Draft Kit

Fantasy Football Draft #1 – Highlights and Regrets

Here was the scene at my house last night around 7:30: Having just finished dinner, my husband took out his laptop and was corresponding with some office colleagues, my daughters were happily coloring at the coffee table, and I settled into the couch with some mindless work and turned on my recording of “Real Housewives of NYC.” Sounds like a pretty typical, mundane family evening, right? Well, peel back the description on layer deeper, and here’s what you have: On my husband’s laptop, he has logged into his office fantasy football league and is trash-talking his co-workers, my daughters artwork includes rally signs such as “Go Redskins!” and “Draft RGIII!”, and my “mindless work” is a 5-page cheat sheet I had put together for my husband’s draft, which I was updating for last minute injuries and other news. Now THAT is a more typical description of my household on the cusp of football season.

You see, The Hubby doesn’t put nearly as much time into football and fantasy football as I do, so he always has me coach him through his office draft. I like to do it, because it’s good practice for my other leagues, but I have to be careful not to share too much of my knowledge and information with him, because we do have some drafts coming up in which we’re pitted against each other. Fortunately, he usually just does what I say. So here’s how things went down last night, including what I was happy about and what I would’ve done differently:

Round 1 – We had the 5th pick in the draft of a 12-team standard league (no PPR), which I was happy about. I knew we’d get one of the big 3 RBs, Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, which I was 100% comfortable with, so we started off easy. As I suspected, Foster and McCoy went down first, followed by Rodgers and Brady. I was happy to get Ray Rice at the 5th pick, because, as I’ve mentioned, I think you can argue for him to go 1st overall. The rest of the round included Brees, Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Gronk, along with a handful of expected RBs.

Round 2 – Snaking around in the next round, I figured we might have a shot at Marshawn Lynch or possibly Roddy White. Wes Welker was the second WR off the board, soon followed by Fitzgerald. Then some dingus drafted Eli Manning, to which I let out a huge guffaw. The Hubby (a Giants fan) immediately started defending the pick, “I don’t know why you’re laughing, Eli’s clearly the 4th best QB in the league.” I was about to launch into all the reasons why he isn’t, when, thankfully, last year’s champion posted a comment “Eli Manning? Thank you for making this so easy for me,” thus validating my opinion. So when it came back to us at the 20th pick, I shouldn’t have been so surprised that Jimmy Graham was still on the board, but I was thrilled to snag him.

Round 3 – Feeling good with Rice and Graham on our squad, Cam Newton got selected in the next turn around, which started to make me nervous about QBs. With 6 off the board in just over two rounds, I knew they were being overvalued, but Vick and Ryan were the only ones left that I really felt like I wanted, so I talked The Hubby into taking Vick with our 29th pick. I didn’t love him there, but I just felt too much pressure to move on it, and I vowed we’d get a good back up.

Round 4- Much to my daughters’ dismay, another team selected RGIII (in the 4th round–who are these people??), so I had to promise them we’d pick up some other Redskins. (Unfortunately, a promise I wouldn’t keep.) In the mean time, with WRs coming slowly off the board, we were able to get AJ Green with our 44th pick, a selection I felt very good about for our WR1.

Rounds 5-8 – More of the same. Lots of the teams clearly had not done their homework, and names were coming up like Jahvid Best, Tim Hightower and some early defenses. Really, it was like taking candy from a baby, and we filled our #2 and Flex/#3 spots with Doug Martin, Antonio Brown, Peyton Hillis and Torrey Smith, in that order. I really wanted Reggie Wayne or Pierre Garcon on our roster, but they were drafted right around Peyton Hillis, and I think I thought he was a better value at the time.

Rounds 9-13 – This is where my draft strategy really started to get thrown for a loop, because there were guys that were higher up on my cheat sheet that were getting ignored, so I had to make the choice between guys I really liked as late round picks and I felt I knew a lot about vs. guys who were clearly presenting a great value but I hadn’t studied up on. In both cases, we went with the value picks and selected Ryan Williams and Denarius Moore with picks 101 and 128, respectively. (We also got our QB2, Josh Freeman, with pick 116.) Our last two bench slots were filled with Jacquizz Rodgers and Daniel Thomas, who I think have tremendous upside and usefulness for picks 137 and 149.

Rounds 14 & 15 – I always hold off on defense and kicker until the final two rounds. It’s too hard to predict, there’s very little difference between the best and the mid-tier, and it’s fairly easy to work the waiver wire and play weekly match-ups with these positions. We ended up with Detroit defense and the Saints’ Garrett Hartley, both of whom I think are solid options.

In all, it was a pretty easy draft, with the only real surprise being just how uninformed our competitors were. I suppose I would feel better if we had a little more depth at wide receiver, but Randall Cobb and Kendall Wright didn’t get drafted, so I’ll keep my eye on them. Somewhat surprisingly, Evan Royster didn’t make anyone’s roster either, so if I could figure out who I’d cut for him, then maybe we’d win back some brownie points with our daughters….

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