You know how you are supposed to visualize yourself doing great things and through the magic of positive thinking you do those things? Well, that’s crap, but let’s take that crap and compost it and grow a fantasy football team. Below is an attempt to draft the perfect team. We’ll only be able to take players that are at or above the ADP from pick #4. So following Fantasy Football Calculator’s ADP I can’t pick ADP 1 through 3 when I pick 4th, and then can’t pick ADP 4 through 20 when I pick 21st and so on and on. Clear as the Gulf of Mexico?
This is an interesting exercise because you would think with time and a large group of players to choose from you wouldn’t have much trouble putting together a beastly team, but it’s not the case. I recruited Andy Miley and Mike Clay to join me in this exercise.
We’ll be going with QB/RB/RB/Flex/WR/WR/WR/TE/K/DST/7 Bench slots, and non-ppr, just like our Razzball Commenter Leagues. I plan on doing this for a later draft slot as well. I’d also love to see what teams ya’ll Razzballers can scrape together doing the same thing. Check here for a spreadsheet to help you pick your team. Post them in the comments.
If you aren’t following me on Twitter, you should click here. Here is my team:
1.4 Maurice Jones-Drew — I’m guessing my compatriots will grab MJD here as well. This is why I like the #4 pick. I think they are all very close in the top 4 and having the fourth pick makes it easy to grab the leftovers.
2.21 Jamaal Charles — I came pretty close to grabbing Jennings here. I’m starting to lean toward trying very hard to have an elite receiver on all my teams and I think Jennings will be right up there, especially with a favorable passing schedule, but ya’ll know my JC love and I couldn’t pass on him with the 21st pick.
3.28 Beanie Wells — I came close to going with Sidney Rice here, but the questions surrounding him are many. This has me at 3 running backs to start the draft, which I’ve never been that worried about, but this season it worries me more. But Wells is another one of my guys and I see him having a breakout year.
4.45 Dwayne Bowe — This one was by far the hardest. Gates is my #1 tight end and is the obvious pick here, but I have to stick to my decree of owning Zach Miller in all leagues! This is early for Bowe who is obviously a risk, but all the news so far has been good regarding his work ethic this season. I usually don’t buy that crap, but Larry Fitzgerald is the hardest working wide receiver in the business and he praised Bowe after he went through his training.
5.52 Hakeem Nicks — I’m on the Nicks bandwagon. Like him more than Bowe. The Giants will throw the ball more than they want to once again this season.
6.69 Jeremy Maclin — Slim pickens in this round, but I like Maclin a lot this season and I needed another starting WR in this 3 WR format.
7.76 Jay Cutler — I’ve talked about Cutler a lot so I won’t get into again, but you’ll see him or Kolb on a lot of my teams this season.
8.93 Donald Brown — I always love hoarding running backs (A&E is filming an episode of Hoarders at my place. The smell!) I like Brown’s upside and think he slowly takes over.
9.100 Arian Foster — This is partially due to the hype machine, but the machine is accompanied by a very good end to last season. I also believe Kubiak would start his pool boy if he thought he was any good. So at pick 100, I think he’s worth the risk.
10.117 Zach Miller — I just don’t see how he doesn’t squeeze himself into the top 10 and possibly higher.
11.124 Laurence Maroney — I wanted to go with Big Ben here, but his fantasy playoff schedule is scaring me right now. I may start to get over that fear because Ben Accused can be elite, but I’m passing today. As for Maroney, he showed he could get into the endzone last season and his competition is like Al Davis old.
12.141 Jerricho Cotchery — Cotchery will be the best receiver on the team until Holmes comes back. And he will probably be Sanchez’s most trusted guy for the season.
13.148 Larry Johnson — Didn’t care for my choices here. You know my thoughts on Clinton Portis’ decrepitness. LJ could be starting at any point.
14.165 Jacoby Jones — I’ve always said Jones has a good chance of being the #2 receiver in Houston this season, but now even Kubiak is saying it is an open competition between him and Walter. As long as he continues to go this late in drafts I have to grab him or face discipline.
