Draft Slots Study - 12 Teams / Pick 1.05
By Chris Smith
July 20th, 2010

One of the most familiar discussions in terms of fantasy football leagues each season is on the positives and negatives for each of the draft slots. While I believe it is possible to win a league no matter where you draft from, it is obvious to the veteran fantasy owner that there is some advantage to drafting in certain positions. In addition, there are some pratfalls to avoid in certain situations of a fantasy draft. This first series of draft slot articles will take an in-depth look at different draft positions in a 12-team, redraft fantasy football league and outline the positives and negatives of each slot. In addition each separate article will showcase a mock draft compiled using the Draft Dominator.

After this series is complete, I will try to break down many other styles of leagues (14-team, 16-team, 8-team, FLEX options, etc.)

This particular series is based on...

  • 12-team redraft league / 18-round fantasy draft
  • Must start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE
  • Scoring is as follows:
  • 1 point every 20 passing yards
  • 1 point every 10 rushing yards
  • 4 points per passing touchdown
  • 6 points per rushing / receiving touchdown
  • 3 points per field goal / 1 point per extra point
  • 2 points per interception, fumble recovery and safety
  • 1 point per sack
  • 6 points per defensive touchdown
  • 10 points per shutout
  • 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.

    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.

    Time to get this going.

    Drafting 5th overall (12-team re-draft)

    Here is the first truly challenging draft slot in the series. I see four running backs grouped together capable of elevating to the top running back in fantasy football. Those four are Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice and Chris Johnson. After that there appears to be a sizable drop-off to the next fantasy back such as Frank Gore, Michael Turner, Steven Jackson, etc. It is easy enough to play it safe here and pickup a capable running back like the ones mentioned. The down side is you'll be playing catchup to the 1-4 owners for the rest of the draft. If you do insist on selecting a running back, feel free to re-read the draft slots (3) article as the general principle will be the same.

    I will use this article to illustrate what your squad will look like if you buck the normal trend and pickup a receiver or quarterback with this pick. Sure its risky, but it may also help leapfrog you to the front of the heap and I'll illustrate why below.

    Possible strategies to incorporate into your draft

    As I already mentioned, the safe and conventional route is to pickup a RB here. If you are only comfortable with that idea, then head back to my draft slots (3) article and use that general game plan. The idea and strategy between 3 and 5 is similar other than a top-four running back likely off the board.

    I will use this article to take a look at bucking the trend and selecting a quarterback or a receiver with that top pick. Can you build a team by ignoring the running back position in round one. Lets find out.

    Examples

    1. Picking a top QB with first pick: Many fantasy experts will insist you must select a running back in round one and especially so in the first half of the draft. However to get a jump on your co-owners, it may make sense with the 5th overall pick to ignore that strategy and pickup an elite quarterback. Sure you may leave a hole at running back but you will secure a possible advantage over those owners who picked up the top-tier running back before your pick. Lets see how it looks.

    Possible squad through five rounds

  • QB Drew Brees 1.05
  • RB DeAngelo Williams 2.08
  • RB Shonn Greene 3.05
  • WR Anquan Boldin 4.08
  • WR Michael Crabtree 5.03
  • Using the Draft Dominator, I was surprised to find some really capable running backs in rounds two and three after going QB in round one. Brees is a great player to hitch the wagon to and the running back duo of Williams and Green has top-ten potential. Add in a proven veteran receiver and a gifted, young receiver capable of huge things and this roster would definitely be in the thick of things after the first five rounds.

    2. Selecting a WR in round one with the 5th pick: I have to admit this is earlier than I usually would scoop a receiver but sometimes thinking outside the box can result in great things. The loss of a round one running back may be off-set and even surpassed by the addition of an elite receiver. Check out the first five picks.

    Possible squad through five rounds

  • RB DeAngelo Williams 2.08
  • RB Ryan Mathews 3.05
  • RB LeSean McCoy 5.05
  • WR Andre Johnson 1.05
  • WR Anquan Boldin 4.08
  • Andre Johnson is a beast at receiver, and he is not a terrible player to build your team around. He'll get plenty of yardage and touchdowns and hopefully give this owner a huge advantage at receiver. The running back stable looks pretty good with three of the next four selections being a running back. All in all this is an excellent beginning to a fantasy roster.

