May 29, 2012
This dynasty league draft continued over the weekend, and I made two ballsy picks, so let me break it down.
In the 4th round, after taking Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson, and Wes Welker to start my draft, I took Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown.
While Brown probably wouldn’t have lasted too much longer, this pick was a bit of a reach, especially since I took him over Marques Colston. Obviously, since this is a dynasty draft, I took Brown with the long-term in mind. The problem I had with Colston is I didn’t feel comfortable banking on him and his problematic knees since I’m already dealing with a serious injury issue with Peterson. Had I not had that injury-related issue, I would have taken the productive Colston, especially since he’s just signed a new deal.
I liked Brown because he’s obviously very young, but he showed flashes of potentially developing into a special player. The numbers may not show that, as he had a catch rate of only 57%, which isn’t great, but 16 yards a catch is pretty good and was right there with Mike Wallace. Brown actually had more targets last year than Wallace. Brown moves really well and stands out on film, and I think there’s a chance he continues to develop and settles into being a rock solid #2 fantasy WR going forward. Another factor was Wallace’s contract situation. If he’s gone after 2012, Brown’s stock clearly goes up. Emmanuel Sanders is a pretty good player, but he has injury issues, and with Hines Ward gone I can see Brown’s targets going up this year. His lack of scoring was in an issue last year (only 2 TDs), but I don’t need him to score a ton of TDs. Most likely, 5-6 will do in this PPR league, and that’s very doable.
Next up, in the 5th round, I had to look at RB in this draft. I have some plans for the rest of this draft that I don’t really want to lay our here, since my league mates/enemies are reading, but they did affect my strategy with this next pick. It was certainly a tough call with veterans like Michael Turner and Frank Gore still on the board, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on them, even though they have a better chance of coming through for me in 2012 than the guy I took: C.J. Spiller.
Obviously, Spiller is a good bet to play behind Fred Jackson this year, but Spiller’s six years younger, and as much as I love Jackson, I can’t see him staving Spiller off for touches much longer. For 2012, Spiller’s probably going to be a flex starter at best, so this move was a bit of a reach for this coming season. But again, I’m looking to the long-term and felt Spiller was a really nice option. He’s been a little slow off the mark in his first two years, but his performance late in the 2011 season was pretty eye-popping. His YPC average of 5.2 was very good, as was his catch rate of 74%. Spiller quietly caught 39 passes and showed that he could easily haul in 65-70 grabs over the course of a full season once he’s the guy. Most important, he started to finally get comfortable, and his elite speed started to come to the surface. I know NFL scouts and personnel people were still very high on Spiller going into 2011, and he eventually showed why. I also think the Bill offense and team overall is ascending, which was a factor. Jackson’s probably going to be the lead back this year, but the Bills absolutely have to find ways to get Spiller 10+ touches per game as a runner and a receiver, so I do think for now he’ll be productive enough to use as my flex. By 2013, he could be my #2.
Both of these picks were a little overly proactive, but I really can’t help myself when it comes to drafting younger and exciting players. That is exactly what got me into this business and it’s what keeps me excited about this business. Sometimes, when I swing for the fences, I miss, but more often than not I hit, and this is simply how I roll. If you’ve heard my radio show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, you’ve likely heard me use the term “Gurrific,” which I jokingly use to describe a player or fantasy team that has a lot of juice/upside and gets me excited. Turner or even Gore, at this point, are hardly Gurrific.
The only problem I have with these two picks is that they could potentially make some of my later picks seem less appealing. Had I gone for guys like Colston and Gore and THEN grabbed some really nice upside guys the next few rounds, then my team might be a little bit better off for 2012 while also looking good for the long-term.
But when it came down to it, in a Dynasty League, I just couldn’t pass on two young and emerging players, both of whom could be special in 1-2 years.
To recap my draft thus far in this Dynasty League:
1.03 Newton, Cam CAR QB
2.10 Peterson, Adrian MIN RB
3.03 Welker, Wes NEP WR
4.10 Brown, Antonio PIT WR
5.03 Spiller, C.J. BUF RB
You can follow the draft here:
Note: For analysis on my first three picks, check the main front page of this blog.