4for4.com Early Staff Mock Draft

By Scout Scott Pagel (scott@4for4.com)

Note: Keep in mind this draft started a couple of weeks ago, so some recent developments are not reflected in the draft order. The always up-to-date 4for4 rankings & tools are always your best bet for current draft strategy.


This year’s lockout has put us fantasy football managers all a bit behind schedule. We're finding ourselves rushing to get our drafts in and trying to suck up as much information as possible heading into our drafts. At the same time, the fantasy football landscape is changing faster than ever before. 

Thankfully, the late start didn’t ruin what looks to be a new tradition at the site, our annual 4for4.com expert mock draft.

This is year two for our mock, and the purpose of our event is twofold. Of course it’s good practice for all of us involved, especially getting together and competing with a group of guys who spend their free time scouring the news wires and crunching numbers.  But most importantly we also want to help give you, the subscribers, a good idea about what to expect when you draft in the upcoming weeks, and hopefully answer some strategy questions.

We used the web site myfantasyleague.com as our host site and drafted for a point per reception (PPR) league consisting of 12 teams. Our starting lineup consists of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3WR, 1 flex, 1 K and 1 defense, so we’re going to have to go pretty deep to complete our starters, making just about every round an important one. 

Teams were only allowed to draft one kicker and one team defense, and just two quarterbacks and two tight ends. 

This league also uses a DraftMaster format, meaning we wont be updating our rosters each week, but rather our best players will automatically be started each week -- no hassle, but that does change the draft strategy a bit.

The participants -- nine 4for4.com scouts, Jim Day of GoAheadScore.com, and two lucky Twitter followers -- were asked to comment on their picks and answer some questions following the draft. 


The Draft

[Full Draft Report]

For the most part in round one, things went as planned. There were lots of similarities to last year in that it’s a safe bet six running backs will go with the first six picks. After that, some decisions need to be made – go for another RB, or take a stud receiver, or maybe even select an elite quarterback.

One thing that’s been fairly consistent in early drafts has been Arian Foster as the top pick. It doesn’t matter the format, Foster was a stud last year and his momentum has carried right over to 2011 where he was taken first by Dave O’Flaherty, a follower of @4for4football on Twitter. Last year’s number-one pick in many leagues, Chris Johnson, went third in our draft to Scout Brandon Niles with Adrian Peterson going second to Scout Bob Harris.  Johnson's stock has fallence since this draft, with his holdout turning ugly.

But the fourth, fifth and sixth spots are all nice spots to draft as well. You'll generally have the option of Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy or Jamaal Charles - all three are PPR studs. And, those guys went in that order to Jim Day, Scout Dan LaBert and myself. In this week's drafts you'll likely also have a shot at the risky Christ Johnson and might even luck out with a dropping Arian Foster.

Just like last year, the seventh pick is going to require some thought. With what many consider the top-six running backs off the board, is this where the first receiver goes? Or, do you continue the run on RBs? Scout Matt De Lima drew the seventh pick in our mock and made the decision to take another RB in Darren McFadden, a player with #1 upside but also an injury riddled past.

“If he plays all 16 games, he'll be amongst the very best RBs for the year,” De Lima said as his reason for taking McFadden.

Scout Andy Rioux was next up at eight and broke the RB streak, grabbing top-rated receiver Andre Johnson. Roddy White, who many consider 1A was drafted next and went to Rob Day, another @4for4football Twitter follower.

“Wouldn't take Roddy over any of the previous picks, I admit,” Rob Day said. “But at this position and in a WR-heavy league, I'm happy he's available here. Atlanta is opening up its offense, Matt Ryan's ready to break out, and Roddy's already been a stud. He could well end up the top WR this year.”

The rest of the first round went back to RBs with Rashard Mendenhall, Michael Turner and Frank Gore rounding things out and going to Contributing Editor John Paulsen, Scout Jeff Owens and 4for4.com boss Josh Moore, respectively.

10 running backs were drafted in round one.

You might think it’s a safe bet that round two would be all about the receivers, but think again… Only five WRs were taken in round two: Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Hakeem Nicks, Greg Jennings and Vincent Jackson. But five more RBs came off the board in Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Forte, Steven Jackson, Peyton Hillis and LaGarrette Blount. That meant four teams went RB/RB with their first two picks with five teams going with one RB and one WR. Seems like in the past, more teams would make it a point to go RB/WR. Perhaps there is a trend in 2011 to get back to the RB/RB strategy with RB tallent dropping off quickly in the later rounds.

