Draft Slots Study - 14 Teams / Pick 1.05
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 5th overall (14-team re-draft)

    Fourteen team leagues are quite challenging in that the talent pool (at least the elite talent) can dry up in a hurry. This is especially so in a FLEX league in which you must start a combination of seven running backs, receivers and tight ends. We already covered the first overall pick in a 14-team league so we will move a few spots down the order to the 5th pick in the draft. In the first article in this series, the top four picks were all running backs and in a FLEX league that is going to be the most popular beginning to a draft. With six points per touchdown pass, Aaron Rodgers can certainly slide into that top-four mix but having a FLEX position really does make it important to load up on running backs and receivers as much as possible.

    The owner drafting 5th in this example has a challenging decision to make. There are three directions to take this draft and those include drafting a running back such as Matt Forte, QB Aaron Rodgers or even WR Calvin Johnson. There are pros and cons to each of these three decisions which we will illustrate below.

    Possible strategies to incorporate into your draft

    Taking a quarterback with the 5th overall pick

    I ran this through the draft dominator twice and played several scenarios through in my mind and I just do not like taking a quarterback this early in a FLEX league. Even with the six points per touchdown pass, the rest of your team has some holes in it when you play the quarterback card this year. In a non-FLEX league I would be all over Rodgers here but really, the decision in my mind comes down to WR Calvin Johnson or a running back.

    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

  • WR Calvin Johnson
  • WR Julio Jones
  • WR Greg Jennings
  • RB Jonathan Stewart
  • RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
  • In this example, I will showcase what the first five rounds look like by selecting the top receiver with the 5th pick. Calvin Johnson is a beast and while it is tough to select a receiver so early, he is a safe way to begin your draft. The first three picks all found exceptional receiver value there and if your league is running back heavy to begin with, you will get a similar combination to this to begin your draft. Obviously the strength of this team will be the strong receiving trio. There is no doubt they will need to carry the team. The starting running back pair of Jonathan Stewart and BenJarvus Green-Ellis is not flashy but should be able to hold down the fort. Round six is likely going to be a quarterback at 6 points per touchdown it is important to get one of the guys who can exceed his draft spot. I will be looking for Peyton Manning or Matt Ryan there.

    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 LeSean McCoy
  • WR Andre Johnson
  • WR Greg Jennings
  • RB Adrian Peterson
  • WR DeSean Jackson
  • In this scenario above, both WR Calvin Johnson and QB Aaron Rodgers were plucked off the board ahead of my pick, making the selection of LeSean McCoy an easy one. In rounds two and three, top receiving talent in Andre Johnson and Greg Jennings slid to my picks and I quickly gobbled them up. Really it could be any of the four big positions (QB, RB, WR, and TE) depending on who falls. The fourth round saw Adrian Peterson available as owners are worried of his health. I have my doubts he will be available that late in other drafts but it does illustrate a point that talent will fall in drafts and not locking onto players will help find the best talent available. Finally in the 5th round I add DeSean Jackson who should be a very good WR3 for my team. I see lots of upside running backs in rounds six through twelve and many great receivers in the early rounds and will often have 3 receivers in the first five picks this season.

    Likely selections in first seven rounds

  • Round 1: RB / QB Aaron Rodgers/ WR Calvin Johnson
  • Round 2: RB/WR / QB Drew Brees, Tom Brady / TE Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski
  • Round 3: RB/WR / QB Cam Newton, QB Matthew Stafford
  • Round 4: RB/WR/ QB same as above or TE Antonio Gates, Aaron Hernandez, Jason Witten or same as above
  • Round 5: RB/WR / QB Top eight quarterback on board or tight ends mentioned plus Vernon Davis
  • Round 6: If no quarterback selected, take here. If not RB/WR or TE (if none drafted)
  • Round 7: If no tight end selected, take here if worthy one is available (don't reach). Otherwise RB or WR
  • Positives of the draft slot

  • Guaranteed top player with 5th overall pick
  • Get to pick before 1-4 owners in the 2nd round which is an advantage
  • Easy to project from even to odd rounds (example round 2 to round 3) and determine which players will be on the board
  • Negatives of the draft slot

