This is my second year in the Vineyard Fantasy Football League run by my campus pastor, Adam. This was my first fantasy football draft of 2011. I have to admit that I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to be. Overall, my team’s OK, but I’m not that excited about it. It’s good enough to win, but it’s not exciting.
Here’s my analysis of the draft as it relates to my team. Enjoy.
First things first, there are 8 teams in our league with a roster that looks like this:
QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, WR/TE, RB/WR, K, DEF, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN
Scoring is basic, standard fantasy scoring with no PPR (points-per-reception).
Round Pick Player Position 1. (6) LeSean McCoy RB 2. (11) Steven Jackson RB 3. (22) Greg Jennings WR 4. (27) Tom Brady QB 5. (38) Dwayne Bowe WR 6. (43) DeAngelo Williams RB 7. (54) Wes Welker WR 8. (59) Vernon Davis TE 9. (70) Percy Harvin WR 10. (75) Felix Jones RB 11. (86) Tim Hightower RB 12. (91) Mike Sims-Walker WR 13. (102) Stephen Gostkowski K 14. (107) Marcedes Lewis TE 15. (118) Sam Bradford QB 16. (123) New York DEF
I don’t get far out of the gates and I am faced with my first dilemma. The highest rated player on my board is Chris Johnson RB TEN. However, I don’t like Chris Johnson and I don’t like TEN. They have an old and broken down QB, a top WR who can’t stay out of jail, and little other offense to speak of. That means defenses can key on Chris Johnson. Then there’s the problem of Chris Johnson holding out and wanting more money. No thank you. However, there is no clear cut next-best-player in my mind. I waffle between Andre Johnson WR HOU, LeSean McCoy RB PHI, and Aaron Rodgers QB GB. I really want to get a stud RB in the 1st round, so I go with McCoy.
I was hoping Andre Johnson WR HOU would slip to me at this pick. He didn’t. I considered Aaron Rodgers QB GB, Rashard Mendenhall RB PIT, Steven Jackson RB STL, and Larry Fitzgerald WR ARZ at this pick. I didn’t really want to go QB this early. I also didn’t want to take Fitz this early either. So I passed on both thinking that that one of them SHOULD still be there at my next pick. I love Mendenhall, being that I am an Illini alum, but I was concerned about his durability after his tremendous workload last year. I think there will be a drop in his numbers from last year to this. Jackson, on the other hand, has a new Offensive Coordinator in Josh McDaniels so his numbers should be on the upswing. He’s also a St. Louis Ram. I went with my heart and not necessarily my head and took Jackson.
Neither Johnson nor Rodgers made it to me at this pick. With 2 solid RBs, I turned my attention to WR or QB this round. As far as QBs go, Peyton Manning IND, Michael Vick PHI, Aaron Roders GB, and Drew Brees NO are all gone at this point. 4 teams still need a starting QB, but Tom Brady NE, Tony Romo DAL, and Phillip Rivers SD are still there. Romo and/or Rivers should be there for me in Round 4, so I’ll go WR. Greg Jennings GB, Mike Wallace PIT, and Vincent Jackson SD are the top 3 available WR on my board. I waffled between Jennings and Wallace. I took Jennings because Rodgers is a better QB than Roethlisberger, AND because GB passes more than PIT.
In the 4 picks between my 3rd and 4th round picks, both Romo and Rivers get taken. I don’t want to get stuck with the 8th best QB on my board (which is Roethlisberger), so I reluctantly take Tom Brady QB NE. I would have rather had taken Mike Wallace WR PIT at this pick.
With my starting QB, 2 starting RB, and 1 starting WR in the books, I look at WR or RB (for my flex RB/WR) position. The top WR on my list is Dwayne Bowe KC. The top RB on my list is Ryan Mathews SD. I took Bowe with the thought that maybe Mathews is still there in 4 picks for me in the 6th round.
Mathews is gone, and I am thrown for a loop. I’m looking at best RB or WR on my board at this point. At WR, I’m looking at guys like Jeremy Maclin PHI, Santonio Holmes NYJ, and Stevie Johnson BUF. At RB, I’m looking at guys like Jahvid Best DET, Knowshon Moreno DEN, DeAngelo Williams CAR, and Daniel Thomas MIA. Indecisiveness set-in. I’m waffling between Best and Holmes, then, I run out of time and the top guy on my list gets selected – which is DeAngelo Williams RB CAR. Not a bad pick, but I think I would have rather had Best or Holmes.
