Standard 20/10 4/6 scoring, 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE), TE, 1 K, 1 D, 3 Reserves. 14-team league. Here are the results of the draft, which was held May 1:
MOCK DRAFT Q&A
Derek VanRiper RotoWire
I like the foundation of my roster - which isn't tough when you are gifted the first overall pick in the draft. Rather than fade the rookie running backs with my depth picks at the position (DuJuan Harris, Jonathan Dwyer), I would have been more inclined to invest in overlooked second- and third-year types whose playing time situations have improved this offseason (such as Darryl Richardson and Daniel Thomas).
Otherwise, there is little I would want to change at this point. With a lot of dialogue in the industry suggesting that QB, RB and WR are as deep as they've been in a long time, getting an elite tight end seems like a more viable strategy now than in the past given the sharp drop-off at that position. I was very surprised Jimmy Graham was there on the turn at picks 28 and 29 overall.
Steal of the Draft (SOD): Jordy Nelson in the fourth round could easily look like a steal by season's end. He still posted a 10.2 YPT around several leg injuries in 2012.
Reach of the draft (ROD): David Wilson is extremely risky and at first-glance sticks out as a reach to me at 15th overall. He would have been long gone before Stopa's next pick at 42, so I admire the selection in that regard. Wilson possesses a skill set capable of returning value in that spot, but how much will Andre Brown eat into his workload?
Nando DiFino CBS
Generally, I think I have a pretty nice team. I'm not crazy about my RB, but in a league this big, with three WR and a flex, some area has to be a weakness. In retrospect, I wouldn't have taken a QB so early. I probably would have been better off grabbing a better RB2 like Reggie Bush and going for QB later on.
SOD: DeSean Jackson in the sixth round could return a ton of value. And Ahmad Bradshaw in the ninth could end up being a boon for Eric Mack. There are a few NFL teams who could just sign Bradshaw and make him their starter.
ROD: Peyton Manning in the third. I just wanted to see what it would be like to have a stud QB. But RB gets thin very fast when you're picking at the bookends of a 14-team draft, and the spot could have been better used.
Aaron Schatz Football Outsiders
To be brutally honest, I'm running behind on making our projections for 2013, so I went into this draft somewhat blind. As a result, I don't think I had a full understanding of which positions are deep or shallow in 2013. With more prep, I would definitely waited on a quarterback. However, I do feel good about taking running backs with three of my first five picks; running backs are always going to be more consistent than receivers, so I wanted to fill that flex spot with a starting back.
SOD: The quarterbacks taken later: My early projections have Andrew Luck (Rd 6), Matt Stafford (Rd 7) and Robert Griffin if he can be healthy Week 1 (Rd 6) barely lower than Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Peyton Manning.
ROD: I love Russell Wilson (Rd 4), but he threw the ball fewer than 400 times last year; with that many passes, he would need to average 8.5 yards per pass with at least 400 rushing yards and five rushing TD to barely break the top 10 for quarterbacks.
Michael Rathburn Daily Joust
Due to non PPR, I took Trent Richardson over Ray Rice. Richardson is going to be the entire offense for the Browns this year. I took a gamble on McFadden in the second round due to the Raiders changing schemes again, and there really isn't a backup RB in Oakland threatening his job.
Cobb was the WR I targeted, and I was very glad to get him. Ryan is a solid QB1, and I backed that up with what I think could be a steal with Michael Vick in Round 9. I like Vick Ballard and T.Y. Hilton to take huge steps forward this year now that Andrew Luck is in Year 2 also.
SOD: Vick in the ninth round based on the potential ceiling in the new offense and Brad Evans getting Mikel Leshoure in the middle of Round 8; he still will get the carries in the red zone.
ROD: I thought Steven Jackson at ninth overall was a huge reach at his age. Le'Veon Bell has a great spot, but taking him mid-fourth round was too aggressive.
Brad Evans Yahoo! Sports
On a scale of 1-10 with one being suicidal and 10 completely overjoyed, I would rate my team a six, or moderately excited. Wide receiver is a weakness, especially if human pinata DeSean Jackson succumbs to major injury or again underachieves, but for the most part my team offers substantial balance. Jamaal Charles, Maurice Jones-Drew, who is extremely motivated in a contract year and coming off an injury-marred 2012, Rashard Mendenhall, Mikel Leshoure and Knowshon Moreno are a solid RB core. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson should build off a standout rookie campaign with the Hawks adding Percy Harvin. And Larry Fitzgerald, a disaster a season ago, is a strong bounce-back candidate with Carson Palmer in tow and an improved offensive line.
