Much like my high school and college grades, yea I went there, Yahoo draft software graders hit me with a big fat C+, here you go, nice try, but your team is the epitome of mediocre. What the?! I spent the last three months on mock drafting for a C+? But seriously as stated by both Sky and Jaywrong these grades are about as meaningful as the weekly projected points these sites put up to assist you during the fantasy season, so not to make excuses but I’m not putting much stock in my grade. Although I did make a few critical mistakes, I think my draft went well considering the circumstances. Let me explain…
So as I’m riding in the back seat of a car after having a “couple” drinks at a very entertaining home league draft where Colin Kaepernick was drafted in the first round and some guy tries to draft Davis Akers four rounds in a row. There may or may not have been a substantial amount of San Diego’s finest craft beers drank that day and while nursing a serious buzz I got a surprising reminder that the Razzball.com writer’s draft was starting in five minutes! Yes normally panic would have set in but I was calm and relaxed and ready to draft, thank God for IPhones and Yahoo for finally adding a draft app. Through all my mock drafting in the offseason I always found to be most comfortable in the eight to ten spot in twelve team drafts and the yahoo draft order generator could not have cared less as it stuck me with the No. 2 pick basically putting me in what I considered a tough spot. In this particular draft the format was definitely something that affected my draft strategy, mostly that it was PPR, which really expands the depth at running back and the fact that we would need to start at least three wide receivers weekly. One of the biggest mistakes I used to make as a fantasy rookie was failing to look at the rules and format which ultimately led to some pretty poor draft decisions. One of the most common questions asked is how should I start? Should I go RB/RB or WR/RB or WR/WR? For me I don’t sit down and plan these things out I just know that I need to build my running back and wide receiver depth early and take the best talent as it falls, I stuck to my personal rankings on this one; so here is goes, my backseat, phone drafted, Razzball team.
1.02 Doug Martin Tampa Bay Buccaneers: With Adrian Peterson going first overall, I really had a bunch of options here, but for me running back was an obvious choice and although Jamal Charles, CJ Spiller, LeSean McCoy and others presented really high upside, I felt that Martin gave me a balance of both in a run heavy offense that should provide the constant production I seek with my first round pick. You might ask, what about Foster? Well for me my first pick really needs to be a safe bet and although Foster is an elite talent, his lack of work this off-season and lingering injury issues makes him a late first round target in my opinion.
2.23 Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos: And this is why I hate the second pick, I get to watch as all my favorite players get snatched right out from underneath me but I was surprised to see one of my favorite receivers in Demaryius Thomas fall to me this late in the draft which helped me solidify my anchor at running back and wide receiver. Some may question how targets will be distributed with the arrival of Welker but Demaryius is by far the most elite down field option and with the defense struggling, as they have without Von Miller, I expect a lot of points to be scored by this Broncos offense. With my next pick coming just three picks later I was happy with this start.
3.02 Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals: While I like Fitzgerald and am a believer he has a career resurgence with the arrival of quarterback Carson Palmer and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, this was a fatal mistake that absolutely crushed my hopes of having the elite backfield I usually possess, we will revisit the impact of this pick in round four and am still crying myself to sleep for not taking Darren Sproles at this spot.
4.11 Ryan Mathews San Diego Chargers: Sound the alarm!!! This guy is crazy, don’t let him write another word!!! Please calm down I know most of you hate this as much as I do but this was what my fatal mistake of passing on Sproles did to my team, at this point it was Mathews, Mendenhall or Ivory, gross. I chose Mathews here because I’m a believer he can bounce back this year an produce decent running back two production this league, I was also more willing to take him here because I knew I could grab another running back in just a few picks to add depth.
5.02 Shane Vereen New England Patriots: I know what a weird pick, but honestly at this point in a PPR format I felt he provided the most upside and in an offense that is missing Welker, Hernandez and potentially Gronkowski for half the season, Vereen could be used a ton in the passing game and he continues to show his ability as a receiver out of the backfield and I am happy to have him as my weekly flex play.
