RotoBaller.com Expert’s League - Fantasy Football Draft Analysis
Hello gentlemen, and whatever fantasy ladies might read this (bonus points?). I know we only have another day before the first Sunday of the NFL season, and many of you have already drafted and constructed your ultimate fantasy football teams, but we held RotoBaller’s very own Experts League Draft a few nights ago, and I thought I’d share some of the thought process that went into my picks and the overall construction of my team.
First and foremost are the league settings: this league is a 14-team league with roster spots consisting of one QB, two RB, two WR, one TE and two flex options that include W/R/T, in addition (of course) to a kicker and defense. The scoring settings are pretty standard, except that it is a PPR (Points Per Reception) league, and quarterbacks get six points per touchdown instead of four. We also have only four bench spots, so there will be a good amount of player movement throughout the season.
As for pre-draft, I used my very own RotoBaller.com 2013 fantasy football rankings as my basis, and did much of the predraft planning after learning that I had the first pick in the draft. Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess…
Anyways, let’s get to it with my own draft results and analysis (here are the full draft results for all teams in the league):
Team Recap of Joseph Berger (Roto-Buckeye)
Pick #1 (1) - Adrian Peterson (RB, MIN): I arrived at the draft like ten minutes early and set up my queue with many options. LeSean McCoy, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Doug Martin were all right there for the taking. Unbeknownst to me, and I couldn’t believe my eyes, I accidentally clicked the “Draft” button while on the "All Players" list… I was so distraught, and I ended up with Peterson. Rough life, right? (Sarcasm implied)
Pick #2 (28) – Eddie Lacy (RB, GB): I’m going to be honest: I was targeting David Wilson (went 17th) and DeMarco Murray (went 25th) in this spot. Apparently, experts know about that Andre Brown injury, so Wilson should be a stud in New York. After Murray was taken, Lacy was the next RB on my board, and he’s had a pretty outstanding preseason. I don’t like taking rookies because they aren’t established and Lacy is injury prone, but I like what he has shown so far.
Pick #3 (29) – Darren Sproles (RB, NO): With two flex roster spots that accept running backs, I virtually had no choice but to go running back again with my wrap-around pick. Especially in a 14-team league and with the likes of Julio Jones, A.J. Green, and Dez Bryant already off the board. It’s a PPR league, so Sproles might have been a bit of a reach, but he doesn’t share a bye with my other backs and he’s on one of the best offenses in the NFL.
Pick#4 (56) – Hakeem Nicks (WR, NYG): I had three running backs and nothing else, so I was pushed into getting a no. 1 receiver. Problem was there were none really left, so I had to take best available. I was hoping for Marques Colston, Danny Amendola, or Jordy Nelson here for my wide-out, but if Nicks can stay healthy, I think 60 receptions and 10 TDs are very realistic hopes at the moment.
Pick #5 (57) – Montee Ball (RB, DEN): My plan all along was to take two wide receivers at this wrap-around. Running backs went even quicker than normal in this league, and I felt great about what I had, but once again, we have two flex positions that accept running backs…Antonio Brown, Steve Smith and Mike Williams were still there and I wanted to take Mike Williams, but it’s the old rule of thumb that running backs get to touch the ball more than any other position in the flex, so I pushed everyone else’s running back depth and took my fourth RB. The benefit is that none of my four running backs share a bye and they are all interchangeable.
Pick #6 (84) – Russell Wilson (QB, SEA): I was very pleased to see that Wilson fell to me at this pick. In a 14-team league, there were just enough good starting quarterbacks that I really didn’t need to pay attention to the position too much. At this point, it was Romo or Wilson, and I’ve owned Romo in previous leagues where he fell off in the playoffs… that's just a grudge I’m not going to let go of.
Pick #7 (85) – Kenbrell Thompkins (WR, NE): I admit, this is a reach here according to the Yahoo! Rankings, but I used my rankings. At this point Thompkins was the only viable receiver that I could see putting up WR1-type numbers, and his pre-season has been astounding, as well. Greg Jennings and Josh Gordon were available, but I don’t see a lot of consistency in those plays at this point. I was uncharacteristically going with young unproven players to this point, so why not place the emphasis on upside?
Pick #8 (112) – Jordan Cameron (TE, CLE): This was my ‘homer’ pick of the draft, and I now own him in three different leagues. If you look at this team, you can easily say I’m putting a lot of emphasis on preseason performance, but the Browns have a new tight-end focused head coach with a talented offensive coordinator in Norv Turner. I’m not a believer in the Browns, but I am a believer in Cameron…
Pick #9 (113) – Antonio Gates (TE, SD): …or am I??? I know Cameron can make like most Browns tight ends and become a non-factor, so I spend my first bench spot on a good backup who sees snaps in the redzone. I really like Gates here and he could even fill a flex spot with last year’s stats in a 14-team league. There weren’t any wide receivers with his stats available at the time, so what’s the difference???
Pick #10 (140) – New England (DEF): Something about the Patriot’s defense always causes turnovers and/or touchdowns. I’m not going to lie: two games each against the Dolphins with Ryan Tannehill, Buffalo with a rookie QB, and the Jets with, well, Rex Ryan at the helm, helps make this decision easy.
Pick #11 (141) – Ben Roethlisberger (QB, PIT): I’m always advocate getting a decent backup QB, especially in leagues where only one QB starts. If your QB goes down with injury, then you don’t want the drop off to be too much at a very valuable fantasy position. With Roethlisberger, I shouldn’t miss too much of a beat during a bye week, either.
Pick #12 (168) – Aaron Dobson (WR, NE): The way I see it is: if I have both rookie wide receivers on my team from New England, one of them has to become a dependable/serviceable fantasy contributor. I only had two WR on my roster to this point, so another rookie? Why not?
Pick #13 (169) – DeVier Posey (WR, HOU): My super sleeper of the NFL, I love him and everybody forgets about him. He’s STILL slated to be Houston’s No. 2 and I just can’t see DeAndre Hopkins starting the season fast, especially with his recent injury. I’ll probably end up dropping Dobson for bye-week depth and keep Posey on the roster.
Pick #14 (196) – Mike Nugent (K, CIN): For some odd reason, in the last round, there was a run of kickers. I don’t get it, but whatever. I picked up Nugent because: A) he’s an Ohio State alumnus, and B) the Bengals are a good offense but not great, which means (hopefully) more field goals.
That’s a wrap folks, Yahoo! Feels that I deserve a B+ on my draft report and that I’m going to end up second in the league, which I believe is a little much, though perhaps it is as fair prognosis for my team. Feel free to comment below on what you think of my team. I know that taking four backs in the first five picks has got to be interesting, but I promise you, it pushed some of the rest of the teams in the draft, which is just what you have to do sometimes. If you can cater the draft to what you want to do, then others are going to scramble for their own team’s needs. Expert League Championship, here I come!
If you like this article, check out the rest of our fantasy football articles and analysis: rankings, sleepers, running backs, wide receivers, quarterbacks and of course our live fantasy football chat, the best football chatroom on the internwebs. RotoBaller will be releasing more fantasy football content daily to help you prepare for the 2013 NFL Fantasy Football season so stay tuned!