In hindsight, I should've waited on selecting a QB - Matt Stafford in Round 7 was highway robbery - but all things considered this should be a highly-competitive team in a TD-heavy format.
SOD: Ryan Mathews (Round 5, Pick 3) - Yes, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times, you’re a (expletive) idiot. But in a 14-team league where starting RBs are highly valued, snaking Mathews in Round 5 is a tremendous steal. New Chargers GM Tom Telesco believes the perpetually broken back is capable of “big things” in 2013. Without much competition on roster (Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown), the wet-paper towel will be given every opportunity to silence his critics, provided he doesn’t shatter another collarbone.
ROD: David Wilson (Round 2, Pick 1) - Consensus within the expert community projects Wilson will enter mega-stardom in short order. However, I'm fading the majority. Andre Brown, who might be the better all-around back, isn't going anywhere and has reasonable odds of emerging as the frontrunner in Tom Coughlin's backfield committee. By comparison, Brown isn't as explosive, but his pass-protection skills and strong interior running trump Wilson's contributions in those categories. Counting on the second-year rusher as an RB1 is a dangerous game, especially when more proven commodities (e.g. Matt Forte, Jones-Drew and Frank Gore) were still available.
Jeff Erickson RotoWire
I like this team - it's deep at RB and WR, though a little risky if Lamar Miller doesn't pan out as the Dolphins' starting running back. Seeing the PPR draft, I purposely waited on QBs, though I wish I would have taken two in Rounds 10 and 11, to ameliorate the risk.
SOD: Aaron Hernandez in the fifth round seems to be a pretty good value, especially given all the health concerns surrounding Rob Gronkowski and the lack of proven options at wide receiver for the Pats.
ROD: I don't love Stopa's pick of David Wilson at 2.1. Maybe I'll change my tune after I see how things pan out at training camp and the preseason, but I see a timeshare in New York.
Jason Sablich New York Times
You've got to feel pretty good when you can land a QB in the seventh round that not only attempts more passes than anyone in the league but also has the best WR in the business at his disposal. Matt Stafford's inability to produce touchdowns in 2012 was more of a fluke than a trend, and Reggie Bush in the backfield this year will only make him better. When I took Andre Johnson in the third, I didn't realize Percy Harvin was still available (duh), which is a classic example of why you should get familiar with your draft app beforehand!
SOD: You probably won't partake in too many drafts where Tom Brady falls to almost the fifth round.
ROD: I like David Wilson's potential this year, but I can't see the logic in taking him ahead of guys like Matt Forte, Maurice Jones-Drew and Stevan Ridley.
Joe Dolan Fantasy Guru
I feel good about my team. I feel like I have a balance, with a potentially elite player at every position. I would like a better RB3 than Fred Jackson, but it's tough to be totally pleased with a roster in a 14-team league. Lance Moore is perennially underrated in fantasy drafts, and I don't know why.
SOD: Quarterbacks look like values early on. Matt Stafford and Tony Romo in the seventh round in a 14-team league? Sign me up.
ROD: Zac Stacy in the sixth seems like a "trying to be a hero" pick at this stage. Crowded backfield on a team that will spread it out.
Howard Bender RotoWire
I like the way my team turned out, and I think my starting lineup matches up well with anyone's. With strength at wide receiver I can focus my in-season work on the ground game, which, from what it looks like now, is going to be a focus for most. I probably should have grabbed a better backup running back than Mike Goodson, but I wasn't enamored with most of the options past round five.
SOD: LaMichael James (Round 9) - I waited too long to get him as Frank Gore's handcuff. Great speed, and he's explosive coming out of the backfield. Vincent Brown (Round 11) - Brief 2011 breakout put him on everyone's radar as a potential star, but a broken ankle ruined his 2012. Now healthy and with a passing game that looked better as the year progressed, he should be a dangerous target.
ROD: Montee Ball (Round 3) - It's so tough for a rookie to make a huge impact, especially when the team has treated all of its running backs as interchangeable parts over the years. He'll fight for touches unless his camp is completely unbelievable. Darren Sproles (Round 4) - If it were a PPR league then it's a no-brainer, but not in a standard league.
Luke Hoover RotoWire
I don't see a 14-team league being won without a top-tier quarterback, so while I planned to wait and grab a high-upside guy like Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick a few rounds later, I couldn't pass on Drew Brees at No. 19 overall. He's a can't-miss guy, and someone who will win titles for many teams. I feel pretty good overall about the value I landed at other positions, but I wanted to stack RBs early and would have liked to have grabbed a Lamar Miller or Ryan Mathews in the fourth over Dwayne Bowe.
SOD: Lamar Miller and Russell Wilson - two players who will look like second-round picks by January.
