(I am reposting Lou Tranquilli's review of the draft which he posted on my thread in the Shark Pool)
Hey all, here's my review of the draft. Of course checked with DD and made very sure this was cool.
High Stakes FPC Draft Review #4
Lou Tranquilli for BFDFANTASYfootball.com
“What I was Thinking” During this draft…
This is a real long one, I try to keep them short and sweet but I think there are so many good points to look at and review here I want to give as many to you as I can.
I jumped in this draft late, and ended up with the 11 spot again, having watched Michael Bronte put together a really high quality squad from the #11 spot in our last review of a BFD draft I was pumped to get back in the saddle and do it again from the same location.
I had a mapped out plan, reviewed the draft grid a number of times before the draft and had it open during the draft. I knew I would have to go off the mark a bit, because this was a live draft with veteran players that have won a lot of money playing fantasy football. The same old same old wouldn’t get it done, and I didn’t want to go for that either.
The league is 1PPR for RB and WR with 1.5 PPR for the TE position, making the TE a potential Flex player in this dual Flex format. Here’s the lineup requirement:
1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, 2Flex (RB,WR, TE), K and D/ST
12 Team league with an 11 week regular season. The Top 4 teams make the league playoff rounds in weeks #12 and #13, the winner(s) go to the Championship Round and a chance at $75,000 overall prize. Nice.
Hopefully you’ve been reading all the draft reviews, both the local leagues and the high stakes. You can see a lot of trends forming and a lot of different player values that aren’t just ADP, but instead real players putting real money on the line and in this case trying to win $100,000 in the FPC. They are trying hard to say the least. The trend I’ve noticed so far in leagues is this, there are a group of “got to have” RBs, about 15-18 and a group of “got to have” WRs, about 12. In this format there are about 5 “got to have” TEs and two QBs that are far and away the target picks early in drafts; Vick and Rodgers.
The trend that most interests me is the WR portion, because I believe the pool of potentially outstanding WRs is now somewhere in the 25-30 range and the shallow pool of WRs is at least another 20 deep. The position has exploded in FF value and relevancy. The football is flying around the NFL like the AFL days have come back (no, not the Arena League). I wanted to test my ability to draft what I consider are outstanding RBs, a couple of the gotta have TEs and some of the “down low” WRs. I tested it, to the limit…
I will review each team in this league too after I give you my “what I was thinking” draft perspective.
I expected two WRs, Calvin and Andre Johnson to go just before me; the rest of the group of RBs has been pretty lock step as to who is being selected. I sweated a little because there were a number of BFD subscribers ahead of me in this league, so they knew how much I wanted my first pick. They didn’t pick him, and the first WR off the board was Roddy White, a very reasonable addition to the first round IMO.
My selection was Rashard Mendenhall, easy for me because I have him ranked so high.
Others I considered: None.
I sweated again, because although I had only two picks to wait I wanted a 2nd stud RB (you can start as many as 4 in this league). Team #12 was being drafted by a guy I know through the world of High Stakes Fantasy Football, he also knows my rankings. He lay off the RBs and selected two more WRs. 2010 BFD Breakout Player Hakeem Nicks and a serious comeback candidate in a big way Larry Fitzgerald.
My selection was again very easy. Matt Forte is the new Marshall Faulk in Mike Martz offense, I expect the Bears to let the football fly and Forte to benefit from some field stretching passes this season.
Others I considered: Mike Wallace who I really like gave me pause, but I couldn’t over starting with two stud RBs.
Watching the WRs flow off the board after round #2 was a bit harrowing, and it caused me to change things up a bit; which I’m always ready to do if I feel it’s the best method of attack. From my 2nd round pick until it returned to my 3rd round selection there were six more WRs picked. Sending me down to my double digit ranked WRs. Here’s what I was thinking (damn?!)…Seriously. I didn’t want to chase the run, and wouldn’t. There are as I said about 25 WRs I really like as potential studs, not just good but damn good WRs for FF purposes. I wasn’t even dipping into my early teen’s pool to get one; I was going for a 4 RB lineup now. I passed on a number of very good WRs for this reason. If I’m off to a two RB start, then pick a WR why not just have selected the best WR in the 2nd round? I would just be doing a “match” draft, hoping my two RBs would beat out someone else’s two RBs and a WR combo. I don’t draft like that, so I decided to make my strength stronger.
