NFL.com Draft Today

There are those who think mock drafting is a waste of time, but not me. There is no question I need a few drafts to warm up and get used to the flow and possible directions a draft will be going in, so I highly recommend mock drafting at least 2-3 times before doing the real thing.

Yesterday, I was in New York City for the 1st annual Sirius/XM Fantasy Celebrity league, and I actually went away from my core strategy for 2010, which is not to reach for too many players. I didn’t exactly reach for guys, but I really didn’t get a lot of value with most of my picks. Ultimately, I drafted a ton of really good players, and if things go well I could destroy this league, but I could have done better. Most likely, I would have if I had logged in a few more drafts before yesterday (I have to report this was only my second draft of the year).

I’m not going to list my final eight picks because I didn’t make them (I left the event and the final 8 rounds were done online by someone else to fill out the roster), but here’s what that (non-PPR) team looks like.

QB: Kevin Kolb
RBs: Michael Turner, Felix Jones, Jahvid Best, Montario Hardesty
WRs: Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Jennings, Hines Ward, Johnny Knox
TE
: Jermichael Finley

After getting pinched in the 3rd and 4th round by my target players going 1 pick in front of me (DeSean Jackson and Beanie Wells), I kind of went totally into play-to-win mode, which isn’t exactly my plan this year.  Maybe I just can’t help myself but to play things aggressively, we’ll see. Jackson going right in front of me really hurt (thanks, Mad Dog Russo) because I was left with Sidney Rice and Roddy White as the obvious picks in the 3rd. Normally, I would have been thrilled with either, but Rice’s hip injury scared me a little, and I didn’t feel comfortable taking two Falcons in the first three rounds, since that’s not exactly a high-flying offense. So I settled on Jennings, which was a bit of a buzzkill. I still like Jennings a lot, though. I guess people forgot he was the 4th best fantasy wideout in the league in 2008 with Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball. Then in the 4th, I got a little pissed off when my target (Wells) went right in front of me again and I threw caution to the wind and took yet another Packer in Finley. I absolutely love Finley, and I was okay taking what I think will be the top-2 passing options in a great offense back-to-back, but I did lose all value with the TE position with the pick, so I’m not sure I’ll do that again. Maurice Jones-Drew in the draft got great value with Brent Celek in the 8th round, for example.

Again, I like the players I took. They’re all mostly exciting, upside oriented guys, but the issue with this team is that I’m kind of hoping too many guys break out. I actually think they all will to an extent, but I normally don’t want to rely on planetary alignment for dominance. I want to get better value for players, and ideally I want to get a few more sure things. The good news is I don’t think this team will be bad by any stretch, and it could easily be dominant.

I get another chance to form a team today, as I’m drafting in the NFL.com Expert league starting at 1pm ET. I’ll be doing a radio show from 2-5, so for a portion of the draft I will be distracted as usual, but I’m sure the results today will be more in line with my overall strategy of letting the values come to me, getting as many sure things as possible, and then taking advantage of the great depth with some savvy upside picks.

I’ll be listing my picks here as quickly as I can starting just after 1pm ET.

DRAFT STARTS

1:10:  I took Randy Moss 10th overall. I’m thinking his catch totals will be even higher with Welker iffy.

1:15:  Already have my stud WR in this PPR,and I love the depth at RB this year, so I took Drew Brees in the 2nd round. Moss and Brees feels nice.

1:30: Wanted to test theory of getting safest picks early w/ D. Clark in 3rd. But upside nature took over, Beanie Wells. Will get catches later.

1:35: Okay, so I did go back to getting best possible sure-things, Antonio Gates in the 4th.

Moss, Brees, Wells, and Gates through 4 in PPR. Good example of getting as many impact players as poss. early, with 1 upside play in Wells.

1:45: Played it safe in the 5th with Hines Ward. It’s a PPR, and I could use catches.

1:50: In the 6th, I like Fred Jackson. I can’t see how he won’t have a pretty large role and will catch passes even with Spiller there.

