Jul 29, 2010
I fully admit that I am sometimes a little bit of a slow starter when it comes to the fantasy drafts each year. It seems I need a few to warm up, and this year I didn’t do as many drafts in May as usual, so my warm-ups have come in July.
But I think I got it going on now, as evidenced by a great draft I had last night for Time Warner Cable’s Fantasy Huddle TV Show. I’ve done this PPR league for a few years now (won it in 2007), and it’s a pretty good league with some pretty good owners and big names in the industry. I had a damn good team last year, but didn’t even make the playoffs, missing out on 1 of the 4 playoff spots by I believe total points or a head-to-head record the final week of the preseason. Apparently, I drafted Miles Austin but cut him in September and didn’t get him back on the WW.
I will also admit that my draft spot may have been the catalyst strong draft. I picked 4th, and I have to say I think drafting near the top of Round One is ideal this year. Sometimes, a draft just flows well for you, and I think when pick early in Round One it does just that. There’s nothing more annoying than passing on a guy you like because it’s a bit too early only to see him taken off the board before your next pick. That’s what I mean when I say “flowing right.”
Unfortunately, I can’t share the whole draft because it will be covered on this TV show in late-August, but I can give you my picks.
1st Round: Ray Rice – Had to take him in this PPR league. Even though I think he’ll lose some of those check-downs, that possibility can be offset by the fact that they will simply look to open up the offense and throw it more in Joe Flacco’s third full season.
2nd Round: Brandon Marshall – He really was a no-brainer pick late in the second round in this PPR. He’s moving on to a new team, but I like Chad Henne. I took him over Sidney Rice, Greg Jennings, and DeSean Jackson in this PPR.
3rd Round: Peyton Manning – I got the best of both worlds here in terms of holding off at least a little bit on a QB but also clearly taking the best option on the board available to me regardless of position. I will admit that Manning in the 3rd (even early in the 3rd) probably won’t happen in “regular” leagues.
4th Round: Cedric Benson – Although not a great PPR guy, in the 4th, Benson is simply a good guy to grab, perhaps even a value at this point considering how solid this offense is looking. And as I drafted on 7/28, I felt better about his off-field situation and that he might not get suspended at all.
5th Round: Mike Sims-Walker – The solid #1 WRs were all gone but MSW, so I felt good that he fell to me here. So far I’m feeling really good. Jermichael Finley was very temping, but I resisted the urge because I think taking a QB and TE in the first five rounds can hurt you elsewhere, namely at WR.
6th Round: Jeremy Maclin – Perfect role for him as my #3 WR. I think he’ll catch 70+ balls this year, so I’m thrilled I got him.
7th Round: Steve Slaton – Feeling really good now, since Slaton looks like a great value as my flex starter/#3. From what we’re hearing in Houston, Slaton may be going in the 4th round in a PPR in 2-3 weeks.
8th Round: Owen Daniels – The high-end TEs were gone, and it was time to take one, especially since I was feeling so good about the rest of my team. That made me confident to take a chance on OD, who is, of course, coming off his knee injury. If he’s close to the player he can be, this is a steal and potentially makes me dominant.
9th Round: Montario Hardesty – It was a tough call with Ricky Williams on the board, but I went with a little more upside in Hardesty, who should be a guy who gets 15 carries most games and likely the goal line carries. I felt okay passing on a surer thing in Williams because I felt so good about my draft up until this point.
10th Round: Bernard Berrian – Doesn’t seem like a sexy pick, but it is the 10th round, and Berrian should be better off this year with his hamstring issues behind him. Plus, it’s a great offense and Sidney Rice has that hip issue, which put Berrian over the top for me. I like him for depth, but this is my first “blah” pick of the draft.
11th Round: Julian Edelman – Again, I’m feeling good right now, so I’m willing to roll with some upside potential in Edelman, who could easily catch 50+ balls and be money periodically this year.
12th Round: Leon Washington – I’ve seen him go later, and we don’t know about his recovery yet (although all indications are positive), but once again I went for the upside, and Washington when healthy has plenty of juice. He’s my #5 RB.
13th Round: Bernard Scott – Totally to protect my Cedric Benson investment. I wasn’t messing around with that one, since a suspension could still be coming for Benson (although it seems 95% right now one will not).
14th Round Pick: New Orleans Saints – I know they won’t score 8 TDs again this year, but I’ll gladly take 4-5, and considering they should once again be able to tee off (in Greg Williams’ attacking defense) on QBs playing from behind, and since S Darren Sharper is back, that’s very possible. This D isn’t getting much love right now. For example, SF and Dallas went in front of them.
15th Round Pick: Laurent Robinson – We loved him last year and he looked legit – for 2 ½ games. Now that T.O. is out of the mix, Robinson’s starting job is safe, and you could argue that he’s their #1 WR in their West Coast Offense.
16th Round Pick: Jay Feely – Maybe I’m the only one who thinks Feely’s going to blow up this year with the Matt Leinart-led offense likely stalling in the red zone more often than Kurt Warner did, but he’s my kicker.
Projected starting lineup:
QB: Peyton Manning
RB: Ray Rice
RB: Cedric Benson
WR: Brandon Marshall
WR: Mike Sims-Walker
WR: Jeremy Maclin
Flex: Steve Slaton
TE: Owen Daniels
PK: Jay Feely
DT: New Orleans Saints