On August 3rd, twelve members of the Footballguys staff got together for the site's 8th mock draft of 2016. Below is the league scoring format and bylaws. This draft mirrors the setup and format of the Footballguys Players Championship Draft Experts League.
- 12 teams
- 28 roster spots
- Starting Lineup
- 1 quarterback
- 2 running backs
- 2 wide receivers
- 1 tight end
- 2 flex (either a running back, wide receiver, or tight end)
- 1 team defense
- Offensive Players
- 4 points - passing touchdown
- 6 points - rushing/receiving touchdown
- 0.05 points - passing yard
- 0.1 points - rushing/receiving yard
- 1 point - reception RP, WR
- 1.5 point - reception TE
- Team Defense
- 6 points - touchdown
- -1 point - interception
- 2 points - turnover recovered
- 5 points - safety
- 1 point - sack
- 12 points - Offensive points against: 0-0
- 8 points - Offensive points against: 1-6
- 5 points - Offensive points against: 7-10
- 0 point - Offensive points against: 11-99
- 6 points each - Number of Defensive and Special Teams Touchdowns
THE DRAFT ORDER
The draft order was created randomly. After the first round, the draft continues in a regular serpentine manner. Click here for the Full Draft, pick by pick.
1. Justin Howe
2. Matt Harmon
3. Dan Hindery
4. John Lee
5. Mark Wimer
6. Justin Bonnema
7. Jeff Haseley
8. Chris Kuczynski
9. Devin Knotts
10. Sigmund Bloom
11. James Brimacombe
12. John Norton
Starting with Justin Howe from the 1.01 spot, Will Grant provides an unbiased evaluation of each team's draft performance followed by each owner answering a series of questions about their draft and strategies.
Justin Howe - Slot 1
Draft the consensus #1, and then strike a balance with RB, WR and TE picks through the first part of the draft.
Best Pick: Blake Bortles QB JAX – Pick 10.12. Howe faded the QB position, and grabbed his primary starter just before the backup QB run began. Bortles is a still a top 10 fantasy QB in this format, and he’s great value at the end of the 10th round.
Worst Pick: Charles Sims RB TB – Pick 8.12. By selecting Sims at the end of the 8th round, Howe locked up the two backs who will see the majority of the action in Tampa Bay. But while handcuffs are great in a best ball format since you don’t have to decide which back to start, Howe did it with his first two RB picks. If he had taken a second RB in the first seven rounds, the pick of Simms at the end of the 8th would be a more palatable selection.
Evaluation: Howe spent six of his first seven picks on a WR or TE. He constructed his team around these pass catchers, and faded the RB position pretty hard in the early rounds. Drafting two stronger TEs is smart with the 1.5 PPR, and he scored big value at the QB position landing Bortles in the 10th round. This team has some strong potential, and it will go far on the strength of the WRs and TEs.
Matt Harmon - Slot 2
Fade the QB position, while loading up on a balance of RB/WR.
Best Pick: Mark Ingram RB NO – Pick 3.02. Ingram’s stock is on the rise, climbing into the top 10 of fantasy RB projections in a PPR league. Grabbing Ingram at the top of the 3rd round was big value for Harmon, and pairing him with two solid WRs in Odell Beckham an Alshon Jeffery set up Harmon with a great core right out of the gate.
Worst Pick: Ladarius Green TE PIT – Pick 6.11. Taking Green at the end of the 6th round was a bit of a head scratcher. Green is on the PUP list right now with no timetable to return to practice. Green is currently ranked in the middle of the second tier for fantasy TEs, and his ADP is much lower than the 6th round. Zach Ertz has top 5 potential, and he was taken right after Green. That would have been a much better pick for Harmon here.
Evaluation: Harmon is loaded at the WR position. Four of his first five picks were WRs and he continued to add value as the draft wore on. He scored a couple nice value picks at RB as well with Ingram, Jonathan Stewart and Ameer Abdullah. Harmon’s weakness is at the TE position though, where he reached for the injured Green in the 6th, and then didn’t add a second TE until the 12th round. Like other teams, Harmon faded the QB position as well, and his QBBC of Joe Flacco and Phillip Rivers are serviceable but with limited upside. Harmon is going to need his WRs to really carry him if he’s going to make the playoffs.
