Fantasy Files: On the Clock

I am on the clock in my Zealots 34 rookie draft, a tradition like no other. I’m stuck on who to pick, so I’ll use this post as an opportunity to expound and make my choice at the end.

For people in upcoming rookie drafts, here are some links to other Zealots drafts. Most are in the first round.

Zealots 6
Zealots 12
Zealots 14

You’re either the type who remembers his rookie hits the most or you’re the type like me who thinks of the swings and misses. I traded a ton in my initial rookie draft to get Julius Jones. He was the ultimate win-now rookie running back. The pick after him in that draft was Steven Jackson, a player who needed a couple of years before becoming fantasy-worthy. The fifth pick in that draft, my initial rookie pick, was Larry Fitzgerald.

Zealots 15
Zealots 21
Zealots 25

My best “hits” have been from 2008, when I took Matt Forte fifth overall and Ray Rice with the ninth overall pick. The following year I got Michael Crabtree at two and Hakeem Nicks at eight. DeMarco Murray was the 12th pick. I’ve been able to replenish the supply without getting that traditional top-four pick that you usually need to get the top-rated rookies.

Zealots 29
Zealots 38
Zealots 47

My top target at 1.11 was Tyler Eifert. I thought him going to the Bengals would drop the ADP a bit. It’s not usual to see a TE go in the first round of a rookie draft. Vernon Davis went high when he was the sixth overall pick in the NFL draft. I should have looked at those drafts before ours started, as he’s gone before 11 more often than not. He went ninth in our draft.

Zealots 34

The only “need” I have is a tight end of the future. I have Heath Miller and Tony Gonzalez. Maybe Miller will have the new knee of steel, literally, and get me by for a couple of years as Tony G holds up the position for one last season. My other roster chum is Fred Davis, Julius Thomas, and Taylor Thompson. Davis was a forgotten man in Washington before the Achilles tear, Julius Thomas had literally zero stats last year and is unlikely to help a team in a narrow Super Bowl window, and Thompson could develop but needs another year or so.

Drafting is about needs and tiers. I have a nice trio of running backs, although you can’t assume that three running backs will stay healthy for a combined 48 games, especially when one of them is named DeMarco Murray. I don’t have the rock-solid studs at WR, but Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Michael Crabtree and a rotating group of Vincent Brown, Denarius Moore, Sidney Rice, Kendall Wright, and Ryan Broyles should be sufficient.

The WR class is excellent but deep. Only three guys have been drafted, so I have my choice of a great first tier. Most of those players will be gone by my second pick. At the moment, I can’t decide who “my guy” is out of those. The RB class is deep, but more in terms of guys who will be RB3s on their teams and probably will never ascend to starter. There’s really only one guy left who might be a 2013 starter.

While I’ll look back at the WR studs that came out of this draft and wish one or two were on my team, RBs rule and there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll need a fill-in starter to help me win a game or two. I’m going with Zac Stacy. Sorry, pretty wideouts. Your time will come.

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