Draft Slots Study - 12 Teams / Pick 1.06
By Chris Smith
August 15th, 2011

Every new NFL season there is much discussion on the positives and the negatives for each of the draft slots in a fantasy football league. While it is possible to win a league no matter where you draft from, it is obvious to veteran fantasy owners that there is some advantage to drafting in certain positions as opposed to others. This series of articles will take an in-depth look at different draft positions in a 12-team, redraft fantasy football league for the 2011 campaign and outline the positives and negatives of each slot. In addition each separate article will showcase a mock draft compiled using the Draft Dominator.

After this series is complete, I will try to break down many other styles of leagues (10-team, 14-team, 16-team, 8-team, FLEX options, etc.)

This particular series is based on...

  • 12-team redraft league / 18-round fantasy draft
  • Must start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 PK, 1 Def
  • Scoring is as follows:
  • 1 point every 20 passing yards
  • 1 point every 10 rushing yards
  • 4 points per passing touchdown
  • 6 points per rushing / receiving touchdown
  • 3 points per field goal / 1 point per extra point
  • 2 points per interception, fumble recovery and safety
  • 1 point per sack
  • 6 points per defensive touchdown
  • 10 points per shutout
  • This study is performed using the mock draft function within our own Draft Dominator software. The program gives you the ability to draft for one team and have the other teams taken over by computer control using different ADP lists. For the purpose of this study, I will use David Dodds' projections found within the Dominator. The mock draft ability of the Dominator is a nice way to prepare for your fantasy draft. Running the same draft several times will help you to anticipate all possible scenarios when your own draft arrives. Check it out today.

    If you would like to see a particular study this season, please send me an e-mail at smith@footballguys.com, and I will do my best to cover your scoring rules, starting lineup requirements, etc. before the end of training camp.

    Onto the article.

    Drafting 6th overall (12-team re-draft)

    In the attempt to get through as many studies as possible, I am lumping in various draft positions in which the strategy is quick simple. That is the case for this study in which picks five through seven are relatively comparable this season. There are little differences but really when it comes down to the brass tacks, The strategy I communicate here will be doable with all three of these slots.

    The challenge with drafting sixth this season is the lack of a clear cut running back to target. Now sure, if Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster or Chris Johnson is available with the 6th pick, this is an easy selection. Even Jamaal Charles should be scooped up without thought if he slips to the six hole. However in reality is not likely that any of those four players will be there when the pick rolls around. So an owner in this draft position has a decision to make. Take a running back as conventional wisdom declares, even if the running back is a definite notch down from those taken in the first four picks or buck the trend and start the draft with a stud quarterback or receiver. I am 100% telling you here that the 2nd option is the correct one. Targeting a 2nd-rate running back with your first pick will not only put you behind the first four owners of the draft but will also hurt your chances against the teams that are drafting in behind you as they WILL scoop up the top talent at other positions.

    Start the draft by selecting an elite player, whether it is running back, quarterback or receiver. That is the key to building a strong team.

    Possible strategies to incorporate into your draft

    The first pick is always the same in standard scoring leagues. Take the top running back on your board. After that you need to target the best player on your board over the next few rounds regardless of position in order to dominate your opponents.

    Examples

    1. League that goes RB heavy in first two rounds: Many leagues out there still feature running backs flying off the board in the first two rounds. If this happens, RB/WR/WR is certainly the play here.

    Possible squad through five rounds

  • RB Jahvid Best
  • RB LeGarrette Blount
  • WR Andre Johnson
  • WR Calvin Johnson
  • WR Marques Colston
  • This is an interesting squad. Running back is obviously a little thin and a little scary as both Best and Blount not yet proven to be elite fantasy weapons. However both have upside and will garner a lot of carries for their team. I will need to add several depth running backs over the next rounds to make sure I have options at the position. The receiver stable however is ridiculously stacked. Seriously, have a trio like this to start each week for your fantasy team can carry you for a long way in your league.

    2. League that has more flexibility in first two rounds: If your league has more flexibility in the top include the best quarterbacks and receivers off the board, then a more conventional approach is in order. I can see going RB/RB/RB to begin a draft where a FLEX player starts each week.