The next glaring question: when does the first quarterback come off the board? In our mock, Aaron Rodgers went with pick 2.10 to Niles. Soon after, Mike Vick went at 2.12 to O’Flaherty. I took Brady at 3.6, followed by Phillips going to Rioux at 3.8. Don't expect Vick and Rodgers to last this long on your draft day, but we were all content to wait on QB value later in the draft.

 “I was very surprised that I was the first to take a QB, and that was the 22nd overall pick,” Niles said after the draft. “While many employ the tactic of taking a QB late, I generally exempt a few players from that strategy. Rodgers was one of them, and it was surprising to see him available. Also, along those same lines, I thought Vick would be gone before it got back to me.”

My thinking went along with Niles’ because taking Brady where I did gets away from my typical strategy. I usually like to load up on WRs and RBs early and offten, then take a QB if one I like slips to the fifth, or perhaps wait another round or two and take someone in the lower top-10. In a 12-team league the relative QB depth is less, so I wanted to try this strategy out and then see what type of team I could field going QB in the 3rd.

It was a bit of a surprise when it came to my pick in the fourth round and Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and even Tony Romo were all still available. Had I know this, I would have certainly gone a different direction with my Brady pick in the third. I like Brady, so I thought I got my guy, but I didn’t like him that much more knowing I could have waited a round and ‘settled’ for Brees or Manning. But, as expected, all six of the stud QBs were gone by the end of round four. 


If you’re familiar with our Discuss Your Team forum on the 4for4.com Draft Board, you know we’ve already had a lot of discussion on first four round strategy. We usually preach to wait on QB and take RBs and WRs. A 2 RB, 2 WR split over the first four picks makes a lot of sense as far as draft value goes.

So it was interesting to see what some of the experts did with their first four picks. Believe it or not, only three of the 12 teams went with the 2 RB, 2 WR split. Four teams went with two WRs, one RB and a QB. Two teams took two RBs, a QB and a WR. One team went with two RBs, a WR and a TE. Two teams picked three RBs, one of which went with a TE, the other a WR, as their fourth.

This seemed to be a very running-back-heavy draft in the early stages. Twenty-two RBs (46%), 18 WRs (38%), 6 QBs and 2 TEs went in the first 48 picks. Over 80% of players taken in the first four rounds were RBs or WRs.

Antonio Gates was the first TE taken with pick 4.3. It’s not a surprise, especially in a PPR league because someone like Gates is essentially a top WR in your lineup. 

Later in the fourth round, Harris took Jermichael Finley at 4.11. I took the third TE off the board at 5.6 with Jason Witten and Dallas Clark went at 5.11 to O’Flaherty. Vernon Davis went at 6.6 and Jimmy Graham at 6.9. The takeaway here is that one of the elite TEs can generally be had in with a 4th to 6th round pick.


As for the rest of the draft, you can check out how things went as well as read comments by those who were involved. 

So perhaps the only question left is concerning late draft value. You always want to get the best value at each one of your picks and of course the late rounds can be key to the success of your team.

While most of the latest round picks in our draft went to defense and kickers, those who addressed those positions a littler earlier in the draft got to take some fliers.

In round 15, Labert nabbed Mark Sanchez as his backup QB and De Lima took Packers WR James Jones who is a borderline flex starter and could take over WR2 duties if the aging Donald Driver ever misses time. Rioux took a flier on Texans RB Ben Tate, who is coming off an injury and could end up as Arian Foster’s backup.

In round 16, Moore drafted Jason Campbell, and likes his upside in what is a young, emerging offense in Oakland as a backup behind Tony Romo. Rioux took another RB in Marion Barber, who is Matt Forte’s backup, but could get a lot of goal line work and rack up some TDs. I took TE Tony Moeaki, who was a popular pickup last year after getting off to a hot start. There seems to be a lot of tight end depth this year.

So, who didn’t get drafted that could be an eventual waiver wire pickup? A couple of Eagles are tops on PC Drafter’s list in Steve Smith and Ronnie Brown. Smith could be a guy to think about later in the season, especially if Jeremy Maclin has lost a step. It remains to be seen how he’ll be used if DeSean Jackson and Maclin are both healthy, though.

Some QBs like Tarvaris Jackson, Chad Henne, Cam Newton and Matt Hasselbeck went undrafted. Those probably aren’t a big surprise, but Newton and Hasselbeck could be possible emergency QBs for you to think about, at least in certain matchups.

As far as defenses go, Atlanta, NY Giants, Kansas City and Tampa Bay all remain. As stated above, our draft was limited to just one defense and kicker per team.

Not all drafts are the same and obviously there are going to be surprises, some interesting and some just plain humorous. But, this could give you a better idea about what to expect as you take part in yours.


