FantasyGuru.com Magazine Expert Draft today

Today is the final “Expert Draft” of the spring, and it’s the biggest one of them all for me: FantasyGuru.com Magazine Expert League.

I’ve done well in these expert leagues over the years, winning I believe 16 championships, and although I had a so-so year in 2007, I’ve been pretty dominant in my various leagues the previous 3-4 years. However, I’ve got a mental block in this league or something. The first two years, 2003 and 2004, I was the #1 team heading into the playoffs, but fell in the post-season. In 2005 I finished 5th in the league, but at least 2nd in total points. In 2006, I was middle of the pack, and last year I was once again 5th overall and 3rd in total points.

In short, I haven’t embarrassed myself, but I haven’t dominated, and most important I haven’t won.

That’s going to change this year because this league is mine in 2008.

Today’s draft begins at 1:30 PM eastern, and I’ll be checking in with my selections and some analysis. I drew the #5 pick, which is a pretty good one. Most likely, I’ll be securing the rock solid Joe Addai with that pick, and I’m pretty confident in my Draft Plan these days after working it out in some early drafts, so I’m expecting to draft a nice team.

1:59: Going pretty well so far, the RBs are falling in this PPR league, and I’m taking some stud widouts with designs on loading up on upside younger guys along with (hopefully) one other solid starter soon.

1st pick – As expected, Joseph Addai.

2nd pick – Braylon Edwards

3rd pick – Marques Colston

4th pick – Laurence Maroney – Unreal, I couldn’t pass on him 8 picks into the 4th round. He has some issues, but he picked up the nuances of the game better down the stretch, and I’m happy to get a potentially large piece of this offense at this point.

Very please so far, hopefully my target QB, Derek Anderson, slips to the 6th or 7th.

5th pick – Carson Palmer – Couldn’t hold off anymore, couldn’t pass on an elite player with big upside. It was ugly last year, but his receiving corps has been significantly upgraded with the two impressive rookies, plus TE Ben Utecht will finally be a receiving threat at the position. Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get him on my squad, and now I at least don’t have to worry about being squeezed out of the few remaining solid starters.

6th pick – Matt Forte – Looking for a nice young back with some upside, and Forte was a nice choice. Maybe Cedric Benson doesn’t go totally away, but Forte is a much better receiver and a good blocker, so he will catch passes for this PPR format. And if Benson can’t beat him out, then I have a pretty good starter for my #3 RB.

7th pick – Dallas Clark – I’m a tad light at WR, but that’s not a major problem with 2 legit studs, and now I’ve got big production from my TE spot. The Wrs were kind of weak, and with Gates, Winslow, Witten, Cooley, and Gonzo off the board, Clark might have been the best starter left at any position. I thought about holding off longer for Owen Daniels, but Clark fits in very well with my team.

8th pick – DeAngelo Williams – Feeling pretty good, I went for some upside in Williams, who should get around 10 carries a game and a good number of pass targets. So the former #1 pick has value now, and he’ll likely start for me if Stewart has more injury issues. I was targeting WR Anthony Gonzalez here, and he surprisingly went before me.

9th pick – Patrick Crayton – Not the best choice in a PPR league, and I almost took my boy Reggie Brown, but I instead opted for a guy in Crayton who is tied to a better offense. He may be just a slot guy, but they are paying him starter’s money, and he’ll likely catch 60 balls for 7-8 TDs. He could do more if Terry Glenn can’t play much. Brown was probably a little better of an upside pick, but I haven’t had good luck with him in this league, or any league.

10th – Isaac Bruce – Pretty decent pick this late, since he’s the #1 WR in Mike Martz’ offense. If the team can get anything from the QB position, he’ll be worth starting often as my #3 or #4.

11th - Justin Gage – A little surprised he’s still there, since he’s the #1 WR in Tennessee and clicked well with Vince Young, who granted doesn’t throw it very well. But Mike Heimerdinger likes Gage and he likes going downfield and thinks Gage can get downfield well.

12th – Tony Scheffler – I love this guy, and he’s a great guy (came on my sirius show). In this league you can start an extra TE as a flex, so that made him more attractive. He does have the foot injury, and I probably should have protected Addai with Dominic Rhodes (who surprisingly went in this round after this pick), and Scheffler’s foot deal is a concern, but I couldn’t pass on a guy in Scheffler I would have gladly taken as my starter before the new foot deal.

13th – Cowboy Defense – We’re doing only 14 rounds for now (final 6 in Aug) and we have to draft a PK and a DT, so it was time to take one of them. I thought about GB, a defense I like, but I decided to roll with the Cowboys and their upside. If Pacman Jones is able to play, he’ll give them 2-3 TDs himself as a corner and return man.

14th – Josh Brown Almost everyone held off until the end to take a PK, and picking near the bottom of the final round I was lucky to get a guy in Brown who I consider potentially elite.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this draft. I may not have gotten great value with many of my picks, but I like my picks, and I like my balance, upside, flexibility, and stability. I’ll do well with this projected staring lineup with 6 rounds to go in August.