Dan Hindery - Slot 3
|20.10||238||Def||New England Patriots||NEP|
|21.03||243||Def||New York Giants||NYG|
Fade the QB position, then go QBBC. Load up on WR and TE to take advantage of the PPR and TE bonus.
Best Pick: Jordan Reed TE WAS Pick 2.10. In a PPR league with 1.5 PPR for tight ends, it’s smart to land one early. Hindery grabbed Jordan Reed late in the second round, making sure he had solid production before the TE run took off. Reed had a whopping 87 receptions on 114 targets last season, and he should be money in the bank in a 1.5 PPR league.
Worst Pick: Kirk Cousins QB WAS Pick 11.03. Going QBBC with his 10th and 11th pick was smart. Hindery landed great value with Cousins to supplement Tom Brady as well. The problem is that even when Brady is back from suspension, he still shares the same off week as Cousins. Hindery compounded the problem by drafting Brock Osweiler in the 17th round who is also off in week 9. Hindery didn’t draft another QB, meaning will get a zero at QB that week.
Evaluation: Aside from the QB mistake, Hindery had a pretty solid draft. He grabbed to TEs in the first 51 picks which is smart in this format, and he loaded up on RB/WR to take advantage of the best ball format. Hindery landed value with most of his picks and didn’t reach too far on any of them. The QBBC approach was good too, and he executed it when there was still enough value to make it work. He just didn’t pay attention to his off weeks.
1. Tight ends receiving 1.5 PPR is big. Which tight ends do you recommend targeting in this format and when in the draft is the "sweet spot" for each?
In each of the TE-Premium staff mock drafts that we have done, I have been able to land Jordan Reed in the late 2nd-round. He scored more than 20 PPG in this format last season. He was even better down the stretch, averaging over 33 PPG in the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-16). He has emerged as the go-to player in a pass-heavy offense and has a great shot to top 300 points in 1.5 PPR leagues if he can stay healthy.
Tyler Eifert is another strong option. He would probably be going in the 3rd round in this format if he was healthy. I love getting him at a two round discount when he is only projected to miss 1-2 games (at most). He should produce low-end WR1 numbers in this format (averaged over 17 PPG last season), especially as he picks up extra targets due to the losses of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu.
Zach Ertz is another guy I would target. He should be the centerpiece of the Eagles offense and his huge 2015 finish shows just how high his ceiling is. He is my main target in the 7th round range.
2. How much of an emphasis do you place on Defense/ST and Kicker in this format? How many of each is recommended?
In the final eight to ten rounds, I love loading up on defense and kickers in this best ball format. First, the position player pool is extremely picked over. With relatively small starting lineups, the odds of getting a player capable of making a real impact are miniscule.
Second, defense is a position with huge variations in weekly scoring. For example, Denver DST scored more than 20 points three times last season. There were also nine weeks with under 10 points scored. Seattle DST scored in double-digits nine times and had a pair of 20+ point weeks. Drafting four strong defenses gives you a big bump in weekly upside and allows you to take advantage of those random 20+ point weeks to really jump up the standings. It also gives you a high floor. With four good defenses, odds are at least one is going to put up 10+ points each week. It gives me a concrete weekly advantage over the teams that just rostered two middling defenses in the later rounds who will inevitably have plenty of weeks where they are forced to take five or six points at the DST position.
The thought process behind going with at least three kickers is similar. The weekly variation is slightly less than DST, but it still makes good sense to add a third kicker in the final rounds vs. a 9th receiver. The kicker is much more likely to contribute extra points for you over the course of the season.
