Monday, May 28, 2012

The Draft...

I have the 9th pick in the first round after randomizing.
I will track trades and picks in this post as the draft unfolds, plus comments about each selection and what my alternatives were.
Let the fun begin!
Jimmy Graham TEAfter trying to trade the pick for 2 hours, I gave in and selected the #1 PPR TE. With RB's full of question marks and several QB/WR options left. I locked up the best player at his position. The one option that may haunt me is RB Trent Richardson, who was selected with the next pick.
I'm settling on this pick after Brees and Stafford were taken. It actually may end up being a good thing with Brees having contract issues and Stafford's injury history. CJ2K is a "buy low" bounceback candidate who could win me some money this year with a return to PPR stardom. Hakeem Nicks (broken foot) was also considered. We will see if my concerns about his health are overblown.
Griffin III
TRADE- I got 2.11 and two 20 rounders for my 6.04_7.09_8.04
Time will tell if this trade was worth it, but I got the QB I wanted and still have my 3rd 4th and 5th to add another RB and two solid WR's.
We will see what gold I can mine in rounds 9+. Barring injury, I think Griffin is going to have a Steve Young/Aaron Rodgers type career because of his combo of ability and intelligence.
This may be a serendipitous pick. In a rush to prerank a few RB's (Doug Martin, DeMarco Murray) before leaving for work, I stuck Harvin on the backend. The RB's got picked and I ended up with Harvin when past studs like Roddy White/Andre Johnson/Brandon Marshall were still available. Harvin also comes with annoying injury concerns, but is a producer when healthy and still only 24. Time will tell how he compares to the older studs I could have selected and to fellow 24 year old Jeremy Maclin who I also could've had instead.

A pick I'm happy with because Austin offers value with a chance of rebounding to WR #1 status after an injury-plagued year. He is in his prime of 27, has a solid QB in Romo, and a good offense around him so he can't be doubled. He could be good for 3-5 years of top level production.
I predict 80+ catches, 1200+ yards, and double digit TD's, if he stays healthy all season.

TRADE- I got 5.05 for my 5.09 and trading down 4spots in each of my remaining even-numbered rounds.
After a run on the remaining #2 level RB's (Stewart, F.Jackson, Spiller, Sproles, Helu) I traded up to secure what I thought was the last RB with potential to have a top 12 level season. With Brandon Jacobs out of the picture, only health will prevent Bradshaw from putting up a solid PPR RB season. The rookie Wilson looms, but has this faults. I hope to acquire him in a trade as backup insurance.

There were more proven options available at this pick-Floyd, Rice, M. Williams, but I went for the player with greater potential. I can always get a starting veteran later on. Baldwin was a first rounder who had a disaster of a rookie year. He seems to be a "head case" but some of the best WR's are. Reports say he is putting in the work and having a solid offseason, so the potential for breakout value is there this season or next.

Too early for a pure backup QB, Locker was just too good to pass up.
He serves as insurance for RGIII who has had knee injuries in the past, and if he relies too much on his legs in the NFL he probably will be banged up repeatedly like Vick. If RGIII makes the adjustment like I think he has the intelligence to do, Locker becomes awesome trade bait for a team weak or old at QB. Locker looked good as a rookie and the Titans have lots of weapons to surround him with- CJ2K, Britt, Wright, Cook, etc.

TRADE- I moved back from 11.09 to 12.03. Moved up picks in rounds 14,16,18,20 up a round to 13,15,17,19.
The trade was a little too cute on my part. Thinking I could still land RB J. Starks or rookie WR's B. Quick or A. Jeffery, they all got picked. Still digging for upside, I selected Jean who is getting rave reviews and sitting behind the oft-injured A.J. and the underwhelming Kevin Walter. Being compared to when T.O. was behind Rice, I may have fallen for the hype. But you gotta take some cuts to hit a home run, just probably should have waited until round 13 for this one. Passed on TE Olsen, WR LaFell, RB P. Thomas.

