I’ve posted the link to my fantasy league on the right side of the page, feel free to look around and rip us apart. My team, Space Mountain, drafts 3rd this year and I’m elated that we’re not picking any lower than that. I usually prefer to be in the middle of the pack in this draft, but with only DeAngelo Williams to keep, and only a handful of top flight players not being kept, the elite pickings are slim.
As this league awards a point per reception (PPR) to only receivers, we’ve been tending to draft big name receivers early and getting away from the by-the-book approach of getting two stud running backs early.
Add to that most NFL teams have been vomiting on fantasy players with their running back by committee approach, and you only really have 7, maybe 8 stud running backs who get the bulk of their team’s carries. Two of those (Adrian Peterson and Steven Jackson) are draft eligible this year. Frankly, both of them scare the hell out of me. The annual Favre nonsense doesn’t really matter here, Peterson should get his numbers either way. What scares me are the fumbles and his keepability. Obviously your first pick is someone that you most likely want to keep on your team for the next 3 years. The guy is only 25, but he’s never shied away from contact and it stands to reason that eventually that will take it’s toll on his body. The same can be said for Steven Jackson( and he’s on a crappy team to boot. Will either break down in the next 3 years? Probably not, and I don’t see Peterson making it past the first pick in the draft let alone sliding to 3rd, so I’m not going to worry about it. Rivers, Gore, and Peterson looks pretty damn solid for Body Count, but then he has to wait 24-26 picks before you get to pick your first receiver. And there is a ton of receiver talent that should be gone pretty early this year, but some of them have big question marks too. Randy Moss is getting old, are you keeping him for 3 years? Larry Fitzgerald will be catching poorly thrown balls from Matt Leinart and Derrick Anderson all year. Yikes. Roddy White, Calvin Johnson, Sidney Rice, Brandon Marshall, Greg Jennings, and Marques Colston are all studs, but all of them have injury histories or young quarterbacks. Actually, White and Jennings don’t really seem to have any issues except for Jennings’ crappy touchdown total last year.
There are some young running backs to take into account here too. Shonn Greene and Ryan Matthews are both unproven. It’s risky business pulling the trigger on one of them that early, but I’m always up for a little risky business.
I should mention that 7 of the top 8 quarterbacks are being kept this year, with Tom Brady the only one not being kept. He’s been on a team’s roster for the last 3 years so he has to go back in the pool. Last year we kept Aaron Rodgers, but traded him away mid-season, because we felt confident in Ben Rosinbagger’s abilities to score on the field, not in the can. So yes, at some point last year we traded away Aaron Rodgers, Beanie Wells, Vincent Jackson, and Reggie Wayne. We also cut Steve Smith 2.0 in Week 1, because we were overwhelmed with the early success of John Carlson (tight ends count as receivers in T.U.F.F.K.L.).
The point I’m trying to make somewhere in there is that we won’t be taking Brady as early as #3. He’s someone to consider with the supplemental pick, but I don’t see him making it that far.
Bottom line: I have no idea yet. I started sending my Life Associate emails two months ago about what our draft strategy should be. We can pretty much guess that we’ll have a pretty decent, but not great running back to pick from or a stud receiver to go with DeAngelo Williams. Then we’ll have a supplemental pick somewhere in the low teens. Personally, on August 4th, I feel like I want to go back to the book this year and have two stud running backs. As good as he is, DeAngelo Williams is coming off an injury last year, and he’s in a committee with Johnathan Stewart, so that worries me a little.
What I will do is write down my predictions for the first round of the draft this year and time stamp them somehow so we can all mock me after the fact. I won’t do more than the first round, because madness breaks out after that and I might as well blow bubbles in the bathtub.