Fantasy files: One man’s opinion

“You said that man wasn’t stealin’ your love, he was only borrowin'” I’m Gonna Getcha Back, Eli “Paperboy” Reed

I’m doing some stealing of rookie draft results, but I’ll share them with the masses. There’s nothing worse than anonymously tearing people down on the Internet. When I look at the Zealots rookie draft results so far, I find it hard to resist the siren call.

I am prepared for at least the first three rounds of my draft. I do not believe every drafter is the same. There used to be a fine Zealot who would look up every ongoing rookie draft and put a link in one thread. He’s taking the year off. I went into the 60 leagues and looked for active drafts. I found six active drafts. Zealots 5, 7, 24, 32, 42, and 49.

It’s useful to find out a player’s average draft position, and to see when guys are taken way too early or tragically late. Before the draft it seemed to be a toss-up between Mark Ingram and A.J. Green for the top slot. In Zealots you can start three running backs, or four wide receivers. So far there is no love for Green, at least at the top slot. In my six drafts, Ingram went #1 four times. Julio Jones went in the fifth and Daniel Thomas went in the other.

Daniel Thomas looks like the Julius Jones of this year’s rookie RB class, if it’s not Roy Helu. It is important to draft a guy who’s actually going to play. Just know when you’re passing up on a superior talent for a short-term starter. He went #1 in one draft, #2 in another, and #5 or 6 otherwise. He might not make it to my 1.06 slot.

Head scratchers to date are the following: Von Miller at 1.05. Von Miller might be the #5 rookie linebacker. It’s interesting that there’s a draft slot bias to people’s picks. Before the draft, few people outside of the Titans draft war room had Jake Locker over Blaine Gabbert. Locker went ahead of Gabbert in one of the drafts and I’m sure it’s because Locker was a higher pick. Miller may be a superior talent, but it’s hard to say if he can get consistent sack numbers in a 4-3 defense.
Colin Kaepernick at 1.08 is the next one. He has tons of upside with Jim Harbaugh at the helm. I do like him in the late second/early third but this is a big reach. If you’re thinking of getting Roy Helu with your second-round pick, think again. I expect him to have a better NFL career than Tony Hunt or Maurice Clarett, but that’s about it.

Guy who took Greg McElroy at 2.08: If you don’t get help at Charter, get help somewhere.

Cam Newton’s probably getting drafted lower than any other #1 overall pick in a while. Even JaMarcus Russell was a rookie first rounder most of the time. No one took him in the first round. The 2.01-2.06 area is his sweet spot.

I’m kind of surprised that the earliest slot for Greg little was 1.07. He seems like the WR3 in this class. Ryan Williams dropped to 1.06 in one draft. That’s not happening in my league.

Speaking of this crazy QB class, Gabbert and Newton are the most popular guys, but in one league Christian Ponder is the top pick. He might be the best QB in this class, but he doesn’t scream fantasy winner. No one compared to Chad Pennington is winning you a trophy.

As for IDPs, most of the drafts are still too early. Prince Amukamara at 3.01 was precious. If you want Mason Foster or Nate Irving, you’re going to have to use a late second or early third-round pick. I don’t know if I can pass on those lower tier running backs.

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