    Possible squad through five rounds

  • RB Ray Rice
  • RB Frank Gore
  • WR Larry Fitzgerald
  • WR Reggie Wayne
  • WR Marques Colston
  • In this example, Ray Rice falls to my squad and is a nice RB1 for my team. In the next round, I am pleased to have Frank Gore staring me in the face. I scoop him up without a second's though. I have a very good running back duo now to anchor my team. The next three rounds, exceptional receiver talent literally falls into my lap. My first five picks all have outstanding potential in 2011 and this team is off to a nice start. The nice thing about this draft is there is a number of paths an owner can take this team down and still put together a nice team.

    Positives of the draft slot

  • Less time between picks compared to owners at top of round one
  • Sure miss out on top running backs but get first crack at receiver / quarterback talent
  • Very good receivers seem to fall into your lap with the first five picks
  • Negatives of the draft slot

  • Missing out on the top-tier running backs is tough
  • Always a more complicated draft by not starting with a running back
  • Riding the wave in the middle means projecting 10+ picks out in both directions
  • Final Draft Table

    Pick
    Pos
    Player Selected
    Team
    Selected By
    1.01
    RB1
    Arian Foster
    Hou/11
    Expert 1
    1.02
    RB2
    Chris Johnson
    Ten/6
    Consensus1
    1.03
    RB3
    Adrian Peterson
    Min/9
    Expert 3
    1.04
    QB1
    Aaron Rodgers
    GB/8
    MFL1
    1.05
    RB4
    Jamaal Charles
    KC/6
    FF Extreme 1
    1.06
    RB5
    Ray Rice
    Bal/5
    Draft Slot Study 6
    1.07
    QB2
    Michael Vick
    Phi/7
    Mag Avg 1
    1.08
    WR1
    Andre Johnson
    Hou/11
    Consensus 2
    1.09
    RB6
    Rashard Mendenhall
    Pit/11
    CBS Sports 2
    1.10
    WR2
    Calvin Johnson
    Det/9
    FF Extreme 2
    1.11
    RB7
    LeSean McCoy
    Phi/7
    MFL2
    1.12
    RB8
    Matt Forte
    Chi/8
    Expert2
    2.01
    RB9
    Darren McFadden
    Oak/8
    Expert2
    2.02
    RB10
    Maurice Jones-Drew
    Jac/9
    MFL2
    2.03
    RB11
    Steven Jackson
    StL/5
    FF Extreme 2
    2.04
    RB12
    Michael Turner
    Atl/8
    CBS Sports 2
    2.05
    RB13
    Peyton Hillis
    Cle/5
    Consensus 2
    2.06
    WR3
    Roddy White
    Atl/8
    Mag Avg 1
    2.07
    RB14
    Frank Gore
    SF/7
    Draft Slot Study 6
    2.08
    WR4
    Hakeem Nicks
    NYG/7
    FF Extreme 1
    2.09
    RB15
    Ahmad Bradshaw
    NYG/7
    MFL1
    2.10
    WR5
    Vincent Jackson
    SD/6
    Expert 3
    2.11
    WR6
    Miles Austin
    Dal/5
    Consensus1
    2.12
    WR7
    Mike Wallace
    Pit/11
    Expert 1
    3.01
    QB3
    Tom Brady
    NE/7
    Expert 1
    3.02
    QB4
    Drew Brees
    NO/11
    Consensus1
    3.03
    QB5
    Philip Rivers
    SD/6
    Expert 3
    3.04
    RB16
    Jahvid Best
    Det/9
    MFL1
    3.05
    QB6
    Tony Romo
    Dal/5
    FF Extreme 1
    3.06
    WR8
    Larry Fitzgerald
    Ari/6
    Draft Slot Study 6
    3.07
    RB17
    Shonn Greene
    NYJ/8
    Mag Avg 1
    3.08
    QB7
    Peyton Manning
    Ind/11
    Consensus 2
    3.09
    WR9
    DeSean Jackson
    Phi/7
    CBS Sports 2
    3.10
    WR10
    Dez Bryant
    Dal/5
    FF Extreme 2
    3.11
    WR11
    Greg Jennings
    GB/8
    MFL2
    3.12
    WR12
    Mike Williams
    TB/8
    Expert2
    4.01
    RB18
    Felix Jones
    Dal/5
    Expert2
    4.02
    WR13
    Santonio Holmes
    NYJ/8
    MFL2
    4.03
    RB19
    Mark Ingram
    NO/11
