Draft Slots Study - 12 Teams / Pick 1.09
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 9th 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 eight thru ten 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.

    Drafting ninth is never the easiest spot to begin a draft. You are kind of fighting behind the owners at the top of the draft getting the first crack at elite fantasy weapons as well as the owners under you as they get the better second round pick. Unless a funny pick or two occurs, you will be missing out on each of the top five running backs, the top couple of receivers or quarterbacks and be struggling to keep up. In this slot more than most, it is absolutely critical that you target the best available player regardless of position. The only way you'll hang with the other teams is to load up on talent and not a position.

    The nice thing here is the talent is pretty stacked and you can put together a championship-caliber squad. The key here is patience. Do not be sucked in to picking up a player you do not want in desperation and focus only on the top players available. Once you have the required starters in place in any of the four major positions, start targeting other positions unless exceptional talent is available and you cannot ignore it. If you decide that WR/WR works the best in the first two rounds, you must take four running backs in the next six rounds to guarantee points from the position. That is how you start by targeting talent and still have strong roster top to bottom.

    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 Mark Ingram - 3.09
  • RB Ryan Matthews - 4.04
  • WR Andre Johnson - 1.09
  • WR Calvin Johnson - 2.04
  • WR Marques Colston - 5.09
  • This is a fun draft. Running backs left off the board early and often and as a result, I ignored the trend and scooped up two elite receivers in Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson. Sure I may be a little short at the running back position but starting with two elite receivers can be the catalyst that springs this team onto victory. I find nice value at the running back position in the 3rd and 4th rounds in Mark Ingram and Ryan Matthews. Both have exceptional potential and if they pan out, this squad could be sensational.

    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 Rashard Mendenhall - 1.09
  • RB Mark Ingram - 3.09
  • RB Ryan Matthews - 4.04
  • WR Roddy White - 2.04
  • WR Marques Colston - 5.09
  • This is an interesting beginning to a team. In this scenario it made sense to load up at the running back position in the first five rounds. The trio of young running backs could have exceptional seasons and propel this team onto greatness. Have a top tier receiver and a very good 2nd-tier receiver also helps out and this team looks ready to contend.

    Positives of the draft slot

  • The early 2nd round pick results in a excellent one-two punch to begin the team
  • Still have an opportunity to draft elite players in round one and two although it may be at receiver or quarterback
  • Easy to look past the odd-round pick and determine which players may still be on board when next pick arrives
  • Negatives of the draft slot

