Draft Slots Study - 14 Teams / Pick 1.01
By Chris Smith
August 13th, 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.

This particular series is based on...

  • 14 teams
  • 18 rounds
  • There are a few interesting twists in this study

  • Flex player added
  • 6 points per passing touchdown
  • 1 point per reception for running backs / receivers but 1.5 points per reception for tight ends
  • Starting Lineup Requirements(18 total players on roster)

  • 1 Quarterback
  • 2 Running Backs
  • 3 Wide Receivers
  • 1 Tight End
  • 1 Place Kicker
  • 1 Team Defense
  • 1 Flex Player (RB, WR, TE)
  • League Scoring Rules

  • Passing: 1 point every 20 passing yards / 6 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 (RBs and WRs) / 1.5 points per reception (TEs)
  • 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 1st overall (14-team re-draft)

    In any type of fantasy football league, drafting 1st overall is a wonderful place to begin. You get the top player on your draft board, whoever that is and also get back to back picks at the end of the 2nd and start of the 3rd round which will always be three strong building blocks. . You have the ability to direct the overall direction of the draft with the back to back picks and with patience targeting the best players each round regardless of position, will put together a dominant squad. The one caveat here is to take a little time and make a determination if a position is likely to dry up while you wait on 28 long picks. If you feel a positional run is eminent, you may want to be at the top and not bottom of said run. VALUE, VALUE, VALUE is the name of the game here. If the best players dictate you begin the draft, RB, WR, QB, WR in your first four picks, go with it and don't look back.

    Possible strategies to incorporate into your draft

    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. This is not as common as it once was but leagues are still out there in which owners will begin a draft RB/RB and even RB/RB/RB no matter what. If you are in a league such as this, value is going to tumble down to your 2nd and 3rd round picks. It isn't easy to not follow the herd here but if you do, by the end of round five, you will have a powerhouse squad ready to take on the world.

    Possible squad through five rounds

  • RB Arian Foster
  • WR Julio Jones
  • WR Greg Jennings
  • WR Miles Austin
  • QB Tony Romo
  • Having only one running back through the first five rounds in a fourteen-team league is a scary proposition. It really is. However if running backs are leaping off the board early and often and value exists at receiver, quarterback or even tight end, you have to target the value and hope to find diamonds in the rough at running back. When my next pick comes up at the end of the 6th round, there will be running backs with upside available such as Mark Ingram, Peyton Hillis, Ryan Williams, Stevan Ridley, Ronnie Hillman, Ben Tate and more. If I did start a draft like this, I would be looking to go RB/RB at the 6th / 7th round turn unless truly exceptional value is present.

    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 Arian Foster
  • RB DeMarco Murray
  • WR Julio Jones
  • WR Jeremy Maclin
  • WR Eric Decker
  • This scenario ends up being a lot more conventional than the other example. Many of the better receivers and quarterbacks leapt off the board in the 2nd round, and DeMarco Murray fell to my 2nd round pick as a result. He and Foster give me a strong starting duo in my backfield. Rounds three through five, saw plenty of receiver talent available and my starting unit of Julio Jones, Jeremy Maclin and Eric Decker could be exceptional this season. Again as in the first example, the key to this draft spot it to target talent (value) and not positions.

    Likely selections in first seven rounds

  • Round 1: RB
  • Round 2-3: RB/WR/QB (if Rodgers, Brady, Brees is available) /TE (only if Graham or Gronkowski is available)
  • Round 4-5: RB/WR unless exceptional value at QB / TE (and no QB / TE on roster)
  • Round 6-7: QB/TE/RB/WR/ quarterback/tight end combo could definitely be the play here if none currently on the roster
  • Positives of the draft slot

  • Secure the top player on your draft board.
  • Land three of the top twenty-nine players on your draft board.
  • Target value instead of positional needs in rounds two, three and four.
  • Negatives of the draft slot

  • Long wait between picks can see positions dry up. Projecting future picks incorrectly can be disastrous to this squad.
  • Not much to choose from between top few running backs means the selections after the 1st overall pick get a similar player and the early pick coming back in round two.
  • Final Draft Table