  • Long wait between odd and even round picks makes it challenging to see ahead
  • In a flex league like this the value of taking an Aaron Rodgers 5th over can be questioned, even with 6 points per touchdown pass
  • In all likelihood the top tier of running backs will be gone forcing a choice between top receiver, top quarterback or 2nd-tier running back like Matt Forte
  • 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
    QB1
    Aaron Rodgers
    GB/10
    Team 4
    1.05
    RB4
    Matt Forte
    Chi/6
    Draft Study Team
    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
    Ahmad Bradshaw
    NYG/11
    Team 12
    2.04
    RB12
    DeMarco Murray 
    Dal/5
    Team 11
    2.05
    RB13
    Ryan Mathews
    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
    Draft Study Team
    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
    WR4
    Roddy White
    Atl/7
    Team 1
    3.01
    WR5
    Julio Jones
    Atl/7
    Team 1
    3.02
    WR6
    A.J. Green
    Cin/8
    Team 2
    3.03
    WR7
    Victor Cruz
    NYG/11
    Team 3
    3.04
    WR8
    Demaryius Thomas
    Den/7
    Team 4
    3.05
    WR9
    Greg Jennings
    GB/10
    Draft Study Team
    3.06
    RB25
    Adrian Peterson
    Min/11
    Team 6
    3.07
    QB4
    Cam Newton
    Car/6
    Team 7
    3.08
    QB5
    Matthew Stafford
    Det/5
    Team 8
    3.09
    RB20
    Isaac Redman
    Pit/4
    Team 9
    3.10
    WR10
    Wes Welker
    NE/9
    Team 10
    3.11
    WR11
    Percy Harvin
    Min/11
    Team 11
    3.12
    WR12
    Brandon Marshall
    Chi/6
    Team 12
    3.13
    WR13
    Miles Austin
    Dal/5
    Team 13
    3.14
    WR14
    Hakeem Nicks
    NYG/11
    Team 14
    4.01
    RB21
    Michael Turner
    Atl/7
    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
    RB22
    Frank Gore
    SF/9
    Team 10
    4.06
    RB23
    James Starks
    GB/10
    Team 9
    4.07
    WR15
    Marques Colston
    NO/6
    Team 8
    4.08
    RB24
    Shonn Greene
    NYJ/9
    Team 7
    4.09
    WR16
    Steve Johnson
    Buf/8
    Team 6
    4.10
    WR20
    Dez Bryant
    Dal/5
    Draft Study Team
    4.11
    TE6
    Vernon Davis
    SF/9
    Team 4
    4.12
    WR17
    Steve Smith
    Car/6
    Team 3
    4.13
    WR18
    Vincent Jackson
    TB/5
    Team 2
    4.14
    WR19
    Jordy Nelson
    GB/10
    Team 1
    5.01
    RB26
    Roy Helu
    Was/10
    Team 1
    5.02
    QB6
    Michael Vick
    Phi/7
    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
    Draft Study Team
    5.06
    QB7
    Philip Rivers
    SD/7
    Team 6
    5.07
    WR21
    Mike Wallace
    Pit/4
    Team 7
    5.08
    RB30
    Willis McGahee
    Den/7
    Team 8
    5.09
    WR22
    DeSean Jackson
    Phi/7
    Team 9
    5.10
    QB8
    Eli Manning
    NYG/11
    Team 10
    5.11
    QB9
    Tony Romo
    Dal/5
    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
    RB33
    Mark Ingram
    NO/6
    Draft Study Team