    Positives of the draft slot

  • Earlier 2nd round pick than top four owners
  • Multiple beginning paths
  • Negatives of the draft slot

  • Missing out on one of the top-four (top-tier) running backs
  • Playing catch-up with those owners all season
  • Final Draft Table

    Pick
    Pos
    Player Selected
    Team
    Selected By
    1.01
    RB1
    Chris Johnson
    Ten/9
    Consensus
    1.02
    RB2
    Adrian Peterson
    Min/4
    Consensus 2
    1.03
    RB3
    Maurice Jones-Drew
    Jac/9
    Expert
    1.04
    RB4
    Ray Rice
    Bal/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    1.05
    WR1
    Andre Johnson
    Hou/7
    Draft Slots Study 5
    1.06
    QB1
    Aaron Rodgers
    GB/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    1.07
    RB5
    Frank Gore
    SF/9
    Magazine Average 1
    1.08
    RB6
    Steven Jackson
    StL/9
    Magazine Average 2
    1.09
    QB2
    Drew Brees
    NO/10
    CBS Sportsline 2
    1.10
    WR2
    Larry Fitzgerald
    Ari/6
    Mock Draft Central 2
    1.11
    QB3
    Peyton Manning
    Ind/7
    My Fantasy League 2
    1.12
    WR3
    Randy Moss
    NE/5
    Expert 2
    2.01
    WR4
    Miles Austin
    Dal/4
    Expert 2
    2.02
    RB7
    Michael Turner
    Atl/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    2.03
    QB4
    Tony Romo
    Dal/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    2.04
    RB8
    Rashard Mendenhall
    Pit/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    2.05
    WR5
    Roddy White
    Atl/8
    Magazine Average 2
    2.06
    WR6
    Greg Jennings
    GB/10
    Magazine Average 1
    2.07
    WR7
    Reggie Wayne
    Ind/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    2.08
    RB12
    DeAngelo Williams
    Car/6
    Draft Slots Study 5
    2.09
    WR8
    Marques Colston
    NO/10
    My Fantasy League 1
    2.10
    WR9
    Sidney Rice
    Min/4
    Expert
    2.11
    WR10
    DeSean Jackson
    Phi/8
    Consensus 2
    2.12
    WR11
    Calvin Johnson
    Det/7
    Consensus
    3.01
    RB9
    Ryan Grant
    GB/10
    Consensus
    3.02
    RB10
    Knowshon Moreno
    Den/9
    Consensus 2
    3.03
    RB11
    Chris Wells
    Ari/6
    Expert
    3.04
    RB13
    Pierre Thomas
    NO/10
    My Fantasy League 1
    3.05
    RB14
    Ryan Mathews
    SD/10
    Draft Slots Study 5
    3.06
    WR12
    Chad Ochocinco
    Cin/6
    CBS Sportsline 1
    3.07
    QB5
    Matt Schaub
    Hou/7
    Magazine Average 1
    3.08
    RB15
    Shonn Greene
    NYJ/7
    Magazine Average 2
    3.09
    RB16
    Jamaal Charles
    KC/4
    CBS Sportsline 2
    3.10
    RB17
    Cedric Benson
    Cin/6
    Mock Draft Central 2
    3.11
    TE1
    Antonio Gates
    SD/10
    My Fantasy League 2
    3.12
    RB18
    Jonathan Stewart
    Car/6
    Expert 2
    4.01
    QB6
    Tom Brady
    NE/5
    Expert 2
    4.02
    WR13
    Steve Smith
    Car/6
    My Fantasy League 2
    4.03
    RB19
    Felix Jones
    Dal/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    4.04
    WR14
    Brandon Marshall
    Mia/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    4.05
    WR15
    Hakeem Nicks
    NYG/8
    Magazine Average 2
    4.06
    RB20
    Jahvid Best
    Det/7
    Magazine Average 1
    4.07
    WR16
    Steve Smith
    NYG/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    4.08
    WR20
    Anquan Boldin
    Bal/8
    Draft Slots Study 5
    4.09
    TE2
    Dallas Clark
    Ind/7
    My Fantasy League 1
    4.10
    QB7
    Philip Rivers
    SD/10
    Expert
    4.11
    QB8
    Jay Cutler
    Chi/8
    Consensus 2
    4.12
    QB9
    Kevin Kolb
    Phi/8
    Consensus
    5.01
    QB10
    Brett Favre
    Min/4
    Consensus
    5.02
    QB11
    Eli Manning
    NYG/8
    Consensus 2
    5.03
    WR17
    Hines Ward
    Pit/5
    Expert