Rosters & Comments

[Full Draft Report]


Team Name: Dave O'Flaherty

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Saints, New-Orleans           NO      11     117       Rd:12/Pk:0
K     Akers, David                  SF      7      95        Rd:13/Pk:0
QB    Vick, Michael                 PHI     7      380       Rd:01/Pk:0
QB    Cassel, Matt                  KC      6      265       Rd:11/Pk:1
RB    Foster, Arian                 HOU     11     315       Rd:01/Pk:0
RB    Mathews, Ryan                 SD      6      205       Rd:03/Pk:1
RB    Grant, Ryan                   GB      8      137       Rd:05/Pk:0
RB    Murray, DeMarco               DAL     5      92        Rd:13/Pk:0
RB    Carter, Delone                IND     11     63        Rd:13/Pk:0
TE    Gronkowski, Rob               NE      7      155       Rd:12/Pk:0
TE    Pettigrew, Brandon            DET     9      151       Rd:11/Pk:0
WR    Wallace, Mike                 PIT     11     245       Rd:03/Pk:0
WR    Holmes, Santonio              NYJ     8      215       Rd:05/Pk:0
WR    Britt, Kenny                  TEN     6      205       Rd:06/Pk:0
WR    Green, A.J.                   CIN     7      180       Rd:08/Pk:0
WR    Branch, Deion                 NE      7      143       Rd:11/Pk:0
Total Player Points:2963                                     

Dave O’Flaherty – picked 1st

Draft strategy?
My draft strategy was to fill up on RBs and WRs in the early rounds. I planned to wait on a QB and TE and pick up a K and D with my last 2 picks.

Did your strategy work?
It worked up until the last pick of the second round when Vick fell to me and I couldn't turn him down at that position. Aside from that it went pretty much as planned.

Biggest draft surprise?
Vick falling to the last pick of the second round, probably. 

In the draft, I regret…
…not picking up a better backup QB than Cassel.


Team Name: Bob Harris

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Ravens, Baltimore             BAL     5      121       Rd:11/Pk:0
K     Vinatieri, Adam               IND     11     119       Rd:13/Pk:0
QB    Roethlisberger, Ben           PIT     11     315       Rd:06/Pk:0
QB    Kolb, Kevin                   ARI     6      261       Rd:11/Pk:0
RB    Peterson, Adrian              MIN     9      297       Rd:01/Pk:0
RB    Best, Jahvid                  DET     9      241       Rd:04/Pk:0
RB    Wells, Beanie                 ARI     6      183       Rd:07/Pk:0
RB    McGahee, Willis               DEN     6      135       Rd:13/Pk:0
TE    Finley, Jermichael            GB      8      206       Rd:05/Pk:0
TE    Hernandez, Aaron              NE      7      139       Rd:13/Pk:0
WR    Jackson, Vincent              SD      6      269       Rd:03/Pk:0
WR    Harvin, Percy                 MIN     9      209       Rd:05/Pk:1
WR    Simpson, Jerome               CIN     7      156       Rd:13/Pk:0
WR    Burress, Plaxico              NYJ     8      149       Rd:10/Pk:1
WR    Gibson, Brandon               STL     5      144       Rd:13/Pk:0
WR    Nelson, Jordy                 GB      8      134       Rd:13/Pk:0
Total Player Points:3078                                     

Bob Harris – picked 2nd

Draft Strategy
With the early pick, I knew it would be an RB early so I went with a fairly standard value-based approach with an emphasis on securing some risky but high-upside players (Best, Finley, etc).

Did your strategy work?
Although I wasn't happy early, I'm pleased with the finished product.

Biggest draft surprise?
Aaron Rodgers going ahead of Michael Vick.

In the draft, I regret…
…not taking Vick with my second pick. I have taken him as early as the first round this summer (as early as 1.04 in fact). Thought he would slip into the third round so I took Vincent Jackson in the second. I wish I had flopped them. Pretty sure V-Jax would have made it to me in the third.



Team Name: Brandon Niles

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Dolphins, Miami               MIA     5      82        Rd:13/Pk:0
K     Carpenter, Dan                MIA     5      103       Rd:13/Pk:0
QB    Rodgers, Aaron                GB      8      387       Rd:01/Pk:0
QB    McCoy, Colt                   CLE     5      232       Rd:13/Pk:0
RB    Johnson, Chris                TEN     6      258       Rd:01/Pk:0
RB    Williams, DeAngelo            CAR     9      198       Rd:04/Pk:0
RB    Spiller, C.J.                 BUF     7      145       Rd:09/Pk:1
RB    Thomas, Daniel                MIA     5      132       Rd:06/Pk:1
RB    Starks, James                 GB      8      123       Rd:09/Pk:1
TE    Olsen, Greg                   CAR     9      155       Rd:12/Pk:0
TE    Gonzalez, Tony                ATL     8      146       Rd:08/Pk:0
WR    Bowe, Dwayne                  KC      6      216       Rd:03/Pk:1
WR    Colston, Marques              NO      11     196       Rd:04/Pk:1
WR    Smith, Steve-L                CAR     9      183       Rd:07/Pk:1
WR    Benn, Arrelious               TB      8      151       Rd:13/Pk:0
WR    Sanders, Emmanuel             PIT     11     111       Rd:13/Pk:0
Total Player Points:2818                                     