    6.11
    RB32
    Ryan Williams
    Ari/10
    Team 4
    6.12
    QB12
    Robert Griffin III
    Was/10
    Team 3
    6.13
    TE7
    Brandon Pettigrew
    Det/5
    Team 2
    6.14
    RB34
    Stevan Ridley
    NE/9
    Team 1
    7.01
    WR32
    Santonio Holmes
    NYJ/9
    Team 1
    7.02
    WR33
    Kenny Britt
    Ten/11
    Team 2
    7.03
    WR34
    Sidney Rice
    Sea/11
    Team 3
    7.04
    RB35
    Peyton Hillis
    KC/7
    Team 4
    7.05
    QB13
    Peyton Manning
    Den/7
    Draft Study Team
    7.06
    WR35
    Robert Meachem
    SD/7
    Team 6
    7.07
    TE8
    Jermichael Finley
    GB/10
    Team 7
    7.08
    RB36
    Pierre Thomas
    NO/6
    Team 8
    7.09
    TE9
    Tony Gonzalez
    Atl/7
    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
    WR38
    Greg Little
    Cle/10
    Team 10
    8.06
    WR39
    Nate Washington
    Ten/11
    Team 9
    8.07
    WR40
    Anquan Boldin
    Bal/8
    Team 8
    8.08
    WR41
    Michael Crabtree
    SF/9
    Team 7
    8.09
    WR42
    Lance Moore
    NO/6
    Team 6
    8.10
    TE15
    Jacob Tamme
    Den/7
    Draft Study Team
    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
    QB15
    Carson Palmer
    Oak/5
    Team 1
    9.01
    TE11
    Brent Celek
    Phi/7
    Team 1
    9.02
    RB42
    Ronnie Hillman
    Den/7
    Team 2
    9.03
    QB16
    Andy Dalton
    Cin/8
    Team 3
    9.04
    DEF1
    San Francisco
    SF/9
    Team 4
    9.05
    RB43
    Mikel Leshoure
    Det/5
    Draft Study Team
    9.06
    RB44
    Ben Tate
    Hou/8
    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
    WR46
    Brandon LaFell
    Car/6
    Team 11
    9.12
    DEF2
    Philadelphia
    Phi/7
    Team 12
    9.13
    RB49
    Marcel Reece
    Oak/5
    Team 13
    9.14
    RB50
    Joe McKnight
    NYJ/9
    Team 14
    10.01
    TE12
    Dustin Keller
    NYJ/9
    Team 14
    10.02
    QB17
    Matt Schaub
    Hou/8
    Team 13
    10.03
    TE13
    Jermaine Gresham
    Cin/8
    Team 12
    10.04
    QB18
    Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Buf/8
    Team 11
    10.05
    TE14
    Owen Daniels
    Hou/8
    Team 10
    10.06
    WR47
    Justin Blackmon
    Jac/6
    Team 9
    10.07
    QB19
    Alex Smith
    SF/9
    Team 8
    10.08
    DEF3
    Baltimore
    Bal/8
    Team 7
    10.09
    QB20
    Joe Flacco
    Bal/8
    Team 6
    10.10
    WR50
    Randy Moss
    SF/9
    Draft Study Team
    10.11
    QB21
    Jay Cutler
    Chi/6
    Team 4
    10.12
    DEF4
    Chicago
    Chi/6
    Team 3
    10.13
    QB22
    Andrew Luck
    Ind/4
    Team 2
    10.14
    PK1
    Stephen Gostkowski
    NE/9
    Team 1
    11.01
    QB23
    Jake Locker
    Ten/11
    Team 1
    11.02
    DEF5
    New York Jets
    NYJ/9
    Team 2
    11.03
    TE16
    Jared Cook
    Ten/11
    Team 3
    11.04
    WR48
    Nate Burleson
    Det/5
    Team 4
    11.05
    RB53
    David Wilson
    NYG/11
    Draft Study Team