    FF Extreme 2
    4.04
    WR14
    Dwayne Bowe
    KC/6
    CBS Sports 2
    4.05
    RB20
    Ryan Mathews
    SD/6
    Consensus 2
    4.06
    WR15
    Brandon Lloyd
    Den/6
    Mag Avg 1
    4.07
    RB21
    LeGarrette Blount
    TB/8
    Draft Slot Study 6
    4.08
    WR16
    Reggie Wayne
    Ind/11
    FF Extreme 1
    4.09
    WR17
    Brandon Marshall
    Mia/5
    MFL1
    4.10
    WR18
    Percy Harvin
    Min/9
    Expert 3
    4.11
    WR19
    Anquan Boldin
    Bal/5
    Consensus1
    4.12
    RB22
    Fred Jackson
    Buf/7
    Expert 1
    5.01
    RB23
    Marshawn Lynch
    Sea/6
    Expert 1
    5.02
    RB24
    DeAngelo Williams
    Car/9
    Consensus1
    5.03
    RB25
    Daniel Thomas
    Mia/5
    Expert 3
    5.04
    RB26
    Knowshon Moreno
    Den/6
    MFL1
    5.05
    RB27
    Cedric Benson
    Cin/7
    FF Extreme 1
    5.06
    WR21
    Marques Colston
    NO/11
    Draft Slot Study 6
    5.07
    WR20
    Johnny Knox
    Chi/8
    Mag Avg 1
    5.08
    QB8
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Pit/11
    Consensus 2
    5.09
    TE1
    Antonio Gates
    SD/6
    CBS Sports 2
    5.10
    QB9
    Matt Schaub
    Hou/11
    FF Extreme 2
    5.11
    TE2
    Jason Witten
    Dal/5
    MFL2
    5.12
    TE3
    Dallas Clark
    Ind/11
    Expert2
    6.01
    QB10
    Josh Freeman
    TB/8
    Expert2
    6.02
    WR22
    Mario Manningham
    NYG/7
    MFL2
    6.03
    TE4
    Vernon Davis
    SF/7
    FF Extreme 2
    6.04
    QB11
    Eli Manning
    NYG/7
    CBS Sports 2
    6.05
    TE5
    Jermichael Finley
    GB/8
    Consensus 2
    6.06
    TE6
    Marcedes Lewis
    Jac/9
    Mag Avg 1
    6.07
    WR24
    Steve Johnson
    Buf/7
    Draft Slot Study 6
    6.08
    RB28
    Ryan Grant
    GB/8
    FF Extreme 1
    6.09
    RB29
    Chris Wells
    Ari/6
    MFL1
    6.10
    RB30
    Brandon Jacobs
    NYG/7
    Expert 3
    6.11
    RB31
    Jonathan Stewart
    Car/9
    Consensus1
    6.12
    WR23
    Austin Collie
    Ind/11
    Expert 1
    7.01
    WR25
    Jacoby Ford
    Oak/8
    Expert 1
    7.02
    WR26
    Kenny Britt
    Ten/6
    Consensus1
    7.03
    RB32
    BenJarvus Green-Ellis
    NE/7
    Expert 3
    7.04
    WR27
    Wes Welker
    NE/7
    MFL1
    7.05
    RB33
    Joseph Addai
    Ind/11
    FF Extreme 1
    7.06
    WR29
    Jeremy Maclin
    Phi/7
    Draft Slot Study 6
    7.07
    RB34
    Mike Tolbert
    SD/6
    Mag Avg 1
    7.08
    RB35
    Tim Hightower
    Was/5
    Consensus 2
    7.09
    WR28
    Mike Thomas
    Jac/9
    CBS Sports 2
    7.10
    WR30
    A.J. Green
    Cin/7
    FF Extreme 2
    7.11
    QB12
    Matt Ryan
    Atl/8
    MFL2
    7.12
    WR31
    Sidney Rice
    Sea/6
    Expert2
    8.01
    WR32
    Chad Ochocinco
    NE/7
    Expert2
    8.02
    WR33
    Julio Jones
    Atl/8
    MFL2
    8.03
    RB36
    Shane Vereen
    NE/7
    FF Extreme 2
    8.04
    WR34
    Robert Meachem
    NO/11
    CBS Sports 2
    8.05
    WR35
    Steve Smith
    Car/9
    Consensus 2
    8.06
    TE7
    Jimmy Graham
    NO/11
    Mag Avg 1
    8.07
    QB13
    Matthew Stafford
    Det/9
    Draft Slot Study 6
    8.08
    WR36
    Santana Moss
    Was/5
    FF Extreme 1
    8.09
    DEF1
    Green Bay
    GB/8
    MFL1
    8.10
    DEF2
    Philadelphia
    Phi/7
    Expert 3
    8.11
    DEF3
    New England
    NE/7
    Consensus1
    8.12
    TE8
    Rob Gronkowski
    NE/7
    Expert 1
    9.01
    DEF4
    Pittsburgh
    Pit/11
    Expert 1
    9.02
    RB37
    Reggie Bush
    Mia/5
    Consensus1
    9.03