  • Possible to start out missing top running backs and receivers if owners in front draft well
  • Long time between even and odd round picks makes it tough to project players / positions remaining
  • Taking risks may backfire if a position dries up on you before the next pick
  • 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
    RB4
    Jamaal Charles
    KC/6
    MFL1
    1.05
    RB5
    Ray Rice
    Bal/5
    FF Extreme 1
    1.06
    QB1
    Aaron Rodgers
    GB/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    1.07
    QB2
    Michael Vick
    Phi/7
    Mag Avg 1
    1.08
    RB6
    Rashard Mendenhall
    Pit/11
    Consensus 2
    1.09
    WR1
    Andre Johnson
    Hou/11
    Draft Slot Study 9
    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
    WR3
    Roddy White
    Atl/8
    Draft Slot Study 9
    2.05
    RB12
    Michael Turner
    Atl/8
    Consensus 2
    2.06
    WR4
    Hakeem Nicks
    NYG/7
    Mag Avg 1
    2.07
    RB13
    Peyton Hillis
    Cle/5
    CBS Sportsline 1
    2.08
    RB14
    Frank Gore
    SF/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
    QB6
    Tony Romo
    Dal/5
    MFL1
    3.05
    QB7
    Peyton Manning
    Ind/11
    FF Extreme 1
    3.06
    RB16
    Jahvid Best
    Det/9
    CBS Sportsline 1
    3.07
    WR8
    Larry Fitzgerald
    Ari/6
    Mag Avg 1
    3.08
    WR9
    DeSean Jackson
    Phi/7
    Consensus 2
    3.09
    RB17
    Shonn Greene
    NYJ/8
    Draft Slot Study 9
    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
    RB20
    Ryan Mathews
    SD/6
    Draft Slot Study 9
    4.05
    WR14
    Dwayne Bowe
    KC/6
    Consensus 2
    4.06
    WR15
    Brandon Lloyd
    Den/6
    Mag Avg 1
    4.07
    WR16
    Reggie Wayne
    Ind/11
    CBS Sportsline 1
    4.08
    WR17
    Brandon Marshall
    Mia/5
    FF Extreme 1
    4.09
    WR18
    Percy Harvin
    Min/9
    MFL1
    4.10
    RB21
    LeGarrette Blount
    TB/8
    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
    WR20
    Johnny Knox
    Chi/8
    FF Extreme 1
    5.06
    RB27
    Cedric Benson
    Cin/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    5.07
    TE1
    Antonio Gates
    SD/6
    Mag Avg 1
    5.08
    QB8
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Pit/11
    Consensus 2
    5.09
    WR21
    Marques Colston
    NO/11
    Draft Slot Study 9
    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
    RB31
    Jonathan Stewart
    Car/9
    Draft Slot Study 9
    6.05
    TE5
    Jermichael Finley
    GB/8
    Consensus 2
    6.06
    QB11
    Eli Manning
    NYG/7
    Mag Avg 1
    6.07
    TE6
    Marcedes Lewis
    Jac/9
    CBS Sportsline 1
    6.08
    QB12
    Matt Ryan
    Atl/8
    FF Extreme 1
    6.09
    TE7
    Jimmy Graham
    NO/11
    MFL1
    6.10
    DEF1
    Green Bay
    GB/8
    Expert 3
    6.11
    WR23
    Austin Collie
    Ind/11
    Consensus1
    6.12
    WR24
    Steve Johnson
    Buf/7
    Expert 1
    7.01
    WR25
    Jacoby Ford
    Oak/8
    Expert 1
    7.02
    RB28
    Ryan Grant
    GB/8
    Consensus1
    7.03
    WR26
    Kenny Britt
    Ten/6
    Expert 3
    7.04
    WR27
    Wes Welker
    NE/7
    MFL1
    7.05
    RB29
    Chris Wells
    Ari/6
    FF Extreme 1
    7.06
    RB30
    Brandon Jacobs
    NYG/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    7.07
    RB32
    BenJarvus Green-Ellis
    NE/7
    Mag Avg 1
    7.08
    RB33
    Joseph Addai
    Ind/11
    Consensus 2
    7.09
    RB34
    Mike Tolbert
    SD/6
    Draft Slot Study 9
    7.10
    RB35
    Tim Hightower
    Was/5
    FF Extreme 2
    7.11
    RB36
    Shane Vereen
    NE/7
    MFL2
    7.12
    WR28
    Mike Thomas
    Jac/9
    Expert2
    8.01
    WR29
    Jeremy Maclin
    Phi/7
    Expert2
    8.02
    WR30
    A.J. Green
    Cin/7
    MFL2
    8.03
    WR31
    Sidney Rice
    Sea/6
    FF Extreme 2
    8.04
    WR32
    Chad Ochocinco