3. Who is a player that you are avoiding that others might be targeting? Explain your stance on that player.
Aaron Rodgers is a player who won’t end up on any of my rosters in start one quarterback leagues. As he has aged, he has become less of a threat with his legs (averaging just one rushing TD per season the past three years vs. the four per season he averaged in his fantasy prime). We have also seen so many other passers emerge to put up big fantasy numbers that it is hard to see Rodgers really separating from the pack like he once did. Last season, he produced similar fantasy numbers to Eli Manning, Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford (all of whom are going much later in 2016 drafts). His current price tag is especially hard to stomach in best ball leagues where it is possible to get players like Tom Brady and Kirk Cousins in the 10th or 11th round.
John Lee - Slot 4
|20.09||237||Def||Green Bay Packers||GBP|
|23.04||268||Def||San Francisco 49ers||SFO|
Grab the top TE right out of the gate, pound the WR position. Fade the RB position in favor of taking guys who will thrive in a PPR format.
Best Pick: Rob Gronkowski TE NE – Pick 1.04. Lee made a bold move, taking Gronk right out of the gate in the first round. In this format, Gronkowski is going to be a point factory, even if Tom Brady isn’t going to be his QB for the start of the season. With the top RB still on the board and plenty of top tier WRs still available, Lee locked up Gronk and set himself up at the TE position. As other guys were using two of their next four picks for a TE, Lee could focus on other needs.
Worst Pick: Matt Jones RB WAS – Pick 6.09. Lee started out grabbing Jamaal Charles for his first RB which was great in a PPR, best ball league. But Charles is on the PUP list right now, and is recovering from an ACL tear he sustained back in October. There’s a good chance he won’t be 100% by the time the season starts. That means Matt Jones could be Lee’s #1 Running back. Even worse, Lee didn’t take a second RB he selected Kenneth Dixon in the 10th round. There is a lot of risk at the RB position for this team.Evaluation: Lee grabbed the top TE in the draft with the #4 overall pick and then spent five of his next eight picks on WRs. He clearly has the strongest group in the league, and he’ll need it given his questionable running back depth. Drew Brees and Ryan Tannehill make an excellent QBBC, with Brees being more of the primary guy. His biggest concern will be his weak RB stable, but if one of his later round picks turns into a starter, this team could really do some damage from week to week. With Gronk and his WR depth, they have the power to carry this team from week to week.
Mark Wimer - Slot 5
|18.08||212||Def||Kansas City Chiefs||KCC|
Fade the QB position, and go strong at RB, WR and TE. Then get QBs back to back and handcuff a 3rd to take advantage of the best ball format.
Best Pick: Ryan Mathews RB Phi – Pick 7.05. Mathews is penciled in as the starter in Philly now that DeMarco Murray has moved on. With the Chip Kelly offense gone as well, Mathews should be in a position to put up a solid season. He’s great value in the middle of the 7th round, and Wimer added to the strength of this pick by picking up Wendelle Smallwood later in the draft. In a best ball format, having both Mathews and Smallwood gives Wimer a virtual lock on the Philly RB.
Worst Pick: Kamar Aiken WR BAL – Pick 10.08. Fading the QB position in a 4 pt passing league is smart, but there is a point when you can go too far. Matthew Stafford and Alex Smith are both mid second tier QBS who do improve in value a bit in a best ball format, but I’m not sure it will be enough. Going QBBC is smart, but Wimer should have started 1 round earlier. The backup QB round started before Wimer picked Aiken and 4 QBs were off the board before he took Stafford at 11.05. Another six QBs went after that before Wimer was able to get his second QB at 12.08. Wimer already had 3 WRs and could have waited on a 4th to take his first QB.Evaluation: Wimer had a solid, if unspectacular team from the 5th position. His first couple picks were about the expected ADP, and adding a second TE with Gary Barnidge in the 2nd round was smart to take advantage of the 1.5 PPR for TEs. Wimer faded the QB position a bit too long and got caught in the middle of the backup QB run, leaving him with some question marks at that position. He loaded up on the Denver passing game though, giving him an unlikely, yet efficient QBBC. He has a couple of good handcuff picks, which is smart in a best ball format. A solid draft.
1. You selected the Falcons tight ends in this draft. Explain why you like stacking a team's tight end output in this format and give some examples of stacks to target.