My selection: Shonn Greene
Others I considered: Mike Williams TB was very difficult and caused a lot of comments for passing on him. I know, and it may come back to haunt me but as I said I wanted to make a strength stronger and I really like Greene. Look at it this way, team 10 had a WR (Calvin) and two RBs. Had I selected Williams we are just “pushing” each other. Hoping his combo outdoes mine or vice versa. Like I said that doesn’t work for me…
As I said there are about 5, maybe 6 “gotta have” TEs for most drafters in this format. Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis, Jason Witten and JerMichael Finley. Then there are the almost gotta have guys, Owen Daniels and Jimmy Graham. I knew neither of the last two would come back to me if I waited. There were 3 off the board already and the TE field is not quite as deep with studs as people are saying IMO. The group fades pretty quickly after the Top 6 or so. I expected one of Vernon Davis or Owen Daniels to come back to me, so I picked Greene in the 3rd.
My selection: Owen Daniels, it would have been Vernon if he made it to me, but the team #12 owner snared him (I’m leaving him some damn fine WRs and a TE).
Other players I considered: None: I did want Daniels because of what I believe he can do in Houston this season.
A note about selecting Daniels or Finley or Clark, even Gates this season. If you are picking one of them this high, you better get yourself a high quality backup TE, not a mediocre one, but a projected Top 15 guy; injuries are an issue with all of these players.
Another long and deep WR run was disappointing to watch, and I bet it DOESN’T happen this way in most drafts. I thought for sure I would be looking at Kenny Britt, Anquan Boldin, Steve Johnson or Pierre Garcon in the 5th. None of them made it back; Even Austin Collie went earlier than I suspected he would. So I stuck to my guns and the rankings and in the 5th I picked what I consider to be a near lock of a quality RB. I debated between two guys, mine and Mark Ingram. I didn’t select Ingram for two reasons: 1-The coach DOES spread the ball around in New Orleans 2-I had gone with players I consider explosive AND pretty safe, and since I hadn’t picked a WR yet I didn’t want to add a RB with potential. I wanted a guy I considered rock solid with plenty of upside.
My selection: Marshawn Lynch got a lot of oohs and ahhs from the draft room watchers and comments from the red vs. Blue guys and their guests. Many said they would have gone with Mark Ingram of the Saints. I won’t argue, because they are right next to each other on the rankings coming out this week. I just like what the Seahawks have done and look for Lynch to be very good this season as part of a revamped offensive line and offensive line coaching staff.
Other players I considered: Mark Ingram and Sidney Rice; I gave you the Ingram why. Rice was a consideration for the next pick; but having selected Lynch I wanted a different WR….
Now I’ll admit, I was obviously caught short on the WRs back in round # 4 and made the decision to focus my efforts on building the core strength of my team at the RB position. Like I said I didn’t want to just select at the end of a run and live with what I got. I also had the previous draft completed from the #11 spot last week and figured a number of players like Chad Ochocinco, Santana Moss or Steve Smith of Carolina would be available a few rounds later. They had gone in the 7th and 8th rounds of the previous draft and I figured they would last again with all the uncertainty in their situations. So I picked a guy I’m very high on this season who’s the counterpart to last years BFD Breakout call.
My selection: Mario Manningham who again elicited plenty of responses like “that’s a bad #1 WR and maybe that was too early”. Again, I was planning on the guys listed above to be back to me in the 7th, so I wanted a piece of the Giants passing game that I liked and considered cheap.
Other players I considered: Sidney Rice because he is a #1 for his team and he is back in an offense he’s played in the last few years. I can’t argue against anyone who thinks he would have been a better pick other than to say the Giants produce two excellent WRs now for FF purposes and I like Eli more than Tarvaris.
I was a tad worried here, I had pushed the “wait on a WR” pretty damn far and it was looking to me like I had screwed this thing up. Danny Amendola was a surprise selection in the 7th round; I hadn’t seen that one coming so he pushed an extra WR down that I was targeting as a 7th rounder. There was also a nice QB run, which I was of course happy to see. The value the drafters got at QB was pretty strong in this draft, and I participated later in QB value. Which is example #1 of why I always wait, there were four more QBs I would have been happy with as my starter AFTER I picked my guy later.
My selection: Santana Moss; I’m no lover of the Moss man but have to acknowledge that he is in a nice situation for some FF points. The Skins re signed him for some good money and didn’t really do much to disrupt his value by adding another bigtime WR. They traded for a good #3 in Jabar Gaffney while adding a project of a rookie in Leonard Hankerson. Santana if nothing else will get the looks. This isn’t an ideal #1 and #2 in most leagues, so I won’t sugar coat it…but believe it or not I was pretty happy because I waited so long. And I was planning to take another player I think is now terribly under valued already.
Other players I considered: You’ll love this…Jonathan Stewart was KILLING me sitting in front of my face. I had the guy inside the Top 12 to start the pre season because I believed DeAngelo was gone. I couldn’t do it though, a good #1 WR on his team was the right pick.
