Draft Slots Study - 12 Teams / Pick 1.09
By Chris Smith
August 7th, 2012

One of the more interesting discussion points every time a new fantasy football season rolls around is in regards to the draft slots. While it is possible with wise decisions, bold moves and fearless picks 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. Every draft slot will have positives, negatives and its own unique draft strategy and it is imperative that fantasy owners take the time to really breakdown the advantages and disadvantages to their draft position. That is where I and this long-running Footballguys exclusive come in.

This series of articles will take an in-depth look at multiple types of leagues such as 10-team, 12-team and 14-team leagues as well as unique starting lineup and scoring rules. We will run a mock draft for every new scenario and breakdown the positives and negatives of each draft position.

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.

We will begin this season with one of the more common fantasy leagues today.

Starting Lineup Requirements (18 total players on roster)

  • 1 QB
  • 2 RBs
  • 3 WRs
  • 1 TE
  • 1 PK
  • 1 defense/special teams unit
  • No flex
  • League Scoring Rules (standard performance based scoring)

  • Passing: 1 point every 20 passing yards / 4 points per touchdown pass / -1 point per interception
  • Rushing: 1 point every 10 rushing yards / 6 points per touchdown
  • Receiving: 1 point every 10 receiving yards / 6 points per touchdown / 1 point per reception
  • Kicking: 3 points per field goal / 1 point per extra point
  • Defense: 5 points for shutout / 3 points for allowing < 7 points / 1 point for allowing less than 11 points / 2 points for interceptions / fumble recoveries and safeties / 1 point per sack
  • 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)

    This is the 4th part of the opening series. I am looking for spots in the first round in which significant decisions need to be made if the draft unfolds as expected. Maybe the most difficult draft position within this draft structure is the 9th pick. Without question the top running backs are off the board as well as the top quarterback in Aaron Rodgers and the top receiver in Calvin Johnson. It is almost impossible to imagine those two players left on the board even in a RB-happy fantasy league. That makes this a very challenging pick as you will be chasing all owners who get the pick ahead of you and the players behind you getting the better second round pick. It will take some risk, some targeting upside and some shrewd decisions to turn this draft slot into a championship team.

    Two example strategies to incorporate into your draft

    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...

    Possible squad through five rounds

  • RB Chris Johnson
  • WR Larry Fitzgerald
  • WR Greg Jennings
  • WR Demaryius Thomas
  • RB Michael Turner
  • Round one will simply be take the best available player. There is a decision here between a quarterback like Drew Brees or going after a running back. Having a Chris Johnson available here makes this a relatively easy choice as there will be good quarterbacks available later. Do not be afraid to buck trends with this 9th pick. Take 3 receivers in a row, take a tight end in round one, and take a kicker... (just kidding). Basically do whatever you need to do to thrive. If you need to go QB Drew Brees, TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Greg Jennings to begin your draft, do not second guess the decision. Simply take the best available player and move on.

    In the above scenario, three strong receivers lead this team but the running back tandem of Johnson and Turner can get the job done as well.

    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...

    Possible squad through five rounds

  • RB Trent Richardson
  • WR Larry Fitzgerald
  • RB Reggie Bush
  • WR Wes Welker
  • RB Frank Gore
  • In the above example, more quarterbacks, tight ends and receivers went early leaving more running back to scoop up. The receiving duo is very strong with two elite receivers racking up fantasy points. Running back has some bust potential but Richardson, Bush and Gore have ability to be Top 10.

    Likely selections in first seven rounds

  • Round 1: RB / WR / TE / QB are all possible
  • Round 2: RB/WR unless Brees, Brady or TE Jimmy Graham available
  • Round 3: RB/WR unless top-four quarterback available
  • Round 4: RB/WR unless exceptional value at QB or tight end
  • Round 5: RB/WR unless great value at QB or TE Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis, or Jason Witten are available
  • Round 6: RB/WR/QB
  • Round 7: RB/WR/TE/QB
  • Positives of the draft slot

  • Talent will fall to the ninth overall pick. Just don’t fall in love with a particular player
  • Starting draft with two of the top sixteen players is a strong beginning
  • Easy to project which players will be available from odd to even round
  • Negatives of the draft slot

