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Draft Kickoff Ramblings


I completed my first draft of the year last night, and beyond the first four selections, I've compiled a roster based largely on potential.

It's a 12-team, standard-scoring Yahoo league with one IDP in which the draft order was determined at random 45 minutes before the draft began. The biggest difference between this league and most others is that we start two quarterbacks.

I wound up with the last pick of the first round, where I selected Randy Moss. With the first pick of the second round, I got Aaron Rodgers, which is the earliest I think I've ever drafted a quarterback. Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning went off the board in the first round.

The first round went like this: Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner, Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Forte, Brady, DeAngelo Williams, Brees, Chris Johnson, Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson, Steven Jackson and Moss.

I didn't draft a running back until the fourth round, where I selected Clinton Portis 37th overall. That's great value.

Here's my team in order of picks:

1. Moss
2. Rodgers
3. Roddy White
4. Portis
5. Jonathan Stewart
6. David Garrard
7. Ray Rice
8. Knowshon Moreno
9. Julius Jones
10. Chris Wells
11. Torry Holt
12. Kevin Curtis
13. Dustin Keller
14. Earl Bennett
15. Jets D/SPT
16. Jonathan Vilma
17. Neil Rackers
18. Laurence Maroney

My strategy in this draft was to go quarterback-wide receiver (didn't much matter which position first since I had consecutive picks) in the first two rounds and then best available player regardless of position, with an emphasis on upside.

Stewart at No. 60 overall is a gamble considering his Achilles' injury, but he has such great upside that I felt it was worth the risk.

I was thrilled with Rice at 84th overall and held my nose in drafting Jones in the ninth round, but he was the only starting running back left at that point. At 108th overall, he may even be a steal.

My Mr. Irrelevant was Maroney, and while he has been an injury-prone disappointment, I figured it was worth the risk as a throwaway pick. If he performs anywhere near his potential, it becomes an excellent value.

So how would you rate my draft? Your comments are encouraged.

By Gene Wang  |  August 24, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Fantasy Football Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I'd grade your draft a low B- or high C+. I like the consecutive picks and the QB/WR strategy in first 2 rounds, but it's hard to get a quality fantasy RB with that strategy. The 2 starting QBs is odd.

Posted by: Shock | August 24, 2009 10:45 AM

You took Moss with Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson still on the board? You must really be counting on a repeat of 2007. Please explain.
You took a WR and a QB over an every down back like Steve Slaton in a non-PPR league. I like the Roddy White pick, but I'd like your top three in a PPR league a lot better.
I like the Rice and Moreno picks. If one of them pans out, you could end up with a very good RB2.
I got Garrard in Round 13 of a CBS non-PPR draft.

Posted by: Steve | August 24, 2009 3:43 PM

One thing that people, especially fantasy football novices or dabblers, don't understand is the motivation for the RB first strategy. The idea is that two things cause elite running backs have the greatest value, first being that the drop for tier to tier of running back is bigger (based on percentage you QB junkies) than other positions, the second being that there is a scarcity created by the fact that (in general) there is one truly productive RB per team in the NFL, but two on your fantasy football team (this is changing as RBBC rises.)
When this format shifts to two starting QB's, so does the QB emphasis, because in general they produce more points than any other player. On this basis, Garrard as a 2nd QB in the sixth seems like a grave oversight. Instead of Stewart at the top of the fifth, who is a gamble at best and a 2nd string injury prone hack at worst, wouldn't a Matt have been around (Ryan, Schaub, Hasselbeck) or someone of comparable value. We're talking about a 23 pick swing on the most productive position on your team, play the math.
Also, unless this is a keeper league, aren't you just drinking last years Kool-aid when it comes to rookie RB's? Knowsh and Wells are a far cry from Chris Tenni$$peed Johnson and Forte. I actually like the Julius Jones pick, that is some true value in my opinion, and he'll end up starting for you at the beginning of the season (and waiver fodder is as likely as the rest of your roster to fill in his spot as the season progresses).
Roddy White seems like a steal at the bottom of the third, not sure how that happened, his production potential is just as high as the true elites, his floor just happens to be a touch lower.
Where's your 3rd QB? With 2 QB's, the drafting of a high upside risk like a Flacco, Edwards or even Linehart seems like a security blanket and potential trade fodder that would really help.

Posted by: Sir Twist | August 24, 2009 6:55 PM

I am counting on a near repeat of 2007. When Randy Moss is motivated to play, as he was in 2007, he's simply the best fantasy wide receiver out there, including Larry Fitzgerald. And I took him over an every-down back because all the elite every-down backs were gone, and by elite I mean Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner and Matt Forte. I'm betting Clinton Portis will have similar stats to Slaton. Garrard would have been long gone by Round 13 in our draft, since we start two QBs.

Posted by: Gene Wang | August 26, 2009 12:40 PM

Re: Sir Twist
Thanks for the comments. That's a lot to digest, but allow me to address several of your thoughts. First, I agree Stewart is a gamble, but what's fantasy without taking some chances, right? I've won this league without drafting elite RBs by adding free agents, including players like Fred Taylor and Earnest Graham, so having Stewart, Clinton Portis and Ray Rice as my three top backs doesn't worry me too much at the moment. Besides, I really like Rice's upside. As for a third QB, I've been more successful waiting to add a free agent at the position rather than draft a third starter/backup. Guys like Kyle Orton, Matt Cassel and even probably Jeff Garcia this season will emerge again, and I'll make those moves as necessary.

Posted by: Gene Wang | August 26, 2009 12:45 PM

Who can tell me about my draft that's a so called expert. All my friends rate it as average. Tell me what you think? Qb"s are Tom Brady and Matt Cassel. Rb's are Pierre Thomas, steve Slaton, Felix Jones, Fred Taylor. Wr's are Colston, Brandon Marshal, Steve Smith (Giants) and Steve Breaston. Te's are Keller and Boss. Def is Giants. My kicker Is Neil Rackers. Tell me what you think Guys Please!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2009 1:25 PM

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