15.172 Matt Moore — I don’t love Matt Moore (then what’s that Fat Head of his doing on your wall?). Shut up! But I do like his start while Cutler is bye-ing and in case Cutler gets hurt he does have a decent playoff schedule.
16.89 Cincinnati Bengals — They have a ball hawking defense. I’m sure I’ll be grabbing matchup plays half the time.
17.196 Ryan Longwell — Kicker
Conclusion: As a whole I don’t hate my team, but I hope I can find some steals in real drafts, because with a static ADP to go by, it just isn’t all that easy. I think this is a good way to help us fake footballers realize that drafting an excellent team takes a little luck and some competition that sucks.
There are a lot of guys on my team that I am targeting, but before I started, I figured I would end up with a roster full of guys I’m targeting. So even when you can backtrack and redo picks and look up byes and take a nap and grab five beers and pee at will, you still can’t make the perfect team. There is no such thing.
1.4 Maurice Jones-Drew – Nothing shocking here. MJD was the obvious pick with CJ, Peterson, and Rice off the board.
2.21 Jamaal Charles – I almost took Greg Jennings here, but I like the options at wide receiver more than running back after round 4. I now have a ridiculously potent 1-2 attack at running back, which gets even better when you get to my 3rd round selection.
3.28 Pierre Thomas – 3 picks, 3 running backs. Crazy, right? I have Thomas ranked 12th in my RB rankings so he was the obvious choice here. I’ve noticed him slipping in some leagues, but he was due to go off the board in 4 picks. I couldn’t pass him up.
4.45 Antonio Gates – This is generally a tough spot because I’d need to decide between a QB, WR, or TE. Because the WR I would’ve taken here will be available when I pick next, WR is ruled out. I also felt that the drop off at quarterback (from Rivers to the names available when I pick in round 7) wasn’t quite as steep as the difference between Gates and what would be left later.
5.52 Hakeem Nicks – Nicks ranks 10th in my standard-scoring WR rankings, so this was a no-brainer. Passing on a quarterback here is a bold move, but fortunately for me, one of the names I’m in interested in at the position will still available later on. I had to get my WR1 now.
6.69 Santana Moss – This was really where I got stuck. Tony Gonzalez was still on the board, which made me want to go back and exchange my Gates pick for another receiver. I pondered this for a while, but I felt the drop off from Gates to Gonzalez was steeper than the one from, say, Hines Ward or Chad Ochocinco to Moss.
7.76 Jay Cutler – I thought about Mike Wallace here, but I have a bunch of wide receivers grouped with Wallace and, although I don’t have Cutler too far ahead of Eli Manning, the upside Cutler has this year is too great to pass on.
8.93 Johnny Knox – Hey, I took Cutler last round, so why not take the guy who he could end up throwing to the most with my next pick? Knox was about to go off the board, so I pounced and gave myself some major upside at WR3.
9.100 Arian Foster – The best available running back on my board won’t be around when I pick next and is one of the last remaining starters available. A few weeks ago, I would’ve taken Slaton here, but it’s been made pretty clear that Foster is the man. He is an excellent RB4.
10.117 Devin Hester – Sometimes the weirdest things happen during a fantasy draft. I didn’t plan to select Cutler, Knox, and Hester, but they fell to me and I took advantage. There are plenty of passes to go around in Chicago and don’t think both Knox and Hester can’t be top 25 receivers. I only need one of them to start, anyways, so if one falters, I have my security blanket.
11.124 Ben Roethlisberger – My starters are settled and I have an extra running back and wide receiver. Sounds like a great time to grab a second quarterback. Big Ben will be out the first 4 weeks, but joins Cutler as a top 10 option at the position once he returns.
12.141 Leon Washington – I was looking for some running back depth here and so I took a chance on Leon Washington’s upside. He will put up a ton of points catching balls out of the backfield and could eat into Justin Forsett’s carries.
13.148 Devin Thomas – Training Camp has not been good to Thomas so far, but I’m gambling on him earning his starting job back and coming through with a breakout season. He also doubles as a handcuff to Santana Moss.