    Pick
    Pos
    Player Selected
    Team
    Selected By
    1.01
    RB1
    Arian Foster
    Hou/8
    Draft Study Team
    1.02
    RB2
    Ray Rice
    Bal/8
    Team 2
    1.03
    RB3
    LeSean McCoy
    Phi/7
    Team 3
    1.04
    RB4
    Matt Forte
    Chi/6
    Team 4
    1.05
    QB1
    Aaron Rodgers
    GB/10
    Team 5
    1.06
    RB5
    Trent Richardson
    Cle/10
    Team 6
    1.07
    RB6
    Chris Johnson
    Ten/11
    Team 7
    1.08
    WR1
    Calvin Johnson
    Det/5
    Team 8
    1.09
    QB2
    Tom Brady
    NE/9
    Team 9
    1.10
    TE1
    Jimmy Graham
    NO/6
    Team 10
    1.11
    TE2
    Rob Gronkowski
    NE/9
    Team 11
    1.12
    RB7
    Darren McFadden
    Oak/5
    Team 12
    1.13
    RB8
    Maurice Jones-Drew
    Jac/6
    Team 13
    1.14
    QB3
    Drew Brees
    NO/6
    Team 14
    2.01
    RB9
    Darren Sproles
    NO/6
    Team 14
    2.02
    RB10
    Jamaal Charles
    KC/7
    Team 13
    2.03
    RB11
    DeMarco Murray
    Dal/5
    Team 12
    2.04
    RB12
    Ahmad Bradshaw
    NYG/11
    Team 11
    2.05
    RB13
    Ryan Matthews
    SD/7
    Team 10
    2.06
    RB14
    Doug Martin
    TB/5
    Team 9
    2.07
    RB15
    Steven Jackson
    StL/9
    Team 8
    2.08
    RB16
    Fred Jackson
    Buf/8
    Team 7
    2.09
    WR2
    Larry Fitzgerald
    Ari/10
    Team 6
    2.10
    WR3
    Andre Johnson
    Hou/8
    Team 5
    2.11
    RB17
    Reggie Bush
    Mia/7
    Team 4
    2.12
    RB18
    Donald Brown
    Ind/4
    Team 3
    2.13
    RB19
    Marshawn Lynch
    Sea/11
    Team 2
    2.14
    WR5
    Julio Jones
    Atl/7
    Draft Study Team
    3.01
    WR6
    A.J. Green
    Cin/8
    Draft Study Team
    3.02
    WR4
    Roddy White
    Atl/7
    Team 2
    3.03
    WR7
    Victor Cruz
    NYG/11
    Team 3
    3.04
    QB4
    Cam Newton
    Car/6
    Team 4
    3.05
    RB20
    Isaac Redman
    Pit/4
    Team 5
    3.06
    QB5
    Matthew Stafford
    Det/5
    Team 6
    3.07
    RB21
    Michael Turner
    Atl/7
    Team 7
    3.08
    RB22
    Frank Gore
    SF/9
    Team 8
    3.09
    WR8
    Demaryius Thomas
    Den/7
    Team 9
    3.10
    WR9
    Greg Jennings
    GB/10
    Team 10
    3.11
    WR10
    Wes Welker
    NE/9
    Team 11
    3.12
    WR11
    Percy Harvin
    Min/11
    Team 12
    3.13
    WR12
    Brandon Marshall
    Chi/6
    Team 13
    3.14
    WR13
    Miles Austin
    Dal/5
    Team 14
    4.01
    RB23
    James Starks
    GB/10
    Team 14
    4.02
    TE3
    Aaron Hernandez
    NE/9
    Team 13
    4.03
    TE4
    Jason Witten
    Dal/5
    Team 12
    4.04
    TE5
    Antonio Gates
    SD/7
    Team 11
    4.05
    WR14
    Hakeem Nicks
    NYG/11
    Team 10
    4.06
    RB24
    Shonn Greene
    NYJ/9
    Team 9
    4.07
    WR15
    Marques Colston
    NO/6
    Team 8
    4.08
    WR16
    Steve Johnson
    Buf/8
    Team 7
    4.09
    TE6
    Vernon Davis
