May 27, 2008
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