    WR37
    Pierre Garcon
    Ind/11
    Expert 3
    9.04
    WR38
    Earl Bennett
    Chi/8
    MFL1
    9.05
    DEF5
    Detroit
    Det/9
    FF Extreme 1
    9.06
    TE9
    Kellen Winslow
    TB/8
    Draft Slot Study 6
    9.07
    RB38
    Rashad Jennings
    Jac/9
    Mag Avg 1
    9.08
    DEF6
    New York Jets
    NYJ/8
    Consensus 2
    9.09
    RB39
    C.J. Spiller
    Buf/7
    CBS Sports 2
    9.10
    RB40
    Ryan Williams
    Ari/6
    FF Extreme 2
    9.11
    DEF7
    Chicago
    Chi/8
    MFL2
    9.12
    QB14
    Joe Flacco
    Bal/5
    Expert2
    10.01
    WR39
    Arrelious Benn
    TB/8
    Expert2
    10.02
    QB15
    Jay Cutler
    Chi/8
    MFL2
    10.03
    QB16
    Mark Sanchez
    NYJ/8
    FF Extreme 2
    10.04
    QB17
    Sam Bradford
    StL/5
    CBS Sports 2
    10.05
    WR40
    Hines Ward
    Pit/11
    Consensus 2
    10.06
    DEF8
    New Orleans
    NO/11
    Mag Avg 1
    10.07
    QB19
    Kevin Kolb
    Ari/6
    Draft Slot Study 6
    10.08
    TE10
    Owen Daniels
    Hou/11
    FF Extreme 1
    10.09
    WR41
    Donnie Avery
    StL/5
    MFL1
    10.10
    WR42
    Greg Little
    Cle/5
    Expert 3
    10.11
    WR43
    James Jones
    GB/8
    Consensus1
    10.12
    RB41
    James Starks
    GB/8
    Expert 1
    11.01
    QB18
    Matt Cassel
    KC/6
    Expert 1
    11.02
    TE11
    Tony Gonzalez
    Atl/8
    Consensus1
    11.03
    TE12
    Brandon Pettigrew
    Det/9
    Expert 3
    11.04
    PK1
    Nate Kaeding
    SD/6
    MFL1
    11.05
    WR44
    Lance Moore
    NO/11
    FF Extreme 1
    11.06
    RB43
    Ryan Torain
    Was/5
    Draft Slot Study 6
    11.07
    RB42
    LaDainian Tomlinson
    NYJ/8
    Mag Avg 1
    11.08
    RB44
    Willis McGahee
    Den/6
    Consensus 2
    11.09
    DEF9
    New York Giants
    NYG/7
    CBS Sports 2
    11.10
    WR45
    Mike Sims-Walker
    StL/5
    FF Extreme 2
    11.11
    RB45
    Delone Carter
    Ind/11
    MFL2
    11.12
    RB46
    Thomas Jones
    KC/6
    Expert2
    12.01
    PK2
    Stephen Gostkowski
    NE/7
    Expert2
    12.02
    RB47
    Michael Bush
    Oak/8
    MFL2
    12.03
    PK3
    Mason Crosby
    GB/8
    FF Extreme 2
    12.04
    RB48
    Darren Sproles
    NO/11
    CBS Sports 2
    12.05
    RB49
    Demarco Murray
    Dal/5
    Consensus 2
    12.06
    WR46
    Mike Williams
    Sea/6
    Mag Avg 1
    12.07
    WR47
    Plaxico Burress
    NYJ/8
    Draft Slot Study 6
    12.08
    WR48
    Andre Roberts
    Ari/6
    FF Extreme 1
    12.09
    WR49
    Davone Bess
    Mia/5
    MFL1
    12.10
    WR50
    Lee Evans
    Buf/7
    Expert 3
    12.11
    PK4
    Alex Henery
    Phi/7
    Consensus1
    12.12
    PK5
    Garrett Hartley
    NO/11
    Expert 1
    13.01
    WR51
    Deion Branch
    NE/7
    Expert 1
    13.02
    WR52
    Jerome Simpson
    Cin/7
    Consensus1
    13.03
    PK6
    Neil Rackers
    Hou/11
    Expert 3
    13.04
    WR53
    Emmanuel Sanders
    Pit/11
    MFL1
    13.05
    PK7
    Shaun Suisham
    Pit/11
    FF Extreme 1
    13.06
    DEF10
    Baltimore
    Bal/5
    Draft Slot Study 6
    13.07
    RB50
    Justin Forsett
    Sea/6
    Mag Avg 1
    13.08
    WR54
    Braylon Edwards
    SF/7
    Consensus 2
    13.09
    RB51
    Ronnie Brown
    Phi/7
    CBS Sports 2
    13.10
    RB52
    Bernard Scott
    Cin/7
    FF Extreme 2
    13.11
    RB53
    Jason Snelling
    Atl/8
    MFL2
    13.12
    WR55
    Jordy Nelson
    GB/8
    Expert2
    14.01
    WR56
    Nate Washington
    Ten/6
    Expert2
    14.02
    RB54