    11.06
    DEF6
    Pittsburgh
    Pit/4
    Team 6
    11.07
    WR49
    Doug Baldwin
    Sea/11
    Team 7
    11.08
    DEF7
    New England
    NE/9
    Team 8
    11.09
    DEF8
    Green Bay
    GB/10
    Team 9
    11.10
    DEF9
    Detroit
    Det/5
    Team 10
    11.11
    RB51
    Danny Woodhead
    NE/9
    Team 11
    11.12
    WR51
    David Nelson
    Buf/8
    Team 12
    11.13
    RB52
    Kendall Hunter
    SF/9
    Team 13
    11.14
    TE17
    Coby Fleener
    Ind/4
    Team 14
    12.01
    WR52
    Randall Cobb
    GB/10
    Team 14
    12.02
    WR53
    Jerome Simpson
    Min/11
    Team 13
    12.03
    WR54
    Michael Floyd
    Ari/10
    Team 12
    12.04
    WR55
    Davone Bess
    Mia/7
    Team 11
    12.05
    WR56
    Laurent Robinson
    Jac/6
    Team 10
    12.06
    WR57
    Emmanuel Sanders
    Pit/4
    Team 9
    12.07
    WR58
    Brian Hartline
    Mia/7
    Team 8
    12.08
    WR59
    Brian Quick
    StL/9
    Team 7
    12.09
    PK2
    David Akers
    SF/9
    Team 6
    12.10
    WR62
    Santana Moss
    Was/10
    Draft Study Team
    12.11
    WR60
    Kendall Wright
    Ten/11
    Team 4
    12.12
    PK3
    Garrett Hartley
    NO/6
    Team 3
    12.13
    RB54
    Shane Vereen
    NE/9
    Team 2
    12.14
    DEF10
    New York Giants
    NYG/11
    Team 1
    13.01
    TE18
    Greg Olsen
    Car/6
    Team 1
    13.02
    TE19
    Heath Miller
    Pit/4
    Team 2
    13.03
    TE20
    Ed Dickson
    Bal/8
    Team 3
    13.04
    PK4
    Mason Crosby
    GB/10
    Team 4
    13.05
    QB25
    Sam Bradford
    StL/9
    Draft Study Team
    13.06
    DEF11
    Buffalo
    Buf/8
    Team 6
    13.07
    QB24
    Christian Ponder
    Min/11
    Team 7
    13.08
    RB55
    Alex Green
    GB/10
    Team 8
    13.09
    QB26
    Matt Cassel
    KC/7
    Team 9
    13.10
    RB56
    Isaiah Pead
    StL/9
    Team 10
    13.11
    RB57
    Jahvid Best
    Det/5
    Team 11
    13.12
    RB58
    Mike Goodson
    Oak/5
    Team 12
    13.13
    RB59
    Mike Tolbert
    Car/6
    Team 13
    13.14
    DEF12
    Dallas
    Dal/5
    Team 14
    14.01
    RB60
    LeGarrette Blount
    TB/5
    Team 14
    14.02
    DEF13
    Seattle
    Sea/11
    Team 13
    14.03
    RB61
    Danny Ware
    NYG/11
    Team 12
    14.04
    DEF14
    Atlanta
    Atl/7
    Team 11
    14.05
    WR61
    Golden Tate
    Sea/11
    Team 10
    14.06
    TE21
    Kyle Rudolph
    Min/11
    Team 9
    14.07
    RB62
    Bernard Scott
    Cin/8
    Team 8
    14.08
    PK5
    Sebastian Janikowski
    Oak/5
    Team 7
    14.09
    WR63
    Alshon Jeffery
    Chi/6
    Team 6
    14.10
    DEF18
    Denver
    Den/7
    Draft Study Team
    14.11
    WR64
    Vincent Brown
    SD/7
    Team 4
    14.12
    RB63
    Javon Ringer
    Ten/11
    Team 3
    14.13
    RB64
    Delone Carter
    Ind/4
    Team 2
    14.14
    RB65
    LeRon McClain
    SD/7
    Team 1
    15.01
    RB66
    Leon Washington