  • The top eight players will likely all be selected leaving this owner to scramble in behind them
  • Owners drafting 10th through 12th get the earlier 2nd round pick while likely landing a similar talent in first round
  • Final Draft Table

    Pick
    Pos
    Player Selected
    Team
    Selected By
    1.01
    RB1
    Arian Foster
    Hou/8
    Team 1
    1.02
    RB2
    Ray Rice
    Bal/8
    Team 2
    1.03
    RB3
    LeSean McCoy
    Phi/7
    Team 3
    1.04
    RB4
    Ryan Mathews
    SD/7
    Team 4
    1.05
    QB1
    Aaron Rodgers
    GB/10
    Team 5
    1.06
    WR1
    Calvin Johnson
    Det/5
    Team 6
    1.07
    RB5
    Maurice Jones-Drew
    Jac/6
    Team 7
    1.08
    QB2
    Tom Brady
    NE/9
    Team 8
    1.09
    RB8
    Chris Johnson
    Ten/11
    1.09 Team
    1.10
    TE1
    Jimmy Graham
    NO/6
    Team 10
    1.11
    TE2
    Rob Gronkowski
    NE/9
    Team 11
    1.12
    RB6
    Trent Richardson
    Cle/10
    Team 12
    2.01
    RB7
    Darren McFadden
    Oak/5
    Team 12
    2.02
    QB3
    Drew Brees
    NO/6
    Team 11
    2.03
    RB9
    Matt Forte
    Chi/6
    Team 10
    2.04
    WR2
    Larry Fitzgerald
    Ari/10
    1.09 Team
    2.05
    RB10
    Darren Sproles
    NO/6
    Team 8
    2.06
    RB11
    Jamaal Charles
    KC/7
    Team 7
    2.07
    RB12
    Ahmad Bradshaw
    NYG/11
    Team 6
    2.08
    RB13
    Steven Jackson
    StL/9
    Team 5
    2.09
    WR3
    Andre Johnson
    Hou/8
    Team 4
    2.10
    QB4
    Cam Newton
    Car/6
    Team 3
    2.11
    RB14
    Fred Jackson
    Buf/8
    Team 2
    2.12
    RB15
    Marshawn Lynch
    Sea/11
    Team 1
    3.01
    QB5
    Matthew Stafford
    Det/5
    Team 1
    3.02
    WR4
    Mike Wallace
    Pit/4
    Team 2
    3.03
    RB16
    DeMarco Murray
    Dal/5
    Team 3
    3.04
    RB17
    Doug Martin
    TB/5
    Team 4
    3.05
    WR5
    Roddy White
    Atl/7
    Team 5
    3.06
    WR6
    Hakeem Nicks
    NYG/11
    Team 6
    3.07
    WR7
    Julio Jones
    Atl/7
    Team 7
    3.08
    WR8
    A.J. Green
    Cin/8
    Team 8
    3.09
    WR10
    Greg Jennings
    GB/10
    1.09 Team
    3.10
    WR9
    Victor Cruz
    NYG/11
    Team 10
    3.11
    RB18
    Reggie Bush
    Mia/7
    Team 11
    3.12
    QB6
    Michael Vick
    Phi/7
    Team 12
    4.01
    WR11
    Dez Bryant
    Dal/5
    Team 12
    4.02
    WR12
    Demaryius Thomas
    Den/7
    Team 11
    4.03
    WR13
    Percy Harvin
    Min/11
    Team 10
    4.04
    WR14
    Wes Welker
    NE/9
    1.09 Team
    4.05
    WR15
    Brandon Marshall
    Chi/6
    Team 8
    4.06
    WR16
    Steve Smith
    Car/6
    Team 7
    4.07
    WR17
    Marques Colston
    NO/6
    Team 6
    4.08
    WR18
    Jordy Nelson
    GB/10
    Team 5
    4.09
    WR19
    Kenny Britt
    Ten/11
    Team 4
    4.10
    WR20
    Steve Johnson
    Buf/8
    Team 3
    4.11
    WR21
    Miles Austin
    Dal/5
    Team 2
    4.12
    WR22
    Vincent Jackson
    TB/5
    Team 1
    5.01
    TE3
    Jason Witten
    Dal/5
    Team 1
    5.02
    QB7
    Philip Rivers
    SD/7
    Team 2
    5.03
    TE4
    Antonio Gates
    SD/7
    Team 3