Before I go on I wanted to comment on an earlier statement about WR values I wrote. This is where I’m seeing the values at WR, the 7th, 8th and 9th rounds with a few later WRs I like as well. The situations a lot of these players are in is confusing but also have a ton of real and tangible potential as I see them. My opinion hasn’t changed, there are #1 WRs for their teams available all over these rounds.
Basically I have my starting lineup so whatever I want to do is mine to act on. I could have pulled the trigger on a QB but I’m not built that way and most teams had one already so I knew I could live with whoever was still around in the 10th or 11th at the QB position. I wanted a 3rd WR if I liked what was still around after team #12 picked.
I had him figured for at least one RB since the only guy on his roster was the rookie Ingram, I also suspected he would go for two RBs because I had passed on Stewart and that had to be inviting for a guy with 1 RB on his roster. He did select the two RBs, they just came from the same team in Arizona. That was a bit surprising and threw me again because there he sat again…Jonathan Stewart and my strength at RB dictated I take him and make it even stronger, had I selected one more WR earlier in the draft I probably would have picked Stewart as a #4 RB; but I just couldn’t take a 5th guy when I knew what I really wanted.
My selection: Zach Miller TE SEA. I’m pretty surprised drafters are already down on him, the Seahawks have a very solid offensive line so Zach shouldn’t be asked to block much and they didn’t pry him from Oakland with many millions to have him become a 6th offensive linemen. He’s here to catch passes and I think specifically TD passes when the Seahawks are close. The worries of Tarvaris Jackson at QB are not all that different from the worries of Jason Campbell are they?
Other players I considered: Aaron Hernandez is a player I really like a lot this season for a high catch total. There are just so many hands to fill with footballs in NE that I really couldn’t justify him over Miller as the solo TE to get passes in this offense (John Carlson ain’t seeing the ball). Steve Smith Carolina. Had I thought Hernandez would make it all the way back to me in the 8th; I would have changed the Miller pick to Smith who fits perfectly in my deep WR pool theory for this season.
I had my pick of #1 WR talent here and I went away from my gut a bit and took a risk on a player, which I think is the right way to draft leagues. Sometimes you do have to go for a player that you may like or like the situation they are in and I did it here, I went risk over safety and may regret it later but I liked where my pick ended up for a number of reasons. The first is the current #1 WR has a serious foot problem that may take some time to get back from; the second is the situation he landed in is decent to very solid. There’s a TE in place that’s one of the “gotta have” guys and a stud RB. The QB is an issue but that’s the case for either guy I was going to pick here. I also considered two other players near locks to be waiting for me in the next round and I would reach for either of the two that made it because I like them as WRs also. I took a look at the rosters around me too and thought here was another RB run about to happen, it’s about the time in the other draft I had open when they did get selected and it happened here too, so more WRs were ultimately pushed to my 10th round pick as I hoped.
My selection: Braylon Edwards. I just liked his situation more than Steve Smith’s, a total speculation selection on Edwards but at $3.5M this season I have to believe they expect Braylon to be a #1 WR. I’ll take him as my #3, but certainly would prefer him as a #4 WR for FF purposes.
Other players I considered: Steve Smith and CJ Spiller. I already went over Smith but Spiller looked real attractive to me as a pass catching back; I just didn’t need him because I grabbed the RBs I considered truly valuable earlier in the draft.
Round #10 & #11
I wanted more #1 WRs on the roster because I was thin at the position and 10 rounds into the draft. Again I consider more guys to have excellent potential and very good starter ability right now, Robert Meacham and Louis Murphy are two guys I like more than others and each waited for me. One person in the draft room I respect commented that I went too early for Murphy, and he was right but here’s the thinking.
I missed on stud WRs, so I had no concern about ADP for a guy that I wanted to own. Murphy is a player I consider a good “get” with all the changes in Oakland, I don’t even need him right away with Moss and Manningham on the roster as the two starters for me and the two TEs Im comfortable starting. Meacham is another player I’m much higher on than most. He’s part of the Saints offense and I think they throw to him more than ever with Marques Colston hurting still.
Other players I considered: A QB, because as of round #11 I was the only team without one on their roster. That was all the reason I decided to wait to get one until the 12th round. Jay Cutler, Josh Freeman and Eli Manning were still undrafted at this point.
