Draft Slots Study - 14 Teams / Pick 1.08
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
  • A few players are dropping further than anticipated in the Draft Dominator likely due to a number of factors. I have tweaked those players' projections higher in order to have them drafted where they should be in the draft. I am always striving to make this series better so if you have any feedback or questions, let me know. 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 8th overall (14-team re-draft)

    As mentioned in the previous two articles in this series, 14-team leagues are very tough. The elite talent pool dries up in a hurry and especially so in a FLEX league, quarterbacks are de-valued and the other three positions are elevated. Starting a combination of 7 players at (RB, WR and TE) means 98 players in those three positions will start each week. In a non-FLEX twelve team comparable league only 72 players in those positions will start. An extra 26 starters each week truly does thin down the talent pool quickly and that is why it is important to leave the quarterback position until at least round six unless exceptional value drops down to your pick.

    Eighth overall is an interesting place to draft from. The top 4-5 running backs, WR Calvin Johnson, QB Aaron Rodgers and possible TE Jimmy Graham are all likely to be off the board here. That means you are drafting behind the eight ball in comparison with the owners drafting first through seventh. However the earlier second-round pick will help even the odds and there is a decent chance one of the above players drop to your spot here. What you are hoping for here is for Aaron Rodgers to be selected by your pick as it will be next to impossible to leave him on the board here. If he does drop to this pick, completely ignore this possible until at least round 12 and take whatever backup quarterback you can get. I will look at three different scenarios below to provide different looks at possibilities and how your foundation (the first five picks) will look if you go down that path.

    Possible strategies to incorporate into your draft

    League that goes RB heavy in first two rounds

    Taking a wide receiver in the first round - Possible squad through five rounds

  • WR Calvin Johnson
  • RB Ahmad Bradshaw
  • WR Julio Jones
  • WR Steve Smith
  • RB Willis McGahee
  • In this example, starting off Calvin Johnson is just fine. It really does not matter if you go receiver or running back first depending on how is available as you must start a combination of seven from these positions and tight end no matter who you take first. A decent running back is available in round two so it is better to go running back here than receivers realizing that receiver talent will still be on the board in rounds three and four. After scooping up a nice pair of pass catchers in round three and four it is nice to find a decent running back option in round five. All in all, with three strong receivers and two decent running backs on the board, this is a good foundation to build upon. If this was my running back pair I would look to handcuff rookie Ronnie Hillman to McGahee and rookie David Wilson to Bradshaw to really cement the fantasy points from these two positions.

    Taking a quarterback in the first round - Possible squad through five rounds

  • QB Aaron Rodgers
  • RB Adrian Peterson
  • WR Wes Welker
  • WR Dez Bryant
  • RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
  • In this second example of a running back heavy start to the fantasy draft, I like how this turned out more than I thought I would. The nice thing here is having the quarterback position sewn up with a quarterback likely to post huge numbers with six points per touchdown pass. A running back combination of Adrian Peterson and BenJarvus Green-Ellis is solid with high upside potential while the receiving duo of Wes Welker and Dez Bryant is strong. Following the next few rounds through, not having to target the quarterback position while other teams are doing so will help to secure another running back or two, receiver and a good starting tight end and this squad would be in solid shape. If Rodgers is available in the 8 slot, he must be selected and it is nice to know the squad will still be in good shape despite the FLEX position.

    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 Matt Forte
  • RB Jamaal Charles
  • RB Marshawn Lynch
  • WR Dez Bryant
  • WR DeSean Jackson
  • This is a big switch up from the earlier examples. In this mock up, running back talent is the one that slips each round and a more conventional drafting strategy of RB/RB/RB to begin the draft occurs. Obviously the strength of this squad is going to be the starting running back trio as in most weeks, the FLEX play will come from there. The receiving core is also in good shape with a strong pair of receivers.

