Another Expert Draft

I did another expert draft last night, this one for Lindy’s Magazine, and I picked 4th. I’m getting a better feel after 2 drafts, but I’m not quite there yet. I think that’s not only because it’s only my second draft of the year, but also because the 2008 season really isn’t in clear focus yet. It will be in August, but I certainly drafted a team with an excellent foundation. It was NOT a PPR league, and I picked 4th, so my big decision was Brian Westbrook vs. Joseph Addai. It was close because of the format, but I chose Westbrook anyway simply because of my great comfort level in and opinion of him, and because of the presence of Dominic Rhodes, who should get a fair amount of playing time to keep Addai fresh. Westbrook did score 50 more fantasy points last year than Addai, even in a non-PPR format.

The main conclusion I’ve come to in my first two drafts is that it’s ideal to hold off little on QB and TE. I really haven’t done that in my first two drafts, and I’ve paid a price. In this one, I was ready to pounce on Andre Johnson in the 3rd, but he went right in front of my. I couldn’t then pass on Tony Romo. Then, with some pretty good receivers available in the 5th, I couldn’t pass on Antonio Gates, who I still view as the clear #1 TE, unlike some others. Check out Gates’ numbers the last 3-4 years and compare them to the other players at the position. Gates is still money. So in this draft I paid a steep price at the WR. I also wound up being able to assemble unusual depth at RB, so that’s another lesson: there are a ton of quality backs available later or even late in drafts this year.

I’ll review the whole draft in a little bit, but here’s my drafted team and projected starting lineup. You can start only 2 RBs and 3 WRs, no flex, and DT scoring is basically all TDs, so the Chicago Bears are a strong starter.

QBs: Tony Romo, Jon Kitna
RBs: Brian Westbrook, Maurice Jones-Drew, Justin Fargas, Chester Taylor, Jerious Norwood
WR: Wes Welker, Kevin Curtis, Patrick Crayton, Justin Gage
TE: Antonio Gates
PK: Robbie Gould
DT: Chicago Bears

Starting Lineup:

QB: Tony Romo
RB: Brian Westbrook, Maurice Jones-Drew
WR: Wes Welker, Kevin Curtis, Patrick Crayton/Justin Gage
TE: Antonio Gates
PK: Robbie Gould
DT: Chicago Bears

Here’s what I’m going to do in future drafts:

  1. Hold off a little on QB and target Carson Palmer and Derek Anderson. Maybe also Ben Roethlisberger and Donovan McNabb.
  2. Try to hold off on the TE and target Kellen Winslow, Dallas Clark, etc.
  3. Put a little less emphasis on depth at RB in the early-to-middle rounds.
  4. Make sure I get at least 1 stud WR and another very strong option.

And then that should do it; that would be this year’s draft plan, in a nutshell.

Category: Fantasy Football

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12 Responses

  1. FMEC says:

    I know Gates has been the best TE last 3-4 years, but now with the addition of Chambers and semi-emergence of Vincent Jackson, I would think his targets would go lower, and that would make his value lower now compared to Witten and Winslow. Winslow and Witten has 140+ targets last year, being the #2 options or even 1B on their respective team, but Gates now has to share balls with 2 other WRs and LT. thoughts?

  2. John Hansen says:

    LT is also another year older and they lost Michael Turner, so you have to believe they’ll be throwing it a little more, too. Gates is still by far the toughest TE to cover in the league. And with Winslow, Stallworth will take away some balls, and they already have 2 very good red zone receivers in Edwards and JJ. Witten’s career numbers suggest he’ll see a dip. Top-5 for sure, but probably not in Gates’ league if healthy.

  3. JOOCE says:

    Winslow and Witten clearly have higher-end WRs in their offenses than Gates does

  4. jbeau says:

    I feel ya John. YOu think Chris Henry(WR) is worth picking up real late, like the last garbage pick of your draft? Is it likely he will get suspended?

  5. tpwaller says:

    I like your QB. The RB’s are good.