    SF/9
    Team 6
    4.10
    WR17
    Steve Smith
    Car/6
    Team 5
    4.11
    WR18
    Vincent Jackson
    TB/5
    Team 4
    4.12
    QB6
    Michael Vick
    Phi/7
    Team 3
    4.13
    QB7
    Philip Rivers
    SD/7
    Team 2
    4.14
    RB25
    Adrian Peterson
    Min/11
    Draft Study Team
    5.01
    WR19
    Jordy Nelson
    GB/10
    Draft Study Team
    5.02
    RB26
    Roy Helu
    Was/10
    Team 2
    5.03
    RB27
    Jonathan Stewart
    Car/6
    Team 3
    5.04
    RB28
    BenJarvus Green-Ellis
    Cin/8
    Team 4
    5.05
    RB29
    C.J. Spiller
    Buf/8
    Team 5
    5.06
    RB30
    Willis McGahee
    Den/7
    Team 6
    5.07
    QB8
    Eli Manning
    NYG/11
    Team 7
    5.08
    QB9
    Tony Romo
    Dal/5
    Team 8
    5.09
    WR20
    Dez Bryant
    Dal/5
    Team 9
    5.10
    WR21
    Mike Wallace
    Pit/4
    Team 10
    5.11
    WR22
    DeSean Jackson
    Phi/7
    Team 11
    5.12
    WR23
    Denarius Moore
    Oak/5
    Team 12
    5.13
    WR24
    Eric Decker
    Den/7
    Team 13
    5.14
    WR25
    Jeremy Maclin
    Phi/7
    Team 14
    6.01
    WR26
    Antonio Brown
    Pit/4
    Team 14
    6.02
    QB10
    Matt Ryan
    Atl/7
    Team 13
    6.03
    QB11
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Pit/4
    Team 12
    6.04
    WR27
    Torrey Smith
    Bal/8
    Team 11
    6.05
    WR28
    Dwayne Bowe
    KC/7
    Team 10
    6.06
    WR29
    Reggie Wayne
    Ind/4
    Team 9
    6.07
    WR30
    Brandon Lloyd
    NE/9
    Team 8
    6.08
    WR31
    Darrius Heyward-Bey
    Oak/5
    Team 7
    6.09
    RB31
    DeAngelo Williams
    Car/6
    Team 6
    6.10
    RB32
    Ryan Williams
    Ari/10
    Team 5
    6.11
    WR32
    Santonio Holmes
    NYJ/9
    Team 4
    6.12
    TE7
    Brandon Pettigrew
    Det/5
    Team 3
    6.13
    QB12
    Robert Griffin III
    Was/10
    Team 2
    6.14
    QB13
    Peyton Manning
    Den/7
    Draft Study Team
    7.01
    TE8
    Jermichael Finley
    GB/10
    Draft Study Team
    7.02
    WR33
    Kenny Britt
    Ten/11
    Team 2
    7.03
    WR34
    Sidney Rice
    Sea/11
    Team 3
    7.04
    WR35
    Robert Meachem
    SD/7
    Team 4
    7.05
    RB33
    Mark Ingram
    NO/6
    Team 5
    7.06
    RB34
    Stevan Ridley
    NE/9
    Team 6
    7.07
    TE9
    Tony Gonzalez
    Atl/7
    Team 7
    7.08
    RB35
    Peyton Hillis
    KC/7
    Team 8
    7.09
    RB36
    Pierre Thomas
    NO/6
    Team 9
    7.10
    RB37
    Kevin Smith
    Det/5
    Team 10
    7.11
    RB38
    Felix Jones
    Dal/5
    Team 11
    7.12
    RB39
    Michael Bush
    Chi/6
    Team 12
    7.13
    WR36
    Pierre Garcon
    Was/10
    Team 13
    7.14
    RB40
    Chris Wells
    Ari/10
    Team 14
    8.01
    WR37
    Malcom Floyd
    SD/7
    Team 14
    8.02
    TE10
    Fred Davis
    Was/10
    Team 13
    8.03
    QB14
    Josh Freeman
    TB/5
    Team 12