    NE/7
    Draft Slot Study 9
    8.05
    WR33
    Julio Jones
    Atl/8
    Consensus 2
    8.06
    WR34
    Robert Meachem
    NO/11
    Mag Avg 1
    8.07
    WR35
    Steve Smith
    Car/9
    CBS Sportsline 1
    8.08
    WR36
    Santana Moss
    Was/5
    FF Extreme 1
    8.09
    DEF2
    Philadelphia
    Phi/7
    MFL1
    8.10
    WR37
    Pierre Garcon
    Ind/11
    Expert 3
    8.11
    DEF3
    New England
    NE/7
    Consensus1
    8.12
    QB13
    Matthew Stafford
    Det/9
    Expert 1
    9.01
    DEF4
    Pittsburgh
    Pit/11
    Expert 1
    9.02
    WR38
    Earl Bennett
    Chi/8
    Consensus1
    9.03
    TE8
    Rob Gronkowski
    NE/7
    Expert 3
    9.04
    WR39
    Arrelious Benn
    TB/8
    MFL1
    9.05
    DEF5
    Detroit
    Det/9
    FF Extreme 1
    9.06
    DEF6
    New York Jets
    NYJ/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    9.07
    DEF7
    Chicago
    Chi/8
    Mag Avg 1
    9.08
    QB14
    Joe Flacco
    Bal/5
    Consensus 2
    9.09
    QB17
    Sam Bradford
    StL/5
    Draft Slot Study 9
    9.10
    RB37
    Reggie Bush
    Mia/5
    FF Extreme 2
    9.11
    RB38
    Rashad Jennings
    Jac/9
    MFL2
    9.12
    RB39
    C.J. Spiller
    Buf/7
    Expert2
    10.01
    QB15
    Jay Cutler
    Chi/8
    Expert2
    10.02
    QB16
    Mark Sanchez
    NYJ/8
    MFL2
    10.03
    RB40
    Ryan Williams
    Ari/6
    FF Extreme 2
    10.04
    QB19
    Kevin Kolb
    Ari/6
    Draft Slot Study 9
    10.05
    DEF8
    New Orleans
    NO/11
    Consensus 2
    10.06
    RB41
    James Starks
    GB/8
    Mag Avg 1
    10.07
    WR40
    Hines Ward
    Pit/11
    CBS Sportsline 1
    10.08
    TE9
    Kellen Winslow
    TB/8
    FF Extreme 1
    10.09
    WR41
    Donnie Avery
    StL/5
    MFL1
    10.10
    WR42
    Greg Little
    Cle/5
    Expert 3
    10.11
    TE10
    Owen Daniels
    Hou/11
    Consensus1
    10.12
    WR43
    James Jones
    GB/8
    Expert 1
    11.01
    RB42
    LaDainian Tomlinson
    NYJ/8
    Expert 1
    11.02
    QB18
    Matt Cassel
    KC/6
    Consensus1
    11.03
    RB43
    Ryan Torain
    Was/5
    Expert 3
    11.04
    RB44
    Willis McGahee
    Den/6
    MFL1
    11.05
    RB45
    Delone Carter
    Ind/11
    FF Extreme 1
    11.06
    WR44
    Lance Moore
    NO/11
    CBS Sportsline 1
    11.07
    DEF9
    New York Giants
    NYG/7
    Mag Avg 1
    11.08
    WR45
    Mike Sims-Walker
    StL/5
    Consensus 2
    11.09
    TE12
    Brandon Pettigrew
    Det/9
    Draft Slot Study 9
    11.10
    TE11
    Tony Gonzalez
    Atl/8
    FF Extreme 2
    11.11
    PK1
    Nate Kaeding
    SD/6
    MFL2
    11.12
    WR46
    Mike Williams
    Sea/6
    Expert2
    12.01
    PK2
    Stephen Gostkowski
    NE/7
    Expert2
    12.02
    PK3
    Mason Crosby
    GB/8
    MFL2
    12.03
    PK4
    Alex Henery
    Phi/7
    FF Extreme 2
    12.04
    WR47
    Plaxico Burress
    NYJ/8
    Draft Slot Study 9
    12.05
    RB46
    Thomas Jones
    KC/6
    Consensus 2
    12.06
    RB47
    Michael Bush
    Oak/8
    Mag Avg 1
    12.07
    WR48
    Andre Roberts
    Ari/6
    CBS Sportsline 1
    12.08
    WR49
    Davone Bess
    Mia/5
    FF Extreme 1
    12.09
    WR50
    Lee Evans
    Buf/7
    MFL1
    12.10
    PK5
    Garrett Hartley
    NO/11
    Expert 3
    12.11
    RB48
    Darren Sproles
    NO/11
    Consensus1
    12.12
    WR51
    Deion Branch
    NE/7
    Expert 1
    13.01
    PK6
    Neil Rackers
    Hou/11
    Expert 1
    13.02
    RB49
    Demarco Murray
    Dal/5
    Consensus1
    13.03
    WR52
    Jerome Simpson
    Cin/7
    Expert 3
    13.04
    PK7
    Shaun Suisham
    Pit/11
    MFL1
    13.05
    WR53
    Emmanuel Sanders
    Pit/11
    FF Extreme 1
    13.06
    WR54
    Braylon Edwards
    SF/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    13.07
    RB50
    Justin Forsett
    Sea/6
    Mag Avg 1
    13.08
    WR55