    5.04
    TE5
    Aaron Hernandez
    NE/9
    Team 4
    5.05
    TE6
    Vernon Davis
    SF/9
    Team 5
    5.06
    QB8
    Tony Romo
    Dal/5
    Team 6
    5.07
    QB9
    Eli Manning
    NYG/11
    Team 7
    5.08
    RB19
    Adrian Peterson
    Min/11
    Team 8
    5.09
    RB21
    Frank Gore
    SF/9
    1.09 Team
    5.10
    RB20
    Isaac Redman
    Pit/4
    Team 10
    5.11
    RB22
    Shonn Greene
    NYJ/9
    Team 11
    5.12
    WR23
    DeSean Jackson
    Phi/7
    Team 12
    6.01
    RB23
    Roy Helu
    Was/10
    Team 12
    6.02
    RB24
    Michael Turner
    Atl/7
    Team 11
    6.03
    RB25
    Jonathan Stewart
    Car/6
    Team 10
    6.04
    RB28
    C.J. Spiller
    Buf/8
    1.09 Team
    6.05
    WR24
    Jeremy Maclin
    Phi/7
    Team 8
    6.06
    WR25
    Dwayne Bowe
    KC/7
    Team 7
    6.07
    RB26
    BenJarvus Green-Ellis
    Cin/8
    Team 6
    6.08
    RB27
    Jahvid Best
    Det/5
    Team 5
    6.09
    QB10
    Robert Griffin III
    Was/10
    Team 4
    6.10
    WR26
    Reggie Wayne
    Ind/4
    Team 3
    6.11
    WR27
    Eric Decker
    Den/7
    Team 2
    6.12
    WR28
    Torrey Smith
    Bal/8
    Team 1
    7.01
    RB29
    Donald Brown
    Ind/4
    Team 1
    7.02
    RB30
    Willis McGahee
    Den/7
    Team 2
    7.03
    WR29
    Antonio Brown
    Pit/4
    Team 3
    7.04
    RB31
    James Starks
    GB/10
    Team 4
    7.05
    WR30
    Denarius Moore
    Oak/5
    Team 5
    7.06
    RB32
    DeAngelo Williams
    Car/6
    Team 6
    7.07
    TE7
    Jermichael Finley
    GB/10
    Team 7
    7.08
    RB33
    Chris Wells
    Ari/10
    Team 8
    7.09
    QB11
    Matt Ryan
    Atl/7
    1.09 Team
    7.10
    QB12
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Pit/4
    Team 10
    7.11
    RB34
    Pierre Thomas
    NO/6
    Team 11
    7.12
    WR31
    Santonio Holmes
    NYJ/9
    Team 12
    8.01
    WR32
    Brandon Lloyd
    NE/9
    Team 12
    8.02
    WR33
    Darrius Heyward-Bey
    Oak/5
    Team 11
    8.03
    WR34
    Sidney Rice
    Sea/11
    Team 10
    8.04
    TE8
    Brandon Pettigrew
    Det/5
    1.09 Team
    8.05
    RB35
    Mark Ingram
    NO/6
    Team 8
    8.06
    QB13
    Peyton Manning
    Den/7
    Team 7
    8.07
    QB14
    Josh Freeman
    TB/5
    Team 6
    8.08
    RB36
    Felix Jones
    Dal/5
    Team 5
    8.09
    WR35
    Robert Meachem
    SD/7
    Team 4
    8.10
    RB37
    Michael Bush
    Chi/6
    Team 3
    8.11
    WR36
    Pierre Garcon
    Was/10
    Team 2
    8.12
    WR37
    Greg Little
    Cle/10
    Team 1
    9.01
    WR38
    Michael Crabtree
    SF/9
    Team 1
    9.02
    TE9
    Tony Gonzalez
    Atl/7
    Team 2
    9.03
    WR39
    Lance Moore
    NO/6
    Team 3
    9.04
    WR40
    Malcom Floyd
    SD/7
    Team 4
    9.05
    RB38
    Peyton Hillis
    KC/7
    Team 5
    9.06
    RB39
    Ryan Williams
    Ari/10
    Team 6
    9.07
    RB40
    Stevan Ridley
    NE/9
    Team 7
    9.08
    TE10
    Fred Davis
    Was/10
    Team 8
    9.09
    WR41
    Anquan Boldin
    Bal/8
    1.09 Team
    9.10
    WR42
    Mike Williams
    TB/5
    Team 10