    Sea/11
    Team 1
    15.02
    RB67
    Bernard Pierce
    Bal/8
    Team 2
    15.03
    RB68
    Robert Turbin
    Sea/11
    Team 3
    15.04
    TE22
    Lance Kendricks
    StL/9
    Team 4
    15.05
    RB83
    Bilal Powell
    NYJ/9
    Draft Study Team
    15.06
    TE23
    Marcedes Lewis
    Jac/6
    Team 6
    15.07
    TE24
    Tony Moeaki
    KC/7
    Team 7
    15.08
    TE25
    Scott Chandler
    Buf/8
    Team 8
    15.09
    PK6
    Alex Henery
    Phi/7
    Team 9
    15.10
    QB27
    Brandon Weeden
    Cle/10
    Team 10
    15.11
    RB69
    Dion Lewis
    Phi/7
    Team 11
    15.12
    WR65
    Stephen Hill
    NYJ/9
    Team 12
    15.13
    RB70
    Brandon Jacobs
    SF/9
    Team 13
    15.14
    QB28
    Matt Flynn
    Sea/11
    Team 14
    16.01
    PK7
    Dan Carpenter
    Mia/7
    Team 14
    16.02
    WR66
    Donnie Avery
    Ind/4
    Team 13
    16.03
    PK8
    Randy Bullock
    Hou/8
    Team 12
    16.04
    PK9
    Nate Kaeding
    SD/7
    Team 11
    16.05
    PK10
    Dan Bailey
    Dal/5
    Team 10
    16.06
    WR67
    Steve Smith
    StL/9
    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
    TE28
    Dallas Clark
    TB/5
    Draft Study Team
    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
    WR73
    Rueben Randle
    NYG/11
    Team 1
    17.01
    RB71
    Brian Leonard
    Cin/8
    Team 1
    17.02
    PK11
    Matt Bryant
    Atl/7
    Team 2
    17.03
    RB72
    Rashard Mendenhall
    Pit/4
    Team 3
    17.04
    WR74
    Leonard Hankerson
    Was/10
    Team 4
    17.05
    WR80
    Mohamed Sanu
    Cin/8
    Draft Study Team
    17.06
    TE27
    Anthony Fasano
    Mia/7
    Team 6
    17.07
    WR75
    Kevin Walter
    Hou/8
    Team 7
    17.08
    PK12
    Billy Cundiff
    Bal/8
    Team 8
    17.09
    WR76
    Harry Douglas
    Atl/7
    Team 9
    17.10
    WR77
    Donald Jones
    Buf/8
    Team 10
    17.11
    WR78
    Roberto Wallace
    Mia/7
    Team 11
    17.12
    WR79
    Lestar Jean
    Hou/8
    Team 12
    17.13
    PK13
    Jason Hanson
    Det/5
    Team 13
    17.14
    RB73
    Jason Snelling
    Atl/7
    Team 14
    18.01
    DEF15
    New Orleans
    NO/6
    Team 14
    18.02
    WR81
    Danny Amendola
    StL/9
    Team 13
    18.03
    WR82
    Jonathan Baldwin
    KC/7
    Team 12
    18.04
    WR83
    Early Doucet
    Ari/10
    Team 11
    18.05
    WR84
    Mohamed Massaquoi
    Cle/10
    Team 10
    18.06
    DEF16
    Arizona
    Ari/10
    Team 9
    18.07
    WR85
    Jeremy Kerley
    NYJ/9
    Team 8
    18.08
    RB74
    Jonathan Dwyer
    Pit/4
    Team 7
    18.09
    TE29
    Dennis Pitta
    Bal/8
    Team 6
    18.10
    PK19
    Matt Prater
    Den/7
    Draft Study Team
    18.11
    RB75
    Dexter McCluster
    KC/7
    Team 4
    18.12
    WR86
    Mario Manningham
    SF/9
    Team 3
    18.13
    WR87
    David Gettis
    Car/6
    Team 2
    18.14
    DEF17
    Minnesota
    Min/11
    Team 1