    Kendall Hunter
    SF/7
    MFL2
    14.03
    RB55
    Danny Woodhead
    NE/7
    FF Extreme 2
    14.04
    RB56
    Jacquizz Rodgers
    Atl/8
    CBS Sports 2
    14.05
    RB57
    Pierre Thomas
    NO/11
    Consensus 2
    14.06
    RB58
    Toby Gerhart
    Min/9
    Mag Avg 1
    14.07
    RB63
    Montario Hardesty
    Cle/5
    Draft Slot Study 6
    14.08
    TE13
    Chris Cooley
    Was/5
    FF Extreme 1
    14.09
    TE14
    Dustin Keller
    NYJ/8
    MFL1
    14.10
    TE15
    Jared Cook
    Ten/6
    Expert 3
    14.11
    RB59
    Ricky Williams
    Bal/5
    Consensus1
    14.12
    WR57
    Michael Crabtree
    SF/7
    Expert 1
    15.01
    WR58
    Malcom Floyd
    SD/6
    Expert 1
    15.02
    QB20
    Jason Campbell
    Oak/8
    Consensus1
    15.03
    QB21
    Cam Newton
    Car/9
    Expert 3
    15.04
    QB22
    Tarvaris Jackson
    Sea/6
    MFL1
    15.05
    DEF11
    Dallas
    Dal/5
    FF Extreme 1
    15.06
    DEF13
    San Diego
    SD/6
    Draft Slot Study 6
    15.07
    WR59
    Kevin Walter
    Hou/11
    Mag Avg 1
    15.08
    WR60
    Nate Burleson
    Det/9
    Consensus 2
    15.09
    WR61
    Louis Murphy
    Oak/8
    CBS Sports 2
    15.10
    WR62
    Jacoby Jones
    Hou/11
    FF Extreme 2
    15.11
    WR63
    Roy Williams
    Chi/8
    MFL2
    15.12
    WR64
    Derrick Mason
    NYJ/8
    Expert2
    16.01
    TE16
    Aaron Hernandez
    NE/7
    Expert2
    16.02
    QB23
    Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Buf/7
    MFL2
    16.03
    TE17
    Heath Miller
    Pit/11
    FF Extreme 2
    16.04
    QB24
    Donovan McNabb
    Min/9
    CBS Sports 2
    16.05
    WR65
    Steve Breaston
    KC/6
    Consensus 2
    16.06
    QB25
    Matt Hasselbeck
    Ten/6
    Mag Avg 1
    16.07
    PK8
    Lawrence Tynes
    NYG/7
    Draft Slot Study 6
    16.08
    PK9
    Adam Vinatieri
    Ind/11
    FF Extreme 1
    16.09
    WR66
    Donald Driver
    GB/8
    MFL1
    16.10
    PK10
    Jason Hanson
    Det/9
    Expert 3
    16.11
    RB60
    Tashard Choice
    Dal/5
    Consensus1
    16.12
    PK11
    Sebastian Janikowski
    Oak/8
    Expert 1
    17.01
    DEF12
    Atlanta
    Atl/8
    Expert 1
    17.02
    QB26
    Alex Smith
    SF/7
    Consensus1
    17.03
    QB27
    Colt McCoy
    Cle/5
    Expert 3
    17.04
    QB28
    Kyle Orton
    Den/6
    MFL1
    17.05
    QB29
    David Garrard
    Jac/9
    FF Extreme 1
    17.06
    TE20
    Zach Miller
    Sea/6
    Draft Slot Study 6
    17.07
    PK12
    Matt Bryant
    Atl/8
    Mag Avg 1
    17.08
    WR67
    Torrey Smith
    Bal/5
    Consensus 2
    17.09
    DEF14
    Oakland
    Oak/8
    CBS Sports 2
    17.10
    WR68
    Jabar Gaffney
    Was/5
    FF Extreme 2
    17.11
    WR69
    Jonathan Baldwin
    KC/6
    MFL2
    17.12
    WR70
    Jason Hill
    Jac/9
    Expert2
    18.01
    DEF15
    San Francisco
    SF/7
    Expert2
    18.02
    PK13
    Dan Bailey
    Dal/5
    MFL2
    18.03
    DEF16
    Arizona
    Ari/6
    FF Extreme 2
    18.04
    PK14
    Billy Cundiff
    Bal/5
    CBS Sports 2
    18.05
    PK15
    Josh Brown
    StL/5
    Consensus 2
    18.06
    DEF17
    Tampa Bay
    TB/8
    Mag Avg 1
    18.07
    RB73
    Donald Brown
    Ind/11
    Draft Slot Study 6
    18.08
    QB30
    Chad Henne
    Mia/5
    FF Extreme 1
    18.09
    QB31
    Andy Dalton
    Cin/7
    MFL1
    18.10
    QB32
    John Beck
    Was/5
    Expert 3
    18.11
    QB33
    Rex Grossman
    Was/5
    Consensus1
    18.12
    QB34
    Blaine Gabbert
    Jac/9
    Expert 1

