On Wednesday night, FP911.com had it’s staff league on NFL.Com while broadcasting live on Google+ Hangouts. It is a standard 12-team PPR league that consists of eight writers from FP911, as well as four readers/listeners. Paul Greco hosted the draft on Google+ Hangouts, and I, as well as fellow FP911 writers Dan Stack and Dan Gleason joined in . You can view the entire draft here.
Below you will find each one of my selections with analysis, round by round. This will provide you with a good insight into my general strategy this season.
Roster Format: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, Flex WR/RB, K, Def, R, R, R, R, R
1st Round, Pick 7: WR-Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Picking 7th, I didn’t have a chance to grab one of the top backs, so I had to grab Megatron in this spot. Besides the madden curse, there is absolutely nothing to be worried about with Johnson. He is the clearly the best receiver in the league and is in store for another monster season.
2nd Round, Pick 18: RB-Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Very happy with getting Charles here. In hindsight, I could of taken Adrian Peterson who went right after Charles, but I like the fact Charles has had much more recovery time than Peterson in coming back from their respective knee injuries.
Despite the presence of Peyton Hillis, I expect Charles to have a very productive season, similar to what he did when he and Thomas Jones split carries in 2010. Per Pro Football Reference, Charles is the only back in NFL history with a career per-carry average of 6.0+ on at least 150 carries. Before he got hurt last season, I believed Charles was primed to be the fantasy back in the league. Coming back from the ACL tear changes that this year, but Charles has already shown that old explosiveness in the preseason and looks ready to rock in 2012.
3rd Round, Pick 31: QB-Eli Manning, New York Giants
Looking back, I probably took Eli a little too early in this spot. Brees, Rodgers, Cam, Brady, Stafford were all gone at this point, but Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning and Tony Romo remained. Still, I had Eli ranked higher than all three of them. Even though I could of waited on Romo and Ryan who both went a few rounds later, I wanted to make sure I had a solid, reliable, consistent QB each week to count on. Coming off his 25 interception season in 2010, I would of never drafted Eli Manning last year. I just did not trust the guy and always had doubted him. But after what I saw from Eli in the NFC Championship game against the 49ers, my opinion completely changed. I was extremely impressed with how he took hit after hit, kept getting back up, finally sealing the win in that game and eventually the SuperBowl for a second time. I had a new found respect for him.
The weapons are there, Victor Cruz is the Wes Welker of NY and he and Eli have a remarkable chemistry together. Hakeem Nicks remains, and Martellus Bennett may add some juice to the passing game as well. The Giants also drafted David Wilson, who I believe will increase the offensive output. I think Eli approaches 30 TD’s once again and takes another step up in his career. The amount of interceptions still remains a concern, but I don’t think he will throw over 20 picks, like he has done in the past.
4th Round, Pick 42: RB-Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins
I wanted to make sure I had two solid starting backs and Reggie fits the mold nicely here in a PPR league. Without the PPR this might be a tad bit early for Bush, but that’s not the case. Bush has improved dramatically as a runner. He closed out last season with three straight games over 100 yards rushing, including a 200-yard game against Buffalo. If Bush can remain healthy, which is always a question with him, he might be in for the best season of his career.
5th Round, Pick 55: TE-Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots
Rounding out my team now, I took Hernandez in the 5th round. I was happy since I have Hernandez ranked 3rd in my Tight End rankings behind Graham and Gronk. What’s not to like about this guy, he plays with Brady in a prolific offense, he runs routes like a Wideout and is due for another solid season after finishing 2011 with 79 catches for 910 yards and 7 TD’s.
6th Round, Pick 66: WR-Dwyane Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
Wasn’t thrilled with this pick, but I needed to go wideout here and Bowe was one of the best ones left. Last year playing with Cassel for nine starts, Tyler Palko for four and Kyle Orton for three, Bowe still put up a respectable 1,158 yards on 82 catches with 5 TD’s. But now with Cassel returning healthy, as well as Jamaal Charles andTony Moeaki returning healthy, the Chiefs offense should return back to 2010 form where we saw Bowe go off for 15 TD’s. The Chiefs will be moving the football once again and Bowe is their best redzone threat, so I look for the TD’s to drive back up this season.
7th Round, Pick 79: WR-Santana Moss, Washington Redskins
Ok, I admit, I reached on this one and probably made a mistake here. Looking through my draftboard I didn’t see C.J. Spiller there, if I had I would of taken him without a doubt, love Spiller. I also passed on guys like Kenny Britt, Stevan Ridley, Cedric Benson and Malcolm Floyd. Paul Greco ripped me for this pick and maybe deservingly so. But I still think Santana Moss has some juice left in the tank.