    5.04
    QB12
    Matt Ryan
    Atl/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    5.05
    RB23
    LeSean McCoy
    Phi/8
    Draft Slots Study 5
    5.06
    RB21
    Joseph Addai
    Ind/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    5.07
    WR18
    Percy Harvin
    Min/4
    Magazine Average 1
    5.08
    QB13
    Joe Flacco
    Bal/8
    Magazine Average 2
    5.09
    RB22
    Ronnie Brown
    Mia/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    5.10
    RB24
    Reggie Bush
    NO/10
    Mock Draft Central 2
    5.11
    WR19
    Malcom Floyd
    SD/10
    My Fantasy League 2
    5.12
    WR21
    Mike Wallace
    Pit/5
    Expert 2
    6.01
    RB25
    Ricky Williams
    Mia/5
    Expert 2
    6.02
    RB26
    Ahmad Bradshaw
    NYG/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    6.03
    RB27
    Brandon Jacobs
    NYG/8
    Mock Draft Central 2
    6.04
    WR22
    Michael Crabtree
    SF/9
    CBS Sportsline 2
    6.05
    RB28
    Fred Jackson
    Buf/6
    Magazine Average 2
    6.06
    RB29
    Michael Bush
    Oak/10
    Magazine Average 1
    6.07
    RB30
    Justin Forsett
    Sea/5
    CBS Sportsline 1
    6.08
    WR23
    Mike Sims-Walker
    Jac/9
    Draft Slots Study 5
    6.09
    QB14
    Donovan McNabb
    Was/9
    My Fantasy League 1
    6.10
    RB31
    Cadillac Williams
    TB/4
    Expert
    6.11
    RB32
    Darren Sproles
    SD/10
    Consensus 2
    6.12
    RB33
    Jerome Harrison
    Cle/8
    Consensus
    7.01
    TE3
    Jermichael Finley
    GB/10
    Consensus
    7.02
    TE4
    Vernon Davis
    SF/9
    Consensus 2
    7.03
    TE5
    Jason Witten
    Dal/4
    Expert
    7.04
    RB34
    Clinton Portis
    Was/9
    My Fantasy League 1
    7.05
    TE6
    Tony Gonzalez
    Atl/8
    Draft Slots Study 5
    7.06
    RB35
    Laurence Maroney
    NE/5
    CBS Sportsline 1
    7.07
    RB36
    Tim Hightower
    Ari/6
    Magazine Average 1
    7.08
    TE7
    Brent Celek
    Phi/8
    Magazine Average 2
    7.09
    RB37
    C.J. Spiller
    Buf/6
    CBS Sportsline 2
    7.10
    WR24
    Devin Hester
    Chi/8
    Mock Draft Central 2
    7.11
    RB38
    Chester Taylor
    Chi/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    7.12
    RB39
    Matt Forte
    Chi/8
    Expert 2
    8.01
    TE8
    Kellen Winslow
    TB/4
    Expert 2
    8.02
    WR25
    Lee Evans
    Buf/6
    My Fantasy League 2
    8.03
    TE9
    Heath Miller
    Pit/5
    Mock Draft Central 2
    8.04
    WR26
    Santana Moss
    Was/9
    CBS Sportsline 2
    8.05
    WR27
    Jeremy Maclin
    Phi/8
    Magazine Average 2
    8.06
    WR28
    Jabar Gaffney
    Den/9
    Magazine Average 1
    8.07
    RB40
    LaDainian Tomlinson
    NYJ/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    8.08
    QB15
    Matthew Stafford
    Det/7
    Draft Slots Study 5
    8.09
    WR29
    Dwayne Bowe
    KC/4
    My Fantasy League 1
    8.10
    WR30
    Steve Breaston
    Ari/6
    Expert
    8.11
    WR31
    Derrick Mason
    Bal/8
    Consensus 2
    8.12
    WR32
    Robert Meachem
    NO/10
    Consensus
    9.01
    WR33
    Donald Driver
    GB/10
    Consensus
    9.02
    WR34
    Jerricho Cotchery
    NYJ/7
    Consensus 2
    9.03
    DEF1
    New York Jets
    NYJ/7
    Expert
    9.04
    WR35
    T.J. Houshmandzadeh
    Sea/5
    My Fantasy League 1
    9.05
    WR36
    Dez Bryant
    Dal/4
    Draft Slots Study 5
    9.06
    TE10
    Zach Miller
    Oak/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    9.07
    WR37
    Antonio Bryant
    Cin/6
    Magazine Average 1
    9.08
    WR38
    Nate Washington
    Ten/9
    Magazine Average 2
    9.09
    WR39
    Johnny Knox
    Chi/8
    CBS Sportsline 2
    9.10
    WR40
    Braylon Edwards
    NYJ/7
    Mock Draft Central 2
    9.11
    RB41
    Marion Barber
