Let’s not forget the mock drafts. I haven’t stopped mocking but I have slowed my mock roll by going deeper than my original goal of two rounds per draft. It’s like drinking beer. After you have two rounds, you decide to stop on an odd number. After three, you decide to stop on an even number. And so it goes. My final mock from the 12 spot went eight rounds.
The downside of the 12 spot is the wait between picks. I haven’t drafted from the 12 spot other than a few Zealot rookie drafts since 2003. I did have the 12 spot in our league’s initial live redraft. It was 2001. I got Curtis Martin and Ahman Green (we could keep two running backs then) at the turn and it was downhill from there.
Before my draft I read Matt Waldman’s upside down strategy. This strategy, since the link’s for footballguys.com subscribers only, is to draft a bunch of sleeper running backs later and load up on WR/QB/TE early. His sleeper guys from last year included Cedric Benson, Ray Rice, Rashard Mendenhall, and Donald Brown (had to include one guy who didn’t work out). The key of course is finding the right sleepers and “buying” them in volume so two or three hit out of your five/six drafted.
I thought about using that theory until it was my turn to draft. My #9 overall guy, Michael Turner, was there so I had to snag him. I took Miles Austin at the 2.01. I could have drafted Miles Austin and Calvin Johnson and dominated the WR position. I chickened out.
The list I used for the other teams was the current top 300 PPR list from the same footballguys.com folks. The second round featured seven wide receivers, three RBs and two QBs. That means guys I had pegged as second-rounders like Ryan Grant, Knowshon Moreno and DeAngelo Williams are third rounders. Talk about super values. At the end of the third round, Tom Brady was the last of my Big 5 quarterbacks left so I took him. We have an uber die hard Patriots fan in our league. If he would have a tattoo, other than that of his employer, it would be Brady’s mug. I don’t think Brady gets out of the second. I took Shonn Greene at 4.01, which guaranteed me a starting RB lineup that may not combine for ten catches this year. In a PPR league, that’s begging for touchdowns.
In the fifth/sixth rounds I took Welker and Tony Gonzalez. I like him as the sixth TE off the board. Welker gets a good bump because of his potential keeper value and he should get better as the year progresses. Before this week’s active PUP preseason announcement, I could have seen him sneak into the second round. He may still do so.
At the 7/8 turn I got Devin Hester, lottery ticket pick, and Donald Brown. The changing of the guard in Indy that most anticipated to happen last year could come one year later. With Joseph Addai a free agent after this year, I see Brown as another sleeper keeper pick.
I like how this draft stacked up, although some of the guys in the top 100 of this list, like Jerome Harrison, Darren Sproles, and Tim Hightower, aren’t going that high in our draft. Call it a hunch.