Since this is a best ball league, I targeted the Falcons' tight end situation to exploit as I will get whichever of Jacob Tamme/Austin Hooper does best on any given weekend. Since Tamme is likely to have several receptions in most games, while Hooper is seen as a red zone threat, the two should complement each other nicely, with Tamme providing a solid floor of PPR-based fantasy points, while Hooper has 'boom' potential in those weeks that he does find the end zone.
A couple of other stacks like this to target would be Tyler Kroft/Tyler Eifert/Tyler Boyd in Cincinnati - Kroft should be standing in for Eifert quite a bit of the season, while Boyd's role as slot receiver should get PPR points when the tight ends aren't as involved in the passing game (those weeks they have to stay in to block against blitzing defenses), further ensuring a decent floor of PPR points. Richard Rogers and Jared Cook in Green Bay would be another nice duo (they may both see multiple targets in several games), although this duo would likely be tougher to engineer in a draft as each guy has his adherents among fantasy owners.
2. You selected both of the Jaguars main running backs. Explain why handcuffing certain running backs is a good strategy in this format and give some examples of tandems that people should target.
I actually see this as more akin to the Tamme/Hooper stack I addressed above, as I expect several games where both Jaguars' backs are heavily involved in aspects of the games. Since this is a best-ball paradigm, by having both Jaguars backs I'll get the top score from whichever guy does the most with his touches in any given week - with the added aspect that if one guy goes down to injury or suspension, then I likely have a featured running back in the other. Some other running back tandems to target similar to Chris Ivory/T.J. Yeldon include Bilal Powell/Matt Forte in New York; Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman in Atlanta; Jeremy Langford/Jordan Howard in Chicago.
3. What team's offense do you predict will see a decrease in production this year. Share your thoughts.
I am not big on New England led by Jimmy Garoppolo for the month of September, and then Tom Brady will have to get back in synch with his teammates during the first part of October as well. So if anyone is going to see a slow start to the 2016 season, it will be the bulk of the New England offensive team. I also am concerned about the Mark Sanchez-led Broncos (or the Trevor Siemian-led Broncos, or the Paxton Lynch-led Broncos) - although in some weeks they may surprise due to the high level of talent at wide receiver, I think Denver will be a 'boom-bust' offense this year that will be hard to predict from week to week. The tandem is OK for a backup slot on a best-ball team, but I wouldn't want to have to try and predict which weeks Denver's passing game will go off.
Justin Bonnema - Slot 6
Go hard at the RB and WR position early. Get a solid QB and fade the TE position.
Best Pick: Russell Wilson QB SEA – Pick 7.06. Wilson is a top five quarterback in a normal redraft league, and has increased value in a league that only awards 4 pts per passing TD. He’s a 4th round pick in a normal redraft league, and landing him at 7.06 is huge value in this league. Not only did it give Bonnema a solid QB base, it set him up to focus on RB/WR for the rest of the draft.
Worst Pick: Eric Ebron TE DET – Pick 9.06. In a 1.5 PPR TE bonus league, it’s important to try to grab a solid pass catching TE early. Most guys will try to secure two within the first six picks to take advantage of it. Bonnema waited on the TE position and by the time he drafted his first, the top talent was gone. Ebron is probably not a top 12 TE, even in this format, and the TE position is going to be Justin’s weak spot with this squad.Evaluation: Bonnema pounded the RB/WR position right out of the gate, loading up on solid value with each of his picks. David Johnson and LeSean McCoy give him a solid RB corps, and his first four WRs were great picks, especially in a best ball format. Justin bucked conventional wisdom, and faded the TE position, landing Ebron and underperforming Jimmy Graham for his top two picks. This will put him at a disadvantage in this format, but his RBs and WRs should be able to help him compensate.
Running back: would it be a copout if I plug LeSean McCoy here? The Bills’ offense is trending up and McCoy is one of the most underrated players in the league. He has been perennial RB1 over the last five years and is now paired with Greg Roman, who has a long history of rushing success. McCoy is currently ranked as our consensuses RB11 (PPR), which is way too low. I think he finishes as a top five running back.