    Dal/4
    My Fantasy League 2
    9.12
    TE11
    Visanthe Shiancoe
    Min/4
    Expert 2
    10.01
    RB42
    Donald Brown
    Ind/7
    Expert 2
    10.02
    TE12
    Owen Daniels
    Hou/7
    My Fantasy League 2
    10.03
    TE13
    Chris Cooley
    Was/9
    Mock Draft Central 2
    10.04
    TE14
    John Carlson
    Sea/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    10.05
    QB16
    David Garrard
    Jac/9
    Magazine Average 2
    10.06
    QB17
    Vince Young
    Ten/9
    Magazine Average 1
    10.07
    QB18
    Alex Smith
    SF/9
    CBS Sportsline 1
    10.08
    QB19
    Carson Palmer
    Cin/6
    Draft Slots Study 5
    10.09
    QB20
    Chad Henne
    Mia/5
    My Fantasy League 1
    10.10
    QB21
    Matt Cassel
    KC/4
    Expert
    10.11
    DEF2
    Baltimore
    Bal/8
    Consensus 2
    10.12
    DEF3
    Philadelphia
    Phi/8
    Consensus
    11.01
    RB43
    Arian Foster
    Hou/7
    Consensus
    11.02
    RB44
    Correll Buckhalter
    Den/9
    Consensus 2
    11.03
    RB45
    Steve Slaton
    Hou/7
    Expert
    11.04
    RB46
    Darren McFadden
    Oak/10
    My Fantasy League 1
    11.05
    RB49
    Montario Hardesty
    Cle/8
    Draft Slots Study 5
    11.06
    RB47
    Willis McGahee
    Bal/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    11.07
    TE15
    Jeremy Shockey
    NO/10
    Magazine Average 1
    11.08
    RB48
    Thomas Jones
    KC/4
    Magazine Average 2
    11.09
    WR41
    Mohamed Massaquoi
    Cle/8
    CBS Sportsline 2
    11.10
    WR42
    Devin Thomas
    Was/9
    Mock Draft Central 2
    11.11
    RB50
    Leon Washington
    Sea/5
    My Fantasy League 2
    11.12
    RB51
    Derrick Ward
    TB/4
    Expert 2
    12.01
    QB22
    Mark Sanchez
    NYJ/7
    Expert 2
    12.02
    QB23
    Matt Leinart
    Ari/6
    My Fantasy League 2
    12.03
    QB24
    Josh Freeman
    TB/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    12.04
    DEF4
    Minnesota
    Min/4
    CBS Sportsline 2
    12.05
    DEF5
    San Francisco
    SF/9
    Magazine Average 2
    12.06
    DEF6
    Miami
    Mia/5
    Magazine Average 1
    12.07
    WR43
    Vincent Jackson
    SD/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    12.08
    WR45
    Kenny Britt
    Ten/9
    Draft Slots Study 5
    12.09
    WR44
    Eddie Royal
    Den/9
    My Fantasy League 1
    12.10
    WR46
    Santonio Holmes
    NYJ/7
    Expert
    12.11
    WR47
    Donnie Avery
    StL/9
    Consensus 2
    12.12
    WR48
    Jacoby Jones
    Hou/7
    Consensus
    13.01
    WR49
    Josh Cribbs
    Cle/8
    Consensus
    13.02
    WR50
    Mario Manningham
    NYG/8
    Consensus 2
    13.03
    QB25
    Jason Campbell
    Oak/10
    Expert
    13.04
    WR51
    Dexter McCluster
    KC/4
    My Fantasy League 1
    13.05
    DEF9
    Green Bay
    GB/10
    Draft Slots Study 5
    13.06
    RB52
    Larry Johnson
    Was/9
    CBS Sportsline 1
    13.07
    TE16
    Dustin Keller
    NYJ/7
    Magazine Average 1
    13.08
    QB26
    Kyle Orton
    Den/9
    Magazine Average 2
    13.09
    QB27
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Pit/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    13.10
    QB28
    Matt Hasselbeck
    Sea/5
    Mock Draft Central 2
    13.11
    WR52
    Mike Thomas
    Jac/9
    My Fantasy League 2
    13.12
    RB53
    Kevin Faulk
    NE/5
    Expert 2
    14.01
    WR53
    Wes Welker
    NE/5
    Expert 2
    14.02
    WR54
    Pierre Garcon
    Ind/7
    My Fantasy League 2
    14.03
    WR55
    Chris Chambers
    KC/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    14.04
    PK1
    Mason Crosby
    GB/10
    CBS Sportsline 2
    14.05
    PK2
    Nate Kaeding
    SD/10
    Magazine Average 2
    14.06
    WR56
    Arrelious Benn
    TB/4
    Magazine Average 1
