strongly believe he is going to have a break out year. He certainly has the talent. I almost picked him with my previous pick instead of Welker, but felt that I could wait 1 more round.
  6. Cam Newton - He was simply the best player available when my pick came around. Considering his average draft position, he should have gone before my last pick. There were 16 picks in between those two picks. I really hate Cam Newton, and I feel like he has always been overvalued. At this spot in the 6th round though, I felt he was a great value pick. Also I was planning on trying to get Phillip Rivers later who I felt was grossly undervalued in the Yahoo rankings and in average draft position. Usually I would pick TE in this spot, but the TE run hadn't really picked up steam with only Graham, Thomas, and Gronk being picked so far.
  7. Greg Olsen - I could almost feel the TE avalanche coming. I was almost hoping that Olsen would be taken by the time my next pick came, so I could pick Jordan Reed. RG3 had looked terrible in preseason, so I couldn't justify in my mind taking Reed in a new offense with a shaky QB over a tested and proven Olsen who should put up similar numbers with Cam. I think Olsen has shown the potential to break out and have an even bigger year than last year. Even with saying that, I think Reed is an even more impressive talent. Reed went with the very next pick.
  8. Riley Cooper - A speedy WR in a high scoring offense with a QB that throws a good deep ball. What isn't to like? The Eagles defense sucks too, so they will need to score lots of points to win. I was targetting Golden Tate for this pick since he was still available. Unfortunately he went 2 picks prior. I also wanted to snag Fred Jackson as a backup flex position player, but he went 3 picks prior. Brandin Cooks went the pick prior to mine, and I was hoping to get him too. At this point I'm wondering if these jokers are reading my mind.
  9. Tony Romo - I don't have any explanation for this pick. I was still crying from Phillip Rivers going just before. Looking back I should have picked up my backup RB or another WR and gotten Roethlisberger with my next pick. No one's perfect though, and Romo isn't bad as a backup.
  10. DeAngelo Williams - A decent if older RB who is going to get the majority of snaps in an offense based around the run. Yes please. Cam takes away from his goalline carries, but he still should get his share. Jonathan Stewart has always been a threat to his carries, but he has never been able to stay healthy enough to take the starting spot from Williams. This far down you just want someone who is going to get the ball in his hands and could sub in for a game or two if needed.
  11. KC Defense/Special Teams - The value on this pick is pretty good considering their average draft position, but I still agonized over this pick. I almost picked Cinci's defense over KC. They are both good and similarly ranked.
  12. Jarrett Boykin - The slot receiver in a high powered passing attack featuring Aaron Rodgers. I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel, but it's possible he could break out and put up some numbers here and there. There have been several others who have done it in his position.
  13. Cin Defense/Special Teams - I usually hold onto 2 defenses throughout the season and switch them out based on the matchup. I missed out on Seattle's defense by a couple of picks, but I got 2 good ones late in the draft. I really wasn't expecting this defense to still be available in round 13.
  14. Jerricho Cotchery - At this point you're just hoping to get someone that can score some TDs, and Cotchery has some really nice red zone skills. He's a decent WR, but he's not going to scare anyone at this point in his career. He may end up being waiver wire fodder after the first few weeks, or he could eat up all of the red zone catches and TDs.
  15. Mason Crosby - Kicker round! I usually try to pick someone that plays for a high scoring team, but Crosby is one of those guys that is almost never available in the last round. Yay for me!

Final Words

I'm generally happy with my team as it is, but I do have a few concerns. My WRs aren't as solid as I would like. Welker's health is what concerns me the most because he plays so hard and goes over the middle so often. All of my backup WRs are a little shaky. I'm hoping one of them will step up to be a solid option, or I can pick one up out of the free agents. I feel like I am pretty solid everywhere else. What do you think? Leave me a message in the comments!

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