Brandon Niles – Picked 3rd

Draft strategy?
Picking third, I knew I would get one of the three elite running backs and was happy to get Chris Johnson. I was planning next to take an elite WR, but was surprised to see Aaron Rodgers fall to me. Normally, I wait on a QB, but with Rodgers being available, I was forced to change my strategy. I chose to proceed by locking up value at the RB and WR positions for the next several rounds, waiting on backup QB, TE, K, and Def.  

Did your strategy work?
I think my strategy was effective, as I was able to get solid players at those positions late, while securing a combination of reliable players and upside guys for my backs and receivers.  I was pleased to get DeAngelo Williams as my second back, and follow him up with upside guys like Daniel ThomasC.J. Spiller, and James Starks.  Likewise, both my TE's were value picks. I think Greg Olsen could be a steal this year.

Biggest draft surprise?
I was very surprised that I was the first to take a QB, and that was the 22nd overall pick. While many employ the tactic of taking a QB late, I generally expect a few players to deviate from that strategy. 

In the draft, I regret…
While I love Chris Johnson as a talented back and fantasy stud, I worry about his contract situation. Not only does the situation itself concern me, but the time he's missed makes me fear for his health. It seems as though we've seen this situation before with other prominent backs, and it just screams "lingering hamstring pull" for the first half of the season. In hindsight, I might take Charles or Rice instead.




Team Owner: Jim Day
Team Name: Jim Day

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Cowboys, Dallas               DAL     5      89        Rd:13/Pk:0
K     Janikowski, Sebastian         OAK     8      125       Rd:12/Pk:0
QB    Schaub, Matt                  HOU     11     300       Rd:05/Pk:1
QB    Orton, Kyle                   DEN     6      235       Rd:13/Pk:0
RB    Rice, Ray                     BAL     5      299       Rd:01/Pk:0
RB    Ingram, Mark                  NO      11     192       Rd:05/Pk:0
RB    Blount, LeGarrette            TB      8      188       Rd:03/Pk:0
RB    Jennings, Rashad              JAX     9      134       Rd:11/Pk:0
RB    Harrison, Jerome              DET     9      99        Rd:13/Pk:0
TE    Graham, Jimmy                 NO      11     182       Rd:07/Pk:0
TE    Winslow, Kellen               TB      8      157       Rd:11/Pk:0
WR    Austin, Miles                 DAL     5      226       Rd:03/Pk:0
WR    Collie, Austin                IND     11     219       Rd:06/Pk:0
WR    Bess, Davone                  MIA     5      171       Rd:12/Pk:0
WR    Edwards, Braylon              SF      7      150       Rd:10/Pk:0
WR    Mason, Derrick                NYJ     8      108       Rd:13/Pk:0
Total Player Points:2874                                     

Jim Day – Picked 4th

Draft strategy? 
To wait on QB1 and stock up on RBs and WRs first, then grab BPA through the rest of the draft.

Did your strategy work? 
For the most part. I waited until the 7th to grab a QB, but used my 6th on my TE. I was able to get 3 strong RBs and 2 strong WRs before moving to TE and QB.

Biggest draft surprise?
Michael Turner going at 1.11. I have seen him fall into the 3rd round in some recent drafts.

In the draft, I regret... 
…not taking Santonio Holmes with my 4th round pick, I thought he would last until my 5th round pick.



Team Name: Dan Labert

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Bears, Chicago                CHI     8      117       Rd:12/Pk:1
K     Gostkowski, Stephen           NE      7      117       Rd:13/Pk:0
QB    Brees, Drew                   NO      11     332       Rd:02/Pk:1
QB    Flacco, Joe                   BAL     5      264       Rd:09/Pk:0
QB    Sanchez, Mark                 NYJ     8      255       Rd:13/Pk:0
RB    McCoy, LeSean                 PHI     7      288       Rd:01/Pk:0
RB    Hillis, Peyton                CLE     5      254       Rd:02/Pk:1
RB    Green-Ellis, BenJarvus        NE      7      125       Rd:06/Pk:0
RB    Bush, Michael                 OAK     8      120       Rd:09/Pk:0
TE    Daniels, Owen                 HOU     11     177       Rd:07/Pk:1
TE    Miller, Zach                  SEA     6      145       Rd:10/Pk:0
WR    Wayne, Reggie                 IND     11     253       Rd:03/Pk:0
WR    Boldin, Anquan                BAL     5      186       Rd:05/Pk:1
WR    Rice, Sidney                  SEA     6      174       Rd:06/Pk:0
WR    Crabtree, Michael             SF      7      149       Rd:07/Pk:1
WR    Ward, Hines                   PIT     11     149       Rd:09/Pk:0
Total Player Points:3105 