Okay, sorry, had to do the Sirius/XM show during the draft and got bombarded. I wasn’t able to do much more than pull up guys I like in queue and draft them while doing the show. I did get a bunch of good guys, but I left myself a little thin at RB. I took too many WRs late, as I wasn’t able to follow the draft, and I didn’t get a backup QB, but I like this team.

Drew Brees
Beanie Wells
Fred Jackson
Steve Slaton
Derrick Ward
Randy Moss
Hines Ward
Johnny Knox
Julian Edelman
Kenny Britt
Lee Evans
Mohamed Massaquoi
Antonio Gates
Heath Miller
David Akers
New Orleans Defense

A lot of good players here, but I made two mistakes while attempting to do a radio show while drafting online.

1. I failed to address RB and took too many WRs, so I’ll have to try to make a trade
2. I didn’t get a backup QB.

Starting lineup:

QB: Drew Brees
RB: Beanie Wells
RB:Fred Jackson
WR: Randy Moss
WR: Hines Ward
WR: Johnny Knox
Flex: Steve Slaton
TE: Antonio Gates
PK: David Akers
DT: New Orleans

Sorry, this was such a cluster-F!

Category: Fantasy Football

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20 Responses

  1. H00KemH02NS says:

    3 questions/comments:

    1) If you had grabbed Beanie, would you still get Best (I would), Hardesty (I would) and Felix (I’m guessing not)? I guess I was surprised to see you still loving Felix since your high on Choice’s talent. It’s gonna be a nasty RBBC in Dallas, again.

    2) I love the Ward pick. Who else is gonna’ catch the ball in Pittsburgh? And once Ben gets back. Helllllo late-season points.

    3) You had tweeted you lost out on Cutler, too. Between Cutler and Kolb, who do you like better? Upside? Safe?

    Hook em

  2. Baller says:

    Question: You say you were disappointed to be left with Jennings after DeSean Jackson was taken. Why then do you rank Jennings several places higher than Jackson in your default rankings?

  3. Idiot Savant says:

    Do you ever let the bye week of an elite/semi-elite player like Roddy White affect your draft other than when you’ve already taken Michael Turner?

    I find that I like a lot of bye week 8 receivers. Might I be wise to take another top 8 WR instead of Roddy White to maintain flexibility at WR later in the draft.

    Jennings, what did you attribute his low TD totals too last season? IF its double coverage, what is going to change with an old Driver. Are they going to roll coverage to J Finley?
    I’m not a great X / O’s guy but avid / over active Fantasy Sports guy.

  4. JBeau says:

    Kinda surprised that you passed on Roddy. I don’t care if he is on the same team as Turner. but whatever, Jennings is a nice consolation prize as a #2 WR. I assume you went Turner, Fitz, Jennings, Felix? Curious what spot you drafted out of, if Roddy was still available in the 3rd. Still, I kinda like this team, I can see how its a play to win team…Felix, Best and Hardesty are all question marks, but if things pan out with your RBs, this team is pretty stout. WRs are solid, so is QB and TE.

  5. John Hansen says:

    Baller, that’s a good question, but keep in mind our rankings aren’t 100% mine. I do try to ping our other staff members for input, so I’m not like a fantasy football dictator. I guess also I like getting sexy picks in these high-profile leagues, and Jackson’s sexier. That said, Jennings is no slouch and I am high on him, which is why I took him. The buzzkill was really more about how I think he might have slipped to the next round for me based on his down year in 2009.

    I am questioning passing on Roddy, no question. Rice would have been the pick, and I’m second-guessing myself there as well. Maybe I should have just taken on the little risk due to his hip. But again, that’s why it’s best to draft well into camp. We’re all a little in the dark right now.

    If I drafted Beanie, no way I would have taken Felix. Cutler and Kolb are really close in my book. I’m sure the next 4-6 weeks will sort that out.

  6. MDS says:

    why did you take a QB in Rd2 of a PPR league? ouch

  7. Baller says:

    Thanks for the info. That’s good that rankings have input of others. Can definitely see these are “sexy”, upside picks. Useful to see who you are highlighting as players you like.

