How to draft your fantasy football team

It’s almost September and that means it is football (queso) time in America. It is hard to believe that football is already upon us, but I think the Summer Olympics helped fill the void between NBA and NFL (obviously the MLB did nothing for that). It seems like it was only a few months ago that I ended my worst fantasy football year of my 8 year career. And trust me – it was horrific.

Our league decided to group up for the draft this year, a decision that I think everyone was happy about. It seemed like a faster environment even though we had the same time constraints as always (90 seconds per pick). It might have had something to do with the 85 degree room that we were in…

The only interesting thing to note about my league is that we use PPR format. So let’s get right to it, here is my team (draft order, I had pick 8 out of 12):

  1. (8) Darren McFadden (Oak – RB)
  2. (17) Larry Fitzgerald (Ari – WR)
  3. (32) Fred Jackson (Buf – RB)
  4. (41) Steve Smith (Car – WR)
  5. (56) Dwayne Bowe (KC – WR)
  6. (65) Doug Martin (TB – RB)
  7. (80) Nate Washington (Ten – WR)
  8. (89) Fred Davis (Was – TE)
  9. (104) Denarious Moore (Oak – WR)
  10. (113) C.J. Spiller (Buf – RB)
  11. (128) Ben Roethlisberger (Pit – QB)
  12. (137) Evan Royster (Was – RB)
  13. (152) Carson Palmer (Oak – QB)
  14. (161) Stephen Gostkowski (NE – K)
  15. (176) Detroit (Det – DEF)

General Ideology – Value and depth

I know what you’re thinking: why no QB until round 11? My answer: value. In our league, QBs get the most points hands down. Last year eight of the top ten players (as far as fantasy points is concerned) were QBs. That list was penetrated by two RBs. I only have to go ~25 spots down to find 12 QBs. Every team can start one QB, so that is half of the top 25 players. That leaves the other half to be taken (likely) in the first two rounds of the draft. Since the talent is so concentrated at the top for QB, I can focus on other positions (RB and WR) where the talent is distributed and valuable. As I concentrate on depth at RB and WR, the last QB is waiting patiently for me. This has been a strategy that I employed over the last few years, and it has worked for me in varying capacities. I think that the most important aspect of this is to find a backup QB who has high upside. Last year I managed to draft Stafford (Det – QB) in the 11th round. Hopefully I can find a gem early in this season… Fitzpatrick? Freeman? We shall see.

Second Guessing – Why did I get him?

There are always some picks that you scratch your head about.

  1. I was torn between Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden for my first round pick. It is no longer 2KCJ, but who says he couldn’t have bounced back this year for a solid showing? I kind of doubted it and didn’t want to bother with him anyways (I had him last year and it was the worst). Run DMc has looked really good, but has injury problems. So I took a chance and made sure that I got some depth behind him (i.e. Doug Martin in round 6).
  2. Back to depth – I think that having 3 good WRs in our league can be HUGE. That is why I used three of my first five picks on them (a strategy that only three of our twelve managers employed). I do have second guesses about my first pick – Larry Fitzgerald. Let’s face it, he is an absolute beast regardless of who is throwing to him. But Wes Welker was available and his PPR prowess was looking very sexy. I passed on him, thinking that he wouldn’t haul in 122 again this year (maybe something closer to 85?).
  3. The only other pick that I second guess is Big Ben. Sure I just talked about how huge of a value that was, but maybe I could’ve drafted a QB in round 8 – Schaub, Rivers, Cutler.

Oh well. As is with most things, time will tell. I’ll keep everyone in the loop as the season progresses.

My prediction for this year is playoffs. That is all I care about.

Posted in Personal Tagged with: , ,
5 comments on “How to draft your fantasy football team
  1. Cameron says:

    If McFadden can somehow manage to stay healthy he is going to have a monster year, especially with Michael Bush no longer there to vulture TD’s.

    I agree that it was a good strategy to wait to get a QB, they really don’t start falling off the table until after the top 12, meaning you are almost guaranteed a steady QB. Unfortunately, though, you got (in my opinion) the #12 QB…

    I also like the strategy of getting 3 solid receivers, but did you purposefully mean to pick three receivers with three very big question marks associated with them? All of them have upside potential, but there is no telling if the QB situation will ever be figured out in Arizona, if Steve Smith (or Cam Newton) can do as well as they did last year, and if Dwayne Bowe can get back to his elite status.

    Overall, I like your team, you did VERY well in the later rounds, giving your team a lot of depth (Doug Martin, Nate Washington, and CJ Spillahhhhhhhhhhh). Your team has a lot of upside potential, but has a lot of downside potential as well.

    Good draft. Good read. Hope you’ll be able to join me in the playoffs so I can have an easy win 😛

  2. Chris Aikens says:

    Work league or personal? Nice conference room acquisition either way

  3. Andrew Johnson says:

    A real Aggie would have picked up Tannehill

  4. Steven says:

    Nice article, and I agree, if McFadden stays healthy all year, he will be a complete monster, maybe #1 in a PPR format and your team will probably do very well.

    But here’s my reasons for wanting to go QB in the first round this year. I have 2 of them.

    1) QB’s are safe picks early. Unless you’re drafting a running QB like Vick (Mueller), the NFL is basically designed for a QB NOT to get injured, or touched for that matter. So using that first pick on a beast player is much more beneficial if that beast player actually plays that year as opposed to RB’s who have a much higher risk of getting injured. But more importantly to me….

    2) It’s important to look at the point distribution within positions. So like how the top QB actually did point wise compared to the #12 QB. Yes they were all high because QB’s get a lot of points, BUT… Let’s say you would’ve picked Stafford as the fourth QB taken for your first round pick. Last year the 4th QB (Stafford) scored 390 points. The 12th ranked QB scored 228. That’s about 10 points A GAME that you’re losing out on. Compare that to RB’s where last year the 4th over the 12th point differential was 4.25 points per game. And even if we compare the 4th over the 24th RB it was only 7 points per game.

    Lot of stats there but basically my point is an early QB is a safer pick AND has more value compared to lower ranking players at his position.

    I’m exhausted……

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