    8.04
    RB41
    Toby Gerhart
    Min/11
    Team 11
    8.05
    QB15
    Carson Palmer
    Oak/5
    Team 10
    8.06
    WR38
    Greg Little
    Cle/10
    Team 9
    8.07
    WR39
    Nate Washington
    Ten/11
    Team 8
    8.08
    WR40
    Anquan Boldin
    Bal/8
    Team 7
    8.09
    WR41
    Michael Crabtree
    SF/9
    Team 6
    8.10
    WR42
    Lance Moore
    NO/6
    Team 5
    8.11
    WR43
    Mike Williams
    TB/5
    Team 4
    8.12
    WR44
    Titus Young
    Det/5
    Team 3
    8.13
    WR45
    Austin Collie
    Ind/4
    Team 2
    8.14
    RB44
    Ben Tate
    Hou/8
    Draft Study Team
    9.01
    RB42
    Ronnie Hillman
    Den/7
    Draft Study Team
    9.02
    TE11
    Brent Celek
    Phi/7
    Team 2
    9.03
    RB43
    Mikel Leshoure
    Det/5
    Team 3
    9.04
    QB16
    Andy Dalton
    Cin/8
    Team 4
    9.05
    DEF1
    San Francisco
    SF/9
    Team 5
    9.06
    WR46
    Brandon LaFell
    Car/6
    Team 6
    9.07
    RB45
    Daniel Thomas
    Mia/7
    Team 7
    9.08
    RB46
    Jacquizz Rodgers
    Atl/7
    Team 8
    9.09
    RB47
    Rashad Jennings
    Jac/6
    Team 9
    9.10
    RB48
    Tim Hightower
    Was/10
    Team 10
    9.11
    DEF2
    Philadelphia
    Phi/7
    Team 11
    9.12
    TE12
    Dustin Keller
    NYJ/9
    Team 12
    9.13
    RB49
    Marcel Reece
    Oak/5
    Team 13
    9.14
    TE13
    Jermaine Gresham
    Cin/8
    Team 14
    10.01
    TE14
    Owen Daniels
    Hou/8
    Team 14
    10.02
    QB17
    Matt Schaub
    Hou/8
    Team 13
    10.03
    WR47
    Justin Blackmon
    Jac/6
    Team 12
    10.04
    QB18
    Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Buf/8
    Team 11
    10.05
    QB19
    Alex Smith
    SF/9
    Team 10
    10.06
    QB20
    Joe Flacco
    Bal/8
    Team 9
    10.07
    QB21
    Jay Cutler
    Chi/6
    Team 8
    10.08
    QB22
    Andrew Luck
    Ind/4
    Team 7
    10.09
    WR48
    Nate Burleson
    Det/5
    Team 6
    10.10
    WR49
    Doug Baldwin
    Sea/11
    Team 5
    10.11
    DEF3
    Baltimore
    Bal/8
    Team 4
    10.12
    DEF4
    Chicago
    Chi/6
    Team 3
    10.13
    RB50
    Joe McKnight
    NYJ/9
    Team 2
    10.14
    WR50
    Randy Moss
    SF/9
    Draft Study Team
    11.01
    QB23
    Jake Locker
    Ten/11
    Draft Study Team
    11.02
    DEF5
    New York Jets
    NYJ/9
    Team 2
    11.03
    TE15
    Jacob Tamme
    Den/7
    Team 3
    11.04
    TE16
    Jared Cook
    Ten/11
    Team 4
    11.05
    PK1
    Stephen Gostkowski
    NE/9
    Team 5
    11.06
    DEF6
    Pittsburgh
    Pit/4
    Team 6
    11.07
    DEF7
    New England
    NE/9
    Team 7
    11.08
    DEF8
    Green Bay
    GB/10
    Team 8
    11.09
    DEF9
    Detroit
    Det/5
    Team 9
    11.10
    RB51
    Danny Woodhead
    NE/9
    Team 10
    11.11
    RB52
    Kendall Hunter
    SF/9
    Team 11
    11.12
    DEF10