    9.11
    WR43
    Titus Young
    Det/5
    Team 11
    9.12
    TE11
    Brent Celek
    Phi/7
    Team 12
    10.01
    TE12
    Dustin Keller
    NYJ/9
    Team 12
    10.02
    TE13
    Jermaine Gresham
    Cin/8
    Team 11
    10.03
    RB41
    Ronnie Hillman
    Den/7
    Team 10
    10.04
    RB45
    Daniel Thomas
    Mia/7
    1.09 Team
    10.05
    TE14
    Owen Daniels
    Hou/8
    Team 8
    10.06
    RB42
    Toby Gerhart
    Min/11
    Team 7
    10.07
    RB43
    David Wilson
    NYG/11
    Team 6
    10.08
    WR44
    Austin Collie
    Ind/4
    Team 5
    10.09
    QB15
    Carson Palmer
    Oak/5
    Team 4
    10.10
    RB44
    Ben Tate
    Hou/8
    Team 3
    10.11
    QB16
    Andy Dalton
    Cin/8
    Team 2
    10.12
    WR45
    Nate Washington
    Ten/11
    Team 1
    11.01
    DEF1
    San Francisco
    SF/9
    Team 1
    11.02
    RB46
    Jacquizz Rodgers
    Atl/7
    Team 2
    11.03
    QB17
    Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Buf/8
    Team 3
    11.04
    WR46
    Doug Baldwin
    Sea/11
    Team 4
    11.05
    QB18
    Matt Schaub
    Hou/8
    Team 5
    11.06
    WR47
    Justin Blackmon
    Jac/6
    Team 6
    11.07
    WR48
    Michael Floyd
    Ari/10
    Team 7
    11.08
    QB19
    Alex Smith
    SF/9
    Team 8
    11.09
    RB48
    Mikel Leshoure
    Det/5
    1.09 Team
    11.10
    TE15
    Coby Fleener
    Ind/4
    Team 10
    11.11
    DEF2
    Philadelphia
    Phi/7
    Team 11
    11.12
    DEF3
    Baltimore
    Bal/8
    Team 12
    12.01
    QB20
    Andrew Luck
    Ind/4
    Team 12
    12.02
    WR49
    Nate Burleson
    Det/5
    Team 11
    12.03
    QB21
    Joe Flacco
    Bal/8
    Team 10
    12.04
    QB22
    Jay Cutler
    Chi/6
    1.09 Team
    12.05
    WR50
    David Nelson
    Buf/8
    Team 8
    12.06
    WR51
    Jerome Simpson
    Min/11
    Team 7
    12.07
    WR52
    Brandon LaFell
    Car/6
    Team 6
    12.08
    WR53
    Davone Bess
    Mia/7
    Team 5
    12.09
    DEF4
    Chicago
    Chi/6
    Team 4
    12.10
    WR54
    Laurent Robinson
    Jac/6
    Team 3
    12.11
    WR55
    Randall Cobb
    GB/10
    Team 2
    12.12
    WR56
    Brian Quick
    StL/9
    Team 1
    13.01
    RB47
    Shane Vereen
    NE/9
    Team 1
    13.02
    PK1
    Stephen Gostkowski
    NE/9
    Team 2
    13.03
    RB49
    Marcel Reece
    Oak/5
    Team 3
    13.04
    RB50
    Rashad Jennings
    Jac/6
    Team 4
    13.05
    RB51
    Tim Hightower
    Was/10
    Team 5
    13.06
    TE16
    Greg Olsen
    Car/6
    Team 6
    13.07
    TE17
    Jacob Tamme
    Den/7
    Team 7
    13.08
    WR57
    Stephen Hill
    NYJ/9
    Team 8
    13.09
    WR59
    Randy Moss
    SF/9
    1.09 Team
    13.10
    WR58
    Brian Hartline
    Mia/7
    Team 10
    13.11
    WR60
    Alshon Jeffery
    Chi/6
    Team 11
    13.12
    RB52
    Alex Green
    GB/10
    Team 12
    14.01
    PK2
    David Akers
    SF/9
    Team 12
    14.02
    DEF5
    New York Jets
    NYJ/9
    Team 11
    14.03
    DEF6
    Pittsburgh
    Pit/4
    Team 10
    14.04
    DEF8
    Green Bay
    GB/10
    1.09 Team
    14.05
    DEF7
    New England
