Perfect Draft Series: Drafting 5th in a 10 Team League
Last December I hit a crossroad in my life.
It was Sunday of Week 16 and I found myself in four finals of my five major leagues. Oh the bragging I was going to do, and the money I was going to count. How many TaylorMade adjustable drivers should I get… maybe 2, just to have a backup? How many cases of Dogfish Head Aprihop – at $50 a pop – should I get at once? It’s seasonal, better get 3…
Then, just two days later on a fateful Monday night, the reality was I just lost all four. Never taking part in another fantasy football league was one path calling me as the 49ers returned a Matt Ryan interception for a TD that was enough to give my opponent a very last-second win in what was my last chance at avoiding the 0-for.
It was a long winter. I think it snowed every week from January to March here in Pennsylvania… And one day as I’m snow blowing my driveway and the wind is pushing it all back in my face in below-zero wind chills, and I’m hating my life, it hit me. I can’t retire from fantasy football with that much disappointment and heartbreak buried deep inside me.
So I began to train. I hit the internet hard looking for news. I took part in MyFantasyLeague mock drafts earlier than ever before. I sat longer on the couch and drank more beer so I’m ready when the regular season starts.
I put the time in - now here I am. The calendar has turned to August and it’s almost time to go live. I’ve never felt more prepared. One final dress rehearsal, though, is our annual Perfect Draft series, where us scouts use PC Drafter to try to out-draft the computer teams.
I’ve said it every year we’ve done these mocks, but it’s worth repeating: these drafts are a great way for me to prepare for real drafts. I love using PC Drafter for all my drafts, be it live or slow email or over the internet. I don’t always agree with the picks it gives me, but knowing the rankings are backed by 4for4 knowledge is enough for me. I love the organization it gives me, how I can track my opponents as well as my own team and also see a schedule and bye weeks all on one screen. I’ve never been more successful – ok, at least in making the playoffs – as I have since I started using PC Drafter.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t necessarily listen to every suggestion it tells me. And after all, it is a computer program, so the more knowledge you give it about the parameters of your league, the better the output will be. It does take some time to set that up, however I always find it worthwhile.
So for my first draft, I’ve decided to take the fifth slot in a 10-team standard league. My original intent picking fifth was it would assure me – almost – of taking a WR with my first pick. Because if you haven’t heard by now, picking in the mid-to-late first, it makes a lot of sense to get one of the stud receivers and then hit running back in rounds 2-4. The background of my league is a starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE and flex TE/RB/WR, 1 K and 1 defense. I programmed the other teams I’m competing with to draft no more than 1 defense and 1 kicker and no more than 2 QBs and 2 TEs. They were free to draft up to 5 RBs or WRs. Sometimes the program gets carried away with taking QBs, and I found these settings are pretty close to how most GMs will draft a team – I’m all about keeping it real.
So let’s dig in and see how it went…
Round 1, Pick 5
Well so much for taking a wide receiver... With Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson off the board, I can’t help but take Matt Forte here. He’s projected for 246 points which is more than my second choice, Demaryius Thomas. I could have picked TE Jimmy Graham or had my choice at any other receiver on the board, but Forte’s one of the rare all-purpose backs in the league and that’s just too hard for me to pass up.
The pick – Matt Forte, RB