    Likely selections in first seven rounds

  • Round 1: WR Calvin Johnson / QB Aaron Rodgers / RB
  • Round 2: RB/WR/QB Drew Brees or Tom Brady/ TE Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski
  • Round 3: RB/WR or QB/TE mentioned above
  • Round 4: RB/WR unless exceptional value at QB (above mentioned plus Matthew Stafford or Cam Newton), or TE above plus Antonio Gates
  • Round 5: RB/WR unless great value at QB
  • Round 6: RB/WR/TE/QB
  • Round 7: RB/WR/TE/QB
  • Positives of the draft slot

  • Lots of talent available inside the top-eight this season
  • Less time between picks makes it easier to project next players available
  • The earlier 2nd round pick over owners first through seventh can be big advantage
  • Negatives of the draft slot

  • Hard to dictate direction of the draft when stuck in the middle
  • Can feel like you are playing catch-up with owners ahead (1st through 7th) and behind (earlier 2nd round picks)
  • Impossible to project the first two rounds of your draft beforehand. Too many uncertainties in the middle of the draft
  • 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
    Matt Forte
    Chi/6
    Team 4
    1.05
    QB1
    Aaron Rodgers
    GB/10
    Team 5
    1.06
    WR1
    Calvin Johnson
    Det/5
    Team 6
    1.07
    QB2
    Tom Brady
    NE/9
    Team 7
    1.08
    RB7
    Chris Johnson
    Ten/11
    Draft Study Team
    1.09
    RB5
    Trent Richardson
    Cle/10
    Team 9
    1.10
    QB3
    Drew Brees
    NO/6
    Team 10
    1.11
    RB6
    Darren McFadden
    Oak/5
    Team 11
    1.12
    TE1
    Jimmy Graham
    NO/6
    Team 12
    1.13
    TE2
    Rob Gronkowski
    NE/9
    Team 13
    1.14
    RB8
    Maurice Jones-Drew
    Jac/6
    Team 14
    2.01
    RB9
    Jamaal Charles
    KC/7
    Team 14
    2.02
    RB10
    Ahmad Bradshaw
    NYG/11
    Team 13
    2.03
    RB11
    DeMarco Murray
    Dal/5
    Team 12
    2.04
    RB12
    Ryan Matthews
    SD/7
    Team 11
    2.05
    RB13
    Doug Martin
    TB/5
    Team 10
    2.06
    WR2
    Larry Fitzgerald
    Ari/10
    Team 9
    2.07
    WR3
    Andre Johnson
    Hou/8
    Draft Study Team
    2.08
    RB14
    Steven Jackson
    StL/9
    Team 7
    2.09
    WR4
    Julio Jones
    Atl/7
    Team 6
    2.10
    RB15
    Fred Jackson
    Buf/8
    Team 5
    2.11
    QB4
    Cam Newton
    Car/6
    Team 4
    2.12
    QB5
    Matthew Stafford
    Det/5
    Team 3
    2.13
    WR5
    Greg Jennings
    GB/10
    Team 2
    2.14
    RB17
    Adrian Peterson
    Min/11
    Team 1
    3.01
    WR6
    Roddy White
    Atl/7
    Team 1
    3.02
    WR7
    Jordy Nelson
    GB/10
    Team 2
    3.03
    WR8
    Dez Bryant
    Dal/5
    Team 3
    3.04
    WR9
    A.J. Green
    Cin/8
    Team 4
    3.05
    WR10
    Victor Cruz
    NYG/11
    Team 5
    3.06
    RB16
    Darren Sproles
    NO/6
    Team 6
    3.07
    WR11
    Demaryius Thomas
    Den/7
    Team 7
    3.08
    WR12
    Wes Welker
    NE/9
    Draft Study Team
    3.09
    WR13
    Mike Wallace
    Pit/4
    Team 9