Dan Labert – Picked 5th

Draft strategy?
Build a high scoring starting lineup without worrying about depth. Did your strategy work? I believe my strategy was achieved. Based on history, Brees, Hillis, McCoy and Wayne (assuming healthy Manning) should be fine. Boldin, Rice and Daniels are all in "perform now" mode.

Biggest draft surprise?
TE depth is just fantastic this year. Teams can load up with RBs and WRs early and still land a solid TE.

In the draft, I regret...
Nobody ... I like my team.



Team Name: Scott Pagel

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Eagles, Philadelphia          PHI     7      125       Rd:10/Pk:0
K     Kaeding, Nate                 SD      6      126       Rd:12/Pk:0
QB    Brady, Tom                    NE      7      363       Rd:02/Pk:0
QB    Cutler, Jay                   CHI     8      289       Rd:10/Pk:0
RB    Charles, Jamaal               KC      6      264       Rd:01/Pk:0
RB    Tolbert, Mike                 SD      6      179       Rd:07/Pk:0
RB    Bush, Reggie                  MIA     5      174       Rd:08/Pk:0
RB    Jacobs, Brandon               NYG     7      142       Rd:08/Pk:0
RB    Stephens-Howling, LaRod       ARI     6      140       Rd:13/Pk:0
TE    Witten, Jason                 DAL     5      223       Rd:05/Pk:0
TE    Moeaki, Tony                  KC      6      140       Rd:13/Pk:0
WR    Johnson, Steve                BUF     7      243       Rd:05/Pk:0
WR    Jennings, Greg                GB      8      231       Rd:02/Pk:0
WR    Ochocinco, Chad               NE      7      205       Rd:06/Pk:0
WR    Sims-Walker, Mike             STL     5      175       Rd:09/Pk:0
WR    Meachem, Robert               NO      11     168       Rd:11/Pk:0
Total Player Points:3187                                     

Scott Pagel  - Picked 6th

Draft strategy?
My strategy is always the same, load up on RBs, look to WRs second, all while keeping my eye out for the right time to take a QB.

Did your strategy work?
I broke away from my strategy when I took Tom Brady in the third round. I like Brady a lot, and felt it was the right time. But, I don’t love him that much more than Rivers, Brees and Manning. As a result, I missed out on guys like Ahmad Bradshawn, Felix Jones, Shonn Greene, Mike Williams and DeSean Jackson. To make matters worse, Drew Brees was sill there in the fourth round, so I still would have got my stud QB had I passed on Brady and went with an RB or WR.

On top of that, I left myself pretty thin at RB as a result of not going with one instead of Brady. I like Tolbert, but he’s not an ideal RB2. I think my WRs ended up pretty strong with Jennings and Steve Johnson.

Biggest draft surprise?
I was surprised Brees made it to pick 4.8.

In the draft, I regret…
…not taking a running back in the 3rd round instead of Brady. I think I would have ended up with a much more balanced lineup and still got Brees in the fourth round.



Team Name: Matt Delima

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Steelers, Pittsburgh          PIT     11     126       Rd:08/Pk:0
K     Henery, Alex                  PHI     7      116       Rd:13/Pk:0
QB    Manning, Peyton               IND     11     315       Rd:03/Pk:0
QB    Garrard, David                JAX     9      143       Rd:13/Pk:0
RB    McFadden, Darren              OAK     8      271       Rd:02/Pk:0
RB    Lynch, Marshawn               SEA     6      172       Rd:06/Pk:0
RB    Thomas, Pierre                NO      11     142       Rd:08/Pk:0
RB    Carter, Delone                IND     11     88        Rd:13/Pk:0
RB    Torain, Ryan                  WAS     5      58        Rd:08/Pk:1
TE    Davis, Vernon                 SF      7      178       Rd:05/Pk:0
TE    Kendricks, Lance              STL     5      145       Rd:13/Pk:0
WR    Nicks, Hakeem                 NYG     7      290       Rd:02/Pk:0
WR    Jackson, DeSean               PHI     7      226       Rd:03/Pk:0
WR    Thomas, Mike                  JAX     9      194       Rd:10/Pk:0
WR    Jones, James                  GB      8      153       Rd:13/Pk:0
WR    Knox, Johnny                  CHI     8      144       Rd:09/Pk:0
Total Player Points:2761                                     

Matt De Lima – Picked 7th

Draft strategy?
My draft strategy was to find a nice mix of upside and reliability. In any draft, I try to find value picks and avoid reaching often. 