    Jordy Nelson
    GB/8
    Consensus 2
    13.09
    RB51
    Ronnie Brown
    Phi/7
    Draft Slot Study 9
    13.10
    DEF10
    Baltimore
    Bal/5
    FF Extreme 2
    13.11
    TE13
    Chris Cooley
    Was/5
    MFL2
    13.12
    DEF11
    Dallas
    Dal/5
    Expert2
    14.01
    WR56
    Nate Washington
    Ten/6
    Expert2
    14.02
    QB20
    Jason Campbell
    Oak/8
    MFL2
    14.03
    QB21
    Cam Newton
    Car/9
    FF Extreme 2
    14.04
    DEF13
    San Diego
    SD/6
    Draft Slot Study 9
    14.05
    WR57
    Michael Crabtree
    SF/7
    Consensus 2
    14.06
    RB52
    Bernard Scott
    Cin/7
    Mag Avg 1
    14.07
    RB53
    Jason Snelling
    Atl/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    14.08
    RB54
    Kendall Hunter
    SF/7
    FF Extreme 1
    14.09
    RB55
    Danny Woodhead
    NE/7
    MFL1
    14.10
    RB56
    Jacquizz Rodgers
    Atl/8
    Expert 3
    14.11
    RB57
    Pierre Thomas
    NO/11
    Consensus1
    14.12
    RB58
    Toby Gerhart
    Min/9
    Expert 1
    15.01
    TE14
    Dustin Keller
    NYJ/8
    Expert 1
    15.02
    TE15
    Jared Cook
    Ten/6
    Consensus1
    15.03
    QB22
    Tarvaris Jackson
    Sea/6
    Expert 3
    15.04
    WR58
    Malcom Floyd
    SD/6
    MFL1
    15.05
    WR59
    Kevin Walter
    Hou/11
    FF Extreme 1
    15.06
    PK8
    Lawrence Tynes
    NYG/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    15.07
    RB59
    Ricky Williams
    Bal/5
    Mag Avg 1
    15.08
    PK9
    Adam Vinatieri
    Ind/11
    Consensus 2
    15.09
    DEF15
    San Francisco
    SF/7
    Draft Slot Study 9
    15.10
    WR60
    Nate Burleson
    Det/9
    FF Extreme 2
    15.11
    WR61
    Louis Murphy
    Oak/8
    MFL2
    15.12
    WR62
    Jacoby Jones
    Hou/11
    Expert2
    16.01
    WR63
    Roy Williams
    Chi/8
    Expert2
    16.02
    QB23
    Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Buf/7
    MFL2
    16.03
    WR64
    Derrick Mason
    NYJ/8
    FF Extreme 2
    16.04
    RB70
    Mike Goodson
    Car/9
    Draft Slot Study 9
    16.05
    WR65
    Steve Breaston
    KC/6
    Consensus 2
    16.06
    WR66
    Donald Driver
    GB/8
    Mag Avg 1
    16.07
    QB24
    Donovan McNabb
    Min/9
    CBS Sportsline 1
    16.08
    PK10
    Jason Hanson
    Det/9
    FF Extreme 1
    16.09
    QB25
    Matt Hasselbeck
    Ten/6
    MFL1
    16.10
    WR67
    Torrey Smith
    Bal/5
    Expert 3
    16.11
    PK11
    Sebastian Janikowski
    Oak/8
    Consensus1
    16.12
    PK12
    Matt Bryant
    Atl/8
    Expert 1
    17.01
    TE16
    Aaron Hernandez
    NE/7
    Expert 1
    17.02
    DEF12
    Atlanta
    Atl/8
    Consensus1
    17.03
    QB26
    Alex Smith
    SF/7
    Expert 3
    17.04
    QB27
    Colt McCoy
    Cle/5
    MFL1
    17.05
    TE17
    Heath Miller
    Pit/11
    FF Extreme 1
    17.06
    QB28
    Kyle Orton
    Den/6
    CBS Sportsline 1
    17.07
    QB29
    David Garrard
    Jac/9
    Mag Avg 1
    17.08
    DEF14
    Oakland
    Oak/8
    Consensus 2
    17.09
    PK15
    Josh Brown
    StL/5
    Draft Slot Study 9
    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
    RB60
    Tashard Choice
    Dal/5
    Expert2
    18.02
    DEF16
    Arizona
    Ari/6
    MFL2
    18.03
    WR71
    Eric Decker
    Den/6
    FF Extreme 2
    18.04
    WR89
    Steve Smith
    FA
    Draft Slot Study 9
    18.05
    QB30
    Chad Henne
    Mia/5
    Consensus 2
    18.06
    PK13
    Dan Bailey
    Dal/5
    Mag Avg 1
    18.07
    QB31
    Andy Dalton
    Cin/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    18.08
    QB32
    John Beck
    Was/5
    FF Extreme 1
    18.09
    QB33
    Rex Grossman
    Was/5
    MFL1
    18.10
    QB34
    Blaine Gabbert
    Jac/9
    Expert 3
    18.11
    WR72
    Eddie Royal
    Den/6
    Consensus1
    18.12
    QB35
    Bruce Gradkowski
    Cin/7
    Expert 1