After my bout of indecision, I was firm that I would take either Holmes or Best if they were there. If both were gone, I’d take best available WR since I had 3 RB and 2 WR at this point. Both were gone (surprise, surprise), so I took Wes Welker WR NE.
With 3 each of RB and WR, I started looking at the available TEs along with best available RB and WR. Vernon Davis TE SF was still there. He was the #3 overall TE on my board – and the best available. Best available WRs were Austin Collie IND and Percy Harvin MIN. Best available RBs were Knowshon Moreno DEN and Marshawn Lynch SEA. There was pretty good drop off on my list of TEs from 3rd to 4th, so I took Davis.
Collie, Moreno, and Lynch were all gone, but Harvin was still there, so I took him at WR.
At this point in the draft, I’m looking to fill the back-up QB spot along with building depth at RB and WR to cover all bye weeks. Potential back-up QBs that I was considering were all gone at this point: Ben Roethlisberg PIT, Joe Flacco BAL, Matt Ryan ATL, Matt Schaub HOU. Since none of these guys was available, I decided I’d go with Sam Bradford STL as my backup QB, and figured I could get him in round 14-16. Best RBs at this point were: Felix Jones DAL, Fred Jackson BUF, BenJarvus Green-Ellis NE, and Ryan Grant GB. Dallas always has a good running game, and with Marion Barber gone, Felix Jones should get the bulk of the work. I almost took Green-Ellis NE, but he had the same bye week as 2 of my other RBs, so I took Jones.
More depth. None of the available WR excite me, but Tim Hightower RB WAS is still on the board. He did well in ARZ last year, and Mike Shanahan is known for producing great RBs. Hightower is mine.
At this point, I’ve got 5 picks left – 1 for a back-up QB, 1 for K, 1 for DEF, and 2 for more depth. Also at this point, I’ve got 5 RB and 4 WR, so I look to take another WR. I’m still not excited by any of the available WRs. My choices are: Julio Jones ATL, Santana Moss WAS, Mike Sims-Walker STL, Braylon Edwards SF, Steve Smith CAR, or Pierre Garcon IND. Like I said, nothing too exciting here. I went with my heart again and took the St. Louis Ram, Mike Sims-Walker.
The draft is almost over. My plan up to this point was to make my K, DEF, and back-up QB my last 3 picks in some order. So, with my 4th to last pick, I’m not sure what to do. I noticed that my top available K (my #3 overall) is still available. He was one of 3 Ks I was hoping get. I decided to reach a little early for him since I wasn’t enamored with any of the other RBs or WRs out there. Stephen Gostkowski K NE, welcome to the Parvinators.
Same dilemma in round 14 as I had in round 13. I decided to look at the TEs to see if there were any decent ones left. I saw that Marcedes Lewis TE JAX was still there. He was as good as the best available WRs: Mike Thomas JAX and Roy Williams CHI. Since we have a WR/TE flex spot AND since Lewis has a different bye week than my other TE (Vernon Davis SF), I decided to grab him.
Sam Bradford or DEF? Most of the DEF that I wanted are gone at this point, so I will plan to use the rotating DEF strategy and pick-up the best available DEF each week from the free agent pool to play. That means I finally make it official and draft Sam Bradford QB STL.
I’m the last team to draft a defense, so all of the really elite ones are gone. The NY Giants are the top available defense – and they were #7 on my board, so I take ’em.
I think I’m strong at QB with Brady. Bradford is a decent back-up, but I’m not sure I would want to play him week-in-and-week-out.
I think I’m strong at RB too. I have a lot of depth at RB, even though I don’t have any of the 5 elite RBs.
I think WR is my weakest area, but again, what I lack in elite WR, I make up for in depth.
TE is also a strong area with 2 top 8 TEs that could start for any team in the league. I could easily see weeks where I start both Davis and Lewis.
K and DEF are fine.
I think I have a good enough squad and pay enough attention week-to-week that I should make the playoffs – barring multiple, catastrophic injuries.