Did your strategy work?
More or less, the strategy did work. Unfortunately, I picked RB Ryan Williams before he was injured but thankfully this was only a mock.

Biggest draft surprise?
Well for me at least, I thought the draft ended in round 14 so I selected a kicker. Whoops! 

In the draft, I regret…
…waiting so long to find a backup QB to Peyton Manning. With all his neck problems, David Garrard will be an inferior QB to use all season long if Manning is done.



Team Name: Andy Rioux

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Packers, Green-Bay            GB      8      125       Rd:09/Pk:0
K     Crosby, Mason                 GB      8      111       Rd:13/Pk:0
QB    Rivers, Philip                SD      6      341       Rd:03/Pk:0
QB    Fitzpatrick, Ryan             BUF     7      264       Rd:13/Pk:0
RB    Moreno, Knowshon              DEN     6      196       Rd:04/Pk:0
RB    Jackson, Fred                 BUF     7      165       Rd:06/Pk:0
RB    Benson, Cedric                CIN     7      162       Rd:06/Pk:0
RB    Stewart, Jonathan             CAR     9      139       Rd:07/Pk:0
RB    Barber, Marion                CHI     8      112       Rd:13/Pk:0
RB    Tate, Ben                     HOU     11     85        Rd:13/Pk:0
TE    Lewis, Marcedes               JAX     9      167       Rd:08/Pk:1
WR    Johnson, Andre                HOU     11     311       Rd:01/Pk:1
WR    Johnson, Calvin               DET     9      282       Rd:01/Pk:1
WR    Garcon, Pierre                IND     11     193       Rd:07/Pk:0
WR    Little, Greg                  CLE     5      166       Rd:13/Pk:0
WR    Floyd, Malcom                 SD      6      140       Rd:08/Pk:0
Total Player Points:2959  

Andy Rioux – Picked 8th

Draft strategy?
My draft strategy was to build around wide receivers early given the league used a PPR format and because of my ongoing belief that there are so few "safe" receivers out there. 

Did your strategy work?
Ultimately, I think my strategy didn't work as well as I would have liked it to. Getting Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson was a great way to start. My mistake was taking Philip Rivers in round three. It's not that drafting Rivers is a mistake. He'll be just fine. But when Drew Brees doesn't go until the second half of the fourth round and guys like Tony Romo go later, I should have drafted a running back with upside like Felix Jones or a fairly steady performer like Ahmad Bradshaw. I'll get functional games out of Moreno, Benson, Jackson, and Stewart (and maybe even Barber) but I know I don't have this year's version of Arian Foster on my roster. 

I still think it's smart to aim for wide receivers early if the circumstances are right, but it would be better to go for running backs in rounds three and four if you draft receivers in the first two rounds and then take a quarterback a little later. 

Biggest draft surprise?
The biggest surprise to me was how far the quarterbacks fell.  I mentioned where Brees was drafted, but even more surprising was that Aaron Rodgers and Michael Vick went at the end of the second round. 

In the draft, I regret… 
…drafting a quarterback as early as I did. 




Team Name: Rob Day

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Chargers, San-Diego           SD      6      120       Rd:11/Pk:0
K     Rackers, Neil                 HOU     11     118       Rd:13/Pk:0
QB    Ryan, Matt                    ATL     8      324       Rd:06/Pk:1
QB    Stafford, Matthew             DET     9      298       Rd:08/Pk:0
RB    Jackson, Steven               STL     5      240       Rd:02/Pk:1
RB    Greene, Shonn                 NYJ     8      192       Rd:04/Pk:0
RB    Woodhead, Danny               NE      7      123       Rd:12/Pk:0
RB    Ringer, Javon                 TEN     6      54        Rd:13/Pk:0
TE    Cook, Jared                   TEN     6      151       Rd:13/Pk:0
TE    Cooley, Chris                 WAS     5      107       Rd:12/Pk:0
WR    White, Roddy                  ATL     8      303       Rd:02/Pk:0
WR    Welker, Wes                   NE      7      212       Rd:04/Pk:0
WR    Moss, Santana                 WAS     5      194       Rd:07/Pk:0
WR    Ford, Jacoby                  OAK     8      164       Rd:09/Pk:0
WR    Evans, Lee                    BAL     5      128       Rd:12/Pk:1
WR    Douglas, Harry                ATL     8      91        Rd:13/Pk:0
Total Player Points:2819                                     

Rob Day – Picked 9th

Draft strategy?
Going into the draft, my strategy was to de-emphasize QB, TE, defense and K and target strong pass catchers at RB and WR. I also was looking for a solid core of starters but then a lot of high-beta bench guys later in the draft, guys that would carry me a couple of weeks out of the season. That was all guided by the scoring rules and the roster needs. 