    Breaking down the mock draft from the 9th draft position

    Round 1: WR Andre Johnson, Texans

    It is always a little scary to go in a different direction than running back to begin your fantasy draft. However it is critical with the ninth pick in this league to find a way to create separation from the teams in the first through fourth draft slots. They already have elite level running backs and if you go running back here, you will be fighting to catch up to them all draft. Sure if there is one you really like here or a top running back tumbles to your ninth pick, scoop him up. However if you are looking at running backs with question marks or limited upside, the right move is to take an elite receiver or even quarterback to get a let up of your own. Andre Johnson will do that for you team and give you a fantasy points advantage on other owners in the league.

    Rounds 2/3: WR Roddy White / RB Shonn Greene

    I plan on taking a running back round two but having Roddy White available here is simply too good to pass up. He will team with Johnson to give me far and away the top one-two punch at receiver in the league. I will have to make up some ground at running back but I like the start. Besides I see some good talent available at running back and feel that a player I feel confident with starting will drop to my 3rd round pick. The risk pays off as Shonn Greene of the Jets, running behind one of the best offensive lines in football is available to pick up. He becomes a decent, although somewhat risky RB1 for my squad.

    Rounds 4/5: RB Ryan Matthews / WR Marques Colston

    I cannot be happier when my turn comes around in the fourth round to see 2nd year running back Ryan Matthews available. He has top-ten running back potential and is in an explosive offense in San Diego. He becomes a serviceable RB2 for my team with elite upside. With my fifth round pick, I consider going with a running back but cannot ignore the attraction of adding Colston to my team and have three monster receivers in my starting lineup. If he is healthy, with Brees passing him the ball there is a chance of a top-five season.

    Rounds 6/7: RB Jonathan Stewart / RB Mike Tolbert

    I know going into these two rounds that I should target two running back to improve the team depth there unless exceptional value is available at other spots. I consider taking tight ends Jermichael Finley or Jimmy Graham here and they would be a solid pick. I also briefly consider going with QB Matt Ryan. However I can afford to wait on both tight end and quarterback position for a bit still and must add to my running back roster after ignoring it in rounds one and two. Jonathan Stewart is a steal here due to his potential. He is another player with top-ten potential on my team and while I haven't drafted the top-tier running back talent, I do have three players capable of elevating into the top-tier if the season goes the right way. Next I see a couple of decent receivers and a quarterback or two but nothing is leaping out at me. Getting the backup to my RB2 is a nice move here and almost guarantees points from the one running back spot.

    Rounds 8/9: WR Chad Ochocinco / QB Sam Bradford

    I cannot leave the upside of Ochocinco in New England on the draft board in the 8th round. He may have enough in the tank to put up big fantasy stats and at worst he is a veteran backup for my fantasy team. I do consider quarterback here but there are several players in the next couple of rounds I would be comfortable with starting in my team. I also feel I will be trying to draft a pair of them to play the match-up game with. Round nine finally sees me select my first quarterback. Sure there is risk associated with Bradford but I believe with this draft slot, it is important to take some calculated risks. Waiting on quarterback until round nine is certainly a risk but hopefully it pays off and I can grab the second one I have my eye on.