    New York Giants
    NYG/11
    Team 12
    11.13
    RB53
    David Wilson
    NYG/11
    Team 13
    11.14
    PK2
    David Akers
    SF/9
    Team 14
    12.01
    WR51
    David Nelson
    Buf/8
    Team 14
    12.02
    WR52
    Randall Cobb
    GB/10
    Team 13
    12.03
    WR53
    Jerome Simpson
    Min/11
    Team 12
    12.04
    WR54
    Michael Floyd
    Ari/10
    Team 11
    12.05
    WR55
    Davone Bess
    Mia/7
    Team 10
    12.06
    WR56
    Laurent Robinson
    Jac/6
    Team 9
    12.07
    WR57
    Emmanuel Sanders
    Pit/4
    Team 8
    12.08
    WR58
    Brian Hartline
    Mia/7
    Team 7
    12.09
    WR59
    Brian Quick
    StL/9
    Team 6
    12.10
    QB24
    Christian Ponder
    Min/11
    Team 5
    12.11
    TE17
    Coby Fleener
    Ind/4
    Team 4
    12.12
    QB25
    Sam Bradford
    StL/9
    Team 3
    12.13
    WR60
    Kendall Wright
    Ten/11
    Team 2
    12.14
    RB57
    Jahvid Best
    Det/5
    Draft Study Team
    13.01
    WR62
    Santana Moss
    Was/10
    Draft Study Team
    13.02
    TE18
    Greg Olsen
    Car/6
    Team 2
    13.03
    PK3
    Garrett Hartley
    NO/6
    Team 3
    13.04
    TE19
    Heath Miller
    Pit/4
    Team 4
    13.05
    DEF11
    Buffalo
    Buf/8
    Team 5
    13.06
    QB26
    Matt Cassel
    KC/7
    Team 6
    13.07
    PK4
    Mason Crosby
    GB/10
    Team 7
    13.08
    RB54
    Shane Vereen
    NE/9
    Team 8
    13.09
    RB55
    Alex Green
    GB/10
    Team 9
    13.10
    RB56
    Isaiah Pead
    StL/9
    Team 10
    13.11
    RB58
    Mike Goodson
    Oak/5
    Team 11
    13.12
    RB59
    Mike Tolbert
    Car/6
    Team 12
    13.13
    DEF12
    Dallas
    Dal/5
    Team 13
    13.14
    RB60
    LeGarrette Blount
    TB/5
    Team 14
    14.01
    RB61
    Danny Ware
    NYG/11
    Team 14
    14.02
    RB62
    Bernard Scott
    Cin/8
    Team 13
    14.03
    WR61
    Golden Tate
    Sea/11
    Team 12
    14.04
    TE20
    Ed Dickson
    Bal/8
    Team 11
    14.05
    TE21
    Kyle Rudolph
    Min/11
    Team 10
    14.06
    DEF13
    Seattle
    Sea/11
    Team 9
    14.07
    DEF14
    Atlanta
    Atl/7
    Team 8
    14.08
    WR63
    Alshon Jeffery
    Chi/6
    Team 7
    14.09
    PK5
    Sebastian Janikowski
    Oak/5
    Team 6
    14.10
    WR64
    Vincent Brown
    SD/7
    Team 5
    14.11
    PK6
    Alex Henery
    Phi/7
    Team 4
    14.12
    WR65
    Stephen Hill
    NYJ/9
    Team 3
    14.13
    WR66
    Donnie Avery
    Ind/4
    Team 2
    14.14
    RB67
    Bernard Pierce
    Bal/8
    Draft Study Team
    15.01
    WR78
    Roberto Wallace
    Mia/7
    Draft Study Team
    15.02
    PK7
    Dan Carpenter
    Mia/7
    Team 2
    15.03
    RB63
    Javon Ringer
    Ten/11
    Team 3
    15.04
    RB64
    Delone Carter
    Ind/4
    Team 4
    15.05
    TE22
    Lance Kendricks
    StL/9
    Team 5
    15.06
    RB65
    LeRon McClain
    SD/7
