When young Jim Day asked me to join a Draftmaster draft, I had to say yes. OK, I asked him. I got in Draftmaster 12 and my reward was the 11 pick. What does a man do with that pick who has done not a second of prep? Let’s see.
1.11: LeSean McCoy — I remember last year, when stiffs like Ryan Mathews were considered good picks at 1.04. This year, we have a bounty of quality running backs to take early on. McCoy will recover well from last year’s concussion and be a point-scoring monster in Chip Kelley’s offense.
2.02: Matt Forte — I’m a little worried that his scoring spree at the end of 2012 was mostly due to Michael Bush being out of the rotation. Last year was his career low in receptions and I expect him to get back to 50+ this year.
3.11: Roddy White — Unless Tony Gonzalez returns, Roddy White and Julio Jones will be two of the most-targeted guys in the league. He’s not slowing down at age 32.
4.02: Hakeem Nicks — I’m hoping for a comeback after an injury-marred season. He really let me down in my dynasty league last year, not that I’m waiting by the mailbox for an apology letter, at least not every day. I passed over Wes Welker to take Nicks.
5.11: Steve Smith — Smith might have to play as long as Jerry Rice, because the Panthers can’t find a secondary receiver no matter what they try. He has one more 70-catch season and will bounce back from last year’s four touchdowns.
6.02: Jonathan Stewart — Stewart got paid last year and was a total disaster as a fantasy performer. The Panthers might say good-bye to DeAngelo Williams since they have Cam and Mike Tolbert. If that’s the case, Stewart’s going to be a bargain as a RB3.
7.11: Tony Romo — I may have waited too long for a QB, but I’ll take a 4000-yard passer as the 11th drafted QB. Late Round QB would be so proud.
8.02: Dennis Pitta — I was a little surprised that Pitta was available so late. He’s been getting top-five love in early rankings. Ed Dickson’s still around and the Ravens might still not let Joe Flacco throw 600 passes this year. In any case, he’s a red zone threat and a good cheap starting tight end.
9.11: Bernard Pierce — This is hoping for an injury. That’s what we do in fantasy football. We’re hoping for Rick from The Walking Dead to take one in the head. Ray Rice had a giant workload last year, and even if he stays healthy, Pierce might be a flex-type as a spot starter.
10.02: Santonio Holmes — When in doubt, draft a player from a good offense. Dear lord, what have I done? Holmes did catch 20 passes in four games last year so an 80-catch pace from my WR4 ain’t bad. I know, his QB is still Mark Sanchez.
11.11: Antonio Gates — Is he finished as a fantasy performer and a tight end? Other than his rookie year, 2012 was the worst statistical performance of his career. His numbers were pretty consistent all year, with a low of two catches and a high of six. He did have three TDs in the final three games, and his total of seven touchdowns allowed him to remain a top 12 TE. If Pitta remains inconsistent, I’m covered.
12.02: Joe Flacco — We can see that he didn’t have a Super Bowl bump in draft position. In five NFL seasons he’s finished as high as QB11 and as low as QB19 (his rookie year). He could reach 4000 yards in a season for the first time in 2013. 4000 is the new 3000. It’s a decent QBBC since I waited on drafting the position.
13.11: Bilal Powell — Shonn Greene’s wild ride in New Jersey is over. Powell is the likely starter in 2013. His upside is limited, but he can catch the ball and a potential starter as my RB5 in the 13th round is fine by me.
14.02: Golden Tate — Fantasy freaks were wondering if Tate would ever come along. The emergence of Russell Wilson helped. Whether he caught or didn’t catch that Hail Mary in the Packers game, his 45/688/7 line is a nice bump from his first two years.
15.11: Greg Zuerlein — He set an NFL record with 13 50+-yard attempts in a season and in one game made a 50+-yard kick and a 60-yard kick. He missed a potential 66-yard game-winner that was wide, not short. Jeff Fisher loves kicking field goals.
16.02: Green Bay Packers — Drafting team defenses makes me feel dirty. The Packers’ D usually gets more than their share of return scores. I’ll always go team d with my last pick.
QB: Tony Romo, Joe Flacco
RB: LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, Jonathan Stewart, Bernard Pierce, Bilal Powell
WR: Roddy White, Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith, Santonio Holmes, Golden Tate
TE: Dennis Pitta, Antonio Gates
D: Green Bay Packers
K: Greg Zuerlein