6.11 Cecil Shorts Jacksonville Jaguars: At this point it was time to fill up my third receiver spot and with Demaryius and Fitzgerald it enabled me to be a little flexible with this pick. I decided to go all upside with what I thought was the receiver with the most upside although very risky. Shorts does play on a team that struggles to pass the ball and has had some severe concussion issues recently but there is no denying he is a playmaker when on the field and is given the opportunity. I passed on James Jones at this point who is extremely touch down reliant and isn’t very attractive in PPR formats.
7.02 Montee Ball Denver Broncos: So it looks like I’m sticking to my usual tendency of waiting on a tight end and quarterback as I use my seventh round pick to grab another running back. This may seem to be a pick based on my affiliation with my rookie coverage for the site but at the time Ball was the best value and in this league if he takes hold of the starting job, which I think he will, this could be a difference maker when it comes to bye weeks or a Mathews injury. I don’t love the pick because I think John Fox is going to make this backfield messier than he did in Carolina but it’s a risk I’m willing to take this late in the draft.
8.11 Kenny Britt Tennessee Titans: Ah Mr. Britt the most frustrating wide receiver over the last few years, all the talent in the world but with constant injury and off the field issues he just can’t seem to put it together. I like Britt, in a contract year to come out an perform at a high level but with noodle arm Locker always looking to run to first at the first sign off pressure it might be a long season for Britt owners, at this point though the reward out-weighs the risk.
9.02 Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys: My first quarterback and what I consider a steal considering Brees and Rodgers went in the second and third round. Romo is always undervalued, and with the Cowboys in ability to effectively run the football, he will have lots of opportunities to be a big fantasy scorer in 2013. With a great group of receivers including Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, Romo could surprise many next year. There are concerns with turnovers and inconsistency, but if the Cowboys passing game is anything like it was in the last few games of the 2012 season, those concerns are minimal.
10.11 Alshon Jeffery Chicago Bears: Now we get into the crap shoot part of the draft, I needed another wide receiver and with Brandon Marshall having some concerns with his hip and the implication of what should be a pass heavy offense for the Bears, Jeffery provides the upside that I like from my bench players.
11.02 Owen Daniels Houston Texans: Boom first tight end and for me this is why I wait at this position. The Texans let go of tight end James Casey in the offseason and drafted a talented rookie receiver, DeAndre Hopkins. To me it seems that the Texans are going to let Schaub throw quite a bit more in 2013, and other than Andre Johnson, Schaub hasn’t targeted any other player more than Daniels. Just off volume and opportunity, makes this an obvious pick
12.11 Knowshon Moreno Denver Broncos: I usually hate taking handcuffs but at this spot it is worth it as there is little to no risk this late, Sky is still cursing this pick. With the arrival of Montee Ball, everyone is forgetting how effective Moreno was down the stretch for the Broncos and for fantasy owners in 2012. There is no guarantee that he retains the lead role. In fact, it’s unlikely, but being a proven commodity that has Peyton Manning’s trust, why not use a pick on him? This was a running back that rushed for 350 yards and three touchdowns in his last four games.
13.02 Johnathan Franklin: I am not taking a defense, I refuse! and this pick is really just for dome as most of you know my infatuation with Mr. Franklin, if not you can ready my many posts here at Razzball in which I crowned him the best running back in this years draft, sigh that was such a long time ago…. but seriously Lacy isn’t the model of health and with Dujuan Harris headed to injury reserve Franklin takes the back up role. Of Lacy were to miss time Franklin provides tremendous upside in a full PPR league like this one.
14.11 Fred Davis Washington Redskins: Davis sat out most of the 2012 season with a brutal Achilles tendon tear. Now fully recovered, he will be looking to take the lead role and fight off rookie Jordan Reed for the starting job. Reed has been battling his own injuries this offseason and with a lack of viable receivers in Washington, Davis could make a big impact in 2013 where Robert Griffin should attempt more than the 393 attempts he threw in 2012.
I refuse to write about my last two picks because well they really don’t matter and will most likely be replaced within the first few weeks. So all in all I wouldn’t agree with Yahoo’s harsh grade of C+ but more like a B- only for missing out on Sproles in the third round.