    Team 6
    15.07
    RB66
    Leon Washington
    Sea/11
    Team 7
    15.08
    TE23
    Marcedes Lewis
    Jac/6
    Team 8
    15.09
    TE24
    Tony Moeaki
    KC/7
    Team 9
    15.10
    RB68
    Robert Turbin
    Sea/11
    Team 10
    15.11
    PK8
    Randy Bullock
    Hou/8
    Team 11
    15.12
    RB69
    Dion Lewis
    Phi/7
    Team 12
    15.13
    PK9
    Nate Kaeding
    SD/7
    Team 13
    15.14
    RB70
    Brandon Jacobs
    SF/9
    Team 14
    16.01
    QB27
    Brandon Weeden
    Cle/10
    Team 14
    16.02
    WR67
    Steve Smith
    StL/9
    Team 13
    16.03
    PK10
    Dan Bailey
    Dal/5
    Team 12
    16.04
    QB28
    Matt Flynn
    Sea/11
    Team 11
    16.05
    PK11
    Matt Bryant
    Atl/7
    Team 10
    16.06
    TE25
    Scott Chandler
    Buf/8
    Team 9
    16.07
    TE26
    Zach Miller
    Sea/11
    Team 8
    16.08
    WR68
    Jacoby Ford
    Oak/5
    Team 7
    16.09
    WR69
    Devery Henderson
    NO/6
    Team 6
    16.10
    RB71
    Brian Leonard
    Cin/8
    Team 5
    16.11
    WR70
    Jason Avant
    Phi/7
    Team 4
    16.12
    WR71
    Earl Bennett
    Chi/6
    Team 3
    16.13
    WR72
    Steve Breaston
    KC/7
    Team 2
    16.14
    DEF18
    Denver
    Den/7
    Draft Study Team
    17.01
    TE28
    Dallas Clark
    TB/5
    Draft Study Team
    17.02
    WR73
    Rueben Randle
    NYG/11
    Team 2
    17.03
    WR74
    Leonard Hankerson
    Was/10
    Team 3
    17.04
    WR75
    Kevin Walter
    Hou/8
    Team 4
    17.05
    TE27
    Anthony Fasano
    Mia/7
    Team 5
    17.06
    TE29
    Dennis Pitta
    Bal/8
    Team 6
    17.07
    TE30
    Kellen Winslow
    Sea/11
    Team 7
    17.08
    PK12
    Billy Cundiff
    Bal/8
    Team 8
    17.09
    PK13
    Jason Hanson
    Det/5
    Team 9
    17.10
    DEF15
    New Orleans
    NO/6
    Team 10
    17.11
    WR76
    Harry Douglas
    Atl/7
    Team 11
    17.12
    WR77
    Donald Jones
    Buf/8
    Team 12
    17.13
    RB72
    Rashard Mendenhall
    Pit/4
    Team 13
    17.14
    DEF16
    Arizona
    Ari/10
    Team 14
    18.01
    DEF17
    Minnesota
    Min/11
    Team 14
    18.02
    WR79
    Lestar Jean
    Hou/8
    Team 13
    18.03
    RB73
    Jason Snelling
    Atl/7
    Team 12
    18.04
    WR80
    Mohamed Sanu
    Cin/8
    Team 11
    18.05
    WR81
    Danny Amendola
    StL/9
    Team 10
    18.06
    WR82
    Jonathan Baldwin
    KC/7
    Team 9
    18.07
    PK14
    Mike Nugent
    Cin/8
    Team 8
    18.08
    WR83
    Early Doucet
    Ari/10
    Team 7
    18.09
    WR84
    Mohamed Massaquoi
    Cle/10
    Team 6
    18.10
    WR85
    Jeremy Kerley
    NYJ/9
    Team 5
    18.11
    PK15
    Shaun Suisham
    Pit/4
    Team 4
    18.12
    PK16
    Neil Rackers
    Was/10
    Team 3
    18.13
    PK17
    Rob Bironas
    Ten/11
    Team 2
    18.14
    PK20
    Robbie Gould
    Chi/6
    Draft Study Team