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

    Quarterbacks

  • Sam Bradford
  • Running Backs

  • Shonn Greene
  • Ryan Matthews
  • Jonathan Stewart
  • Mike Tolbert (hand cuff)
  • Wide Receivers

  • Andre Johnson
  • Roddy White
  • Marques Colston
  • Chad Ochocinco
  • Tight Ends

  • none
  • Place Kickers

  • none
  • Defenses

  • none
  • Through nine rounds, this is an interesting squad. I have a dominating receiving core that could be absolutely unstoppable if Ochocinco re-discovers the fountain of youth. Running back doesn't immediately leap at you as a strength but having three players capable of elevating into elite territory is a nice way to put together a team. If one or two of them play up to their potential, this team is in good shape. Quarterback is a little dicey but the Rams have talent and Bradford should be much better this season. I hope to add a partner to him shortly.

    Rounds 10-13: QB Kevin Kolb / TE Brandon Pettigrew / WR Plaxico Burress / RB Ronnie Brown

    Yes, I cannot be happier in the tenth round to get the 2nd quarterback I am after. Kolb has huge potential and will team with Bradford to give me a good option in most weeks. Next round comes and waiting for a tight end has paid off with Pettigrew there for me. Now I am higher on Pettigrew than most but he has at worst, a decent fantasy tight end. He has potential to be fantastic though. Plaxico Burress has upside and is worth a shot here. He may become great trade bait as the season wears on. Finally Ronnie Brown is capable of putting up RB2 stats if injuries strike LeSean McCoy.

    Rounds 14-18: Chargers Defense / 49ers Defense / RB Mike Goodson / K Josh Brown / WR Steve Smith

    I need to flesh out my roster here so I scoop two defenses back to back. Good place to secure some solid defensive production. I decided to pick up Goodson to back up my Stewart pick. He is a talented back and it offers some protection in case of injury. I grab a kicker (it's a kicker, gotta have one) and wrap up my draft with a receiver who has significant upside with the Eagles.

    Final Roster (Draft Slot #9)

    Quarterbacks

  • Sam Bradford
  • Kevin Kolb
  • Running Backs

  • Shonn Greene
  • Ryan Matthews
  • Jonathan Stewart
  • Mike Tolbert (handcuff)
  • Ronnie Brown
  • Mike Goodson (handcuff)
  • Wide Receivers

  • Andre Johnson
  • Roddy White
  • Marques Colston
  • Chad Ochocinco
  • Plaxico Burress
  • Steve Smith
  • Tight Ends

  • Brandon Pettigrew
  • Place Kickers

  • Josh Brown
  • Defenses

  • San Diego Chargers
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Final thoughts on this roster

    I am very happy with how this squad turned out. I made a decision to wait on the quarterback and tight end positions, loading up on running backs and receivers and it paid off in spades. I have two good, young quarterbacks and by playing the matchups each week I should get good fantasy points. I think Brandon Pettigrew could be a big fantasy option this year and I am stacked at receiver. My receiving trio are going to significantly outscore my opponents receivers in most weeks. I also have trade depth there to utilize during the season. The only question mark is going to be running back with no clear cut elite back but I have a few running backs with potential to be great, a veteran running back one hit away from being a dependable RB2 (Ronnie Brown) and a couple of handcuffs to my starters. All in all, this team

    Last thoughts on the 9th draft slot in a 12-team league

    This is a tricky draft position. It really is. Unless you get lucky with your league mates dropping the ball, you are going to need to take some risks in this spot to put together a title-contending team. I think unless a running back really leaps out at you in round one, buck the trend and scoop up a top receiver. There are some interesting running back prospects rounds two through seven and you will be able to put together a great squad. I like the strategy I used here of a receiver in round one as well as ignoring quarterback until later on. It is important to read your draft here but there are good, young quarterbacks available later on. Stay flexible, stay patient and you'll do fine.

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