    NE/9
    Team 8
    14.06
    DEF9
    Detroit
    Det/5
    Team 7
    14.07
    DEF10
    New York Giants
    NYG/11
    Team 6
    14.08
    DEF11
    Buffalo
    Buf/8
    Team 5
    14.09
    RB53
    Kendall Hunter
    SF/9
    Team 4
    14.10
    WR61
    Steve Smith
    StL/9
    Team 3
    14.11
    RB54
    Joe McKnight
    NYJ/9
    Team 2
    14.12
    RB55
    Danny Woodhead
    NE/9
    Team 1
    15.01
    QB23
    Christian Ponder
    Min/11
    Team 1
    15.02
    DEF12
    Dallas
    Dal/5
    Team 2
    15.03
    PK3
    Garrett Hartley
    NO/6
    Team 3
    15.04
    TE18
    Heath Miller
    Pit/4
    Team 4
    15.05
    TE19
    Jared Cook
    Ten/11
    Team 5
    15.06
    DEF13
    Seattle
    Sea/11
    Team 6
    15.07
    DEF14
    Atlanta
    Atl/7
    Team 7
    15.08
    RB56
    LeGarrette Blount
    TB/5
    Team 8
    15.09
    RB57
    Isaiah Pead
    StL/9
    1.09 Team
    15.10
    RB58
    Delone Carter
    Ind/4
    Team 10
    15.11
    RB59
    Mike Goodson
    Oak/5
    Team 11
    15.12
    RB60
    Mike Tolbert
    Car/6
    Team 12
    16.01
    WR62
    Emmanuel Sanders
    Pit/4
    Team 12
    16.02
    WR63
    Jacoby Ford
    Oak/5
    Team 11
    16.03
    WR64
    Kendall Wright
    Ten/11
    Team 10
    16.04
    PK4
    Sebastian Janikowski
    Oak/5
    1.09 Team
    16.05
    WR65
    Steve Breaston
    KC/7
    Team 8
    16.06
    WR66
    Vincent Brown
    SD/7
    Team 7
    16.07
    WR67
    Donnie Avery
    Ind/4
    Team 6
    16.08
    WR68
    Santana Moss
    Was/10
    Team 5
    16.09
    PK5
    Alex Henery
    Phi/7
    Team 4
    16.10
    PK6
    Mason Crosby
    GB/10
    Team 3
    16.11
    WR69
    Devery Henderson
    NO/6
    Team 2
    16.12
    PK7
    Dan Carpenter
    Mia/7
    Team 1
    17.01
    TE20
    Ed Dickson
    Bal/8
    Team 1
    17.02
    TE21
    Kyle Rudolph
    Min/11
    Team 2
    17.03
    TE22
    Marcedes Lewis
    Jac/6
    Team 3
    17.04
    WR70
    Harry Douglas
    Atl/7
    Team 4
    17.05
    PK8
    Randy Bullock
    Hou/8
    Team 5
    17.06
    PK9
    Nate Kaeding
    SD/7
    Team 6
    17.07
    RB61
    Bernard Scott
    Cin/8
    Team 7
    17.08
    PK10
    Dan Bailey
    Dal/5
    Team 8
    17.09
    WR86
    Mario Manningham
    SF/9
    1.09 Team
    17.10
    PK11
    Matt Bryant
    Atl/7
    Team 10
    17.11
    QB24
    Matt Cassel
    KC/7
    Team 11
    17.12
    WR71
    Mohamed Sanu
    Cin/8
    Team 12
    18.01
    PK12
    Billy Cundiff
    Bal/8
    Team 12
    18.02
    PK13
    Jason Hanson
    Det/5
    Team 11
    18.03
    PK14
    Mike Nugent
    Cin/8
    Team 10
    18.04
    TE33
    Kellen Winslow
    Sea/11
    1.09 Team
    18.05
    PK15
    Shaun Suisham
    Pit/4
    Team 8
    18.06
    PK16
    Neil Rackers
    Was/10
    Team 7
    18.07
    TE23
    Tony Moeaki
    KC/7
    Team 6
    18.08
    PK17
    Rob Bironas
    Ten/11
    Team 5
    18.09
    PK18
    Josh Brown
    NYJ/9
    Team 4
    18.10
    DEF15
    New Orleans
    NO/6
    Team 3
    18.11
    DEF16
    Arizona
    Ari/10
    Team 2
    18.12
    PK19
    Robbie Gould
    Chi/6
    Team 1