Rounds #12 & #13
I had waited much longer than I expected to for the selection of a QB. I always wait to get one but honestly thought I would be looking at Matt Cassel or Ryan Fitzpatrick here. Instead after reviewing the draft board I found that there was only one team that didn’t have a QB yet. Mine. Just the way I like it, this is a 12 team league and there are SO many QBs that fit the starter territory and one of my favorites (Top 8 BFD QB Eli Manning). The NFL players didn’t rank him in the Top 100 and I bet he is pissed about it…4000 yards and 27+ TDs in 2011 isn’t enough for them. It’s more than enough for me.
I know he is playing with a rookie QB, but damn I will take Jerome Simpson every single draft in the 13th round and see what happens. He is the experienced WR in Cincy, not AJ Green. Simpson flashed some serious skills and again provides me with the chance to write the WR position is DEEP this season. Its obviously a risky spot getting the #1 in Cincy with a rookie QB and a new offense; it’s worth a 13th round risk.
The Rest: Rounds #14 through #20
I wanted some upside potential from a RB and got it in Javon Ringer, I will not be letting him go until CJ2K reports and looks good. Lance Kendricks® is a TE prospect I like this late for pure upside, I can’t start him right away because this is a Josh McDaniels offense and I need to see if he’s getting used enough, I like the potential and the price tag.
Isaac Redman with the Steelers job would be really good IMO, I wanted him as a handcuff. Mewelde Moore is the #3 at this point only. Derrick Mason, WTH? He’s 100 but a 65 catch WR in the Ravens offense and a 17th round pick. I’ll need to drop someone for another QB or K/Dst in season. Fred Davis was purely related to the news Chris Cooley is limping. (Mason signed in NY, so I’ll have a decision to make on him early in the year)
Bears and Gould at D/ST and K. Simple reason, I LOVE getting a kicker that is connected with one of my RBs; it’s nearly guaranteed points inside the red zone.
Here’s my team by team breakdown of their team construction, and what I think they may need of have really nailed it on. Plenty of good drafters here to learn something from.
Someone in the draft room said team #1 got “crushed” in this draft. I don’t agree in total but I do know what that person meant. They struggled to find value and to get a #2 RB that can really deliver points every week. I personally loved the Woodhead pick and think he will make a fine #2 assuming this owner gets what they want from Foster.
I will take this opportunity to point out what selecting that QB early on the turn did here and to team #12. That could have been Peyton Hillis on this roster with Foster. That along with even a QB like Eli to me would be much better. There is one caveat, and that’s the RB position tends to come off the waiver wire every year, this owner needs to pounce when one shows up.
“The balanced” team, they went into this and covered all their bases in the first seven rounds. Basically they came away with a starting skill set in those seven rounds then went for some upside grabs in Torain and Helu (not a bad move IMO) along with Jacoby Ford and Deion Branch. Overall the roster is thin from the depth standpoint, I think Bye’s are an issue because of covering the basis in the first seven rounds.
In my opinion the Top and Bottom of the draft are great spots this season, but we have to be very aggressive and ahead of trends instead of behind or you can clearly get caught looking to fill a flex spot, RB spot or WR position.
I think you can look at this roster and see right away what the difference of waiting on the QB does to it. They have depth at RB with Felix Jones and Bush behind the first two picks. The WR group is three deep so the flex is handled and they added one of the “near gotta have” TEs with Jimmy Graham. Then the QB came and its one loaded with potential, if they miss on him they added a solid guy late in the draft with Kyle Orton.
Went WR heavy which is a fine strategy for this format, you can start four of themand they have four very good guys. AD and Fred Jackson is a solid duo of RBs for yardage and TDs. I think they got a nice value in Dustin Keller but there is risk there and with Todd Heap (who I like in AZ). The 2nd RB is going to be their issue, Fred Jackson as I said is solid but he is rarely spectacular.
Love the start with Charles and Wallace, then Witten and DeAngelo who I think peoplare are too down on (and shows why you don’t draft three RBs in arrow); yes that’s a swipe at myself…Pierre adds a big potential #2 WR. The next three RBs are the question, none are in clear positions to be dominant according to early reports. Addai tried to leave the Colts, Tolbert is a quality player but will have limited touches per his head coach and Green Ellis looks like he will share (I actually like this pick the best). Another WR would have been a good move here IMO. Big Ben was a steal and a half; he has the ability to be the highest scoring QB many weeks. Visanthe Shiancoe looks like a very solid #2 TE with McNabb at QB.
This is another “complete the lineup” style draft and it shows in the depth at both RB and WR. They have the seven they need before they reach the 8th round, but from there they have to find depth and bye week starters in Stewart, Sproles, and Jared Cook. Any misses there and the bye’s are a killer. Ben Watson was a killer pick, I wanted to get him but I had other needs myself.