Playing with RGIII , we could see a revived season out of Moss, kind of like what we saw out of Steve Smith playing with Cam Newton last season. In 2010, playing with Rex Grossman and Donovan Mcnabb, Moss finished with 93 catches, 1.,115 yards and 6 TD’s, so a nice season from Moss is not out of the question. Even last year in in his first five games, Moss was on pace for 74 catches and over 900 yards, before he missed four weeks with a broken hand. Even though I might take this pick back if I had to do it again, I still think Moss is going to be a factor in 2012.
8th Round, Pick 90: RB-Roy Helu, Washington Redskins
Sticking with the Redskins theme, I took Helu expecting him to be the main back at some point in the year. This is a pick I am going to have to be patient with, while Helu overcomes his achilles injuries in both ankles and battles it out with Tim Hightower and Evan Royster. But Helu showed his talents last season and looked like one of the better backs in the league. Unfortunately, Mike Shanahan loves to ride the RB carousel, so were going to have to wait this one out and hope sooner than later the Shanahan’s come to their senses.
9th Round, Pick 103: RB-David Wilson, New York Giants
I have been on the David Wilson train for a while now and tonight the rookie showed a glimpse of what we might be expect to see from him this season. Wilson, who played with the starters tonight because Ahmad Bradshaw was nursing a bruised hand, rushed for 49 yards on five carries and also had two catches for 26 yards.On two seperate runs, Wilson shed tackles and displayed the strength and explosion we saw from him at Va Tech. The rookie is looking like he could have a very nice impact for the G-men in 2012. I have completed two drafts thus far, acquiring Wilson in both, and I plan on targeting him in every other league I am in as well. But it looks like I won’t be getting him in the 9th round anymore after tonight’s display.
10th Round, Pick 114: WR-Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders
There wasn’t much left at WR, so I grabbed last years preseason darling Denarius Moore. This guy was everybody’s sleeper last season. Like most sleepers, Moore didn’t meet the hype and finished with just 33 catches for 618 yards and 5 TD’s. I’m hoping by playing with Carson Palmer for a full season, Moore can become the raiders No.1 option. There is still a lot of upside here.
11th Round, Pick 127: RB-Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers
I love Hunter’s skillset, and for this late in the draft, I believe this incredible value for Hunter. Even though Hunter is going to be in a secondary role, I believe in drafting talent and upside at all times. Regardless, Hunter’s role should increase in his Sophomore season and if Gore suffers an injury, Hunter will have immense value. By the way, I wrote about Hunter, as well as David Wilson, Reggie Bush, and Roy Helu in my Impact RB columns, you can check them out here.
12th Round, Pick 138: TE-Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Jeremy Shockey has departed Carolina and Olsen will now enjoy having full reign as the No. 1 Tight End. This is another late round selection based on talent and upside. It’s not some stale crusty pick. Cam Newton needs a second option besides Steve Smith and Olsen could fit that mold this season. Playing with this young, emerging Carolina offense, there is very good chance Olsen has a breakout season.
13th Round, Pick 151: New York Jets Defense
I had only three picks left and I still needed to get a kicker and a defense, so I went with the Jets. The offense may look terrible, but the Jets Defense is looking improved with the additions of Laron Landry, Yeremiah Bell and rookie Quinton Coples. They should be a definite top 10 Defense this season, possibly top five.
14th Round, Pick 162: K- Matt Byrant, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons should be passing more this year than ever and they also play in a dome which is a bonus. You really never know with Kickers, but Bryant should be in for a nice season.
15th Round, Pick 175: WR-Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
I had my choice between Brandon LaFell and Cobb and I went with Cobb. Maybe I should of went with LaFell since he will have more of a role intially, but I believe Cobb will play an important role at some point this season. Donald Driver is almost on his way out and if there is an injury to either Jennings or Nelson, Cobb can become a factor right away.
Generally I like to have two solid backs, a top QB and at least one stud WR. I accomplished all of that in this draft. I also came away with Aaron Hernandez at the TE spot to round out my team. In the later rounds, I went with high upside picks in Helu, Wilson, Hunter, and Olsen. All these guys are extremely talented and are capable of having a very successful season. You can also see I didn’t draft a backup QB, Kicker or Defense. All of these positions can be found on the waiver wire later in the season.
The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare, so be ready, know your strategy, do your research on as many players as possible and be confident when you draft. I hope this was breakdown was helpful, if you guys have any questions you can email me anytime at SteveDeAngelo@gmail.com.