    I don’t feel your WR’s and I can’t spend a high pick on Antonio Gates. With the emergence of other TE’s, I won’t go high to get Gates.

    CHI could be a good pick

  6. tpwaller says:

    Another take:

    I can’t imagine winning a whole lot with this group of losers either. Romo may make the top 5 QBs and Westbrook might score in all purpose points for RBs but neither would be a great player.

    Gates is likely to be a top 2 TE but who really cares

    Bears DT was pretty average after their SB year.

    - Turner

  7. CCarter says:

    John,
    I liked your 1st draft better. I thought you were going to do better in this one, just because you had the 4th pick. But you actually did better in the 1st draft.
    I think your mistake came in trying to sneak A.Johnson into the 3rd. You should have just grabbed him in the 2nd. MJD may have fell to you in the 3rd. And if not, at least you had the stud WR that you coveted.
    Also I think Romo was a panic pick. Your guy went off the board one pick before and you panicked. We’ve all done it. I feel your pain bro. Should have stuck to your guns and went WR. Then picked QB in 6th or 7th, as I’m sure you wanted to do in the first place.
    These are just a few examples of why every league I’m currently in is an auction league. :)

  8. John Hansen says:

    Romo and Westbrook aren’t great players? Ok, buddy, thanks for playing, and lay down the crack pipe for a second.

    I wouldn’t exactly call taking the #2 fantasy QB and #2 scorer overall in fantasy last year — and likely #1 in any year other than Brady’s magical season — in the 3rd round a panic move. He’s a fantasy juggernaut, which is why I “couldn’t pass him up.” And MJD in the 3rd? Man, I wish that were actually possible.

  9. CCarter says:

    Your right John, MJD in the 3rd is a foolish pipe dream. Thinking about it again, I would have tried the same thing you did. I’m still not sure if I could have pulled the trigger on Romo. But I get it.
    I’m thinking as a general rule, if you take a QB in rounds 1-3, you have to lay off the TE until 6-7. (Granted, there are Always exceptions to the rule!)

  10. bjchapin1 says:

    John,

    I would include as rule #5: Swing for the fences with 1 or 2 mid-round to late-round picks.

    My biggest problem with this draft is that you didn’t gamble with any of your mid-round or late-round picks, by this I mean rookies or 2nd year players who could turn out to be fantasy studs. For example, instead of taking a guy like Curtis (who really wasn’t a fantasy-caliber starter last year, despite what everyone thought) I would rather take a guy like Megatron Calvin Johnson, who probably has similar draft value but might be undervalued because of his play after the Week 5 injury. And instead of Justin Gage (who has proven for years now that he sucks) I would rather roll the dice with someone like James Hardy, who really could be the bigtime possession reciever that Buffalo has sorely needed. Yeah this won’t always work out but you need to put yourself in a position to hit a home run. I don’t see how anyone like Fargus, Norwood or Taylor will be a homerun unless injuries strike.

    Of course Hardy got in trouble over the weekend for pulling a gun on his father so what do I know?

    Also to comment on your comment re Romo, he is personally in my top 3 potential busts this year. He has proven the last 2 years that he can’t perform when pressure is on (ie playoffs) and now that he is making a spectacle of himself with Simpson he is setting himself up to have a mediocre season in my opinion. TO isn’t getting any younger either. I’m not saying he’s going to be terrible, but I agree with your assessment that the value is better with someone like Palmer a round or 2 later.

  11. John Hansen says:

    I believe I wrote the book on what you’re saying in 1995, bjchapin1, but I wasn’t feeling that kind of mojo in this draft. I probably would have taken Johnson but I don’t think he was avail, as for Hardy he’s a puss, and a rookie, and Gage is actualy their #1.

    On Romo, I just don’t see it. Let him choke all he wants in the playoffs so long as he’s getting me 30+ TDs, which he will for sure if healthy.

  12. tpwaller says:

    Romo is the real deal. Peyton Manning struggled early on in the playoffs. TO is still a great WR. Witten is a top TE. He has good RB’s to provide a balanced attack.

    It’s good to see you’re in love with your team.

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