It was a fun time as we had eight writers (me, Greco, Steve DeAngelo, Chuck Anderson, Collin Hager, Tony Cincotta, Dan Leason and Mike Blewitt) and four readers/fans/listeners (Hector Ramos, Tammy Pardue, Eric Townsend and Justin Bradley) tangle for ultimate fantasy football supremacy.
This is a PPR (points per reception) league and we start 1 QB, 2 RB’s, 2 WR, 1 RB/WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 DST with six bench spots.
I had the fortune of picking third, which is a great spot because I knew I was going to pick between either Arian Foster, Ray Rice or LeSean McCoy. Lo and behold, Foster and Rice went 1 and 2, so I got McCoy.
You can’t go wrong by drafting a sure-fire stud running back in the first round and I got one in McCoy. He is a solid centerpiece for my squad.
With the next pick I was going for the best talent left on the board that was going to give me the best production regardless of position and I settled on Wes Welker. Welker is Tom Brady’s check down receiver and Welker will always pile up the catches, yards and even some healthy TD totals. Considering this is a PPR league, Welker proves to be an invaluable commodity.
With my next pick, I really wanted to lock up another running back that was due to be a pig part of his offense’s game plan. Enter Fred Jackson. Way too many people are undervaluing Jackson, as they think C.J. Spiller will severely cut into his carries. I don’t buy it. Jackson was having a sensational season last year and he’ll still be the primary back in Buffalo now that he is back to full health.
Next up I wanted to either to nab the best remaining wide receiver or quarterback. Eventually, I settled on Demaryius Thomas, as I happen to agree with all the hype being bestowed upon him. Thomas has an incredible skill set at wide receiver and it’s only a matter of time before he and Peyton Manning hook up for tons of scores.
When the fifth round came along, I knew I had to nab a quarterback if I wanted to get one of the better ones. I was hoping Matt Ryan or Eli Manning would fall to me, but I was not too disappointed in grabbing Phil Rivers. I think Rivers will go back to being a solid top 5-8 quarterback and actually think the departure of Vincent Jackson could be addition by subtraction for the Chargers. Remember in 2010 when Jackson held out for most of the year? Oh yeah, Rivers only had his best season to date.
With my next pick, I wanted to grab the best running back or wide receiver available, while leaning towards a guy who could still be in line for a great deal of carries. I went with the Panthers’ Jonathan Stewart. I wasn’t thrilled with this selection, but I view Stewart as the most dependable and durable back in Carolina and for a flex, he could be a good value pick. That’s not to say I am not worried about DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert and even Cam Newton cutting into his carries.
After filling my QB, RB, WR and flex spots , I either wanted to nab a tight end or build some depth. Depth won out when I selected Titus Young. If you have been watching our Google+ chats, you know how much I value Young. Young should benefit from teams paying Calvin Johnson too much attention and this speedy burner could be in line for a fantastic season.
In the eighth round I finally found a high-upside tight end worthy of being selected when I took the Bengals’ Jermaine Gresham. Andy Dalton looked to Gresham a lot in the red zone last year and I think that’s a theme that will continue for years in Cincinnati.
From the 9th round on, I was building mostly on depth and not reaching for a defense and certainly waiting on a kicker until the last round.
With my next two picks I was planning to build depth at both running back and wide receiver. However, I saw Andrew Luck staring at me in the 9th round and I just couldn’t resist. I just feel Luck is a natural at quarterback and he won’t take that long to develop. While I still covet Rivers, I could not pass on the upside Luck brings to the table.
In the 10th round, I think I may have gotten a steal with the selection of Evan Royster, as I believe he is the most dependable, healthy running back Mike Shanahan trusts.
As a rule of thumb, I usually wait on defenses until the final rounds, but I made an exception in this draft as no skill position player floated my boat. That said, I could not resist the temptation to select-hands down-the best defense in the league in the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers D is ball-hawking unit who create turnovers, get sacks and limit the yardage and points. In other words, they are the complete package.
Once wrapping up my defense I knew the next three picks were for depth and I took players, who if things fall into place, could give me great value at where I selected them. With the selections of Anquan Boldin, Rashard Mendenhall and Tim Hightower this late I believe the reward far outweighs the risk here.
Mendenhall is now practicing, as is Hightower (who I wanted to handcuff to Royster anyway);and with Boldin I have a steady vet who knows what he is doing.
Last but not least I settled on Garret Hartley as my kicker. I always love taking a kicker who plays on an explosive offense and/or kicks indoors. Check and Check!
So that’s my team. I’m not overly thrilled with this team. There are a lot of solid, safe picks here, but the upside is limited in my opinion. That being said, I think I have team that should at least challenge for the playoffs.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know how I did and let the smack roll. You can find me on Twitter @Stacdemon and at Google+.
So, the junk is on the table and wouldn’t you know it I am matched up with Greco in the first week.
Let the games begin!