    Breaking down the mock draft from the 1st draft position

    Round 1: RB Arian Foster

    This pick is a no brainer. Unless the scoring rules strongly favor the quarterback or receiver position, simply take your top running back on the board. In this example, that player is Arian Foster.

    Rounds 2-3 turn: WR Julio Jones / WR A.J. Green

    Running backs have been very popular in this draft thanks to the 14-teams as well as a flex position. This is not abnormal in this scenario as owners are always worried about the running back position drying up and especially so in a 14-team league in which you can start three running backs. While they scramble to fill their rosters with running backs, don't panic, don't follow and simply take the best two players on your draft board. You can make a case here for quarterback with both Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford still on the board but there are quarterbacks I like I should be able to target later such as Peyton Manning, Eli Manning or Matt Ryan so I wait on the position and instead take two young, gifted possible top-five fantasy receivers. Both players are explosive and could dominate if they improve over their rookie seasons last year. Their upside makes these two picks strong and their baseline is quite high in any case. It isn't like the players are a risk and both could elevate to top-tier fantasy producers.

    Round 4-5 turn: RB Adrian Peterson / WR Jordy Nelson

    I am totally shocked that these two names are available in this position but just like in most leagues, talent does fall as long as you are not fixated on certain players or positions. It may not be Adrian Peterson / Jordy Nelson available here but somebody high on your boards will be available and simply take those two guys. With Adrian Peterson's recovery from injury, it is indeed possible he falls to this position. Jordy Nelson I believe will be gone in most leagues but there will be a receiver worth selecting in his place. This is the era of wonderful receivers in the NFL and after five rounds my starting trio of Jones, Green and Nelson is unbelievable. I did not consider anybody else here as those two players were no brainers to scoop up.

    Rounds 6-7 turn: QB Peyton Manning / TE Jermichael Finley

    I am hopeful to add Toby Gerhart, Ben Tate or even Mark Ingram here and all three are available. I would love to draft the back up for Adrian Peterson and/or the player with good upside in Mark Ingram. However quarterbacks have gone off the board quickly with 6 points per touchdown and the tight end position has begun to dry up and a legitimate starting fantasy tight end may not get back to my next pick. I regretfully leave Gerhart and Tate behind, knowing they likely will be gone next pick and pick up the last quarterback I see with top-six potential in Peyton Manning as well as a tight end I feel can climb inside the top-five in Jermichael Finley. Have two strong starters here outweighs the advantage of handcuffing Peterson.

    Rounds 8-9 turn: RB Ben Tate / RB Ronnie Hillman

    While I was correct about Gerhart I am thrilled that Tate stayed available and I quickly scoop him up, near guaranteeing points from my RB1 position. Tate is a capable top-ten producer if he is called upon due to injury and I am blessed to get him in the 8th round. I love the upside of Ronnie Hillman and I am pleased to bring him in as my RB4. The only other player I consider here is Mikel Leshoure as his upside is equal to Hillman. The only difference is the injury concerns of Leshoure and that is real enough to warrant Hillman over him.

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

    Quarterbacks

  • Peyton Manning
  • Running Backs

  • Arian Foster
  • Adrian Peterson
  • Ben Tate
  • Ronnie Hillman
  • Wide Receivers

  • Julio Jones
  • A.J. Green
  • Jordy Nelson
  • Tight Ends

  • Jermichael Finley
  • Place Kickers

  • none
  • Defenses

  • none
  • I am very pleased with the makeup of this team through nine picks. This roster feels like a 12-team league instead of a 14-team league which means the draft went exceptionally well. I have pretty good depth at running back but obviously need to add a 2nd quarterback and tight end as well as some receiver depth in the rounds ahead. My starting lineup looks very strong and if Manning can find his old form and Adrian Peterson gets healthy, this team is fantastic. As of right now, my FLEX starter is either Ben Tate or Ronnie Hillman and that may need addressing if both do not get a lot of work to begin the season.

