Perfect Draft Series: Drafting 8th in a 12 Team League
Every year I look forward to using the powerful tool PC Drafter (free with your 4for4.com subscription) to evaluate the best strategy for picking from any given position in the draft. This year, my first task is to tackle the eighth spot in a 12 team, standard scoring league.
The number eight spot is difficult for me this year. The top RB’s are gone, and I typically prefer to stock up on backs early on. Additionally, the top WR is off the board, so my decision was a difficult one right from the get go. After running several mock scenarios through PC Drafter, I think I’ve developed an excellent strategy for picking from the eighth spot.
I used a standard scoring system and set my Position Min/Max values so that the computer teams couldn't draft more than three QBs, 2 TEs, kickers or team defenses, and no more than seven running backs and wide receivers. The lineup was based on starting one QB, two RB, two WR, one RB/WR Flex, one TE, one K, and one Team Defense.
First Round: Tom Brady, QB, New England
I really wanted to lock up a running back with my first pick, but the top five backs were already off the board. With question marks surrounding the next several backs on my list, and Calvin Johnson gone with the fifth pick, I decided to take Brady. While I don’t typically like to take passers this early, Brady and Rodgers are two players that may be worth it in the long run. Brady has been a fantasy beast for the past five years (minus his injured season in 2008, of course). The stability he provides at the position will allow me to ignore the QB spot until much later in the draft.
Second Round: Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England
While I don’t typically go QB in the first round, I almost never bite on a tight end until later in the draft. This year however, with depth at the WR position, and question marks on the top backs available (Peterson, Charles, Lynch), I decided to give myself a positional edge on the competition for the entire season. Gronk, along with Jimmy Graham, is a game changer at the tight end position and puts up the kind of numbers typically reserved for top receivers. Locking up one of these elite tight ends early allows me to load up on backs and receivers for the next several rounds.
Third Round: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants
Because I went QB – TE early in the draft, it was imperative that I take the top RB on the board. I went with Bradshaw over Darren Sproles and Michael Turner. Had this been a PPR league, Sproles would have easily been the pick. That being said, I’ve been a big proponent of Bradshaw the past several years, and I think the Giants running game should be improved over a lackluster 2011. When Bradshaw is healthy, he consistently puts up solid numbers both running and catching the ball.