    Breaking down the mock draft from the 6th draft position

    Round 1: RB Ray Rice, Ravens

    I am ready to go either running back or WR Andre Johnson here depending on what happens. Rice drops to my 6th pick and I am happy to scoop him up with little thought. He is a nice cornerstone for my franchise with top-three potential.

    Rounds 2/3: RB Frank Gore, 49ers / WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

    I simply sit back waiting for my round two pick without getting too excited for any one player. I let the draft unfold and see what is available. I can go either receiver or running back here but having Frank Gore as my RB2 is too nice a luxury to pass up. Sure he may have health problems but he'll be a great fantasy points per game player for my team. When my third round pick arrives, I am thrilled to death to have Fitzgerald there as my WR3. The Cardinals brought in new quarterback Kevin Kolb to improve their passing attack and Fitzgerald will be a favorite target.

    Rounds 4/5: RB LeGarrette Blount 49ers / Marques Colston, Saints

    I have a decision to make here that has a huge impact on my team. I can look at Reggie Wayne with this pick and he becomes a great WR2 for my squad. Or I can secure depth at the running back position in Blount which is always a good option in fantasy football. I hum and haw about this selection for a little bit but finally decide to go the route of running back depth. I do this for two main reasons. The past health woes of Frank Gore which cannot be ignored and the large clump of receivers I like still on the board in this draft. I can get one for sure in round five and with some draft luck, will find another one in round six. Waiting for receiver pays off as Colston is added to my roster.

    Rounds 6/7: WR Steve Johnson, Bills / WR Jeremy Maclin, Eagles

    I am thrilled in round six when I see Steve Johnson on the board and I scoop him up immediately. He has top-five talent and should improve from his already impressive rookie campaign. He is a wonderful WR3 for my team. I am blessed to scoop up Jeremy Maclin in the 7th round. I think about picking up QB Matt Ryan here but I just cannot leave a player like Maclin on the board this late in the draft. He'll help my squad.