    Breaking down the mock draft from the 5th draft position

    Round 1: RB Matt Forte

    As mentioned above, in a flex league I simply cannot justify going quarterback this early which makes it a choice between running back and receiver. If Matt Forte had been selected instead of Aaron Rodgers I may have begun the draft with Calvin Johnson but since I did a five-round example on him above, I decide to take Matt Forte who is both a capable running back and receiver If the top four running backs are off the board (Arian Foster, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte), I will take Calvin Johnson and not look back.

    Rounds 2: WR Andre Johnson

    It is an easy decision when round two comes around and Andre Johnson is available to be selected. Here is a perfect example of why you should be flexible and not fall in love with a particular player in your mind before the draft. Talent will fall in every fantasy draft and the owners that stay cool and draft based on value instead of positional needs will do well. Johnson is a potential top-12 player and to get him with the 24th pick feels pretty good.

    Rounds 3: WR Greg Jennings

    This is another no brainer in round three with Greg Jennings being available. I do consider Adrian Peterson and Michael Turner here but really, Jennings is a sure thing and a potential top-three receiver this year. He joins Andre Johnson in my receiving stable and gives me a tremendous 1-2 punch. Peterson really did make me jump here as he does have great upside from this position. However in the first three rounds I like players likely to have top production, not maybe they can have top production and that is the difference between Jennings and Peterson.

    Round 4: WR Dez Bryant

    I do not see running back value when this pick arrives and I see multiple quarterbacks that I am comfortable with so I choose between one of the strong receivers remaining or TE Vernon Davis. It is a very tough call because of the big numbers that Vernon Davis can put up and you can always start two tight ends in this league as well. Also the one and a half points per catch comes into play. However I still like having a trio of strong receivers to plug into the lineup each week and see lots of tight ends I think can exceed their draft slots this year so I wait on tight end and go with the receiver position. Dez Bryant has top receiver potential and that is why I took him over Steve Smith and Jordy Nelson. All three are sick value in round four though.

    Rounds 5: RB C.J. Spiller

    This is a very difficult decision here. In fact I have to go against my normal strategy of take the best available player and go positional needs. I see Mike Wallace on the board here and I see him in the FLEX role for my team and start to drool. He is top-five capable and my receiving stable could be almost unbeatable. However at this point in the draft, I see tons of running backs with potential but little guarantees of success and I really like what Spiller can do as my RB2. I see him at worst as a decent RB2 option but at best he slowly emerges with more work throughout the season and becomes a fantasy weapon in the fantasy playoffs. I decide to take Spiller as my receiving core is already strong. If this scenario comes up and you decide to go with Wallace, it is a very good decision as well. Simply make sure to target receivers often in the next six rounds.

    Rounds 6: RB Mark Ingram

    I am tempted to go quarterback here as there are only a couple of more I like as my QB1. However I love both of them in that role and I am fairly confident one, if not both of them will drop to my pick. I decide to scoop up another running back with upside in Mark Ingram. He played hurt last season and owners have forgotten him somewhat but he is capable of big things and is a value pick in the sixth round. I gladly scoop him up here to add stability to my running back core. There is a real chance he starts each week over C.J. Spiller whom I drafted earlier. The only other thing I ponder here is to go tight end but I still see several I like on the board and decide I can wait until round eight.

    Round 7: QB Peyton Manning

    I am relieved when my turn comes up and Peyton Manning is still on the board. He has top-five potential obviously if healthy and I gladly grab him in round seven. That is why I believe it is critical not to take a quarterback in the first five picks in a FLEX league. Quarterback value will be there in rounds five through eight.

    Rounds 8: TE Jacob Tamme

    Here is one of the tight ends I was talking about in round six. Tamme could team up with Manning and become a top five tight end. He is talented, a strong receiver and will get tons of looks from a veteran quarterback that likes to involve his tight ends. He is an easy choice here.

    Rounds 9: RB Mikel Leshoure

    I decide to add another young running back here, added them to my roster in the hopes that potential meets head on with production for at least one of these players. He is a major talent but needs to fully recover from injury to have a big impact. I do consider the receiver position as I am still sitting on three players but the three I am sitting on are outstanding and that gives me some room for patience here.

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

    Quarterbacks

  • Peyton Manning
  • Running Backs

  • Matt Forte
  • C.J. Spiller
  • Mark Ingram
  • Mikel Leshoure
  • Wide Receivers

  • Andre Johnson
  • Greg Jennings
  • Dez Bryant
  • Tight Ends

  • Jacob Tamme
  • Place Kickers

  • none
  • Defenses

  • none
  • I am very pleased with this squad through nine picks. Really, everything came together quite nicely. I have a good quarterback in place that could be an elite one in Peyton Manning. A tight end I personally love the potential of in Jacob Tamme, Three elite receivers in Andre Johnson, Greg Jennings and Dez Bryant, the kind of trio you can start each week and not give it a second thought. I have a good RB1 in Matt Forte that has boom potential. He also could underachieve however and there is the risk. The other three running backs are young, talented players with huge upside and also sizable chance of failure. If they improve and grow as players, the sky is the limit and their success would make this squad unbeatable. At this time, the starting lineup looks very strong. The only real question mark right now is at RB2 and FLEX and I will need those young players to shine.