Wide Receiver: Another year, another case of the crowd paying no respect to Eric Decker. He is currently falling to the end of the fourth and sometimes available in the fifth, despite finishing as a near top-10 receiver two out of the last three years. Only Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall have scored more touchdowns than Decker since 2010. His ADP makes no sense and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Tight End: There’s not a lot of faith in the Bears’ offense, but Zach Miller could emerge as the perfect late-round tight end. From Weeks 10-16 he was our fifth highest scoring tight end, easily outplaying Martellus Bennett during that stretch. Bennett is now out of the picture, and though Miller isn’t all that special in terms of athleticism, he’s still a good bet to be a weekly fantasy contributor.
2. You selected Jimmy Graham with pick 11.06. Many are sour on his ability to return to form after his patellar injury. Explain why you think he's someone to target in drafts.
I don’t necessarily condone drafting Graham in redraft but in a best-ball format, I like the potential. The Seahawks are evolving into less of a “pound the rock” offense and letting Russell Wilson do more, which has to lead to more looks for Graham. In redraft, he makes for a nice gamble as a second tight end. But if he doesn’t make much progress this preseason, I think we’ll see his stock plummet.
3. Which section of the draft gives you the biggest challenge? The beginning, middle or end? Explain your answer and give examples of how people can come out of the draft with success.
Jeff Haseley - Slot 7
Go strong at RB, get good TE and QB, then grab WR who have potential upside.
Best Pick: Aaron Rodgers QB GB – Pick 5.07. Footballguys mock draft tend to fade the QB position a little more than typical leagues, especially in leagues like this where passing TDs are only 4 pts. But even when the passing TDS are only worth 4 pts, there are still pretty solid tiers of QBs. Rodgers is in the top tier, and could very easily finish as the best fantasy QB in the league this year. In a best ball format, he’s a great QB to have because you can really focus on value at your other positions, and landing him in the 5th round was great value for Jeff.
Worst Pick: Laquon Treadwell WR MIN – Pick 9.07. There’s nothing wrong with the Treadwell pick per se, but the problem is that Haseley’s next pick was Michael Thomas at 10.06. He didn’t grab another WR until the 16th round, meaning his WR3 and possibly a flex each week will be a rookie WR. The Best Ball format certainly helps auto-start the best possible player, but by taking back to back rookies in 9 and 10, Haseley needs one of these guys to have a good season.Evaluation: Haseley found great value early, and he loaded up on the running backs that seemed to fall to him. He locked in a top tier QB and TE as well, but sacrificed his WRs in the process. By doing this, his WRs take a pretty big hit, but he has enough strength at the other positions to make up for it. In a best ball format, you can find stronger WRs later in the draft. If Haseley’s later picks can exceed their value, his RB, TE and QB strength will make him really competitive.
I would say keep a watchful eye on bye weeks for your defenses and kickers. It would be in your best interest to have different byes if you own multiple kickers and defenses. Quarterback is also a position that you don't want to have two players with the same bye, otherwise you could have a week with a low socring output. The league is won on total points throughout the year, so it's not that big of a loss, but it's difficult for me to be pleased with a lineup that is marred by bye week issues.
I drafted LaQuan Treadwell at pick 9.07 and then Michael Thomas with pick 10.06 knowing that the two would compete with each other to be my WR3 by committee. I was OK with that, given the other options on the board. Kamar Aiken would've been the only other wide receiver that interested me in that range. I elected to go with youth because in Best Ball format, both Treadwell and Thomas represent decent value as players who can score and be a target in the end zone. I'm OK with my rookie wide receiver duo battling it out as my weekly WR3. My projections forecast at least 10 total touchdowns between the two.