Did your strategy work?
I think my strategy worked somewhat, but time will tell. I kind of violated my strategy in round 5 to grab Matt Ryan, but I've completely fallen for the buzz this year around the Falcons, and I knew he wouldn't be available to me by the time it came back to me. But I'm walking away from the draft with a starting roster that looks pretty solid in this format.  

I felt really hamstrung by my draft position at #9. When Andre Johnson got grabbed right before me, it hurt. I went with Roddy White, but maybe should have gone with a Mendenhall or even a different WR. Just felt Roddy had the best combo of scoring and targets, but a big drop-off from AJ to Roddy, as shown by their respective ADPs, which suggest I should have waited on Roddy, especially since it was an RB run after that, not a WR run. Maybe I screwed up there.

And my efforts to go high-beta later in the draft were hit-and-miss. Maybe I should have added a couple more sure things even if mediocre ones, since I'm pretty thin at RB behind my top two guys.

Biggest draft surprise? 
Maybe others will say Roddy in the 1st, and maybe that's right. But for me, it would be seeing some RBs with pretty big question marks around them going in the early middle rounds. A lot of faith was shown in some guys that look to be in platoons and may not get the ball at the stripe.

In the draft, I regret…
…taking Danny Woodhead ahead of Tim Hightower. I think Hightower's going to be a PPR stud this year.



Team Name: John Paulsen

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Patriots, New-England         NE      7      122       Rd:10/Pk:0
K     Hartley, Garrett              NO      11     114       Rd:13/Pk:0
QB    Freeman, Josh                 TB      8      312       Rd:07/Pk:0
QB    Manning, Eli                  NYG     7      303       Rd:08/Pk:0
RB    Mendenhall, Rashard           PIT     11     253       Rd:01/Pk:0
RB    Forte, Matt                   CHI     8      251       Rd:02/Pk:0
RB    Bradshaw, Ahmad               NYG     7      224       Rd:03/Pk:0
RB    Sproles, Darren               NO      11     128       Rd:13/Pk:0
RB    Ridley, Stevan                NE      7      92        Rd:13/Pk:0
TE    Gates, Antonio                SD      6      238       Rd:04/Pk:0
TE    Watson, Ben                   CLE     5      138       Rd:13/Pk:0
WR    Manningham, Mario             NYG     7      212       Rd:06/Pk:1
WR    Lloyd, Brandon                DEN     6      202       Rd:04/Pk:1
WR    Jones, Julio                  ATL     8      181       Rd:07/Pk:0
WR    Williams, Roy                 CHI     8      171       Rd:10/Pk:0
WR    Owens, Terrell                --      0      76        Rd:13/Pk:0
Total Player Points:3017   

John Paulsen – picked 10th

Draft strategy?
I generally wait on a QB while loading up on RBs, WRs and maybe a TE in the first few rounds. I felt that Bradshaw and Gates were too good to pass up at the 3/4 turn, and since there's plenty of depth at WR this season, I thought I could get a few guys in rounds 5-10 to fill out my WR corps.

Did your strategy work?
My WRs: Mario Manningham, Brandon Lloyd, Julio Jones and Roy Williams aren't the best, but they're capable, and Josh Freeman was a nice value pick in the late 7th. If/when T.O. comes back, this will be an above average group.

Biggest draft surprise?
I guess I was a little surprised that Michael Turner went in the first round. You don't see that often in PPR leagues, though I think he'll be a solid RB2 in this format.

In the draft, I regret…
I probably should have nabbed a WR in the third and used my 6th or 8th round pick on my RB3. My WR corps is a bit weak, but I am happy with my RB depth. 