    Breaking down the mock draft from the 9th draft position

    Round 1: RB Chris Johnson
    As Expected, QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Calvin Johnson and the top running backs are all off the draft board when my pick arrives. I have a choice between Larry Fitzgerald (whom I believe may fall to round two), QB Drew Brees, TE Jimmy Graham or the top running back on the draft board. I definitely consider going with Brees or Graham here and you cannot argue with either player. However I really like what Chris Johnson brings to the table and I see both quarterbacks and tight ends I like that will be on the board later. I scoop up my top running back and move on.

    Round 2: WR Larry Fitzgerald
    There are numerous running backs available when my pick arrives but only WR Larry Fitzgerald leaps off the draft board to me here and I quickly scoop him up. I simply see more value going receiver here than I do going running back.

    Round 3: WR Greg Jennings
    Jennings inexplicitly dropping to my third round pick makes this an extremely easy decision to make. Sure RB Reggie Bush would look good as a RB2 on my fantasy team as well but having a Fitzgerald / Jennings combo at receiver is an advantage over the other teams in the league.

    Round 4: WR Wes Welker
    I consider going running back and tight end here but I see players at both positions I like and should be able to land them later. Wes Welker is a monster in points per reception leagues and I quickly scoop him up giving me a deadly trio at receiver that will help to mask potential weaknesses in other areas depending on how the rest of this draft unfolds. Without question, the trio of Fitzgerald, Jennings and Welker is the class of this league.

    Round 5: RB Frank Gore
    Gore dropping to my fifth-round pick is a huge steal for my team and puts this team as a front runner to success through the first five picks. My running back duo may not be as explosive as some of the pairs in the league but when you combine them with my dynamite receiver group, it is a wonderful start to a draft.

    Round 6: RB C.J. Spiller
    Looking at the draft board, I believe I will have no problem waiting on the quarterback position and tight end can wait until next round. Running back is the way to go here so I take the best available in my list and that is C.J. Spiller. He began to show signs of life last year after a slow start to his NFL career. He is still sharing time with Fred Jackson but his blend of speed and quickness make him an intriguing fantasy option in 2012.

    Round 7: QB Matt Ryan
    Worst case scenario for Ryan in 2012 is a similar result to last year and that is not bad at all. However he has the potential and weapons surrounding him to make the leap into the top-five at the position and I cannot leave him on the board here. I consider going tight end here but think the next best one on my draft list will fall to my next pick.

    Round 8: TE Brandon Pettigrew
    As I thought when making my 7th round selection, Pettigrew did stay available for my next pick and I take him here. He may not be a top-three producer in 2012 but he does have talent and the system around him to challenge for top-three numbers and he is a safe selection here.

    Round 9: WR Anquan Boldin
    There are multiple paths to go here but I decide to go safe and take the proven veteran to back up my deadly starting receiving group. Boldin is a strong fantasy option who is capable of starting whenever needed. I see no running backs here that I must get on my roster so pretty easy to target Boldin with the pick. It also gives me one backup player at both receiver and running back at the half way point which is a good position to be in.