    3.10
    WR14
    Percy Harvin
    Min/11
    Team 10
    3.11
    WR15
    Brandon Marshall
    Chi/6
    Team 11
    3.12
    WR16
    Miles Austin
    Dal/5
    Team 12
    3.13
    WR17
    Hakeem Nicks
    NYG/11
    Team 13
    3.14
    WR18
    Marques Colston
    NO/6
    Team 14
    4.01
    TE3
    Aaron Hernandez
    NE/9
    Team 14
    4.02
    RB18
    Reggie Bush
    Mia/7
    Team 13
    4.03
    RB19
    Donald Brown
    Ind/4
    Team 12
    4.04
    WR19
    Steve Johnson
    Buf/8
    Team 11
    4.05
    WR20
    Steve Smith
    Car/6
    Team 10
    4.06
    RB20
    Marshawn Lynch
    Sea/11
    Team 9
    4.07
    RB23
    Frank Gore
    SF/9
    Draft Study Team
    4.08
    WR21
    Vincent Jackson
    TB/5
    Team 7
    4.09
    TE4
    Jason Witten
    Dal/5
    Team 6
    4.10
    TE5
    Antonio Gates
    SD/7
    Team 5
    4.11
    RB21
    Isaac Redman
    Pit/4
    Team 4
    4.12
    TE6
    Vernon Davis
    SF/9
    Team 3
    4.13
    RB22
    Michael Turner
    Atl/7
    Team 2
    4.14
    QB6
    Michael Vick
    Phi/7
    Team 1
    5.01
    RB24
    James Starks
    GB/10
    Team 1
    5.02
    RB25
    Shonn Greene
    NYJ/9
    Team 2
    5.03
    RB26
    Roy Helu
    Was/10
    Team 3
    5.04
    RB27
    Jonathan Stewart
    Car/6
    Team 4
    5.05
    RB28
    BenJarvus Green-Ellis
    Cin/8
    Team 5
    5.06
    RB29
    C.J. Spiller
    Buf/8
    Team 6
    5.07
    RB30
    Willis McGahee
    Den/7
    Team 7
    5.08
    WR24
    Eric Decker
    Den/7
    Draft Study Team
    5.09
    QB7
    Philip Rivers
    SD/7
    Team 9
    5.10
    RB31
    Mark Ingram
    NO/6
    Team 10
    5.11
    QB8
    Eli Manning
    NYG/11
    Team 11
    5.12
    QB9
    Tony Romo
    Dal/5
    Team 12
    5.13
    WR22
    DeSean Jackson
    Phi/7
    Team 13
    5.14
    WR23
    Denarius Moore
    Oak/5
    Team 14
    6.01
    WR25
    Jeremy Maclin
    Phi/7
    Team 14
    6.02
    QB10
    Matt Ryan
    Atl/7
    Team 13
    6.03
    WR26
    Antonio Brown
    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
    RB34
    Stevan Ridley
    NE/9
    Draft Study Team
    6.08
    WR30
    Brandon Lloyd
    NE/9
    Team 7
    6.09
    RB32
    DeAngelo Williams
    Car/6
    Team 6
    6.10
    WR31
    Darrius Heyward-Bey
    Oak/5
    Team 5
    6.11
    QB11
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Pit/4
    Team 4
    6.12
    WR32
    Santonio Holmes
    NYJ/9
    Team 3
    6.13
    QB12
    Robert Griffin III
    Was/10
    Team 2
    6.14
    TE7
    Brandon Pettigrew
    Det/5
    Team 1
    7.01
    WR33
    Kenny Britt
    Ten/11
    Team 1
    7.02
    WR34
    Sidney Rice
    Sea/11
    Team 2
    7.03
    RB33
    Ryan Williams
    Ari/10
    Team 3
    7.04
    WR35
    Robert Meachem
    SD/7
    Team 4
    7.05
    RB35
    Peyton Hillis
    KC/7
    Team 5
    7.06
    WR36
    Pierre Garcon
    Was/10
    Team 6
    7.07
    RB36
    Pierre Thomas
    NO/6
    Team 7
    7.08
    QB13
    Peyton Manning
    Den/7
    Draft Study Team