QB: Carson Palmer
RB1: Joe Addai
RB2: Laurence Maroney
WR1: Braylon Edwards
WR2: Marques Colston
WR3: Patrick Crayton/Isaac Bruce/Justin Gage
Flex: Matt Forte/Deangelo Williams/or one of the WRs above.
TE: Dallas Clark
PK: Josh Brown
DT: Dallas Cowboys

Category: Fantasy Football

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31 Responses

  1. jbeau says:

    Good luck John!! You gotta represent in your own league.

  2. GibsonKirk says:

    Unless some numbskulls pick Manning and Brady before you.

    SJAX, baby!!

  3. John Hansen says:

    Hells, no, he won’t last until 5.

  4. jbeau says:

    No way SJAX lasts, would be surprised if Addai did. Either Westy or Addai should go 4th.

  5. tpwaller says:

    Good first 3 rounds. Braylon Edwards is an absolute stud. Addai is a system player who happens to be in a great system. Marques Colston proved last year he was the real deal.

    I had Maroney and Palmer last year and they disappointed. Palmer’s INT’s have been going up every year. Say what you will about the WR’s, but the situation in Cincy isn’t good. Running game is a question mark. Rudi could bounce back or he may be washed up.

    I liked Maroney, but NE threw the ball all over the field last year and really weren’t committed to the running game. With Moss and Welker back, why are things about to change?

    After a couple mock drafts, I think it’s better to be at the top to get a stud RB.

  6. jbeau says:

    Wow, Maroney in the 4th round is crazy. Don’t like the Forte pick. This isn’t a keeper league so who cares about age. Benson isn’t going away, so you are looking at RBBC. I would have went WR here, I am sure you could have picked up a pretty good guy here. Dallas Clark and Palmer, good value pickups. A. Gonzalez may have even been a better pick than Forte, but I guess Forte was your ‘play to win’ pick. If I would have seen Reggie Brown on another of your squads, I may have lost all faith in you John…haha. So far so good though. Way better than any other draft you made this year in my opinion.

  7. tpwaller says:

    JBeau, I suppose you could argue Maroney in 4 as value, but there’s talk he’ll be sharing carries with both Morris and Faulk. Kevin Faulk just won’t go away.

    Sammy Morris NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS RB

    UPDATED!RBBC in New England? Patriots beat writer John Tomase seems to think that Sammy Morris will be back in the mix this year. “This unit appears set, with [Laurence] Maroney the starter, [Sammy] Morris the bruising change-of-pace runner and [Kevin] Faulk the jack of all trades.” Last season it was pretty clear that Morris, a Belichick favorite, was a better runner than Maroney. He popped off two straight 100-yard games before suffering a strange sternum/clavicle separation in week 6. Morris has been in the offseason workouts and is reportedly healthy. Something to think about because Maroney is often a mid-to-late 2nd round pick.

  8. jbeau says:

    TP, there is no doubt that Morris will be in the mix, and I hope John handcuffs Maroney, cause Morris got the bulk of goal line carries last year when he was healthy. I didn’t realize there was a Flex position, so the pick up of Forte, and D’Angelo should work well. Definitely like Scheffler, cause he could be a starter on another team if healthy…I agree with john there.

    Solid squad John, Missing out on Rhodes could hurt, since Addai has a soft streak in him. I would target a QB for bye week, or a handcuff for Maroney with my next pick.

  9. hemdilly says:

    How many teams – 10 or 12?

  10. jbeau says:

    Since its an expert league, I am gonna guess 12.

  11. John Hansen says:

    12 teams. Mr. Caplan stole Morris from me, which is I guess ok since he’s also now representing fantasyguru.com.

  12. jbeau says:

    That hurts, pray for healthy RBs, or Rhodes to pick up his weed habit again. May sound crazy but Morris is an old guy, Faulk may be there to snag real late, doubt Morris makes it the whole year.

  13. John Hansen says:

    Here are the rosters. I feel I have the best overall team.
    http://football27.myfantasyleague.com/2008/options?L=37297&O=07

  14. jbeau says:

    I like your squad, but I think Injuries and CBS may be a little ahead of you. Real even draft all around though.

  15. Air Stich says:

    Colston at 3.05 is a dream (in a ppr, no less). It doesn’t even happen in the mock draft website I visit anymore.

  16. NYBrewCrew says:

    You didn’t list Scheffler on your roster, and no back up QB?

  17. John Hansen says:

    That’s not the full roster, just the starting lineup. I was pleasantly surprised to see Colston. Some people made some mistakes, so a better reflection of a “normal” draft, but it’s generally a very solid group.

