Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First fantasy football draft of 2011

My first fantasy football draft that I am participating in this year is for the pay league I have been doing for the last three years. The draft is a live draft but each person has twelve hours to make a pick and as the rounds increase that time will decrease. So I have a lot of time to evaluate my picks and make sure that I make, what I feel, is the best pick at the time. In this blog I will list my picks and discuss what lead me to making each pick.

In this draft I started with the no.7 overall pick:

Pick number one: Ray Rice, RB Baltimore Ravens

This pick was a simple one to make, Rice was the best running back left on the board and with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield he should get me good numbers in a point per reception (PPR) league.

Pick number two: Michael Vick, QB Philadelphia Eagles

I was flabbergasted when I signed on and seen that Vick was still available at pick number fourteen (I triple checked to make sure). Considering that Vick is number one on a lot of "experts" big board's this was an absolute steal.

Pick number three: Desean Jackson, WR Philadelphia Eagles

I absolutely had to pick a wide receiver here in my opinion and Jackson was definitely the best one left, with players like Dwayne Bowe and Brandon Marshall behind him. Steven Jackson being available at this point made my decision a little more difficult but I felt it was important to start building my wideout corp instead of loading up at running back.

Pick number four: Dez Bryant, WR Dallas Cowboys

At this point, a lot of these decision are fairly easy. My mindset going into this pick is that I wanted a second receiver more than a second back but if a back were available that had a higher upside then the top receiver i'd go running back with this pick. I expect Dez Bryant to have a big year with Roy Williams out of the picture and Jason Garrett as coach for a full year, Miles Austin is ranked higher than Bryant on most lists but I feel at the end of the year Bryant will have better fantasy numbers. The top running backs remaining at this point were Shonn Greene, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Deangelo Williams. The decision to go receiver over running back was pretty easy here.

Pick number five: Percy Harvin, WR Minnesota Vikings

This is the first pick I made that I had a seriously difficult time deciding what direction I wanted to go. Part of me wanted to go for a second running back but the best available running back according to the rankings was Ryan Mathews and I will not draft him in any league this year. A lot of the top tier tight ends had started to go off the board prior to this pick so I almost felt the need to pick a tight end. With help from my father I decided to go third receiver here. I feel like I can get a productive tight end in a few rounds and with this league having a lineup option of three receivers and one running back, I feel like I can get a solid number two running back later in the draft. So at this point I'm thrilled to have three potentially outstanding fantasy performers at wide receiver.

Pick number six: Vernon Davis, TE San Francisco 49ers

I mulled over this choice for quite some time. The three options I was looking at for this pick were a second running back, a fourth receiver, or a tight end. I really felt pressured into getting another running back since I only have one at this point but the options at the top I did not like so much. Blount, Mathews, Ingram, and Stewart were the top backs remaining and I was not too high on any of them. I felt more inclined to pick Brandon Jacobs or Mike Tolbert here but they were much further down on the list so I felt that I could hold out a few picks to grab another running back. As for receiver the top options remaining were Maclin, Boldin, and Brandon Lloyd. I already had three solid receivers at this point and I didn't feel like any of the guys at the top here would help me as much as a stud Tight End. Vernon Davis isn't my first choice for a tight end but at the end of the day I was satisfied with this pick.

Pick number seven: Mark Ingram, RB New Orleans Saints

This pick was pretty easy for me. I needed a second running back and Mark Ingram was the best available and I am high on him. I also would like Brandon Jacobs but he was still quite a ways down the list so I figured I can wait on him.

Pick number eight: Pittsburgh Steelers DEF

At this point I had all my starting positions filled out pretty nicely, except for defense, so why not pick the best defense in the league? Very pleased with this pick.

Pick number nine: Sam Bradford, QB St. Louis Rams

I really wanted Matthew Stafford here but the guy who picked right before me picked him up. I figured it was time to get a quarterback since after a few guys at the top Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford, and Sam Bradford the talent at quarterback was very weak. Although I wanted Stafford here, I am very pleased to have Bradford as my backup to Vick.

Pick number ten: Javon Ringer RB, Tennessee Titans

This pick is a little bit of a gamble but Ringer is a super sleeper. If Chris Johnson holds out for the year that puts Ringer as the Titans number one back. If Johnson decides to sign at any point Ringer is still a pretty solid RB3.

Pick number eleven: Pierre Garcon, WR Indianapolis Colts

My goal going into this draft was to load up on quality receivers and build a respectable running back squad. Pierre Garcon has several reasons to stay away from him but come the eleventh round I figure it's a safe spot to pick him. He has a lot of potential upside and this could be a late round steal that will help bolster my receiver corp.

Pick number twelve: Braylon Edwards, WR San Francisco 49ers

I wanted one more receiver to make it five total for my roster and I felt, considering who remained, Braylon Edwards was a solid pick up. He's their top guy going into the season with Crabtree's injury issues and I feel any team's top receiver is worth picking up in a PPR league. Braylon Edwards has the talent and under the right system he could flourish. That being said, I don't necessarily feel that he is in the right system but the potential alone is worth my pick up here as my WR5.

Pick number thirteen: Dustin Keller, TE New York Jets

Down to my last four picks so it's time to start picking up my least important positions and backup tight end is one of those for me. I'm pretty high on Dustin Keller in what could be a pretty good offense so this pick I am very pleased with.

Pick number fourteen: New York Giants DEF

I needed a backup defense and the Giants were the best defense available. Considering who was left, that is not saying much (the Lions were the second best team defense available). With Pittsburgh as my main team defense, I can live with the Giants as my DEF2.

Pick number fifteen: Stephen Tulloch, LB Detroit Lions

It was about time I showed my team some love. Stephen Tulloch could very well lead the Lions in tackles this year and he is the second best fantasy option behind Suh.

Pick number sixteen: Nick Folk, K New York Jets

My view on kickers is that they are the absolute least valuable position in fantasy football. Also, I feel like the top 15-20 kickers will get you similar production, therefore I did not feel it was necessary to draft two kickers. I normally only pick kickers on good teams, The Jets are going to get close to the end zone more often than the Redskins so naturally I'll want to pick the Jets kicker over the Redskins kicker.

Overall Thoughts:

I am pretty satisfied with this team BUT in a ten team league literally everyone's team looks pretty solid. I went into this draft wanting to draft heavy on people who will catch the football since this is a PPR league and felt like I succeeded. I've yet to fair very well in this league, hopefully this year I will be bringing in some dough!

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