    14.07
    DEF7
    Chicago
    Chi/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    14.08
    RB58
    Ben Tate
    Hou/7
    Draft Slots Study 5
    14.09
    DEF8
    Dallas
    Dal/4
    My Fantasy League 1
    14.10
    WR57
    Nate Burleson
    Det/7
    Expert
    14.11
    WR58
    Anthony Gonzalez
    Ind/7
    Consensus 2
    14.12
    WR59
    Michael Jenkins
    Atl/8
    Consensus
    15.01
    TE17
    Greg Olsen
    Chi/8
    Consensus
    15.02
    RB54
    Toby Gerhart
    Min/4
    Consensus 2
    15.03
    WR60
    Roy Williams
    Dal/4
    Expert
    15.04
    WR61
    Darrius Heyward-Bey
    Oak/10
    My Fantasy League 1
    15.05
    DEF11
    Pittsburgh
    Pit/5
    Draft Slots Study 5
    15.06
    WR62
    Kevin Walter
    Hou/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    15.07
    RB55
    Mike Bell
    Phi/8
    Magazine Average 1
    15.08
    WR63
    Bernard Berrian
    Min/4
    Magazine Average 2
    15.09
    RB56
    Fred Taylor
    NE/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    15.10
    WR64
    Laurent Robinson
    StL/9
    Mock Draft Central 2
    15.11
    RB57
    Jason Snelling
    Atl/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    15.12
    WR65
    Devin Aromashodu
    Chi/8
    Expert 2
    16.01
    PK3
    Stephen Gostkowski
    NE/5
    Expert 2
    16.02
    WR66
    Golden Tate
    Sea/5
    My Fantasy League 2
    16.03
    WR67
    Josh Morgan
    SF/9
    Mock Draft Central 2
    16.04
    TE18
    Kevin Boss
    NYG/8
    CBS Sportsline 2
    16.05
    RB59
    Bernard Scott
    Cin/6
    Magazine Average 2
    16.06
    WR68
    Early Doucet
    Ari/6
    Magazine Average 1
    16.07
    TE19
    Todd Heap
    Bal/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    16.08
    PK5
    Garrett Hartley
    NO/10
    Draft Slots Study 5
    16.09
    WR69
    Austin Collie
    Ind/7
    My Fantasy League 1
    16.10
    TE20
    Tony Scheffler
    Det/7
    Expert
    16.11
    WR70
    Chaz Schilens
    Oak/10
    Consensus 2
    16.12
    WR71
    Brian Hartline
    Mia/5
    Consensus
    17.01
    PK4
    David Akers
    Phi/8
    Consensus
    17.02
    PK6
    Ryan Longwell
    Min/4
    Consensus 2
    17.03
    PK7
    Nick Folk
    NYJ/7
    Expert
    17.04
    TE21
    Anthony Fasano
    Mia/5
    My Fantasy League 1
    17.05
    WR72
    Demaryius Thomas
    Den/9
    Draft Slots Study 5
    17.06
    RB60
    Brandon Jackson
    GB/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    17.07
    RB61
    Leonard Weaver
    Phi/8
    Magazine Average 1
    17.08
    RB62
    Javon Ringer
    Ten/9
    Magazine Average 2
    17.09
    RB63
    Jerious Norwood
    Atl/8
    CBS Sportsline 2
    17.10
    DEF10
    Tennessee
    Ten/9
    Mock Draft Central 2
    17.11
    PK8
    Lawrence Tynes
    NYG/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    17.12
    RB64
    Kevin Smith
    Det/7
    Expert 2
    18.01
    DEF12
    San Diego
    SD/10
    Expert 2
    18.02
    DEF13
    New York Giants
    NYG/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    18.03
    PK9
    David Buehler
    Dal/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    18.04
    RB65
    Sammy Morris
    NE/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    18.05
    RB66
    Tashard Choice
    Dal/4
    Magazine Average 2
    18.06
    PK10
    Shayne Graham
    Bal/8
    Magazine Average 1
    18.07
    PK11
    Robbie Gould
    Chi/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    18.08
    TE22
    Bo Scaife
    Ten/9
    Draft Slots Study 5
    18.09
    PK12
    Neil Rackers
    Hou/7
    My Fantasy League 1
    18.10
    RB67
    Lynell Hamilton
    NO/10
    Expert
    18.11
    WR74
    Malcolm Kelly
    Was/9
    Consensus 2
    18.12
    DEF14
    Arizona
    Ari/6
    Consensus