    Rounds 10-13: WR Randy Moss / RB David Wilson / WR Santana Moss / QB Sam Bradford

    I can see myself taking Randy Moss in every fantasy draft if he is available in round ten. You do not have to be a young player to have upside. Randy Moss has elite potential and even at his age the chance of a boom season is pretty good. Jerry Rice found lightning in a bottle with the Raiders and I am betting that Randy Moss does the same with the 49ers, making Alex Smith and the entire offensive team much better in 2012. If he does produce, my receiver stable is off the charts and especially so with the forgotten Santana Moss. Why he has slid so far down the rankings with better quarterback play I do not understand but he will post the best receiver numbers in Washington this season. I add another very young running back with upside in David Wilson and he may push Ahmad Bradshaw for playing time as the year wears on. Finally with quarterback position drying up, I decide to get that backup to Manning now. Sam Bradford has had a rough start to his career but many of those factors were outside of his control and his upside is still high.

    Rounds 14-18: Broncos Defense / RB Bilal Powell / TE Dallas Clark / WR Mohamed Sanu / PK Matt Prater

    I finally grab a defense in the 14th round, right around where I will always scoop one up and scoring rules dictate otherwise. I add another young running back with tons of upside in Bilal Powell. He has been exciting through camp and the Jets are not happy with their current backfield rotation so Powell may surprise with lots of work in 2012. Dallas Clark will be a dependable backup for my team and has plenty of experience to rely on. I love the potential of rookie receiver Mohamed Sanu as do the Bengals coaching staff and he will get lots of work this season. Finally I grab a kicker on what should be a good offensive team.

    Final Roster (Draft Slot #5)

    Quarterbacks

  • Peyton Manning
  • Sam Bradford
  • Running Backs

  • Matt Forte
  • C.J. Spiller
  • Mark Ingram
  • Mikel Leshoure
  • David Wilson
  • Bilal Powell
  • Wide Receivers

  • Andre Johnson
  • Greg Jennings
  • Dez Bryant
  • Randy Moss
  • Santana Moss
  • Mohamed Sanu
  • Tight Ends

  • Jacob Tamme
  • Dallas Clark
  • Place Kickers

  • Matt Prater
  • Defenses

  • Denver Broncos
  • Final thoughts on this roster

    This is a very interesting squad. First of all, the receiving core is strong heading into the season. That is the baseline for this unit with the upside being spectacular. The starting trio is wonderful and could carry the team a long way. Adding two talented, veteran receivers out to prove themselves in Santana Moss and Randy Moss could turn this until into an incredible group and would give some serious trading options to desperate owners. The running back group is interesting. I have six very young running backs with tons of upside and it remains to be seen how much work they will receive. Each of these six players is explosive, hard running players with good vision and has top-12 fantasy potential. It all depends on opportunities with them. I am very happy with the six of them and believe at least four will put up RB2 statistics or better, if not more. I love my tight end position and kickers / defense are good enough.

    Last thoughts on the 5th draft slot in a 14-team league

    This isn't a terrible position to draft from in 2012. Either select one of the top four running backs mentioned earlier or Calvin Johnson and you will be on your way. Do not lock into a player or a position in the first three rounds of you draft. Instead select the best available player on your board. The exception to this is in round one. Aaron Rodgers may be the best available player on your board but taking him in a FLEX league makes it extremely difficult to make up ground on the other owners who selected running back or receiver in round one. Let somebody else scoop up Rodgers. It is really easy to look ahead from the even to odd rounds but not easy odd to even so take your time and attempt to determine which players are likely to go when. If you do that successfully you will have a very successful fantasy draft and be on your way to contending for the title.

    Good luck and happy drafting. Thanks for reading.

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