    Rounds 8/9: QB Matthew Stafford / TE Kellen Winslow

    I cannot wait any longer to address the quarterback and tight end positions. Both are positions you can afford to wait on but you must make the right decision as when to draft them. I love picking up Matthew Stafford as my QB1 but must keep my eyes on a good QB2 for my team thanks to Stafford's past injury woes. He'll be able to put up nice fantasy numbers in 2011. I always want to have the four main positions (QB, RB, WR, TE) locked up by the end of round nine and that has happened. So far, the roster is deep and stacked and will have a good chance at contributing.

    At the halfway point of the draft, our team looks like this...

    Quarterbacks

  • Matthew Stafford
  • Running Backs

  • Ray Rice
  • Frank Gore
  • LeGarrette Blount
  • Wide Receivers

  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Marques Colston
  • Steve Johnson
  • Jeremy Maclin
  • Tight Ends

  • Kellen Winslow
  • Place Kickers

  • none
  • Defenses

  • none
  • After the first nine picks, my roster is in very strong shape. Three starting running backs, a young talented quarterback, a proven tight end and four good, young NFL receivers. This team is well on its way to being very difficult to knock off this season.

    Rounds 10-13: QB Kevin Kolb, Cardinals / RB Ryan Torain, Redskins / WR Plaxico Burress / Ravens defense

    I cannot be more pleased when Kevin Kolb is still available in the 10th round. He will team up with my first quarterback taken, Matthew Stafford and give me options to play the schedules each week. Ryan Torain is capable of putting my top-fifteen fantasy numbers when healthy. Will he get enough touches to actually perform at that level. Only time will tell but he is worth a shot in the 11th round. I love taking a flyer on Plaxico Burress here. Nothing to risk with him as my WR5 on the team and he could become great trade bait going forward. Finally I add a good defense in the Baltimore Ravens

    Rounds 14-18: RB Montario Hardesty, Chargers defense, K Lawrence Tynes, TE Zach Miller, RB Donald Brown

    Rounding out my team here, I find two young, talented running backs that are capable of putting up big yardage. Brown has been a disappointment and Hardesty is coming off of injury. Both have the upside to elevate this entire squad though. Finally I add a second defense, a second tight end and a decent kicker.

    Final Roster (Draft Slot #6)

    Quarterbacks

  • Matthew Stafford
  • Kevin Kolb
  • Running Backs

  • Ray Rice
  • Frank Gore
  • LeGarrette Blount
  • Ryan Torain
  • Montario Hardesty
  • Donald Brown
  • Wide Receivers

  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Marques Colston
  • Steve Johnson
  • Jeremy Maclin
  • Plaxico Burress
  • Tight Ends

  • Kellen Winslow
  • Zach Miller
  • Place Kickers

  • Lawrence Tynes
  • Defenses

  • Baltimore Ravens
  • San Diego Chargers
  • Final thoughts on this roster

    This roster is in excellent shape. The quarterbacking stable is a little scary with two young signal callers on the roster. However both have lots of youth and enthusiasm and should be fine. Additionally, playing the match ups each week will help produce even more fantasy points out of the pair. I have three capable running backs on the team and then three shots in the dark. Ryan Torain in the most ready to play and success but he struggles to stay healthy. Both Hardesty and Brown have potential but have yet to rack up yardage in the NFL. Hardesty is coming off of season-ending injury however. I am absolutely stacked at receiver with five receivers capable of finishing inside the top twenty. Burress is the largest stretch of the group but his talent alone makes him an interesting selection here. With two good tight ends, two good defenses and a serviceable kicker, this is a draft to remember. There is no reason this owner will not compete for the title this season.

    Last thoughts on the 6th draft slot in a 12-team league

    This draft slot isn't as easy as the ones at the top of the draft board but with smart drafting, can pay off in spades. In my example here, Ray Rice fell to my 6th pick. However if there isn't a running back available worth the pick, do not be afraid to do what I illustrated earlier in the article and take Andre Johnson. If you target value and shift your focus throughout the draft depending on who is on your roster, you will be fine. I noticed in all three examples that there are tons of receivers available through round six so the options are there to assemble both a good backfield and a strong receiver group. Do not panic and reach for a marginal talent at a position in the first several rounds. Load up on talent and your team will be in a position to thrive. By round nine, try to have your starting quarterback, tight end, 3-4 running backs and 3-4 receivers. If you pull that off and make sound decisions, the world will be your oyster and the league title will be in your grasp. Good luck and happy drafting.

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