I took part in the latest installment of our RotoWire Fantasy Football Online Championship, run through NFFC, on Wednesday night.
It’s a 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 RB/WR/TE, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 D, 10 reserves league with PPR scoring (6 pts per passing TD). It was also 3rd-Round Reversal, meaning the owner with the first pick in Round 2 also had the first pick in Round 3.
I had the No. 12 pick in this particular draft. This year, I would have preferred the No. 1 or No. 2 slot, where like just about everyone else, I am big on Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin respectively, but after that I’d say the No. 12 is my favorite slot, given the back-to-back picks it generates. Of course once those picks are made, there’s a ton of waiting time between selection bursts after round three, but that gives me time to (hopefully) build a nice little draft queue and then quickly scoop up the duo that combines the best combo of value and fitting my roster needs at that point.
Picking No. 12 and 13 overall, I went in with the idea of snagging the best running back available and then the top wideout available out of the gate. With six points per passing touchdown awarded, and a top QB gold in these leagues, I decided I’d target Drew Brees in round 3. If he was gone, I would have waited it out a bit at the position, but given that I wasn’t going to get one of the top running backs on my board and knew that Megatron would be gone by No. 12, I wanted to aim for the top guy on my board at least one position.
After I made the Brees pick at 3.1, Aaron Rodgers went 3.11 and Peyton Manning, 4.6. Round six is where the next signal-caller run started, with Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Cam Newton all flying off the board. Nice value, but I am counting on Brees to be a weekly scoring anchor for my squad and was willing to be aggressive to make that happen.
Here’e what I ended up with (with full results posted below):
1.12 – RB Marshawn Lynch – Once Dez Bryant went off the board with the seventh pick overall, I knew I’d get a palatable RB1 and, quite possibly, elite wideout A.J. Green. I would have been happy with any of the four backs taken immediately before Lynch, but he is a solid building block at No. 12, though in this format I wish he caught a few more passes in the Seahawks offense.
2.1 – WR A.J. Green – An easy pick to make, given that I wanted at least one top flight wideout and I knew that waiting it out here was not an option.
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3.1 – QB Brew Brees – In this league/competition, I want a quarterback who racks up points like a pinball machine and Brees is the man for that job. Neither Brees or Aaron Rodgers were going to be there at the end of round 4, so I had to go for it. Note that David Wilson went 3.4 in this draft. Then a day later, Andre Brown fractures his leg, which makes that pick look awesome.
4.12 – WR Antonio Brown — With this pick, I was hoping that a back like Stevan Ridley, Eddie Lacy, Lamar Miller or Giovani Bernard fell to me, but when Benard went at 4.9, I went with the best available wideout and chose Brown over Hakeem Nicks, a player who I have written far too many RotoWire injury notes on over the years.
5.1 – RB DeAngelo Williams – I don’t think this is a terrible pick, but this is where not grabbing a back in round three cost me in the backfield department. With Jonathan Stewart on the PUP list to start the season though, I figure to get at least a few solid games from Williams out of the gate and perhaps more, if Stewart doesn’t return when he is eligible to do so, which is not a lock to occur.
6.12 – RB – Montee Ball – A million picks later, or so it seems, several players I had targeted with this slot are gone. Ahmad Bradshaw, Vernon Davis, Tony Gonzalez, DeSean Jackson. All gone. So I take Ball. While they are talking committee in Denver, I still think the rookie will end up being the main guy before too long and Peyton Manning seems to like him. This could end up being the key pick of my draft if Ball turns into a reliable weekly option for me.
7.1 – WR – Lance Moore – Round 6 really depleted my wideout queue, so I took a solid weekly producer in a good offense here. Not a target really, but a serviceable WR3 to roll with while I wait for any later round receiver darts or free agent pickups to pan out.
8.12 – TE – Antonio Gates – With the tight end pool thinned out, I went for Gates, who isn’t the elite option he once was, but he looks trim these days and seems to be moving well, so I gamble here that he can give me one more good season. Obtaining a serviceable backup for him now becomes an area to target in a few rounds.
9.1 – RB – Danny Woodhead – I stayed classy with this pick, but in a PPR league, Woodhead isn’t a bad reserve RB/Flex option, especially if Ryan Mathews gets hurt. I thought about Kenbrell Thompkins here, but gambled he’d be around in round 10. He wasn’t.
10.12 – RB Joique Bell – I was hoping DeAndre Hopkins fell to me here, but he went at 10.8, so I went with Bell, who could be a very useful player for me in the event of a Reggie Bush injury.
11.1 – WR Sidney Rice – It’s a run heavy-team, but when healthy, Rice can produce and I’m cool with him as my WR4 in this slot.
12.12 – RB – Isaac Redman — I expected to grab Christine Michael here. He went 12:8, so given that Lynch was my top pick, in hindsight, I should have snagged him in round 11. I prefer Michael over Robert Turbin, but I gambled that the uncertainly regarding the Seahawks’ RB2 situation would allow him to fall to me here. Lesson learned/reminder processed. It’s perfectly okay to overdraft a player you want/need in round 11.
13.1 – DST – New England – Yes, I am a Patriots’ fan, but the reason I took them is that I like their playmakers on defense, plus I love how things shape up early on for the unit, schedule-wise, with the Bills, Jets and Bucs on tap out of the gate.
14.12 – TE – Brandon Pettigrew – Antonio Gates insurance. He plays in a pass-happy offense and caught 83 passes in 2011, so he’s a decent value this late.
15.1 – K – Stephen Gostkowski – He’s been a top fantasy kicker when healthy and even with the team’s turnover on offense, he’s a safe pick at the position. There wasn’t any non-kickers I loved at this spot, so I made my move. I’m sure fantasy Fonzies will think that being the first owner to take a kicker is uncool, but it didn’t cost me a shot at anyone I coveted.
16.12 – RB – Robert Turbin – My new favorite Seattle running back not named Marshawn Lynch. Hopefully Pete Carroll agrees. I recommend that the team keeps Christine Michael fresh for next season.
17.1 – DST – Denver – I’ll spot start them when the matchups are good and when Von Miller comes back, I think they’ll be a more than serviceable unit that I can use when the Patriots have bad matchups, or end up having trouble stopping the pass. There weren’t any players I was fired up about at this stage, so it was a reasonable spot to take a potentially strong fantasy D.
18.12 – WR Davone Bess – I had Santonio Holmes on the brain here, but he went at 18.9, so I settled for Bess, who isn’t a bad reserve in PPR formats.
19.1 – QB Alex Smith – Brees is not permitted to suffer an injury, but he does get a bye and I’ll roll with Smith here now that he’s working with the likes of Andy Reid, Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles. Hopefully I only need him for the one game.
20.12 – RB – Alex Green GB – Mr. Irrelevant in this draft could end up as Eddie Lacy’s top backup. If not, he’s my first drop of the season once free agency opens.