    7.09
    TE8
    Jermichael Finley
    GB/10
    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
    QB14
    Josh Freeman
    TB/5
    Team 13
    7.14
    QB15
    Carson Palmer
    Oak/5
    Team 14
    8.01
    WR37
    Malcom Floyd
    SD/7
    Team 14
    8.02
    WR38
    Greg Little
    Cle/10
    Team 13
    8.03
    WR39
    Nate Washington
    Ten/11
    Team 12
    8.04
    TE9
    Tony Gonzalez
    Atl/7
    Team 11
    8.05
    TE10
    Fred Davis
    Was/10
    Team 10
    8.06
    RB40
    Chris Wells
    Ari/10
    Team 9
    8.07
    WR40
    Anquan Boldin
    Bal/8
    Draft Study Team
    8.08
    RB41
    Toby Gerhart
    Min/11
    Team 7
    8.09
    QB16
    Andy Dalton
    Cin/8
    Team 6
    8.10
    WR41
    Michael Crabtree
    SF/9
    Team 5
    8.11
    WR42
    Lance Moore
    NO/6
    Team 4
    8.12
    WR43
    Mike Williams
    TB/5
    Team 3
    8.13
    WR44
    Titus Young
    Det/5
    Team 2
    8.14
    WR45
    Austin Collie
    Ind/4
    Team 1
    9.01
    TE11
    Brent Celek
    Phi/7
    Team 1
    9.02
    RB42
    Ronnie Hillman
    Den/7
    Team 2
    9.03
    WR46
    Terrell Owens
    Sea/11
    Team 3
    9.04
    DEF1
    San Francisco
    SF/9
    Team 4
    9.05
    RB43
    Mikel Leshoure
    Det/5
    Team 5
    9.06
    RB44
    Ben Tate
    Hou/8
    Team 6
    9.07
    RB45
    Daniel Thomas
    Mia/7
    Team 7
    9.08
    TE13
    Jermaine Gresham
    Cin/8
    Draft Study Team
    9.09
    RB46
    Jacquizz Rodgers
    Atl/7
    Team 9
    9.10
    RB47
    Rashad Jennings
    Jac/6
    Team 10
    9.11
    DEF2
    Philadelphia
    Phi/7
    Team 11
    9.12
    RB48
    Tim Hightower
    Was/10
    Team 12
    9.13
    WR47
    Brandon LaFell
    Car/6
    Team 13
    9.14
    DEF3
    Baltimore
    Bal/8
    Team 14
    10.01
    TE12
    Dustin Keller
    NYJ/9
    Team 14
    10.02
    TE14
    Owen Daniels
    Hou/8
    Team 13
    10.03
    WR48
    Santana Moss
    Was/10
    Team 12
    10.04
    QB17
    Matt Schaub
    Hou/8
    Team 11
    10.05
    QB18
    Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Buf/8
    Team 10
    10.06
    QB19
    Alex Smith
    SF/9
    Team 9
    10.07
    RB54
    Shane Vereen
    NE/9
    Draft Study Team
    10.08
    DEF4
    Chicago
    Chi/6
    Team 7
    10.09
    RB49
    Marcel Reece
    Oak/5
    Team 6
    10.10
    RB50
    Joe McKnight
    NYJ/9
    Team 5
    10.11
    WR49
    Justin Blackmon
    Jac/6
    Team 4
    10.12
    QB20
    Joe Flacco
    Bal/8
    Team 3
    10.13
    QB21
    Jay Cutler
    Chi/6
    Team 2
    10.14
    QB22
    Andrew Luck
    Ind/4
    Team 1
    11.01
    DEF5
    New York Jets
    NYJ/9
    Team 1
    11.02
    DEF6
    Pittsburgh
    Pit/4
    Team 2
    11.03
    DEF7
    New England
    NE/9
    Team 3
    11.04
    TE15
    Jacob Tamme
    Den/7
    Team 4
    11.05
    DEF8
    Green Bay
    GB/10
    Team 5
    11.06
    PK1
    Stephen Gostkowski
    NE/9
    Team 6
    11.07
    TE16
    Jared Cook
    Ten/11
    Team 7
    11.08
