First Draft Underway

I was wrong on the time, the draft started at 1pm. I’m being very aggressive, taking some chances, and adding as many stud talents as I can, regardless of position. I’m pleased with the results so far. Picking 12th out of 12, here’s what I got:

1st: Marion Barber - Maybe there’s not much upside with the potential RBBC, but no downside, either. I’ll take 12-15 TDs.

2nd: Andre Johnson – Major man-crush on this beast.

3rd: Drew Brees – It’s 6 pts per TD, so QBs are valuable, and wait until you see who went at this position the next 1-2 rnds.

4th: Antonio Gates
– Injury is worrisome, but I want as many pure studs as I can and I will go from there.

5th: Calvin Johnson – The best choices were Coles, Galloway, Driver, Santana, etc. In other words, not much upside.

6th: Jonathan Stewart – I’m rolling with upside and explosiveness, so I rolled with Stewart. Hey, Matt Forte went only 4-5 picks later.

7th: DeAngelo Williams
– It’s not a perfect draft pick, but things change so quickly in the NFL and it’s so important to have impact players. I’m banking that Stewart is one. If not, I got the other guy, so I own this backfield.

8th: Felix Jones – I needed a WR, but it occurred to me there were soooo many good options. Kind of crazy draft with 4 RBs on 2 teams, but I also own Dallas’ backfield and in a PPR league, I might even start both guys.

Again, things change so quickly, and it’s so hard to draft this early, so I locked up 2 players with the potential to be devastating. If Williams and Jones are not, then that likely means that Barber and Stewart are.

9th: Reggie Brown – I know I’ve been too high on him in the past, but he’s still a starter on a pass-happy team, and his QB will be healthier. Is it possible that Brown puts his game together and emerges as a nice value? Very much so. Worth a shot one pick from the 10th round.

10th: Nate Burleson – Not in love, but it is the 10th and he will start on a team that will throw it a lot. There’s value in a PPR league. Deion Branch may not be ready to open the season and even when he’s ready Branch should start with Burleson with Bobby Engram (who was already off the board when I made this pick) in the slot.

11th: Vincent Jackson – Still looking to add depth at WR, I grabbed Jackson, who was tremendous in the playoffs last year. I understand he’s possibly only the 4th option here, but not a bad #5 WR.

12th: Ray Rice – Getting a lot of rookie RBs, but I love Rice. In a PPR, he could have surprising value, since he has a good chance to see a lot of time on 3rd down as a 3rd down back. Keep in mind Cam Cameron throws to the RBs a ton. He’s also McGahee injury away from starting.

13th: Warrick Dunn – Another depth RB, albeit one with less upside. Dunn could actually see time as a receiver, and he can still play.

14th: GB Packer Defense – I did hold off on a DT here in the 14th Round. The Vikes were gone, the Bears were gone, Chargers, Patriots, all gone. I felt the Packers were the best starter on the board.

15th: Jeff Garcia – I got a little greedy and ignore backup QB, which isn’t a huge problem with the usually durable Drew Brees in. Garcia has no upside, but he’ll be out there most likely all 16 games and he’ll get me 13-15 points when I need him.

16th: Rob Bironas
– Had to take a PK, didn’t really care who at this point. But Bironas actually led the NFL with 35 FGs. He did get 8 in one game, but check the numbers: he was amazingly consistent all year.

Thoughts: I wasn’t exactly prepared for this and didn’t pay as close attention to it as I should, which is usually the case this time of the year when I’m doing 10 things at once. I didn’t get a really good backup QB, and right now I’m kind of stuck with my #3 RB. But that will happen when you take only 1 RB with your first 5 picks. But I will go to battle with this team and it’s a strong roster to open a season with. I’ll have to tweak the roster and find a WW gem or two, but so will everyone else. I liked the aggressive approach early, and although I might have done something unwise with the two backup RBs taken early (Williams and Jones), the bottom line is I have a lot of good players on good teams. I don’t see more than 1 guy (Dunn) who might be easy to cut when the WW is opened up. Not bad.

Projected starting lineup:
Drew Brees
Marion Barber
Jonathan Stewart/DeAngelo Williams (whomever is carrying more of the load, likely Stewart)
Andre Johnson
Calvin Johnson
Reggie Brown
Nate Burleson/Vincent Jackson
Antonio Gates
Rob Bironas
Green Bay Packer Defense.

Bench:
Jeff Garcia
Felix Jones
Ray Rice
Warrick Dunn
(Plus DeAngelo Williams and Vincent Jackson)

Category: Fantasy Football

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18 Responses

  1. Flizzo says:

    I don’t see Jonathan Stewart here?

  2. John Hansen says:

    Sorry, he was my 6th pick.