  8. Steve says:

    john,
    i like your draft when you took jennings i was wondering if Miles Auston and Calvin Megatron was taken before you took jennings

    Thanks

  9. Austin says:

    John I love your draft posts and learn a ton from them. The only question I have is Brees in the 2nd. I know a ton of people are saying to grab an elite QB early but when I break down the numbers I can’t see any reason to grab a QB early. You just lose too much ground at the other positions. Last year I targeted Schaub late while stocking up at RB/WR and won my league. I think with guys like Flacco, Kolb, Cutler etc. at worst they will only be 1-2 pts per week behind the elite guys and you gain a ton of points by picking elite WR/RB’s instead. Anyways love your insights on your drafts. I actually like the Jennings pick and think he is much better in ppr formats than Desean. Nice work!

  10. PackFan says:

    I too think mock drafts are quite valuable in preparation for the real thing. Many times, when you list the entire draft, I’ll “assign” myself one of the ten or twelve slots and “draft along” with the group … just to see how I come out versus the field. Not much suspense … but I think it helps.

    I find myself wrestling over your confidence in Kevin Kolb .. on one hand, I think he has great potential, and a nice group of receivers to throw to. On the other hand, I also realize this guy has two career starts, and my greatest concern is putting myself slightly behind the 8-ball vs. the competition in my league if I draft this guy early and he lays an egg.

    But since I generally don’t draft a QB until round 6 or 7, maybe someone in our league will take this guy early and put me out of my misery – at least half the teams in our league tend to draft a QB within the first two rounds … so it could happen.

    Either way, I like most of your selections, but I’ll be wrestling with Kevin Kolb until after our draft is over. My best case scenario might be for me to change my strategy and draft a QB in say – the second round .. and then come back later and get Kolb as my second guy, but I doubt if that will actually happen.

    At any rate, I hope your confidence in him pays off.

  11. H00KemH02NS says:

    Just a guess, but I think you’re gonna’ have a lot of similar lineups, (like we all do) because of players you’re high on are available 9 – 12 picks early.

    Draft #1:
    (Wanted) Beanie
    Hines Ward
    Johnny Knox

    Draft #2
    Beanie Wells
    Hines Ward
    Johnny Knox

  12. rollback says:

    John, i really like your Sirius team.You have an explosive lineup with a lot of high potential breakout players.I see it as the best team on that board through 10 rounds.

  13. JBeau says:

    John, you need a do over with that NFL.com draft playa.

  14. John Hansen says:

    I messed up in the NFL.com draft because I was hosting a radio show while drafting and didn’t get another RB in the 5-7th round and took too many WRs. But if I can get a sleeper RB off the WW, I’ll destroy with that team. Look at the strength at QB, WR, TE, PK, and DT.

  15. HH says:

    Fred Jackson is not a 6th rounder…meh

  16. chewbacca218 says:

    This must be like tax time for you.. getting spread thin and all. not a bad draft overall though. you have playmakers and a bit of upside. I fear the downside of guys like jackson though. I feel that Spiller is going to get alot of touches and jackson will be a reserve type of guy. and if tate takes over in houston then slaton is a backup as well. I like guys that i know are going to get the ball. decent draft, but i dont see this team finishing at the top of a league, even if some upside is realized.

  17. John Hansen says:

    Well, when you take a Brees and Gates in first four, you have to pay a price somewhere. However, I predict Slaton will be a top-20 back in a PPR, and Jackson a top-30 back in a PPR.

  18. Austin says:

    I agree on the Slaton projection and overall I like your draft. I think its best to take either a TE or a QB early but not both as you end up too thin at the RB/WR positions but you did make up for it with the Slaton pick. I probably would of passed on Brees in the 2nd but other than that I loved the draft. Your team could easily win this league. Looking forward to more great content this year!

  19. John Hansen says:

    Austin, Great point on the QB/TE comment.

  20. hemdilly says:

    It’s just really helpful to see, discuss, study your drafts. The process gives me confidence that I can do just as good – maybe even better against lesser foes. Although I’m in a couple really tough leagues, but I can do just as good – all b/c of all the info I get here. I remember the day I read all I could from about 4 different sites – drove me crazy. Not anymore!

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