    Yeah, I didn’t point out that I passed on a backup QB, which could be a problem. I’m going to take like Tarvaris Jackson and maybe even Kurt Warner just in case. But I did get greedy there

  18. jbeau says:

    Carson is an elite talent, with below average help this year. I was surprised he was so high on your rankings. Don’t get me wrong, I think he was a good pickup, but the rest of the QB crop is real suspect. I think Warner is the guy to grab, because leinart is garbage. Only 2 more squads don’t have a backup QB, so at this point you are better off stacking your team with possible breakout guys, and picking up Garcia or someone similiar with your last pick. Not like its a dynasty league.

  19. John Hansen says:

    If Palmer’s line can hold up, he’s going to be more than fine. Keep in mind he has 3 new receivers this year, plus a healthier Chatman, and Rudi will be healthier plus Chris Perry is ready to rock and roll. They also have Watson. Actually, his supporting cast at the skill positions is a little scary.

  20. jbeau says:

    Worried about his WRs. I think Perry may be a steal, if you can get him. When he was healthy…way back when…he was productive, especially around the goal line. They do have alot of talent in the backfield, and I think Carson will be throwing alot, since their defense is suspect. More than fine with Carson, but he still isn’t the stud he was 2 years back.

  21. Stork says:

    Wow, Caplan got the steal of the draft with Willie Parker at 54. He’s RB2 gold this year even with Mendenhall in the mix. Worse pick of the draft was Earnest Graham at 23. Too many mouths to feed at RB in Tampa.

    I’d also be a bit concerned about owners selecting Marshawn Lynch or Ryan Grant in the top 10 picks.

  22. jbeau says:

    Stork…agree with everything you said except for Lynch. He is the real deal in my opinion. He is also on a pretty good team, who could make noise this year. Enlighten me, you don’t like Lynch? Grant saved me last year, but I am not sold on him keeping that job.

  23. John Hansen says:

    I was really close to taking Parker, really tough call, but in a PPR league he doesn’t score quite much, and the lack of TDs was a concern. That’s why he dropped.

  24. Flizzo says:

    Love the first 5 picks. I don’t know enough about Simpson and Caldwell (rookie WR in Cincinnati), but they are fresh and the loss of elite talent Chris Henry has to be considered damaging. Having said that, I am a big Palmer believer and to get him in the fifth is a steal in my book. You also make a strong argument for his supporting cast. Let’s just hope that line holds up.

    I definitely would have prioritized Morris and Rhodes over guys like Bruce and Gage, especially since they’re in perenially productive offenses and capturing the RB spot in those offenses would be money. But I suppose you had already somewhat cast your RB lot with D Williams and Forte (who I know nothing about), and needed some WR depth.

    Your team looks very solid with those first five picks, and of course you’ll find a gem or two on the WW to fill in any gaps.

  25. Stork says:

    Nothing against Lynch I just like other RBs better at 9 overall. I’d have gone with LJ and Bush (PPR) ahead of Lynch and Grant at that point.

  26. kangaspaul says:

    Great draft, John! Edwards and Colston are going to be huge this year and true #1 WR’s are looking much harder to find this year. Question about your QB strategy. Given that you are high on Derek Anderson this year, did you have any thoughts about taking him over Carson Palmer? I ask this because of the recent article on the site about the Browns’ stellar OL, plus the Cleveland receiving corps looks good. DA actually went later than Hasselbeck and Big Ben. Is he undervalued?

  27. John Hansen says:

    I would not take DA over Palmer, but I have isolated DA as possibly the best target in the 6th or 7th round. In this one, I just couldn’t pass on Palmer, a safer pick, in the 5th. I was afraid of getting too greedy and missing out on both. DA is a little all over the map, but generally people are not exactly sold on him, making him a potentially great value. I am big time down on Hasselbeck this year given all the issues around him.

  28. Stork says:

    Boy the Browns brutally tough schedule + high expectations + Brady Quinn in year 2 spell high risk for Derek Anderson owners.

  29. jbeau says:

    I like DA, but the fact is that a few bad games, and Quinn is the starter. They didn’t take long to bench Frye last year, so Anderson is gonna be on a short leash with Quinn breathing down his neck. At least Palmer, has no threat of being replaced.

  30. John Hansen says:

    jbeau, Quinn is a threat, but it’s a major stretch to say “a few games” on him struggling and losing his job. DA threw for almost 3800 yards with 28 TD passes, while completing only 56% of his passes. If he can bump that up to just 60%, which is an above average starter, and you would think he could in his second full season and with Stallworth, you have to like the potential. As much as I was a fan of Quinn going to Cleveland last year, does anyone truly think he’ll give them a better chance to win now? I think it’s gotta get really ugly for them to bench Anderson.

  31. jbeau says:

    I only say this because Quinn is highly paid to be a backup. And since Frye was released after 1 poor game, I gotta think that DA will be on a short leash too. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Anderson, just think there may be pressure on Romeo to try Quinn if DA struggles. You don’t jump back into the 1st round to draft a guy and keep him on the bench for 3 years. He didn’t exactly light the world on fire the last half of the year.

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