May 1, 2007
I happened to look at a few other sites last week and lo and behold I notice a few using the “Draft Plan” name to describe the exact article that I’ve been writing for many years. If you come up with a good idea in this industry, it will be copied, that is for sure. I’m actually thinking about implementing the most brainless idea I can come up with to see if some of these nitwits try to duplicate it. Kind of like when I ranked Kevin Jones too high in 2005 – and many other fantasy services took notice and also raised him way up there (see, you weren’t the only person I screwed).
Anyways, today’s post does have to do with my 2007 Draft Plan. It’s on my mind because I have my first “expert draft” of the season tomorrow. The first draft of the year is always a little tricky, especially since it’s conducted in early May. While I did win this league back in 2003 and had a strong playoff team last year, this has been overall my worst league over the last five years, since I’ve had two very bad teams (2004 and 2005). So last year I was very focused on doing well, and I will be again tomorrow.
Unless they change the draft order that’s on the site, I have the 3rd pick. That is, of course, the toughest pick on the board this year, at least it is now, what with the concerns about Larry Johnson’s potential holdout and the issues with his O-Line. If Steven Jackson falls to me, I’ll take him over Johnson at this point. Regardless, I’m taking a back in the first.
Overall, I think my draft plan will be close to what it usually is, with a few minor adjustments, but I will know more about my DP after tomorrow’s draft.
I will say that I do not like the 3rd spot at all and not only because I might have to make a tough call on LJ. I think I’d rather draft toward the end of Round One this year as opposed to near the top because drafting near the bottom of the first almost locks you into RB-RB, and there are easily 15 backs worthy of taking in the 1st and early 2nd this year. In this league, I know I’ll faced with a very tough decision in the 2nd and 3rd round because stud players like Peyton Manning and Antonio Gates will likely be available for me. Manning, by the way, almost always falls to the second in my RB-greedy leagues. I actually had a draft last year in which I used my first three picks on LJ, Manning, and Gates. That team made it to the Super Bowl, but it wasn’t as good of a team as I would have hoped for.
Ideally, I want to hold off a little on my QB and take a guy like Marc Bulger, Jon Kitna or even Tony Romo. If I hold off even longer, I’ll go with Jay Cutler, provided I have a great team around him. But that might not work out for me due to my draft spot. I may be “forced” to take Manning, who I think will have his best year in three years this coming season. We’ll see what happens; maybe a Ronnie Brown or Cedric Benson fall to me late in the 2nd and then I could implement what I really want my draft plan to look like my first five rounds: RB, RB, WR, RB, WR.
I had some success taking a TE early last year, like the Gates selection at the top of the 3rd round, but I would much prefer to hold off on that position because there are some players I want to target later as my starter, most notably SF’s Vernon Davis.
I want to play to win, which is why I’d rather take a chance on a guy like Benson late in the 2nd than the safer pick of Manning. But there’s a fine line between playing to win and playing it smart very early in the draft, and taking Manning late in the second has to be considered smart. If that happens, I’ll just have to make sure I make better picks in the middle rounds. That’s a challenge, but if I do then I’ll all but guaranteed a playoff spot in this league again in 2007.
Tomorrow’s blog post will be the draft. I will log every pick and offer up as much real-time analysis as I can during it. The draft starts at 1pm ET, so I’ll see you here then.