    WR52
    Randy Moss
    SF/9
    Draft Study Team
    11.09
    DEF9
    Detroit
    Det/5
    Team 9
    11.10
    PK2
    David Akers
    SF/9
    Team 10
    11.11
    WR50
    Nate Burleson
    Det/5
    Team 11
    11.12
    DEF10
    New York Giants
    NYG/11
    Team 12
    11.13
    RB51
    Danny Woodhead
    NE/9
    Team 13
    11.14
    RB52
    Kendall Hunter
    SF/9
    Team 14
    12.01
    QB23
    Jake Locker
    Ten/11
    Team 14
    12.02
    RB53
    David Wilson
    NYG/11
    Team 13
    12.03
    QB24
    Christian Ponder
    Min/11
    Team 12
    12.04
    WR51
    Doug Baldwin
    Sea/11
    Team 11
    12.05
    WR53
    David Nelson
    Buf/8
    Team 10
    12.06
    WR54
    Randall Cobb
    GB/10
    Team 9
    12.07
    RB60
    LeGarrette Blount
    TB/5
    Draft Study Team
    12.08
    QB25
    Sam Bradford
    StL/9
    Team 7
    12.09
    QB26
    Matt Cassel
    KC/7
    Team 6
    12.10
    WR55
    Jerome Simpson
    Min/11
    Team 5
    12.11
    WR56
    Michael Floyd
    Ari/10
    Team 4
    12.12
    WR57
    Davone Bess
    Mia/7
    Team 3
    12.13
    WR58
    Laurent Robinson
    Jac/6
    Team 2
    12.14
    WR59
    Emmanuel Sanders
    Pit/4
    Team 1
    13.01
    WR60
    Brian Hartline
    Mia/7
    Team 1
    13.02
    TE17
    Coby Fleener
    Ind/4
    Team 2
    13.03
    WR61
    Brian Quick
    StL/9
    Team 3
    13.04
    PK3
    Garrett Hartley
    NO/6
    Team 4
    13.05
    WR62
    Kendall Wright
    Ten/11
    Team 5
    13.06
    DEF11
    Buffalo
    Buf/8
    Team 6
    13.07
    PK4
    Mason Crosby
    GB/10
    Team 7
    13.08
    QB29
    Mark Sanchez
    NYJ/9
    Draft Study Team
    13.09
    PK5
    Sebastian Janikowski
    Oak/5
    Team 9
    13.10
    RB55
    Alex Green
    GB/10
    Team 10
    13.11
    RB56
    Isaiah Pead
    StL/9
    Team 11
    13.12
    RB57
    Jahvid Best
    Det/5
    Team 12
    13.13
    RB58
    Mike Goodson
    Oak/5
    Team 13
    13.14
    RB59
    Mike Tolbert
    Car/6
    Team 14
    14.01
    RB61
    Danny Ware
    NYG/11
    Team 14
    14.02
    DEF12
    Dallas
    Dal/5
    Team 13
    14.03
    TE18
    Greg Olsen
    Car/6
    Team 12
    14.04
    TE19
    Heath Miller
    Pit/4
    Team 11
    14.05
    TE20
    Ed Dickson
    Bal/8
    Team 10
    14.06
    TE21
    Kyle Rudolph
    Min/11
    Team 9
    14.07
    DEF13
    Seattle
    Sea/11
    Draft Study Team
    14.08
    DEF14
    Atlanta
    Atl/7
    Team 7
    14.09
    WR63
    Alshon Jeffery
    Chi/6
    Team 6
    14.10
    PK6
    Alex Henery
    Phi/7
    Team 5
    14.11
    RB62
    Bernard Scott
    Cin/8
    Team 4
    14.12
    RB63
    Javon Ringer
    Ten/11
    Team 3
    14.13
    DEF15
    New Orleans
    NO/6
    Team 2
    14.14
    RB64
    Delone Carter
    Ind/4
    Team 1
    15.01
    PK7
    Dan Carpenter
    Mia/7
    Team 1
    15.02
    PK8
    Randy Bullock
    Hou/8
    Team 2
    15.03
    RB65
    LeRon McClain
    SD/7
    Team 3
    15.04
    TE22
    Lance Kendricks
    StL/9
