I love the analysis from the two owners before me, and I’ll follow the same.
Going into the draft I had done a lot of homework. Way too much, actually, but it was one of the first years I felt confident. I knew there were two spots I didn’t want to be in, 5th, and 7th. I projected the top four picks being LT2, SJax, Addai, and Gore, and I absolutely was not going to take LJ or Alexander with their questions, forcing me to take a lesser back in that spot and pass potential value to someone else. 7 was when the RB pool dries up in my projections, and I didn’t want to pick from among the scraps. I had earlier asked about trading picks because of the fear of being in those positions. Picking eighth, I knew I wasn’t going to get one of the better backs, but it was possible Manning goes early and someone stupidly picks a WR, and I could end up with a top back. Didn’t happen. On to the picks.
01.08 (008) Brian Westbrook…(RB-Phi)
Addai went the spot before me and believe me, I was praying and praying that Beef would take Manning. Addai was the third rated player on my board, and I would have jumped for joy to get him at 8. Going into the eighth pick I was scared I would have to choose between Westbrook and Alexander, but luckily I was spared that choice. It was Westbrook or Maroney here. I figured Westbrook is better in a PPR league and is very consistent in his production. I’ll lose a game or two from him this season, but Maroney and his shoulder might cost more. Tough choice. Tie went to my favorite team.
02.05 (017) Travis Henry…(RB-Den)
I knew with Westbrook being an injury risk, I would need a consistent, solid, durable back as my second. I got…not that. I rated Henry very highly on my board, and was willing to take him as a first back if I fell into the 10th-12th spots in the draft. Getting him as my second was a gift, (ir)regardless. I know Shanahan is the devil, and I know Henry isn’t healthy, nor will he be, but the value is too good here to pass. Benson, Brown, and Jones were on the board, but I have Benson in two other leagues I don’t care about, and he burned me last year, I don’t trust him/want him. Brown I don’t trust with all this talk about him possibly losing his starting gig, and Jones probably won’t score enough touchdowns for me to take as my second. I actually thought I might get him in the third. Stupid…
03.08 (032) Drew Brees…(QB-NO)
I have never had a top 5 QB. I was absolutely getting a QB in the third this year, and was lucky to see I had the choice of my favorite three this season; Brees, McNabb, and Brady. I took Westbrook, so that rules out McNabb, my first choice. Brady was a tough choice, but I have a bad feeling about him this year. It’s all too pretty on paper. I just see an injury or setback of some kind. I went with Brees and didn’t feel badly about the choice.
04.05 (041) Lee Evans…(WR-Buf)
I needed a top WR here, but briefly considered taking a third back to support my two injury-riddled starters. When McAllister went two picks before me, I knew I was going WR especially since I knew a WR run was about to start. My prediction came true- of the next 14 picks, 8 were WRs. Evans was the best available for me, especially knowing Losman is getting better and better. Driver is hurt, and Green Bay is quiet about it (bad sign); Walker was a no-go with Henry already on my squad (and knowing I was going to reach for Jay Cutler later). I’m happy with Evans as a #1, even if he is the lowest rated of the top WRs.
05.08 (056) Reggie Brown…(WR-Phi)
The aforementioned WR run had completely dried up every WR I was targeting to be my #2. Jamal Lewis was the guy I was going to take, but again, went a spot right before me. I spent a lot of time on this pick, considering skipping it to bolster my RB corps, but knew a #2 WR here would bring more value to me than a bench player. There were several starting RBs on the board and I knew people were going for TEs and WRs in this and the next round.
As for Brown I was targeting him as my third WR. I had done a lot of research on him and here’s what I found. He was PHI’s #2 for most of last year and had a decent season, but he’s being consistently undervalued for a #1 on one of the best offenses in the league. What people don’t realize is that in the short time when Stallworth (the #1) was injured, Brown really shined. From week 3-7, while Stallworth was out (he played briefly in week four, but didn’t last the whole game) Brown caught 21 passes for 446 yards and 3 TDs. This is a huge chunk of his yearly stats and proves he can be PHI’s #1 and get the stats. Projected out over 16 games, his stat rates during those 5 weeks would have gotten him 68 catches for 1427 yards and 10 TDs!! I don’t expect nearly that much, but that’s a great WR2 for me. Burress was still on the board, so I hope I didn’t screw this up.
06.05 (065) Kellen Winslow…(TE-Cle)
I wanted a TE in this spot. I checked the rosters of all the teams between this pick and my next pick and realized that only two had TEs. A TE rush was about to begin. I was choosing between Vernon Davis (my favorite), Winslow, and LJ Smith. I didn’t go with Smith as I had Brown and Westbrook, and would have picked Davis but his bye week was one I had too many of already. Winslow is a good pick, especially in a PPR league where he may lead the position in catches, but his low scoring output and high injury risk bother me. Too many injury risks already. I’m glad I took him though, because four more TEs went after this pick.
07.08 (080) DeAngelo Williams…(RB-Car)
Always, ALWAYS have three starting quality RBs in a fantasy league, if you can. This is my first rule. I broke it during the draft. The starters just kept getting taken and not falling to me! Williams is all right, but being the second string, even in a time share, is not my preferred position for my main backup RB. I decided here to take two backup RBs in my next three picks, hoping that quantity will be equal to quality here. Taylor was on the board, but I didn’t like the beast lurking behind him, Norwood was falling and I figured I’d get him in two rounds, and Taylor was still there. Do people not realize Taylor is a starter and rushed for 1100 yards and 5 TDs last year? He’s undervalued for this late in the draft, I hoped to get him.