  3. jbeau says:

    Strong start with the 1st 3 picks, sort of fizzled after that. Nice it was a dynasty team though. Calvin Johnson could make or break your team. I have a feeling Rivers will be throwing alot of TDs this year. He looked good in the playoffs and looked to start to click with both Jackson and Chambers, so Jackson could be a steal. If Jones and Williams(RBs) get hurt, then you have a couple studs at RB, otherwise its RBBC and deciding who to start could get annoying….unless you have flex positions. Nice warm up draft though. Love Ray Rice pick. He is one injury from being a real solid guy.

  4. Flizzo says:

    I agree with jbeau that Calvin Johnson is the big wildcard here, along with the Carolina backfield.

    Feels like a solid roster with good “insurance” built in, from the handcuffs to some safer production guys.

    I better figure out who this Ray Rice dude is!

  5. jbeau says:

    Rutgers RB!! 2nd or 3rd in the NCAA in yards and TDs. He is real nice. John and I are Jersey Boys so we know alot about him.

  6. FFRich says:

    I believe everyone is “overthinking” Felix Jones’s impact on Barber. Barber will be a beast this year and was a steal with the 12th pick.

  7. Big Ferg says:

    Before I can make an assessment of your team, I would like to see the rest of the draft. Also, I thought you said never draft this early?

  8. John Hansen says:

    Yes, never draft this early. But this was an expert league for a magazine that goes to press in less than 2 weeks, so unavoidable. This is the first draft of the year every year.

  9. tpwaller says:

    I thought your QB is good. DEF is good, but will they be on the field all day without Favre? Not crazy about the WR’s. RB’s aren’t that strong. Gates has fallen back to the back and injury issues aren’t a welcome problem.

    I like the V Jackson pick. J Stewart, N Burleson, R Rice and J Garcia are questionable.

    Other people I talked to said so-so. Another thinks you’ll quote “get your *ss handed to you.”

  10. CCarter says:

    I’ve got no problem with 1-6. This is a nice core to work with.
    I’m kind of stumped by your 7-8 picks. I think at that point you would have been better served picking 2 WR’s that will start for you team rather than backup RB’s.

    If you had gone with picks 7-8 WR’s, and then 9-10 with the backup RB’s, I think you may have been a little happier. Maybe a little stronger at WR also.
    I’d like to think that both backup RB’s would have been there for you in rounds 9-10.

  11. John Hansen says:

    My 7th and 8th picks weren’t ideal, but it’s a PPR league, and both Williams and Jones will have solid value in that format not matter what, plus they are also insurance picks for my starters. This is going to be a common problem in 2008: well over half of the teams in the NFL have 2 or more backs who could easily put up very good numbers. I say get as many quality players as possible, especially when drafting this early, protect yourself when you can, and then take it from there on the WW, etc. I don’t think I’m that bad off at WR with Jackson as my #5, which is partly why I chose to get those RBs.

  12. mvp1986 says:

    I think that you are ahead of the curve as usual, John. The RBBC committee is now a staple of the copycat league that is the NFL. Your draft is indicative of how an owner will be forced to draft to be competitive at the position. I think this is the last year that owners can get an advantage on the reactionary nature of most fantasy players (experts included.) Next year, owners will react to the blueprint that players like yourselves will have established.

  13. NYBrewCrew says:

    The RB depth is going to be good this year but there will also be alot of hit and miss until you know how the carries will be distibuted. Becareful of teams naming a “Starter” because it could be in name only. There are only a handful now of RB’s who will carry the load like J. Addia, S. Jackson, LT, F. Gore and M. Lynch. Everything after that you have to play close attention to.

  14. CCarter says:

    John, I get the fact you wanted to handcuff your RB’s. (Been doing it for years) But I’m wondering if your condoning doing this before all your starters have been taken?? (Looks like your starting 4 WR’s)
    Now I am thinking, that with you having the monster stud, Andre J. (dido, on the major man-crush) this gives you an opportunity to handcuff before filling in the other starting WR’s.
    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind your WR corps. But I’m wondering about the theory behind the handcuffing early. Is this something to consider in 2008??
    In the past, I’ve taken a #3 RB before filling out the rest of my starters, but I’ve never handcuffed this early.

    Your thoughts???

  15. Gump says:

    That’s the state of fantasy drafting this year, the dreaded RBBC. When do you draft the handcuff? Especially when the 2 backs are about equal. Stewart was a good pick at #6 but Williams was too early for #7. But who knows? It’s a balancing act.

  16. jbeau says:

    One thing we don’t know if that 4th WR represents a flex position. If it does, John is definitely justified in taking those RBs. If either Carolina or Dallas go with a system like the Jags do, then he can use one guy as a flex and one as a starter.

  17. John Hansen says:

    Yes, I can start either Williams or Jones as my flex, and it’s PPR for RBs, and that was a factor.

    This is just the first go, so I’m sure things will shift. If anyone’s been paying attention (and I doubt they have), I’ve made the playoffs about 90% of the time and have done very well the last 4-5 in leagues that drafted in August, so we’ve got a ways to go before we get a true feel for 2008.

  18. John Hansen says:

    FYI – I won this league.

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