    Team 4
    15.05
    WR64
    Vincent Brown
    SD/7
    Team 5
    15.06
    TE23
    Marcedes Lewis
    Jac/6
    Team 6
    15.07
    TE24
    Tony Moeaki
    KC/7
    Team 7
    15.08
    WR78
    Roberto Wallace
    Mia/7
    Draft Study Team
    15.09
    RB66
    Leon Washington
    Sea/11
    Team 9
    15.10
    DEF16
    Arizona
    Ari/10
    Team 10
    15.11
    PK9
    Nate Kaeding
    SD/7
    Team 11
    15.12
    PK10
    Dan Bailey
    Dal/5
    Team 12
    15.13
    WR65
    Stephen Hill
    NYJ/9
    Team 13
    15.14
    PK11
    Matt Bryant
    Atl/7
    Team 14
    16.01
    WR66
    Donnie Avery
    Ind/4
    Team 14
    16.02
    WR67
    Steve Smith
    StL/9
    Team 13
    16.03
    WR68
    Jacoby Ford
    Oak/5
    Team 12
    16.04
    RB72
    Rashard Mendenhall
    Pit/4
    Team 11
    16.05
    WR69
    Devery Henderson
    NO/6
    Team 10
    16.06
    WR70
    Jason Avant
    Phi/7
    Team 9
    16.07
    RB67
    Bernard Pierce
    Bal/8
    Draft Study Team
    16.08
    WR71
    Earl Bennett
    Chi/6
    Team 7
    16.09
    WR72
    Steve Breaston
    KC/7
    Team 6
    16.10
    TE25
    Scott Chandler
    Buf/8
    Team 5
    16.11
    WR73
    Rueben Randle
    NYG/11
    Team 4
    16.12
    TE26
    Zach Miller
    Sea/11
    Team 3
    16.13
    RB68
    Robert Turbin
    Sea/11
    Team 2
    16.14
    WR74
    Leonard Hankerson
    Was/10
    Team 1
    17.01
    PK12
    Billy Cundiff
    Bal/8
    Team 1
    17.02
    TE27
    Anthony Fasano
    Mia/7
    Team 2
    17.03
    PK13
    Jason Hanson
    Det/5
    Team 3
    17.04
    RB69
    Dion Lewis
    Phi/7
    Team 4
    17.05
    QB27
    Brandon Weeden
    Cle/10
    Team 5
    17.06
    DEF17
    Minnesota
    Min/11
    Team 6
    17.07
    WR75
    Kevin Walter
    Hou/8
    Team 7
    17.08
    TE30
    Kellen Winslow
    Sea/11
    Draft Study Team
    17.09
    WR76
    Harry Douglas
    Atl/7
    Team 9
    17.10
    WR77
    Donald Jones
    Buf/8
    Team 10
    17.11
    PK14
    Mike Nugent
    Cin/8
    Team 11
    17.12
    PK15
    Shaun Suisham
    Pit/4
    Team 12
    17.13
    PK16
    Neil Rackers
    Was/10
    Team 13
    17.14
    PK17
    Rob Bironas
    Ten/11
    Team 14
    18.01
    WR79
    Lestar Jean
    Hou/8
    Team 14
    18.02
    PK18
    Josh Brown
    NYJ/9
    Team 13
    18.03
    WR80
    Mohamed Sanu
    Cin/8
    Team 12
    18.04
    WR81
    Danny Amendola
    StL/9
    Team 11
    18.05
    PK19
    Matt Prater
    Den/7
    Team 10
    18.06
    DEF18
    Denver
    Den/7
    Team 9
    18.07
    PK20
    Robbie Gould
    Chi/6
    Draft Study Team
    18.08
    WR82
    Jonathan Baldwin
    KC/7
    Team 7
    18.09
    WR83
    Early Doucet
    Ari/10
    Team 6
    18.10
    DEF19
    Houston
    Hou/8
    Team 5
    18.11
    PK21
    Justin Medlock
    Car/6
    Team 4
    18.12
    PK22
    Lawrence Tynes
    NYG/11
    Team 3
    18.13
    WR84
    Mohamed Massaquoi
    Cle/10
    Team 2
    18.14
    RB70
    Brandon Jacobs
    SF/9
    Team 1