Team Name: Jeff Owens

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Jets, New-York                NYJ     8      122       Rd:10/Pk:1
K     Bryant, Matt                  ATL     8      123       Rd:13/Pk:0
QB    Bradford, Sam                 STL     5      270       Rd:09/Pk:0
QB    McNabb, Donovan               MIN     9      159       Rd:12/Pk:1
RB    Jones-Drew, Maurice           JAX     9      248       Rd:01/Pk:1
RB    Turner, Michael               ATL     8      220       Rd:02/Pk:0
RB    Addai, Joseph                 IND     11     175       Rd:07/Pk:0
RB    Jones, Thomas                 KC      6      117       Rd:11/Pk:0
RB    Snelling, Jason               ATL     8      112       Rd:13/Pk:0
TE    Clark, Dallas                 IND     11     217       Rd:05/Pk:0
TE    Gresham, Jermaine             CIN     7      117       Rd:13/Pk:0
WR    Bryant, Dez                   DAL     5      233       Rd:04/Pk:0
WR    Marshall, Brandon             MIA     5      227       Rd:04/Pk:0
WR    Amendola, Danny               STL     5      160       Rd:10/Pk:0
WR    Bennett, Earl                 CHI     8      149       Rd:13/Pk:0
WR    Williams, Mike-X              SEA     6      133       Rd:10/Pk:0
Total Player Points:2782        

Jeff Owens – picked 11th

Draft Strategy?
My draft strategy was to hold off as long as possible on getting a decent QB while loading up my RB/WR corps. Let it be known I did the majority of my draft via the auto-pick. I'll never do that again.

Did your strategy work? 
I would say it worked yet I sit here not very happy with the team. I have two of the top rushers (in yards) from last season in Turner and MJD. I also have two of the top receivers in terms of receptions based on this being a PPR league. Unfortunately, Brandon Marshall and Danny Amendola combined for only six touchdowns last year. I love Bradford's upside this year for the Rams but he should be a backup - I definitely waited too long.

Biggest draft surprise? 
The biggest surprise in this draft is what I believe is the biggest surprise of all mock drafts to this point. And that's Mike Vick going as QB2. Its not really a surprise if everyone thinks he will pull it off but he will not play 16 games this year, rarely does. They have the worst offensive line (in terms of pass blocking) in the league and their defense will be so good that they won't need as much from Vick in 2011 as 2010. Buyer beware.

In the draft, I regret…
…the ridiculously long wait I used to grab a QB. Again, love Bradford's upside but he should be a backup, not a starter. I grabbed him at 7.11. If I had a do-over, I would have passed on Dallas Clark at 5.11 and gone with Romo (5.12). Romo went one-full round later than his ADP. Grabbing Dez one round earlier scared me on this one. I thought Matt Ryan would have lasted to 5.11. Won't make that mistake in my future drafts…



Team Name: Josh Moore

Pos   Player Name                   Team    Bye    Points    ADP Rank  
D     Lions, Detroit                DET     9      116       Rd:12/Pk:0
K     Brown, Josh                   STL     5      121       Rd:13/Pk:0
QB    Romo, Tony                    DAL     5      332       Rd:04/Pk:1
QB    Campbell, Jason               OAK     8      251       Rd:13/Pk:0
RB    Gore, Frank                   SF      7      257       Rd:02/Pk:0
RB    Jones, Felix                  DAL     5      218       Rd:04/Pk:0
RB    Hightower, Tim                WAS     5      177       Rd:08/Pk:1
RB    Tomlinson, LaDainian          NYJ     8      161       Rd:09/Pk:0
RB    Helu, Roy                     WAS     5      76        Rd:13/Pk:0
TE    Celek, Brent                  PHI     7      147       Rd:13/Pk:0
TE    Keller, Dustin                NYJ     8      147       Rd:12/Pk:0
WR    Fitzgerald, Larry             ARI     6      288       Rd:02/Pk:0
WR    Williams, Mike                TB      8      241       Rd:03/Pk:1
WR    Maclin, Jeremy                PHI     7      211       Rd:05/Pk:0
WR    Moore, Lance                  NO      11     193       Rd:11/Pk:1
WR    Burleson, Nate                DET     9      156       Rd:12/Pk:0
Total Player Points:3092                                     

Josh Moore – picked 12th

Draft Strategy?
Use the 4for4 Full Impact VBR Top 200 to as a guide to select my first several picks and then fill out my roster based on need & value. In general I wait on QB & TE as those positions are rediculously deep in 2011.

Did your strategy work? 
I went a bit earlier (5.12) on QB than anticipated, but I really liked the value Tony Romo gave me at that spot. Overall I am pleased with my draft and my strategy, although my TE position is less than ideal.

Biggest draft surprise? 
Vick falling to 2.12 is phenomenal value. The guy comes with the most risk of any draft pick, but his upside is astronomical. Daniel Thomas in the early 5th was also a bit of a shocker.

In the draft, I regret…
...I really should have addressed the TE position earlier than the 10th round and a combo of Dustin Keller & Brent Celek is not what I had hoped for. That said, in a best ball format I will be able to benefit for both of their big games.


Filed Under: Preseason, 2011

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