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Although I’ve done plenty of mock drafts this season, the Razzball Writers’ League was my first “real” fantasy football draft of the 2013 season.  I don’t think Yahoo has the best rankings in the world, but I did get the only “A” draft grade from Yahoo of the bunch and I’ve got to say, I agree with them there.

When drafting in a PPR league, your strategy has to change significantly.  Getting one full point for every reception is a bigger deal than a lot of people will admit when drafting their team.  My strategy going into the draft was to make sure I had a pass-catching RB out of the gate and then focus on value picks after that.  You can start 2 running backs in this league with a RB/WR/TE flex position as a potential third so although I think RB is my ultimate weakness due to a lack of depth, I concentrated on upside and potential long term value.

LeSean McCoy averaged 4.5 receptions per game in a season where he missed four full games and had others cut short due to injuries.  In Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense, Vick is going to be looking to McCoy frequently when various options don’t play out so I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets close to 100 receptions this season.  To get him in the 5 spot is a steal as far as I’m concerned.

After that, I probably would have taken a gamble on MJD if he hadn’t been taken right before me so instead I went with A.J. Green and crossed my fingers that Sproles would still be there for round 3, which he was.  Sproles isn’t a flashy RB on paper, but he is a reliable target for Brees and had 75 receptions in only 13 games last season.

I love the Bowe and Welker picks because they’re both in new offensive situations.  Bowe has Andy “Throw It” Reid running the offense now and Welker went from one elite QB to another.  In short, both of them should see a healthy number of targets worthy of 4th and 5th round selections.

Gronkowski in the 6th in a PPR league might just turn out to be the steal of the draft.  With Welker and Aaron Hernandez gone, Gronk should be an absolute monster once he’s back.  Knowing I will likely have to survive at least two games without him, I picked up Brandon Myers in the 11th round; a TE who averaged nearly 5 receptions a game in 2012.

My QB situation is an attractive one too.  Stafford should have another nice year this year, but with very little RB value on the board in the 9th, I decided to grab Michael Vick as my backup.  If they both explode, I might be able to trade one of them away for a solid RB2/RB3, but I’m not counting on it.  Stafford is still my week to week QB, but if he’s facing a tougher matchup, having Vick available is a great option.

Once I had my starting lineup set (except for DEF and K which should ALWAYS be saved for last), I started playing the lottery.  Daniel Thomas, Marcel Reece, and Shonn Greene are all just an injury away from solid RB2 status.  Reece is probably still the best fill in I have for bye weeks based on his 73 targets in 2012, but only time will tell there.  5 is a pretty great spot to draft in this year so I lucked out there and had some players fall into my lap along the way, but anything can happen.

  1. Tehol Beddict says:
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    I had no idea this was ppr league hahaha

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Tehol Beddict: Rule #1 for fantasy drafts: ALWAYS read the scoring settings.

  2. DansUggla says:
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    Thanks for writing the article. Analyzing your team helps us over-analyze our own!

    First time on the football side of things– great job to all the writers over here.

    I would appreciate any help

    Bench RB/Flex spot– do you prefer Michael Bush or Knowshon?

    Thanks, kind sirs.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @DansUggla: That’s a tough call. Knowshon has more immediate upside because he could end up being the starter, but if Forte were to ever go down, Bush’s value would absolutely skyrocket. If this were for a weekly starter spot, I’d probably say Moreno, but on the bench, Bush is probably the better draft.

  3. Mike says:
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    Stafford looks terrible. Still passing on his back foot and if Johnson is out he will be a disaster. Stafford and Lions management will be looking for a new job. I am a Lions fan but management has no clue about talent.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Mike: Stafford threw for 4967 yards last year. In a year where so many potential TD passes were stopped just short of the goal for the Lions, he could drop a few hundred yards, throw 5-10 more TDs than last year, and come out ahead. Stafford isn’t a sure thing, but as a Lions fan, you should have more faith in your team’s potential than that.

  4. Bill says:
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    I was a loyal Yahoo user for many years but cannot look at that disastrous new redesign. What do you recommend instead?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Bill: The redesign is just their way of trying to compete with NFL.com and ESPN. All three of them have their pros and cons, but having played on Yahoo leagues for so many years, it’s still my preferred site.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Loudon: i didn’t think it was disastrous at all until yesterday when I noticed that there simply isn’t (any more) game logs farther back than 10 games. The page used to have the 10 games in the middle with all box score type info, and a link to the entire season’s game logs, by month, so you could attempt to track trends, like how long since so and so homered? Razzball’s player pages go back 30 games with this type of data, espn still has the whole season’s data, but all of my 6 leagues are yahoo leagues, so it’s damn annoying to have to open separate pages instead of just hitting the player’s name from my fantasy team’s page. What worse is that it’s not like this kind of info takes up physical space, like files in a cabinet. So we’re to believe they had the space for this stuff 4 days ago, but not now? B.S. I don’t mind the colors, like many do.