    Breaking down the mock draft from the 8th draft position

    Round 1: RB Chris Johnson

    Two excellent running backs are available here in Chris Johnson and Matt Forte so it is a decision between the two. I took Matt Forte in the example above so here I will roll with Chris Johnson. Both have elite fantasy potential however if they stay healthy. Johnson has less competition in the backfield (Forte has Michael Bush) so I think in a real draft I would go with Chris Johnson anyway. With both Calvin Johnson and Aaron Rodgers off the board the only other player to really consider is TE Jimmy Graham but 8th overall is just too early to pull the trigger on that.

    Rounds 2: WR Andre Johnson

    I always find there are more possible options when you have picks in the middle of the draft. That is due to less waiting between picks and more likelihood of players / positions dropping. Here is an example in round two. I have a choice between strong receivers, decent running backs (Adrian Peterson, Fred Jackson) and even quarterbacks like Cam Newton. I am very tempted to go Peterson here because if he is healthy he is a strong RB1 for the team and he teams up with Johnson to possibly be a dominating fantasy backfield. However he has some risk so I decide to take Andre Johnson who has the potential to lead the league when healthy.

    Rounds 3: WR Wes Welker

    This is a choice between WR Wes Welker, TE Aaron Hernandez and RB Reggie Bush and I strong case can be made for all three. It comes down to the guarantee of production for Welker. Hernandez has Rob Gronkowski to compete with for touches and defenses may catch up to the surprise Patriots TE dominance last year and Reggie Bush has two young running backs competing for touches this season (Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas). Welker is almost a lock for 100+ receptions, 1100+ yards and that is outstanding production for my WR2.

    Round 4: RB Frank Gore

    The only other player I consider here is TE Antonio Gates whom I believe is going to have a great season and represents value here in my opinion. I am tempted to pull the trigger on him here but I see more tight ends I like in the rounds coming up than running backs and I am in need of a RB2 so I scoop up Gore whose production should eclipse his draft position. He is an older player now but should have another good season in him and as my RB2, he will be a value pick.

    Rounds 5: WR Eric Decker

    This is a choice between receiver and quarterback. However there are multiple quarterbacks that I still like on the board here and decide to grab my WR3 while the talent is still high. There is one player in this pack of very good receivers that I like the most and it is an easy choice to scoop up Decker. He could have 90+ receptions and 10 touchdowns this season. I like him that much teamed with Peyton Manning and his addition makes my trio of receivers outstanding and amongst the best in the league, if not the best. After five rounds I have five of the seven starting positions locked up at RB/WR/TE and simply need a good starting tight end and a FLEX player to be in great shape.

    Rounds 6: RB Steven Ridley

    I expect to go TE/QB in the next two rounds here but I am thrown a curve ball as I love the potential of one of the running backs available here. Ridley has top-12 potential in my opinion and his upside and potential make him a must select here. He becomes my FLEX player but I will be looking to grab Shane Vereen later on as one of these two players is going to emerge with lots of production in New England.

    Round 7: QB Peyton Manning

    There are about fifteen quarterbacks that I feel will put up great fantasy statistics this year and many of them are capable of a top-five finish if the cards fall the right way. Peyton Manning is one of those players. He has a lot to prove this year and a focused, determined Manning will be tough to stop. He has plenty of weapons on offense and this will be an explosive offense in 2012.

    Rounds 8: WR Anquan Boldin

    I expect to go tight end here but there are still several tight ends that I like available and I don't really care which one I land here. Boldin is a great fantasy points per game played producer and is really nice value in the eighth round of a draft. He will be a good bye week / FLEX option for my team and I am happy to land him here. He is easily my favorite receiver that will be taken in the next round or two.

    Rounds 9: TE Jermaine Gresham

    I almost decide to wait on the tight end position one more round with a few players I would love on my roster. Nobody leaps out at me here though as must draft at another position though so I decide to lock my starting tight end in. Gresham has top-five potential and should see open field with defenses focusing on talented youngster A.J. Green.