Another early (very) QB team and I keep saying that’s tough to overcome from a depth standpoint. Vick has got to perform or the teams selecting him this high are going to struggle to maintain an advantage over their weekly opponent. I will say they managed to really steal a good FF player, that gets better every day with his backups injury woes. Peyton Hillis in the Mid 3rd was awesome for this owner after going Roddy (love the balls to take who they wanted) and then Vick. Wes Welker and Boldin then Amendola (he was a surprise, but again love them taking who they wanted for their team) make up four very good WRs. The “anti” Lou team if you will, but they did get Hillis. I like the grant pick but he is another of the steady, not spectacular RBs that won’t loseit or win it for owners. I’m not high on Gonzo, but love the CJ Spiller pick as a #3 RB with upside. I wouldn’t be shocked if this owner starts Spiller a lot.
Just a phenomenal start with Andre and then wrapping all the way around and getting Gore, sometimes drafts fall funny and this one did for team #8 (The host show of the draft Red vs. Blue). Ahmad Bradshaw in the 3rd is not value, but a great #2 RB and with Brandon Marshall in the 4th the team basically could go any way they wanted come the 5th round to get another skill player. Stevie Johnson as the #3 WR is a great deal, and really one of the two best WR trio’s in the league (with team #12). Here’s where I usually go in a different direction…I don’t take a QB here; but in this case I can’t give a hard time to an owner who sees Manning in the 6th round. My preference (and my rankings, have Manning close to his brother; but the bottom line is he’s on an offense that will throw the football a ton and pile up FF points. Hard to argue against but I think they still needed a Flex player to fill the roster out and had to go hunting for Tim Hightower, Julio Jones and Jermaine Gresham. The Flex will be tough to fill here, unless a late round pick that I like Earl Bennett fills that 3rd WR role in Chicago.
Check out the first seven rounds, this makes 4 teams that have filled the starting lineup requirements with their first seven selections. That’s an important “heads up” (and a reason I don’t try and draft the same teams as others).
Effectively we now have 30% of the league in a “Mexican standoff”, who will blink? It just becomes my guys selected vs. your guys selected and not a real match of team construction or willingness to go out on a limb. It really boils down to who picked a better team and that’s hard to tell before the season, no matter how good you are.
This isn’t a criticism of this team; it’s the point of doing draft reviews; to point the patterns/trends out. I did like 3 players they selected late, Bennett, Michael Crabtree and Arrelious Benn all have a lot of potential and were cheap.
There is a lot of production to have on the Lions and this owner has most of it. Calvin, DeSean and Steve Smith are good receivers with MJD and Jahvid Best as players that can put pressure on opponents weekly.
I like that the owner selected a TE later once they took a QB and got what I consider a very good upside TE in Pettigrew who showed plenty of flashes last season. MJD and Best as a RB duo is damn good, the health issues are real and this owner did a nice job of grabbing Jennings later; bit not too much later (10th round). Knowshon as a Flex is pretty damn good, they will need Steve Smith of Carolina every week. Heath Miller as a backup TE isn’t usually my favorite, but the loss of a reliable 3rd WR makes his value increase some.
Team #11 Mine.
I think it’s pretty clear, I went RB heavy and took the risk that I could grab a few WRs that are #1s on their team. It didn’t work out as I had planned in total, but I think it’s an interesting draft and one that’s not like another team in the league. I wouldn’t usually wait this long for WRs and won’t again. One would have been good earlier, like Mike Williams of TB…but. That would have put me in the same “rhythm” drafting as the league and I was trying to be aggressive. The WRs will be the key to my team, I’ll live and die by their production. I need two who get it done. I will say that I was thrilled Eli Manning lasted until the 12th round, and I had my choice of Eli, Cutler or Josh Freeman. I’ll be waiting on QBs…Here’s a good heads up as to why I don’t usually go so concentrated o9n one position, look at all the RB values that lasted late as owners went after WRs like they weren’t going to be available after the draft. I could have gone with a couple of WRs and still come out with some fine RBs.
Clearly he did a nice job of drafting and picking up the WRs that I left for him while going with RBs. Team #12 did the opposite of me and I love it, they took chances and went hard after a roster spot at WR and because I left value they picked it up. This owners issue will clearly be at the RB position, I said of team number one that in my opinion RB is a waiver wire pickup waiting to happen each season and this owner should be aggressive when trying to get a guy. Aaron Hernandez was really a great value for this owner so was Andre Roberts who I think helps a FF team this season.
A long review for you, but an interesting draft with some teams going the “fill the starter” roles, some going with the WR heavy and others using the RB heavy drafting. Clearly a league that doesn’t have a dominant team in it on paper.
Edited by Captain Hook, 10 August 2011 - 11:49 AM.