So far this season I have done a ton of mock drafts and a handful of real drafts as well, and I have been surprised. Are people really drafting Santonio Holmes in the 7th round? Even more unbelievably, Laurent Robinson went a round earlier. Because so many idiots are drafting guys like Jahvid Best in the 9th round, you can find great value in your draft. The key is, can you recognize when value is created and then adapt to it?
I did a draft last night where I choose to call an audible midway through. Here is the scenario and my thought process through the first several rounds of this standard 10 team league:
(QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE)
(I picked 1st)
Round 1 – Easy decision to go Arian Foster here.
Round 2 – I had hoped to get Stafford or Newton, but they both went in late round 1. Now I know I will be getting the likes of Ryan, Rivers, or Manning in rounds 6-8. With plenty of WR depth I opt for DeMarco Murray with the 20th pick.
Round 3 – Since you start 3 WRs I would like to get a stud and take AJ Green here.
Round 4 – The plan was to take 2 WRs at this turn, but when Steven Jackson fell to this spot I saw value and choose him.
Round 5 – I felt better about the Steven Jackson pick because I knew I could take Brandon Marshall with my next pick. I consider Marshall a top ten WR this year so he and AJ Green give me a great 1-2.
Round 6 – I saw guys like Marques Colston, Antonio Brown, Eric Decker and Brandon Lloyd go before me. I was all set to take Demaryius Thomas here, but he went with the pick before me. I didn’t love any other WRs at this spot (almost took Miles Austin) so I took a gamble and went with value again. Ahmad Bradshaw had fallen so as I took him. I now had 4 RBs that I would feel comfortable starting or using for trade bait.
Round 7 – Quarterbacks were going fast in this league. I had targeted this area to take one and Phillip Rivers is a guy I think will have a big bounce back year, so I take him here. Rivers was the 11th QB taken in this draft. I expect him to be an easy top 10 QB this year.
Round 8 – It was a long wait to see if my WR gamble would pay off. A lot of teams were drafting questionable RBs here, guys you can’t trust to get more than 10 carries a game (Redman, Hillis, Gore, and Helu). I was delighted that two of my targets fell to me here and I picked Torrey Smith.
Round 9 – I still needed WR depth so I took another high upside guy with Darius Heyward-Bey.
From this point on I tried to focus on guys that I thought had upside to me more valuable than your standard wavier wire pickup. Grabbing Ben Tate as a handcuff to Arian Foster was a priority. I knew that there were a slew of guys at tight end that were valued all about the same so I’d grab one of them and go value with everything else. Here is the full team.
QB – Phillip Rivers (Rd 7)
RB – Arian Foster (Rd1)
RB – DeMarco Murray (Rd2)
WR – AJ Green (Rd3)
WR – Brandon Marshall (Rd5)
WR – Torrey Smith (Rd8)
TE – Jared Cook (Rd14)
K – Mike Nugent (Rd15)
DEF – Buffalo (Rd13)
Bench – Steven Jackson (Rd4)
Bench – Ahmad Bradshaw (Rd6)
Bench – Donald Brown (Rd10)
Bench – Ben Tate (Rd12)
Bench – Darrius Heyward-Bey (Rd9)
Bench – Lance Moore (Rd11)
Ideally there would be more depth at WR, but I also feel like there would be a bench RB for a top 20 WR in the first few weeks of the season. This was an interesting draft because the top 5 QBs and top 2 TEs all went before my second pick. I knew in a ten team league that beyond that top tier there is depth at those positions and this team reflects that.