Perfect Draft Series: Drafting 5th in a 10 Team League
Like many scouts, Perfect Draft articles are one of my favorite assignments here at 4for4.com.
It’s early August and National Football League camps are in full swing, and there’s news every day that affects the fantasy football season. Leagues are getting set up for drafts later this month and you really start to get fired up about the upcoming season.
The Perfect Draft series is a great way for me as a scout to do mocks and share strategies with the subscribers. And, it even helps me prepare for my own drafts.
Once again, we’ll be using PC Drafter to conduct our experiments. If you’ve followed me for any period of time at 4for4, you know I love using PC Drafter on draft day for all of my leagues. I’ve been playing fantasy football since the 1990s, and I’ve never had as much success as I have the past four years using the program.
I will always admit I don’t use every pick the program suggests. I’m still stubborn in my ways with a lot of my draft strategies. But, I like the organization of the program in helping to make my picks, seeing schedules and keeping track of all the other teams and what they have so far at each position.
My first assignment was a bit of a challenge as I was drafting 5th in a 10-team league. I’m a big running back guy, but this year, unless you have a top-three pick, or pick at the bottom of the first round, running back may not be the way to go with your first pick. The middle of the first round seems to favor those who go the quarterback or wide receiver route.
So, picking 5th, I already figured I’d have to use a different strategy and possibly not take a running back. And as we all know, you shouldn’t lock yourself in to taking a position with any pick. But honestly, I’m not always that comfortable going with another position beside running back with my first pick, however I knew I had to keep an open mind. As it turned out, it went pretty well.
As far as some background information, I set up a standard league, starting a QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, a TE, a K and a defense. Draft is 15 rounds. Not a lot of bells and whistles with this league, but still a great way to kick the rust off and get back in the swing of drafting.
Let’s check out how it went. Full draft results and team by team rosters at the bottom.
Round 1, Pick 5
As I said above, if you want a top-three RB, chances are you’re not getting one at pick 1.5. Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice are all off the board with the first three picks – as expected. From the fourth pick on, just about anything can happen and at 1.4 Aaron Rodgers went making it my selection. There are still some tempting RBs, and as much as I love to load up on the position, it just doesn’t seem to be the greatest value. Ryan Mathews is projected to have a big year, but we know about his injuries. Maurice Jones-Drew is holding out and Chris Johnson burned me last year. As tempted as I was by Mathews, my pick is Calvin Johnson, the top receiver.
My Pick – Calvin Johnson, WR
Round 2, Pick 6
I always say I feel a lot older than I am. But playing fantasy football since the 90s does put me in the older category in what’s only recently been a booming hobby. So with this pick, I never thought I’d ever select a tight end in the second round, let alone before I take my first RB. But as RBs Mathews, MJD and CJ2K went off the board, along with WR Larry Fitzgerald and QBs Tom Brady and Drew Brees, the biggest name to stick out to me was Rob Gronkowski. Now, I think everyone will agree there should be at least a slight drop in production after Gronk’s huge 2011. He’s clearly the top TE and is redefining the position. So while I don’t have a running back yet, I hope to get expect top-notch production at WR and TE at least.
My Pick – Rob Gronkowski, TE
Round 3, Pick 5
Craving a running back, I already had my mind set on one with this pick. That’s something I always preach against when giving advice - not to lock in your pick before you’re up. Be flexible. There are some nice WRs on the board and they would quickly go after my selection: Greg Jennings, Victor Cruz, Julio Jones and Wes Welker, for example. My pick here is Steven Jackson. Jackson is an old fantasy friend of mine from years past when he had his best years. While he’s a little longer in the tooth these days, he’s back healthy and expected to again carry a big workload on what should be an improved Ram offense. Other backs on the board are Fred Jackson and Ahmad Bradshaw, along with Darren Sproles and Michael Turner. FJax’s injury is a concern and Turner is expected to get less of a workload. I was really only tempted to take Bradshaw, but in the end went with Jackson, who was rated higher, and suggested by PC Drafter.
My Pick – Steven Jackson, RB