  5. DansUggla says:
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    2 WR 1 Flex league. 12 team

    Currently sitting with:
    QB Romo
    RB1 Richardson
    RB2 David Wilson
    Flex Chris Ivory
    WR1 Cobb
    WR2 TY Hilton
    TE Graham

    Bench:
    DeAndre Hopkins
    Cecil Shorts
    Michael Bush
    Sudfeld

    Should I move Sudfeld and Shorts for Colston? The guy with Colston has Gronk and no replacement TE yet. I don’t want to carry two TE, and I think Sudfeld has good value before he even starts.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @DansUggla: That seems like a pretty good deal to me. Shorts has plenty of upside, but his ceiling isn’t as high as Colston’s. Honestly, if you could trade Hilton instead of Shorts, that might be your best option yet, but that’s more of a personal preference than real fantasy advice.

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Oops! Ignore me, I know nothing! Listen to Loudon!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      That’s a nice trade, I’d make it for the consistency factor. Overall it’s a nice looking team, though I would’ve preferred a better bench RB then Michael Bush given the league size. You’ll wanna keep your eyes peeled for RBs with better/larger roles.

  6. Salty Balty says:
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    Just draft in a 10-team .5 ppr, how’d I do?

    QB – Brady
    RB – Peterson
    RB – Jones-Drew
    WR – D. Thomas
    WR – Amendola
    WR – Shorts
    TE – Rudolph
    Flex – R. Bush
    Def. – Seattle

    B – Vareen
    B – Woodhead
    B – G. Jennings
    B. – J. Edelman

    Thanks. Also, I like your team quite a bit.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Salty Balty: 10 team leagues always look a little more impressive, but that’s an excellent team. Usually when I see Seattle on someone’s team, it means they jumped on a defense early when they could have still found some upside positional value, but still…nice team.

      • Salty Balty says:
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        @Loudon: The first time I have ever been the first team to jump on a defense, but I was surveying my options @ the 11th round and jumped. I think they are, hands down, the best D given that half their games are played in the thunderdome.

        Would you give any thought to dropping Rudolph for Cook? I don’t like having three pieces of the MN offense and Cook is enticing.

        Also, I have another draft tonight and have the first pick overall again. I think that I, again, will have a choice in the second round between Jones-Drew and Chris Johnson. I chose Drew the first time. Go that way again? 12-team .5 ppr. Thanks again!

        • btd says:
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          @Salty Balty: My vote: Yes on Cook. And I’d take Johnson if he’s there, if for no other reason than to change it up a bit. You’re team is really solid, even for a 10 team league.

        • Loudon

          Loudon says:
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          @Salty Balty: In a 12 team .5 ppr league, I highly doubt both CJ?K or MJD will both be there, but if you have your choice, I agree with btd. Also, I’d agree with btd on Cook as well, but mainly because I’m not a fan of putting all of my eggs in one basket. Especially if that basket is the Vikings.

  7. Rolo says:
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    Like yer draft. Question for ya. I didnt draft a defense or kicker and will need to pick those up. Purely based on upside, which 2 of these guys would you drop first:

    Brandon Lloyd
    Joique Bell
    Christine Michael

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Rolo: I’d probably keep Bell and drop the other two. Lloyd has plenty of upside, but I doubt he’s going to be an immediate impact player unless he lands in San Diego and frankly, San Diego isn’t the best spot for a WR to land.

  8. Mex says:
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    Nice writeup! I have some similar players and had a small question about first week strategy…

    I drafter Eli and Vick really late in the draft so I’m happy about that. The guy I’m playing in the first week has Victor Cruz, so should I play Eli to hopefully cancel out Cruz, or would it be best to go with Vick in case he starts the season strong? Eli or Vick.. not really the choice I wanted to make but I have AP, Riggie Bush, AJ Green, Colston, and B Marsh rounding out my starters so I’m not stressin.

    Dalton and EJ Manuel are still available too…

    Cheers

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Mex: I try not to make decisions based on the other team’s lineup. Although Vick and Eli will likely have pretty similar numbers in week 1, I think Vick against Washington has more upside than Eli against Dallas. Vick is healthy and will definitely start for week 1 so his value is quite high for this week. It’s the fear of another QB taking his job or an injury that brings his value down on draft day.

  9. Speed 2: Cruz Control says:
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    14 team Auction, 1QB 2RB, 2 WR, TE, Flex
    Current RBs

    J. Charles, E. Lacy, D. Richardson, C. Michael

    Have an offer on the table to move Lacy and Richardson for A. Morris. My concerns are lack of depth, sophomore slump, and crazy Mike Shanahan. Should I pull the trigger?

    • btd says:
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      @Speed 2: Cruz Control: Who else could you play in the flex? I’d be tempted. But Lacy’s the wild card for me. He could put up some decent numbers in GB. Richardson – meh, he’s a starter… But Morris doesn’t seem like a 1 hit wonder to me.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Speed 2: Cruz Control: That’s too high a price. Lacy and Richardson both have a lot of upside and they also give you some depth. If Morris went down with an injury, you’d be absolutely dead in the water.