    Breaking down the mock draft from the 5th draft position

    Before I start here, just a quick note in regards to that first pick. I think in most circumstances I would likely go with a quarterback over a receiver with the 5th pick if I skipped the typical running back selection. I see the benefit of a Drew Brees more so than a receiver like Andre Johnson. I am using the selection of Johnson here however just to illustrate there are options with that top pick.

    Round 1.5: WR Andre Johnson

    A receiver that can absolutely take over a football game, Johnson is a risky pick but a good one. He caught 100 passes in three of the last four seasons and likely would have reached that in 2007 if not for injury. The only negative to his game is his lack of huge TD production but he is an impact player without question.

    Round 2.08 RB DeAngelo Williams

    As with the previous study, if Williams is there to select in round two, I am taking him and not thinking twice. Unlike the players drafted in the first round, I believe Williams could be a top-four running back this season if we were to gain the lion's share of the carries. At worst, he is a capable RB1 for a fantasy squad.

    Round 3.05 RB Ryan Matthews

    There are a number of nice running backs available here and it is an easy pick to take the one at the top of the draft board. He is capable of 20+ carries per game and therefore of being a dependable fantasy starter. That's not bad in round three.

    Round 4.08 WR Anquan Boldin

    Boldin is capable of putting up big fantasy numbers when healthy and the Ravens offense appears to be explosive this season. Sure he may miss a few games but he'll do a great job when on the field and is an excellent WR2.

    Round 5.05 RB LeSean McCoy

    I consider going WR here as I like to get my starters at running back and receiver locked away early when possible. However no receiver really leaps off the board at me here so I'm happy to add a starting running back in McCoy. He has great potential and could emerge as a true fantasy weapon in 2010. Not bad for a 5th round draft pick and he helps make the running back stable quite strong despite ignoring it in round one.

    Round 6.08 WR Mike Sims-Walker

    Tempted to go with Cadillac Williams here but the upside of Sims-Walker is impossible to ignore here. With three good running backs already on board, it is easier to target a receiver here and Sims-Walker has very good potential. He is without question a starting fantasy receiver and for a 6th round pick, that's not bad.

    Round 7.05 TE Tony Gonzalez.

    The sixth thru eighth rounds is a great place to target a tight end. Gonzalez as we all know is a phenomenal talent and even though he is heading into the twilight of his career he still has top-five potential. Consider a running back again here but cannot pass on a top tight end.

    Round 8.08 QB Matthew Stafford

    Waiting to pick up a quarterback until the 8th+ round can be a great strategy if it works out well. There is a risk heading into the season with a 2nd-year quarterback as your starting fantasy starter but Stafford has serious potential for greatness and has some great targets to get the ball to. He could emerge as a real strong player for this squad.

    Round 9.05 WR Dez Bryant

    I love the potential of this kid and I quickly scoop him up in the 9th round. I definitely could have targeted a 4th running back or 2nd quarterback here but Bryant has serious potential to surpass his draft position and I love him as a mid-draft selection.