    Rounds 10-13: WR Randy Moss / QB Jake Locker / RB Jahvid Best / WR Santana Moss

    When my next two picks come around, I quickly scoop up Randy Moss here as he is a no brainer simply for the upside he possesses if he brings work ethic with his talent and ability. He is an older player now but not so old that he cannot catch lightning in a bottle like Jerry Rice did with the Raiders at the end of his career. I had been hopeful to wait on my backup quarterback one more cycle but the position is drying up and there is only one more player I really like here so I take Locker one round earlier than I would have liked. I like this kid and his ability to run and make plays happen downfield. I am thrilled to add a Jahvid Best in the 12th round. Sure he is having concussion problems and sure he is a risk.

    Rounds 14-18: RB Bernard Pierce / WR Roberto Wallace / DEF Broncos / TE Dallas Clark / PK Robbie Gould

    This is where you take upside players and I find one in Bernard Pierce. He can greatly exceed his draft positions and are worth a shot here. Pierce may even have some value as a goal line option for the Ravens and if Ray Rice loses time to injury, Pierce may be a surprisingly good fill in option. I add another receiver I believe has tremendous upside in Roberto Wallace.  With Chad Johnson getting his walking papers, there is a chance for Wallace to surprise. Finally I find a decent starting defense and kicker and a dependable backup tight end.

    Final Roster (Draft Slot #1)

    Quarterbacks

  • Peyton Manning
  • Jake Locker
  • Running Backs

  • Arian Foster
  • Adrian Peterson
  • Ben Tate
  • Ronnie Hillman
  • Jahvid Best
  • Bernard Pierce
  • Wide Receivers

  • Julio Jones
  • A.J. Green
  • Jordy Nelson
  • Randy Moss
  • Santana Moss
  • Roberto Wallace
  • Tight Ends

  • Jermichael Finley
  • Dallas Clark
  • Place Kickers

  • Robbie Gould
  • Defenses

  • Denver Broncos
  • Final thoughts on this roster

    This is a very strong roster in a fourteen team league. The receiving core is great and may be exceptional if the three veterans taken late pan out. There may be some serious trade bait amongst this group if all six play up to their potential. The running back position has plenty of upside as well but also some possibility of disappointments. Jahvid Best in particular is a boom or bust player. He could emerge as a starting running back for my team or completely fall from grace and get released. It all depends on his concussion issues. It is wonderful to have Ben Tate handcuffed to my top running back Arian Foster. That will help me breathe easier this season. It appears right now that my FLEX player may come from the receiver spot to start the season with the trio of veterans on board. It will come down to Randy Moss, Santana Moss, Roberto Wallace or possibly a running back if one emerges. I like my quarterback situation as I believe Peyton Manning has something to prove in 2012. If he falters or struggles with injury however, Jake Locker is far from a sure thing and I would have to address that via a trade or free agency. All in all though, this squad is a powerhouse for a 14-team league.

    Last thoughts on the 1st draft slot in a 14-team league

    As always, drafting from the first position is a fun drafting experience. You get the top player on your draft board as well as three of the top twenty-nine players in the draft. You have a strong influence on the draft with the back to back picks and with patience and smart drafting; this roster will be in great shape to contend for the title. As stated above, the only concern is the long time between picks. There were a couple of times I was tempted to wait on a position (Peyton Manning, Jake Locker, and Jermichael Finley) but if it appears that the talent will be drafted before your next picks, take the player in question. It really is about looking ahead and determine which players or positions are likely to drop. Do that successfully and your squad will be a frontrunner for the league championship.

    Good luck and happy drafting. Thanks for reading.

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