  10. jake says:
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    .5 ppr league-

    would u rather have Morris or Forte?

    plus better combo:

    1)dez/forte/bowe/sproles/bernard
    2)dez/forte/wilson/sproles/ty
    3)forte/brees/wilson/sproles/ty
    4) forte/brees/wilson/bowe/bernard

    12tm 3wr w/ flex .5 ppr?

    Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @jake: I rank Forte above Morris slightly in a .5 PPR. As for the combo, I’d probably pick combo number 1 assuming you could land another decent QB down the line. If you get 6 points for a TD pass, I might switch to number 3.

  11. Tron says:
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    Which side gets the better of this swap of backups…

    Ronnie Hillman and Kenbrell Thompkins for Vic Ballard and Stevie Johnson

    Thanks for any insight gents and three lady readers.

    • frankgrimes says:
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      @Tron: too early to say gun to head Stevie is proven and Bradshaw always be hurt

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Tron: I’d probably take the Ballard/Johnson side of that deal. You can start Johnson most weeks and feel pretty decent about it.

  12. Hank says:
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    Draft didnt go as I planned but how did I do?

    10 team h2h with 3 keepers

    Qb – cam newton
    Wr – amendola
    Wr – shorts
    Rb – Martin (k)
    Rb – McCoy (k)
    Te – cook
    W/r/t – Morris (k)
    K -
    Def – Arizona

    Bn – russel Wilson
    Bn – ivory
    Bn – givens
    Bn – Hilton
    Bn – Michael Floyd
    Bn – gronkoski
    Bn – San Diego

    Autopicked my last two picks but it gave me San Diego
    instead of a kicker so I’ll make that swap.

    Also didn’t want to take Wilson but the two players I
    was going to take were taken right before my pick and cam
    Usually starts slow so I’ll play tem by matchups.

    Thanks for your input

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Hank: At first glance, before I noticed it was a keeper league, I couldn’t believe you managed Martin, McCoy, and Morris in the same draft. That being said, you could have drafted all bench players and probably made the playoffs. I love the Gronkowski pick and all of your players have a ton of upside. Glad to see you went heavy on WRs because that’s where you’ll need the most help, but having Ivory to plug in is a great option too. Keep your eye on players with good matchups in week 16 because you can phone it in until then.

      • Hank says:
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        @Loudon: @Loudon: thanks for the feedback. It’s a second year keeper so i I lucked out last year drafting those three.

  13. Mike says:
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    I’m picking fourth in a PPR draft, and I was considering McCoy or Richardson and leaning toward Richardson. Did you have any back-and-forth between these two? Any feelings on which one’s safer and one which has a higher ceiling?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @DansUggla: @Mike: I think McCoy is the safer pick at this point and also has the higher ceiling. Richardson is good and will earn a lot of fantasy points, but in Chip Kelly’s offense, McCoy could have an absolute monster year.

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Loudon: Not sure why it added DansUggla to that reply. Sorry about that.

  14. Rags says:
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    Am I too excited about Lacy? Standard league, it’s down to him, Gore (but I kept Kaepernick), Chris Johnson or MJD.

    • Rags says:
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      @Rags: Chris Johnson just taken. Dammit.

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Rags: I like Gore more than Lacy still, but Lacy has looked good in pre-season and has a ton of potential so if you like him, go for it. They’re close in my book.

  15. Steve says:
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    Toughest part of draft to me is 25-45and deciding which RB to pick
    Do I reach for Bush but can get Bernard 35 picks later?
    Do I reach for Wilson yet can get miller 20 picks later
    Do I pick lacy over miller?
    Tough!!
    Which mid round RB have the highest upside
    Thanks!!!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Steve: To answer a lot of these questions, I’d need to know more about what your team looked like up until that point, but the highest upside RB? Probably DeAngelo Williams. With Jonathan Stewart out six weeks and likely not playing all that great after that, Williams could have a huge year.

  16. Comickaze says:
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    Y! Report Cards? Don’t get me started (says the owner of a C+ team!) Where is there room for improvement in your sage, A-graded eyes? PPR League- settings- 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 TE/RB/WR FLEX
    Drafted from the 4th position in a ten-team league; draft pick in parentheses-
    QB- Andrew Luck (9th)
    RB1- J. Charles (1st)
    RB2- D. Sproles (4th) –> remember, PPR
    WR1-B. Marshall (2nd)
    WR2- Julio Jones (3rd)
    TE- J. Cook (11th)
    FLEX1- R. Wayne (5th)
    FLEX2- Lamar Miller (6th)
    Bench- S. Vereen (7th), G. Tate (8th), C. Givens (10), D. Woodhead (12th), M. Bennett (13th), K. Moreno (14th)
    K & DEF- who cares….
    Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Comickaze: Let me start by saying I don’t look at this as a C+ team. Yahoo’s grades are terrible. That being said, without seeing how the draft played out, it’s hard to say what should or should not have happened, but that’s a great team. Your bench isn’t all that exciting, but benches rarely are.

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