I debated taking Olsen with the last pick, and he ended up making it back to me anyway. With several teams still needing TE's and the depth getting pretty thin, I felt now was the time. Since I can start 2 TE's with the flex position, he is not just a pure back-up. I think he can have a career year with Shockey out of the picture and Lafell underwhelming so far as a #2 WR. Unfortunately, my top two TE's have the same BYE. A #3 TE without a Week 6 BYE is now a must.

TRADE- I moved up 8 spots from 13.10 to 13.02. I sacrificed 2 picks in round 15 to do it trading them back to rounds 18 and 19.
If this pick does not pan out, then maybe I will finally learn my lesson about drafting rookie WR's who are viewed as purely possession receivers coming out of college. I've taken 2 in rookie dynasty drafts in the past who have been flat out busts (J. Iglesias, B. Robiskie). With visions of getting a WR who racks up PPR points galore like Houshmandzadeh at his peak, I'm hoping "Sanu comes through" and the trade up and gamble was worth it over taking a veteran like Moss, Collie, Lafell, Simpson or E. Sanders.

It was basically a toss up between McGahee, Pierre Thomas, and DeAngelo Williams to supply depth for my top 2 RB's who have the same bye week. The other two options were younger, but McGahee has the greatest potential as a starter with QB Peyton Manning now his QB. Just need him to stay healthy for 1 decent season, then replace him with a RB draft pick. I also passed on much younger backups with potential to be starters- J. Rodgers and K. Hunter. We will see if that was short-sighted of me.
After drafting a lot of potential at WR with Baldwin, Jean, and Sanu, I decided to go with a veteran who according to several sites' projections should give me WR 3/4 level numbers. Almost went with D. Bess or N. Burleson, so we will see how things play out.

I've wasted roster spots on this guy's "potential" in past leagues. It never showed itself with the Cowboys, but now he has a prime opportunity with the Giants. We will see if he makes the most of it or if he is just a talented body attached to a pea brain. If not him, this pick was almost Evan Royster who seemed to be the RB left with the most upside. If he doesn't last to my next pick, he could haunt me.

Apparently no one wanted Royster as much as I did since he made it a full round to my next pick. He may be a longshot, but most picks are at this point. He showed in 2 strong games at the end of last season that he can produce given the chance. Just has to overcome his spot on the depth chart, either through injuries or Shanhan fickleness.
He reminds me a lot of Arian Foster who succeeded big time in this same blocking scheme.
Another upside running back pick since this my position of weakenss. Ballard was the pick of the new regime in Indy, and has D. Brown and D. Carter in front of him who where underwhelming last season. If he gets a chance he could run away with the job and be the back who grows up in the NFL along with QB Luck.
I took a chance by picking a DEF with several picks still to go, a fantasy draft "no-no". But, I wanted a solid defense with a good
match-up to start the season. Chicago plays Indianapolis at home in week 1- a juicy matchup against a rookie QB on a rebuilding team. Matchups with STL and JAC in weeks 3 and 5 don't hurt either. Hope to pair them with the Bengals defense at a later pick.
Not liking my RB position, I take another flier on a back-up. Ray Rice is holding out, increasing his chance of injury or under-performing. His new back-up is Pierce. Probably not a great PPR option. But if he fills in for a holding out or injured Rice plenty of rushing yards and TD's are sure to follow.
A solid compliment to the Bears pick. When the Bears face great offenses at Green Bay and at Dallas, the Bengals face Cleveland and Jacksonville. And then they face Cleveland again during the Bears BYE in week 6. After that I plan to drop them for a skill position player or a better playoff DEF. 
There is a reason Cassel lasted, but he isn't THIS bad. He won't throw for a ton of yards, but there is talent around him so 20+ TD's is realistic barring an injury. It was him or Hasselbeck to hedge my bet on Locker, but Hasselbeck has burned me multiple times as a backup for previous teams that I said no thanks.
A final flier on a running back. Fannin is big, fast, and behind an ancient McGahee and the rookie Hillman. Hillman is the better bet and went way back at pick 9.04. Fannin is the dark horse who flashed in last years' camp but then injured a knee. If he can regain his form, he has a shot to take over for McGahee as the main runner and keep Hillman in a change of pace role. When the August waiver period comes, I will have to choose between dropping Fannin, Pierce, Ballard, or Royster to pick up a kicker.

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