08.05 (089) Jay Cutler…(QB-Den)
I always check the bye matchup for QBs that I target. I like knowing which backup I have to take and when they might go, it all helps. Having drafted Brees, my choices for bye week starters was Delhomme vs. TB, Grossman vs. Det, A. Smith vs. Sea, and Cutler vs. Ind. Delhomme I don’t trust (having relied on him last year nearly to my own folly) because Carr now waits to supplant him. Grossman is, if not the devil, the devil’s primary associate. I started him three times last season and got -12 fantasy points total for my efforts. A. Smith doesn;t have the weapons, so he’s out. I may have reached for Cutler here, but the owner immediately before me had taken his second QB, and I knew the owner after me was going to be looking for one. Cutler is prime for a huge breakout this season, so I had to make sure I got him.
09.08 (104) Fred Taylor…(RB-Jac)
The second of my two backup RBs. Norwood went two picks before me, and after Taylor there wasn’t much left. Having Williams meant there wasn’t any point in taking Foster. Brandon Jackson hasn’t impressed and has Morency behind him leeching carries. Tatum Bell is at best a a shaky starter, and at worst on the wrong end of a time share. I consider myself lucky to get this caliber of a runner as my fourth RB. Taylor is way undervalued this season. Jones-Drew will almost assuredly not get double digit rushing TDs this year.
10.05 (113) Devery Henderson…(WR-NO)
I really, really wanted Brandon Marshall here, as I had taken Cutler, and I like having at least one QB-receiver combo on my roster. But I figured that no one knew who he was and he’d last another round, then I could have both my hookups. I took Henderson even though he’s been fairly disappointing this preseason, because he has no competition behind him. I don’t expect much, but if he catches the right match up, my TDs will be worth 12 that week.
11.08 (128) Denver…(DEF-Den)
Blast! Marshall went a couple picks after my last pick. Defenses were going steadily for the last two rounds so I knew I needed one here. Generally I take defenses and kickers with my last two picks, but knowing I would be stuck with a Seattle or Cincinnati caliber defense scared me. Denver is going to be good, especially after acquiring Dre Bly, I like them at this spot. Unfortunately, I am now officially punting week 6. I almost drafted DJ Hackett here, but knew I would lose my defense if I had.
12.05 (137) Ronald Curry…(WR-Oak)
I need another WR, since I missed on one last round. The two Oakland receivers were intriguing in that both of the potential Oak QBs are better than Aaron Brooks. I expect Culpepper to win the job, giving these wideouts some value. Curry and Porter were on my watch list as equal fantasy prospects. Porter has the better upside, but he’s a head case. Curry will have the better matchups, but less talent. I was going Porter until he was drafted right before me, so I took Curry without concern.
I could have had Stallworth (risky and probably not going to get as many touches this year), Curtis (too many Eagles already), or Joe Horn (Don’t like his QB this season, at all). I don’t mind what I passed up.
13.08 (152) Jason Hanson…(K-Det)
Needed a kicker here. Almost took Akers, but that’s ANOTHER Eagle (I’m not a homer, I swear) so I couldn’t do it. Hanson kicks indoors, for a prolific offense, has a good accuracy rating above 40 yards (bad above 50 though), is on a team that is without a good goal line (inside the twenty) option, and has a favorable schedule during the fantasy playoffs. It all adds up to a really solid kicker choice and yet he’s projected 19th this season according to Yahoo. Am I missing something? He was 5th last year!
14.05 (161) Dennis Northcutt…(WR-Jac)
Super sleeper of the year! Count it! Northcutt is the #1 WR by default, as all his competition stinks. Bad. I don’t particularly think he’ll be astounding this season, but he has the opportunity and the skills to be a solid pickup. For the 14th round, I would be happy with 700/5, which is attainable, and he could potentially get 900/5 if Leftwich decides to start trying. He’s primed for a career year, either way, and the coach loves him.
15.08 (176) Mike Bell…(RB-Den)
Henry is an injury risk, and Bell has proven he can handle the workload if given the carries. There will be weeks when Henry will be held out for no reason and I want Bell just in case. As far as handcuffs go, which ones have as good a track record? I could have gone with Correll Buckhalter here, but with the situation in Philly, I don’t expect big numbers from him even if Westbrook goes down. Bell, if Henry goes down, will post starter worthy numbers, and that’s the best I can do with my last pick.
Very long post, and I apologize, but… deal. I like my team. I have arguably the best 1/2 RB tandem in the league, and at very worst, a top 5 QB. I’m weak at WR but I have the chance of having a very good top two if Brown doesn’t disappoint. I;ll be looking for depth there, for sure. I don’t think I have any weak spots on my starting roster, and the potential to produce huge numbers if everyone is healthy. I think I have a top 3 roster, but would at this point give the nod to The Concussions as having the best overall roster. Unfortunately I’m punting week 6 and have an injury risk at almost every spot. I’m no lock for the playoffs, so this should be a fun season!