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

    Quarterbacks

  • Peyton Manning
  • Running Backs

  • Chris Johnson
  • Frank Gore
  • Steven Ridley
  • Wide Receivers

  • Andre Johnson
  • Wes Welker
  • Eric Decker
  • Anquan Boldin
  • Tight Ends

  • Jermaine Gresham
  • Place Kickers

  • none
  • Defenses

  • none
  • I am in very good shape after the nine picks. I have my starting eight in place with a quarterback, tight end and six capable running backs and receivers to start each week. I have depth at both running back and receiver and every player is likely to contribute in some way. Going forward I would like to secure Shane Vereen as mentioned earlier and then secure a backup quarterback, tight end and some more depth at running back and receiver. All in all, I am very pleased with the squad.

    Rounds 10-13: RB Shane Vereen / WR Randy Moss / RB LeGarrette Blount / QB Mark Sanchez

    The first part of my wish list comes true as Vereen falls into my lap in the tenth round. I am pretty confident that the bulk of the Patriots fantasy points from running back will come from one of these two players and if one emerges as a go-to back, I think a top-12 performance is likely. Getting a determined Randy Moss as my WR5 is outstanding. He may climb the draft boards if he shows well in preseason but he teams with Boldin to give me an old, yet very strong backup duo for my team. Next the Buccaneers starting running back is not Doug Martin at this time but LeGarrette Blount and no matter who starts he will get a good amount of touches this season. He is a flat out steal in the 12th round. Finally I grab a backup quarterback before they are all gone. If Manning stays healthy, Sanchez will get very little work on my team and if not, I better do well on the waiver wire.

    Rounds 14-18: Seahawks defense / WR Roberto Wallace / RB Bernard Pierce / TE Kellen Winslow / K Robbie Gould

    As almost always, I will target a defense around the fourteenth round. This will only change if defensive scoring is very high in a fantasy league. 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, and Bernard Pierce is another player with upside. If Ray Rice stays healthy, Pierce will have minimal impact. If injury strikes however, I see Pierce as a 20-carry per game bruiser. I add a backup tight end here and a kicker and the draft is done.

    Final Roster (Draft Slot #8)

    Quarterbacks

  • Peyton Manning
  • Mark Sanchez
  • Running Backs

  • Chris Johnson
  • Frank Gore
  • Steven Ridley
  • Shane Vereen
  • LeGarrette Blount
  • Bernard Pierce
  • Wide Receivers

  • Andre Johnson
  • Wes Welker
  • Eric Decker
  • Anquan Boldin
  • Randy Moss
  • Roberto Wallace
  • Tight Ends

  • Jermaine Gresham
  • Kellen Winslow
  • Place Kickers

  • Robbie Gould
  • Defenses

  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Final thoughts on this roster

    I am very pleased with how this roster turned out. My receiving stable is potentially awesome as well as deep and my 5th and 6th receivers have a chance to return to their past glories and be very successful in 2012. Both Moss and Johnson appear to be driven and focused and that will give me both excellent depth as well as trading options later on. I am also pleased at running back with the solid six-spot. My starting pair of Chris Johnson and Frank Gore are very good and I believe I have secured very good production from my RB3 position by landing the Patriots young duo of Vereen and Ridley. Blount is exceptional value as a forgotten man but there are no guarantees rookie Doug Martin gets the bulk of the work this season. Blount may surprise. If I have a regret at running back it is simply that Chris Johnson's backup Javon Ringer didn't fall to the 15th round where I would have scooped him up. I love Peyton Manning for this season but really there are fifteen quarterbacks I would feel comfortable starting this season. I am worried about my QB2 if something does happen to Manning though. I am in good shape at tight end and have a potential top-five gem sitting there in Jermaine Gresham. Finally I am in good shape at both defense and kicker. All in all this squad will compete for the title.

    Last thoughts on the 8th draft slot in a 14-team league

    I always find there are way more directions to take a draft when drafting in the middle as opposed to either end. There are almost always multiple position possibilities and without the long wait between picks it is easier to determine which players will fall. The downside is it is next to impossible to dictate the direction of a draft and simply must ride the wave each round. As always, do not fall in love with particular players or positions in the first few rounds, instead picking the best value each round. Build a strong, talented foundation and the rest of the roster will take care of itself.

    Good luck and happy drafting. Thanks for reading.

    © 2012 Footballguys - All Rights Reserved