14.165 Heath Miller – Miller is extremely underrated for some reason, so I’m more than happy to get him as my backup tight end in round 14.
15.172 Chris Chambers – Chambers ranks 35th in my receiver rankings and is my next best available option at the position. Considering we’re in round 15, getting a guy I feel can start in this league at this point is a steal.
17.196 Ryan Longwell – There is absolutely no reason to reach for a kicker when the likes of Ryan Longwell and David Akers are still available at this point.
Conclusion: Although having a strategy in place prior to your draft is important, you will be disappointed with your team if you aren’t flexible. You might start a draft expecting to have a pair of running backs and a superstar wide receiver on your roster by round 4, but forcing yourself to stay in line with that strategy is just asking for trouble.
My draft is an excellent example of this. I went with Jamaal Charles in round 2, but easily could’ve taken Greg Jennings. (In fact, I initially took Jennings, but realized later it was the wrong decision and hit the rewind button.) Considering I took Jones-Drew in round 1 and couldn’t pass on Pierre Thomas in round 3, it seems that the smart move would’ve been RB-WR-RB, instead of loading up with 3 running backs. I learned in the middle rounds, however, that I could still get better-than-advertised wide receivers, while the available running backs weren’t as appealing. Instead of having a question mark like Montario Hardesty or Fred Jackson in my Flex spot, I have Charles. To gain that stability, I had to give up Jennings, but I don’t consider that much of a loss when you consider that my replacements for him are one of Devin Hester and Johnny Knox. If someone offered me Charles and Knox for Jackson and Jennings, I’d take it.
The example continues in round 4. I usually won’t take one of the elite tight ends here, but it really came down to Antonio Gates or Hines Ward (or Chad OchoCinco I suppose). Do I take Gates here and settle for Tony Gonzalez later in order to go from Santana Moss to Hines Ward? Again, it is a judgment call and I felt Gates-Moss was better than Gonzalez-Ward.
People can argue when to take a quarterback and how many running backs you should have by round 4, but what is really important is having a good draft board and adjusting it after each pick. You must be committed to finding ways to get yourself in position to be able to select the best available player when you’re on the clock.
After all, there are no rewinds on draft day.
1.4 Maurice Jones-Drew — I’ll take the end of the fantastic four any day of the week here.
2.21 Greg Jennings — Selecting the #1 WR of the #1 QB the choice was hard with Jamaal Charles on the board, but good RBs left.
3.28 Cedric Benson — Ego and SuperEgo (85 & TO) will provide a lot of running lanes for a not so Texas favorite.
4.45 Antonio Gates — He will get more receptions than my first WR choice. 90+ receptions easy.
5.52 Hakeem Nicks — Toe, shmo, knee, please, he will be top 12 and is a steal right here at this ADP!
6.69 Jeremy Maclin — His QB likes to throw, check, he has someone else taking double coverage, check. Then he is mine, check!
7.76 Jay Cutler — “Mad” Mike loves him some Jay right now. Stay away from the sugar and deliver a top 7 season!
8.93 Santonio Holmes — Maybe he figures it out, maybe Sanchez figures it out. For a #4 WR I could do much worse.
9.100 Donald Brown — Call me crazy, but this kid is more physical than Addai and with great play can make sure Addai doesn’t come back, that is what I call motivation.
10.117 Devin Hester — Martz’s offense needs plenty of WRs. I like taking one with huge upside in the 10th.
11.124 Chester Taylor — I am no Forte believer and if I’m wrong, I still have a good bye week plug in guy.
12.141 Vince Young — Uncle Rico it’s my first time, be gentle! Horns up!
13.148 Jon Carlson — Solid #2 TE to Gates, he has a bye week you know!
14.165 Correll Buckhalter — Moreno is hurting now, who knows he could keep producing like last year and is a great #5 RB.
15.172 Chicago Bears — New pieces with Peppers and old pieces healthy with Urlacher equals good upside.
16.189 Cincinnati Bengals — They have gotten better and Pittsburgh has gotten worse. Great for a second to last pick.
17.196 Rob Bironas — Titans have problems in the endzone, which is good for a strong legged kicker.