This is a PPR league, so whenever possible I want to have running backs on my roster capable of having a big-catch game any given week. If in doubt, draft a running back who is capable of multiple 5+ catch games. I believe I have that in Lamar Miller (47 catches in 2015), Giovani Bernard (49 catches in 2015), Arian Foster (5.5 catches per game in 2015), DeAndre Washington (known pass-catching rookie), Shane Vereen (59 catches in 2015), C.J. Spiller (34 catches in 2015). I'd say those are good odds for at least one of those backs (maybe two) to have a strong catch-week, which will give me a double-digit fantast point total from that position. In Best Ball, you want to give yourself the best chance to produce points every single week. Pass-catching backs increases your odds of doing eaxctly that.
Chris Kuczynski - Slot 8
Balanced attack, focusing on value. Kuczynski let this draft come to him, given his poor draft position at #8 overall.
Best Pick: Dion Lewis RB NE Pick 6.05. Lewis is banged up now, but all indications are that he will be ready to go when the season starts. With Tom Brady suspended for the first four games, the rushing attack and short check-down plays will give Lewis plenty of opportunity to shine. Landing him in the 6th round was nice value.
Worst Pick: Clive Walford TE OAK – Pick 12.05. This wasn’t a ‘bad’ pick by Kuczynski as much as it was a questionable set of alternative TE solutions. Coby Fleener has great potential in the New Orleans passing offense, and could really put up point in a 1.5 PPR fantasy league. But if he struggles or is hurt or is off, this team’s alternatives are dangerously thin. Walford is a serviceable alternative, but Kuczynski would have been better served selecting a backup a little sooner.
Devin Knotts - Slot 9
|20.04||232||Def||New York Jets||NYJ|
Fade the TE position and pound RB and WR early.
Best Pick: DeAngelo Williams RB PIT – Pick 6.04. After taking Le’Veon Bell in the second round, Knotts nailed the perfect handcuff by grabbing Williams in the 6th. Williams had some monster games in relief of Bell last year, and he’ll get the opportunity to do it again this year as well. With a best ball format auto-starting whoever is playing, this was a great move by Knotts to lock in solid point production from his RB position.
Worst Pick: Kelvin Benjamin WR CAR – Pick 4.04. I’m not crazy about taking Benjamin with this pick. Reports indicate that he’s recovered from his ACL tear last year in the pre-season, and the Panthers are bringing him along slowly, but there are still a lot of questions around him at this point. With guys like Doug Baldwin, John Brown and Julian Edelman still on the board, taking Benjamin here was a risky pick.
Sigmund Bloom - Slot 10
|20.03||231||Def||Los Angeles Rams||RAM|
|27.10||322||Def||New Orleans Saints||NOS|
Fade the QB position, pound the WR position and draft for value at the other positions.
Best Pick: Dwayne Allen TE IND – Pick 9.10. Allen takes over the top TE spot in Indianapolis this season, and he’s poised to have bounce back from his terrible 2015 season where he had just 109 receiving yards and 1 TD. Between the half point bonus for receptions and his expected increase in TDs this season, there is a good chance Allen finishes as a top 12 fantasy TE. Landing him in the 9th round, especially when guys were taking two with their first six picks, was huge value.
Worst Pick: Marcus Mariota QB TEN – Pick 11.10. Bloom focused almost exclusively on the WR and TE positions in the early part of the draft. In doing this, he built his team around a QBBC of lower quality QBS. Mariota wasn’t a ‘bad’ pick in the normal sense, but it represents a clear commitment to taking ‘whatever he can get’ from the QB position. To his credit, Mariota, Tyrod Taylor and Jay Cutler are all starting QBs for their teams and will all be on the field unless they are hurt. He just needs one of them to have an above average game on different weeks.
James Brimacombe - Slot 11
|26.02||302||Def||San Diego Chargers||SDC|
Start strong at RB, grab 2 QBs early and load up on WR position for the first 10 picks.
Best Pick: Cam Newton QB CAR – Pick 4.02. In a 4pt passing TD league, a QB like Newton is a great pick because of his extra rushing yards and TDS. In this format, Newton is easily the top choice for a QB and is big value landing him in the 4th round.
Worst Pick: Andrew Luck QB Ind – Pick 6.02. If Brimacombe’s best pick was Netwon in the 4th round, he gave some of that value back when he took Luck two rounds later. Despite the best ball format, you can only start 1 QB each week. Having Luck and Newton means Brimacombe will probably have the top QB score each week, but he could have used a better TE instead of second QB.