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

    Quarterbacks

  • Matt Ryan
  • Running Backs

  • Chris Johnson
  • Frank Gore
  • C.J. Spiller
  • Wide Receivers

  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Greg Jennings
  • Wes Welker
  • Anquan Boldin
  • Tight Ends

  • Brandon Pettigrew
  • Place Kickers

  • none
  • Defenses

  • none
  • After nine rounds, I have managed to put together a very strong team from a challenging draft position. Beginning a draft with Chris Johnson is a solid beginning to a fantasy team but the real strength derives from the 2nd through 4th round picks in which I scoop up a trio of talented receivers that will carry this squad. I have a strong quarterback, a very good tight end and a depth player at both running back and receiver with different bye weeks. All in all, it is a wonderful start to a fantasy team. I will need to target running back and receiver depth through the next several rounds along with a defensive unit.

    Rounds 10-13: RB Daniel Thomas / RB Mikel Leshoure / QB Jay Cutler / WR Randy Moss
    I am very happy with the four players I am able to pick up here. Both running backs are young kids with potential for greatness, Jay Cutler is a very good backup quarterback for my team and Moss has great potential to succeed this draft position. I would be shocked if Moss fell this far in a draft but anything can happen on draft day and players will fall and represent value and it is up to you to spot them.

    Rounds 14-18: Green Bay Defense / RB Isaiah Pead / K Sebastian Janikowski / WR Mario Manningham / TE Kellen Winslow
    This is simply fleshing out my roster. I add a serviceable defense and kicker with top-five upside in the Packers defense and Janikowski. I find a backup tight end with upside in Kellen Winslow, take a flyer on rookie RB Isaiah Pead who is playing behind a veteran running back in Steven Jackson with a lot of mileage on him already and take Mario Manningham figuring he or Moss will emerge with plenty of touches in San Francisco.

    Final Roster (Draft Slot #9)

    Quarterbacks

  • Matt Ryan
  • Jay Cutler
  • Running Backs

  • Chris Johnson
  • Frank Gore
  • C.J. Spiller
  • Daniel Thomas
  • Mikel Leshoure
  • Isaiah Pead
  • Wide Receivers

  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Greg Jennings
  • Wes Welker
  • Anquan Boldin
  • Randy Moss
  • Mario Manningham
  • Tight Ends

  • Brandon Pettigrew
  • Kellen Winslow
  • Place Kickers

  • Sebastian Janikowski
  • Defenses

  • Green Bay Packers
  • Final thoughts on this roster

    It isn't easy to go three receivers in the first four rounds of a fantasy draft but if you simply take the best available player and build a strong foundation regardless of position, the team will flesh out nicely. I have good depth at quarterback, receiver and tight end with solid veteran players able to step in and contribute. My receiving corps is especially strong as you can make an argument that all players are capable of a top-20 season if the cards drop right. At running back, there is more potential than past success but with talent like C.J. Spiller, Mikel Leshoure, Daniel Thomas and Isaiah Pead, it is likely that a couple of them emerge from the pack in 2012. All in all this is a squad that has the depth and the talent to compete for a title.

    Last thoughts on the 7th draft slot in a 12-team league

    Ninth is a tricky position to draft from in 2012 due to the top players being off the board when your pick arrives as well as getting the later second round pick than the three owners that draft behind you in the first round. However there is plenty of talent on the board to put together a good team with smart drafting. If you are not comfortable there is a running back in round one capable of elevating towards a top-three season (Chris Johnson is that kind of player in my mind), then perhaps you should shake the draft up and go with tight end Jimmy Graham of the Saints to secure the top player at a position. Either way you will have a team capable of big things if you are patient, target players with upside and not positional needs through the first five picks. If you do that, you will be on the way to success and the admiration of your peers. Perhaps the best strategy at the end of this draft is to walk away with 2 QBs / 6 RBs / 6 WRs / 2 TEs / 1 PK / 1 defense. Good luck and happy drafting.

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