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

    Quarterbacks

  • Matthew Stafford - 8.08
  • Running Backs

  • DeAngelo Williams - 2.08
  • Ryan Matthews - 3.05
  • LeSean McCoy - 5.05
  • Wide Receivers

  • Andre Johnson - 1.05
  • Anquan Boldin - 4.08
  • Mike Sims-Walker - 6.08
  • Dez Bryant - 9.05
  • Tight Ends

  • Tony Gonzalez - 7.05
  • Place Kickers

  • none
  • Defenses

  • none
  • Obviously with taking a receiver in round one, you would anticipate it being a strength of your roster at the half way point and it is. Johnson teams up with Boldin, Sims-Walker and Bryant to give me four players capable of big things this year. On the flip side, you may anticipate the running back position being a little weak. I see Williams, Matthews and McCoy as three fantasy capable players though and the position is in good shape. Perhaps I should have added a fourth running back before the end of round nine and we'll have to see how the 2nd half of the draft goes. Quarterback is a little shaky but Stafford has serious upside and could be a strength of the team in 2010. Finally I managed to get a good tight end in Tony Gonzalez who will hold down the fort at the position. All in all, I am very pleased with this start.

    Rounds 10-14: QB Carson Palmer, RB Montario Hardesty, WR Kenny Britt, GB Defense, RB Ben Tate

    I am quite happy to secure a second quarterback with history of putting up big fantasy numbers. If Stafford goes off the rails in 2010, at least Palmer can step in and do a decent job for my fantasy squad. I add two, young running backs that have potential to emerge as starters. That's all you can ask in the 2nd half of your draft although both have bust potential as well. I really like Kenny Britt and he may emerge as a starter on this squad. He has excellent skills and athleticism and he's a steal in the mid rounds. Finally, I find a good defense in the Packers.

    Rounds 15-18: Pittsburgh Defense, K Garrett Hartley, WR Demaryius Thomas, TE Bo Scaife

    This is where you flesh out a roster. I manage to add a 2nd good defense, a very strong kicker, a young, promising receiver and a 2nd tight end capable of filling in when needed.

    Final Roster (Draft Slot #5)

    Quarterbacks

  • Matthew Stafford - 8.08
  • Carson Palmer - 10.08
  • Running Backs

  • DeAngelo Williams - 2.08
  • Ryan Matthews - 3.05
  • LeSean McCoy - 5.05
  • Montario Hardesty - 11.05
  • Ben Tate - 14.08
  • Wide Receivers

  • Andre Johnson - 1.05
  • Anquan Boldin - 4.08
  • Mike Sims-Walker - 6.08
  • Dez Bryant - 9.05
  • Kenny Britt - 12.08
  • Demaryius Thomas - 17.05
  • Tight Ends

  • Tony Gonzalez - 7.05
  • Bo Scaife - 18.08
  • Place Kickers

  • Garrett Hartley - 16.08
  • Defenses

  • Green Bay - 13.05
  • Pittsburgh - 15.05
  • Final thoughts on this roster

    I am very pleased with how this roster turned out. The quarterback position is very interesting with two guys capable of greatly exceeding their draft position. Of course the position could fall flat as well and that is the risk you take by ignoring the position until round eight. Lots of good options at quarterback though so only go earlier if you see a great option. At running back, I have three strong fantasy options and two additional young backs with big upside that may emerge in 2010. Receiver is the strength of the team and it all starts with Andre Johnson as WR1. All five of the others may contribute at times in 2010. Add in a good kicker, two strong defenses and a top tight end with a good backup and this roster will certainly compete for a title.

    If I could have one do-over after this draft (I do this article as I would do a draft, no make ups and no back-tracking) I would select Marion Barber for the extra running back depth over Dez Bryant. The roster would have been stronger with the sixth running back instead of receiver.

    Last thoughts on the 5th draft slot in a 12-team league

    This isn't an easy place to draft from in 2010. It really isn't. I believe unless you're lucky that you are missing out on the top-tier of running backs and so have to choose between the second-tier guys or taking a different path with quarterback or receiver. It is quite unusual to start the draft early in round one with a receiver but it worked out pretty well in the long run. Don't be afraid to buck the trend and go QB or WR if you don't see a running back available the equal of the ones taken before your first pick.

    Good luck and happy drafting!

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