There is no such thing as a perfect draft. With that said, my first six rounds of a 12-team draft last night went as well as I could’ve hoped for. I drafted third in a league that starts two RBs, three WRs, and two flex. Here are the players I drafted (ESPN ADP, Yahoo ADP, CBS ADP):
Round 1, Pick 3 – Maurice Jones-Drew (4.0, 3.7, 3.76)
Round 2, Pick 22 – Brandon Marshall (20.5, 23.4, 28.23)
Round 3, Pick 27 – Greg Jennings (30.3, 30.7, 34.19)
Round 4, Pick 46 – Tom Brady (18.4, 32.6, 19.18)
Round 5, Pick 51 – Percy Harvin (76.0, 52.3, 70.50)
Round 6, Pick 70 – Tony Gonzalez (60.8, 58.6, 66.54)
As you can see, Brady was clearly the steal of the draft. He has looked excellent in the preseason in bringing back memories of his 2007 form when he threw for 4,806 yards and 50 touchdowns. While I don’t think he can ever match the touchdown total again, I do think 4,500 yards and 35 touchdowns are not out of the realm of possibility.
Marshall and Jennings are two wide receivers whom I targeted in this draft (along with Calvin Johnson, who got drafted before my second pick came around). Marshall’s truly elite talent allowed him to catch 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns last season despite having Kyle Orton throw to him. With Chad Henne as his signal caller this year, I expect big things from the stud.
Jennings is, of course, the WR1 for Aaron Rodgers. I think Rodgers is going to be the best fantasy quarterback this season, which means that his top receiver will also be a fantasy monster. Jennings had a woefully disappointing 2009 campaign despite Rodgers being a top three fantasy quarterback. The reason? Jennings was running deep routes while Rodgers was getting harassed by defenses as soon as the ball was snapped. With an improved offensive line, Jennings is slated for the big year he should’ve had last season.
Harvin would have gone in the fifth round in most drafts if it weren’t for the migraine issue. However, his stock has risen now that Sidney Rice is out for half the season after undergoing hip surgery. The upside with being the No. 1 wide receiver on a Brett Favre-led offense averaged with the downside of the migraines lands him back in the fifth round (or higher). The fact that I’ve drafted Harvin in every league thus far ought to tell you how I feel about his upside vs. downside.
Based on Gonzalez’s ADP, he came out as a steal. Let me be clear – Jason Witten was also available. The reason why I drafted Gonzalez over Witten is because Witten is competing with too many other weapons in Dallas (Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton, Felix Jones, Tashard Choice, Marion Barber). In contrast, Matt Ryan only has Roddy White, Michael Turner, and Michael Jenkins. Gonzo also led all NFL tight ends in targets last season and tied for the lead in red zone targets with 25. Witten, meanwhile, is used as a blocker in many instances and has backup Martellus Bennett pushing for more targets. Gonzo gets the edge here.
The one glaring void in this draft is that I don’t have a solid RB2. Honestly, I’m from the school of thought that good running backs will emerge throughout the season. Injuries, guys losing starting jobs due to bad performances, and surprise sleepers always pave the way for no-name running backs to put up good fantasy numbers. I especially like Donald Brown and Leon Washington as sleepers, and thus, I drafted both in later rounds.
Do you disagree with my picks? I’d like to hear your opinions in the comments section!