John Norton - Slot 12
|22.01||253||Def||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TBB|
Leverage back to back picks on the turn to add value picks each time he’s on the clock.
Best Pick: Matt Forte RB NYJ Pick 4.01. I love the turn that John had at the end of the 3rd round. With C.J. Anderson at 3.12 and Matt Forte at 4.01, Norton scored two big pass-catching RBS that have top 12 potential. Forte has a new home in New York, but he’s still one of the most versatile backs in the league. He will have a solid year for the Jets, and he’s great value at the 3-4 turn.
Worst Pick: Martellus Bennett TE NE – Pick 8.01. Norton waited a little before taking his first TE, and he landed a guy who may or may not be a factor for the Patriots this year. Bennett has some skills, but he can’t seem to keep his head screwed on straight when it comes to the locker room and off the field. Even if ‘The Patriot Way’ straightens him out, he’ll be second fiddle to Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.
1. What are the advantages and disadvantage of drafting at the turn? What advice would you give to someone drafting out of the 12-slot?
I have a love hate relationship with the 12-slot. When picking there it seems I either pick a great team or a horrible one. The irony being teams I don’t like much are usually the good ones.
Picking from this slot can be very frustrating. You get back to back picks which is great and can sometimes work to your advantage, but twenty two players will be gone before you are up again. Entire tiers of players can be wiped out by the time it gets back. In a perfect world I like to take the best tier 1 WR and the best tier 1 RB still on the board at the first turn. That allows for flexibility at the 3-4 turn and beyond.
Nothing is worse than getting to pick 3.12 with no running backs on your roster and realizing there are none left worthy of a third or early fourth round pick. Many owners will reach here and take the best available back anyway. Don’t be one of those guys. Take the best available players. If you end up with four receivers so be it. That position is your strength and you can start loading up on all the good players who have slid farther than you thought they would at other positions. There are always plenty of those guys. Mid round picks will make or break your team.
Most importantly be flexible, and don’t hesitate to break the TE or even QB position at 3-4. It is better to have a top 3 guy at one of those positions than the 14th RB on your board. It could also insight a run on one of those positions. If you already have your stud TE, every TE picked after you is a running back or receiver that will be available at your next pick.
2. What quarterback, currently not a starter, has the best chance to make an impact this season? Explain why he is a good quarterback to target late in the draft.
This is probably a bad year to target a backup quarterback. Across the league there are not a lot of uncertain situations. We have Gabbert and Kaepernick in San Francisco, the three way battle in Denver and the mirage of a QB competition in Los Angeles. The guy I like is Josh McCown. There has been a lot of hype out of Cleveland about how well Robert Griffin has played. He has looked great over the offseason while everyone was wearing shorts and helmets. I am far from sold on him looking much different than he did in Washington once the real games start.
McCown is not a great NFL quarterback. He is simply a solid backup with starting experience. I like his chances because of the talent they have assembled on offense. Corey Coleman is going to be a stud if the Browns have a QB that can get him the ball and we already know how good Josh Gordon can be. They have a good tight end in Gary Barnidge and a couple of backs who can catch the ball as well. He may not have great upside but McCown could end up a more than serviceable option by midseason.
3. What is your strategy regarding Defense/ST in this format? What are you looking for and who are some good defenses to target?
In this format I would consider two possible approaches. I will either go defense a round or two earlier than I expect anyone else to, or I will wait until 8-9 are gone and pick up three I think are on the rise. If I go early I might even take the two best back to back. Doing this allows you to scratch the position for the rest of the draft and concentrate on other positions, while possibly starting a run.
If you elect to wait on a defense and go with the quantity approach; some defenses I believe to be on the rise are Oakland, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. All of these teams have made player and/or coaching changes that have then heading in the right direction.
If you like the idea of taking two studs and not having to address the position again Denver, Carolina, Arizona, Seattle, Kansas City, Houston and Cincinnati are teams I would consider.
Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org