ROD: Given his injury history, Darren McFadden is someone I'd steer clear of in the second round.
Chris Liss RotoWire
It wasn't my plan to take five straight receivers (when I can only start four), but getting Calvin Johnson at 1.11 and then Dez Bryant on the way back was too much production to pass up. By Round 3, most of the proven RBs were gone, so I took two more upside WR in Jordy Nelson (now the team's top outside threat) and Hakeem Nicks who's healthy again. Taking a fifth WR (Torrey Smith) was a bit crazy, but at that point, the RBs were so depleted, and there were so many good QBs left, he was the top player by far on my board. Even though Smith wouldn't start for me Week 1, there will be byes and injuries, and if we were to play this league out, trades. Bottom line, I have great WR, a good QB, a good TE and totally speculative backs without jobs. If even one pans out, this team can win in a 14-team format. But I wouldn't advise trying this at home.
SOD: I like Josh Gordon - who looks like a legitimate No. 1 WR in Year 2 to DVR in Round 7.
ROD: I know Steven Jackson is in a good spot, but at 30-years old and with 2,395 career carries, I wouldn't take him until Round 3. Don't love Matt Forte early Round 2 in non-PPR, either. And David Wilson (No. 15 overall) is probably sharing carries with Andre Brown.
I love my team, actually. Strong depth at running back and wideout with a top-five tight end. This is a team that would do well in a 10-team league, and it's a 14-team league. Happy I handcuffed LeSean McCoy with Bryce Brown, who should be one of the better "backup" running backs out there, and in Chip Kelly's offense will be flex worthy in a 14-team league. There's also some upside there if Isaiah Pead winds up with the majority of the Rams carries, something to which he certainly has a shot. I'm happy I waited on QB, though I did think Robert Griffin, Matt Stafford, Andrew Luck or Tony Romo was going to last until my pick in round 7 as it seemed like a lot of folks were waiting on QB. Romo went one pick before me, which considering Liss' RB (or lack thereof) at that point, surprised me. But a solid Ben Roethlisberger (on pace for 4,400 and 32 TD last year), and matchup play if Roethlisberger gets hurt, will be enough for a team loaded elsewhere.
SOD: Maurice Jones-Drew late in Round 2, Tom Brady in Round 4, Tony Romo in Round 7, Emmanuel Sanders in Round 8. I loved where I got Percy Harvin and Wes Welker.
ROD: Vernon Davis in round 6 (especially with Witten still on the board), Zac Stacy - as of the day we drafted, he was third on depth chart.
Eric Mack Sports Illustrated
This is not my best effort. My entire strategy was shot when Aaron Rodgers fell to me in Round 1. I couldn't reach for the running backs, which were already picked over. I would have preferred to have one of the QBs who slipped into the middle rounds and reach for a premium back like Stevan Ridley. I did stay true to my board throughout, but I really need a couple of my running backs to pan out. I am not confident in any of Reggie Bush, Eddie Lacy, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Jonathan Stewart or Ahmad Bradshaw.
SOD: Matt Ryan and Tom Brady lasting until late in Round 4 is not something you will see in most fantasy drafts. It really made me regret my decision to select Rodgers late in Round 1. Those two are just as productive and go off the board three rounds later.
ROD: Steven Jackson in Round 1 was the first one. I don't care how much potential the Falcons offense gives him, a 30-year-old running back is on his last legs. He should have lasted another round at least. David Wilson in Round 2 was the second one in a draft of many reaches. I love Wilson's potential, but the Giants still need to give him a chance.
Mark Stopa RotoWire
I realized from the PPR mock draft that WR is deep and RB isn't, so I wanted to get decent RBs early. Everyone else was thinking similarly, though, as RB flew off the board in the first round. I'm not thrilled with David Wilson at 2.1, but I couldn't skip RB altogether in those first two choices lest my team look like Chris Liss'. My mistake was taking Sproles in Rd 4, not realizing it wasn't a PPR league. This was just a mock so I merely skimmed the rules, but it's still an inexcusable mistake. Know your league rules, folks! I love Ben Tate one year post-hype with Arian Foster overrated (4.1 YPC in 2012 is nearly a yard lower than Tate's career YPC).
SOD: Lamar Miller has little competition in Miami; I should have taken him over Sproles. Liss got good WR values with Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant and Torrey Smith. There can be value at WR if people overreact to the lack of RB depth, and WRs are safer.
ROD: Steven Jackson is not a first-round value in any format. I also had seven receivers in my queue when Greg Jennings was taken. Way too early there. I don't like Ravens as the third D off the board. They're a name only at this point.