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First FF Draft 2013

I had my first fantasy football draft of the season last night. I wanted an idea of how leagues were drafting in these early stages and if the mock drafts were accurate. Snake-based standard-scoring yahoo pro league. I drew pick 1 and I was initially concerned about getting an iffy RB2, but for some reason RB wasn't drafted as heavily. Obviously, my first pick was Adrian Peterson, who is head and shoulders above Foster. My plan was to target Graham with my 2-10 pick and either Brees or Rodgers with my 3-1 pick. Then they all went off the board early in round two which basically solidified my 3rb strategy that I've been using in mocks… so MJD and Steven Jackson were my picks.

Rounds 4-8 next.

Rounds 4 and 5 were somewhat disappointing. I hoped that cobb or harvin might still be around at the botttom of 4 as this is a nonppr league, no dice. I didn't want to reach for amendola but I knew he wouldn't be around by my next set of picks. I was VERY close to a 4-rb first four picks before ridley went at 4-8 which was a steal. I ended up choosing Dwayne Bowe with 4-10. I like his floor and ceiling under Reid woth a good qb throwing. Their defense looks terrible again so they should be chucking it a lot. My 5-1 pick might be controversial, but I'm good with Gronkowski here. From a VBD perspective, gronk+a waiver fill-in will be equal or better than Graham. He's been going in the 4th and 5th in novice mocks and higher in professional leagues so I feel good about it.

Rounds 6-7 next.. I've included more commentary so these are longer than I expected.

At the bottom of round 6, Amendola was gone and so was Decker. I was already deep at RB but I was presented with Lamar Miller at RB, which I felt was a good value as I've seen him go as high as round 2-3. He has 1200-1400 yard upside and a higher floor than you might think… Miami is looking better this year and they ran the ball a lot last year. The improved passing game should help take pressure off of Miller. At the top of round 7 I needed to address either WR or QB. RG3 was gone, Luck was gone… Stafford and Romo were the only 2 of the “top 12” left. I knew that Romo might still be there by my next picks and the difference between the two was not worth two rounds, so I passed on Stafford (both QBs should do very well, both have a high floor with top-5 upside). My WR pick was between Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace, Pierre Garcon, Steve Smith, Cecil Shorts, Tavon Austin, and others. I went with Brown because I felt he was the most valuable at round 7. I like all of these guys, but I think Big Ben will have a good bounce-back year and Brown will benefit. There are some question marks with the others, mostly relating to their QB.

Rounds 8-9 next.

I knew that rounds 8-9 would be my last chance at Romo… there is a drop-off and then a plateau after Romo. Eli is underrated now and can easily post top-10 numbers, last year's consistency issues have dropped his draft value considerably… still, I view Romo as more consistent with a slightly higher floor AND upside. it turns out that I could have had manning at the top of the 11th… which I might have opted for Also, I don't have to worry about carrying multiple QBs with Romo… he _should_ be consistently better than the rest of the guys on the waiver. The guys left on the waiver are your usual subjects… Rivers (highish floor), Dalton, Bradford, Cutler, Freeman, and some high-upside guys, Smith, Tannehil, Palmer and Locker. I think if you waited and played the waiver wire for QBs you wouldn't be at a terrible disadvantage in this format, which is crazy to think about. Still, I didn't want to worry about it, so Romo is my guy at 9-1. My 8-10 pick was a lottery-ticket that should post RB2 numbers… Ahmad Bradshaw is a good deal at pick 89. I picked him over Mendenhall who went immediately after for a few reasons. Even though Bradshaw is always showing up on the injury reports, he actually played most of last season and he “toughs it out” and is on the field more than you'd think. While neither has a great OL, I'm more worried about Arizona's. Both teams will be throwing a lot. Both RBs have some sort of competition for work (vick ballard / ryan williams). There is more commentary here, but I went with Bradshaw and I think I got good value. Final rounds next.

If you've been keeping track, I now need to fill 1 WR starting slot and 3 bench positions and we're at round 10. I knew that WR would be deep and the projected point spread between the 10th and 50th receiver is not nearly as large as you would think. My last picks were devoted to WRs that might have a very high upside. I feel like Bowe and Brown both have a high floor with some upside so these next picks are more risky. Josh Gordon provided consistent production for those lucky enough to snatch him last year, which was surprising with a very questionable QB throwing to him. In the offseason, he apparently “accidentally” took some codine and landed himself on the bench for the first 2 games of the season. There is some significant risk here, but there is also potential. I chose Gordon as my WR3/4. My picks are essentially interchangable since I was on the end, my 11-1 pick was TY Hilton, who surprisingly slipped inconsistent Mike Williams and Miles Austin. He is the 2nd WR on a team that throws a lot with an aging 1st WR. He will get a lot of looks, probably more than last year. I feel like he's a very solid WR3/4 with some good upside. There was some serious RB value to be had between my 11-1 and 12-10 pick, with Shane Vereen, Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown, Geovani Bernard, and Jonathan Franklin going in these rounds. I missed out on them, as well as Lance Moore (a steal at 12-8) and Eli Manning (having second thoughts at 11-3). However, I was presented with Emanuel Sanders who will be starting opposite Antonio Brown in what I hope will be a resurgent Steelers offense this year. He replaces Mike Wallace, isn't as good, but should see plenty of work and single-man coverage. He was also a safer option than Kenny Britt (weirdly inconsistent), and Denarius Moore (QB problems) even though I like then both at this late round. Last pick prior to DEF/K was a reach for me with Vincent Brown in San Diego. He's talented, fast, young. He missed 2012 with injuries, but SD needs help and he should provide it. Rivers is a questionable NFL QB, but he throws a lot and he needs people to throw to. Floyd is old and slow. There is an opportunity for Brown here opposite Denario Alexander. Summary in next post.

If you're reading this, I'm wrapping up a “Draft Report” from a fantasy football draft from last night. Yahoo pro league, snake draft, standard scoring. Before I finish with commentary, if you are looking for a league this year, let me know, I am commissioner of several.

Now, the full results of the draft are here: http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/f1/149907/draftresults?drafttab=round

My last two picks were the top projected DEF, which happened to be SD and the top projected K who happened to be the Seattle K who has a long last name. I don't put a lot of time/energy these positions and I always take them last. The WW always provides some decent options. Occasionally, I will pickup sleepers in lieu of drafting these positions and hope for a 2:1 trade to clear a spot

Anyway, I'm happy with the draft, I am intentionally VERY deep at RB which should give me a strong trade position and I've left myself with lots of upside picks at WR, which was also intentional. I'm happy with a solid TE and QB pick, I'm confident that Gronk will start week 1. I think that pick 1 could go either very well or very poorly for those who draw it… it forces you to make value decisions with lots of time between picks… yes pick 1 is easy, but it makes every other pick difficult. I feel like mid-round picks are the strongest this year (4-6), perhaps even late-ish picks like 7-9. This gives you consistent opportunity to snag either an early RB1 and RB2 or a solid RB1 and WR1 without having to worry about getting high-upside WRs late.

I will be participating in 2 “snake” drafts this year, but I really prefer the auction format. It's fair, fun, and everyone gets a chance to build the roster they want. It's how I will be doing all of my leagues. I'll post the draft of my league constitutions later this week.

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