Last night I had a chance to get my feet wet in the 2008 fantasy football season, taking part in my first draft of the year in the form of Rototimes.com's mock draft for their annual football magazine. The league had pretty simple settings with a standard scoring system and just 12 rounds to draft. Starters consisted of one QB, two RBs, two WRs, one TE, and one K to go along with five bench spots.
I had the 11th pick out of the 12 teams, so I figured it couldn't hurt to put together a summary of my draft to give anyone out there with a late pick a preview of what they might expect come draft day.
I've heard some of my buddies complaining about how weak every pick is after No. 5 this year, but actually had no beef picking from the 11 spot. I obviously knew the consensus top-5 backs (LT, AP, Westbrook, Addai and S-Jax) would be gone and was pretty certain that Gore, who I like, would be taken as well. Starting with the seventh pick, however, I think it's a total crapshoot, and thus thought I could possibly luck out and get some value out of the 11th position. I currently have Marshawn Lynch and Ryan Grant as my seventh and eighth ranked players and knew that I may have a chance to nab one of them. They were both still around after the eighth pick was made, though I received a wee bit of a scare when Grant was taken at No. 9. Thankfully, Randy Moss, who I was not considering, went next, allowing Marshawn Lynch to fall into my lap.
After Portis and T.O. went at the turn, I was left with a decision to make. I didn't want to take a receiver, meaning Reggie Wayne, Larry Fitzgerald and Braylon Edwards were out of the question. It came down to a decision between McGahee, the only RB I relatively liked that was still around, and Tom Brady, who was yet to be taken. I couldn't resist the temptation to take Tom Brady, who I really feel had no business being available after the first round. I was even more confident with my decision to secure the unquestioned top QB when Peyton was taken just three picks later.
Once the 3-11 rolled around, I wanted to take another back and was left with Reggie Bush, Rudi Johnson, Willie Parker and Ronnie Brown to choose from. All four come with pretty big question marks, but I decided to go with the most exciting pick in Reggie Bush, hoping to handcuff McAllister later on. Needing a WR, I was desperately hoping that Plaxico, easily my highest-rated wideout left, would last two more picks and was heartbroken when he went at the turn. Thus, I settled for Anquan Boldin as opposed to Wes Welker or Greg Jennings.
With my next set of picks up and Reggie Bush clearly not a sure thing, I wanted to shore up my RBs and make sure I had a solid compliment to Lynch. At the 5-11, I was more than happy to choose between Earnest Graham and LenDale White with guys like Julius Jones, as well as rookies Jonathan Stewart and Matt Forte, already off the board. I opted for Earnest Graham. Still in need of another receiver, I went with Donald Driver at the 6-2 over Dwayne Bowe, who ended up getting taken with the very next pick.
After my selection of Santana Moss at the 7-11 to be my top backup WR, I was beating myself up regarding who to take at the 8-2 between Jeremy Shockey and Deuce McAllister. On one hand, all of the top TEs were gone and I would have been left with a real weakness at the position if I passed on Shockey. On the flipside, McAllister was one of the top rated players available in the draft's database and would be pretty risky to pass on given my acquisition of Bush in the third. I made a last-second decision to go with Jeremy Shockey, praying that Deuce would slip to me 20some picks later.
My prayers were answered at the 9-11 and I wasted no time officially placing Deuce McAllister on my roster. Desiring a fourth wideout with some upside, I went with Patrick Crayton, the No. 2 WR in an offense that should put up plenty of points.
Finally, once the 11-11 came up, I was pleased to add Ray Rice, a guy from the Maurice Jones-Drew mold that could end up being a huge sleeper should anything happen to McGahee, and rounded out my roster with Adam Vinatieri as my kicker.
Overall, I was very happy with how things turned out. My wideouts aren't the strongest but I think they will be serviceable, and, in the 12-team league, I think I am as strong as anyone at QB and RB. My final roster looks like this:
Tom Brady (2-2, 14th overall)
Marshawn Lynch (1-11, 11th overall)
Reggie Bush (3-11, 35th overall)
Earnest Graham (5-11, 59th overall)
Deuce McAllister (9-11, 107th overall)
Ray Rice (11-11, 131st overall)
Anquan Boldin (4-2, 38th overall)
Donald Driver (6-2, 62nd overall)
Santana Moss (7-11, 83rd overall)
Patrick Crayton (10-2, 110th overall)
Jeremy Shockey (8-2, 86th overall)
Adam Vinatieri (12-2, 134th overall)
Posted by Danny Goldin at 6/24/2008 1:04:00 PM