Draft Slots Study - 12 Teams / Pick 1.08
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 8th overall (12-team re-draft)

    This is always a challenging area to draft from. The first seven owners are going to pickup for sure the top running backs on the board and perhaps the top quarterback and top receiver or two. That means you'll be playing catchup throughout the draft. However the earlier 2nd round pick can play dividends with smart drafting. I think the #1 thing drafting at the 8th slot is to not lock into a position whatsoever in the first few rounds. If you force yourself into taking a running back in round 1 and 2, you may be playing 2nd fiddle to many of the teams ahead of you in round one. Why? Simply because they'll have a better RB1 than your squad and will get a great receiver or quarterback in round two. Don't be afraid to think outside of the box here. Let's take a look.

    Possible strategies to incorporate into your draft

    There are many different routes to take this draft slot position and it all depends on your league and the other owner's tendencies. We will look at a couple of scenarios here but in a nutshell, simply take the best player on your draft board in round one and two and build around them.

    Examples

    1. League that goes RB heavy in first two rounds: Many leagues out there still feature running backs flying off the board in the first two rounds. Being saddled with a mid-round pick, you must be willing to take some chances in the first couple of rounds to success. Landing top players regardless of position in the first couple of rounds will help you to compete for the title

    Possible squad through five rounds

  • QB Drew Brees 2.05
  • RB Shonn Greene 3.08
  • RB Ahmad Bradshaw 5.08
  • WR Andre Johnson 1.08
  • WR Brandon Marshall 4.05
  • Obviously your running back position by ignoring the position in the first two rounds. However targeting other positions helped you to land a top quarterback in Drew Brees and a stud receiver in Andre Johnson giving the squad an advantage in two key areas. Landing Greene and Bradshaw secures the backfield despite no early pick and the foundation of this team is very strong.

    2. 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. This is where you'll find some good, talented running backs in the first few rounds.

    Possible squad through five rounds

  • RB Frank Gore 1.08
  • RB Rashard Mendenhall 2.05
  • RB Shonn Greene 3.08
  • WR Steve Smith (NYG) 4.05
  • WR Michael Crabtree 5.08
  • The running back stable is the strength of the team with three very good players on the roster. Gore, Mendenhall and Greene are one of the best combinations in the league. Both receivers are young and capable of big things. All in all, this is a great start to a fantasy roster.

    Positives of the draft slot

  • Never waiting too long to make a pick
  • Easier to look forward to your next pick
  • Negatives of the draft slot

  • Top 4+ running backs and top QB/WR could all be off the board when the first pick is up
  • Will be battling to catch up to top-half of the draft owners throughout the process
  • 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
    FF Extreme
    1.06
    QB1
    Aaron Rodgers
    GB/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    1.07
    RB5
    Frank Gore
    SF/9
    Magazine Average 1
    1.08
    QB2
    Drew Brees
    NO/10
    Draft Slots Study 8
    1.09
    RB6
    Steven Jackson
    StL/9
    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
    WR7
    Reggie Wayne
    Ind/7
    Draft Slots Study 8
    2.06
    WR5
    Roddy White
    Atl/8
    Magazine Average 1
    2.07
    WR6
    Greg Jennings
    GB/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    2.08
    WR8
    Marques Colston
    NO/10
    FF Extreme
    2.09
    WR9
    Sidney Rice
    Min/4
    My Fantasy League 1
    2.10
    WR10
    DeSean Jackson
    Phi/8
    Expert
    2.11
    RB9
    Ryan Grant
    GB/10
    Consensus 2
    2.12
    WR11
    Calvin Johnson
    Det/7
    Consensus
    3.01
    RB10
    Knowshon Moreno
    Den/9
    Consensus
    3.02
    TE1
    Antonio Gates
    SD/10
    Consensus 2
    3.03
    RB11
    Chris Wells
    Ari/6
    Expert
    3.04
    RB12
    DeAngelo Williams
    Car/6
    My Fantasy League 1
    3.05
    RB13
    Pierre Thomas
    NO/10
    FF Extreme
    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
    Draft Slots Study 8
    3.09
    RB14
    Ryan Mathews
    SD/10
    CBS Sportsline 2
    3.10
    RB16
    Jamaal Charles
    KC/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    3.11
    RB17
    Cedric Benson
    Cin/6
    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
    RB20
    Jahvid Best
    Det/7
    Draft Slots Study 8
    4.06
    WR15
    Hakeem Nicks
    NYG/8
    Magazine Average 1
    4.07
    WR16
    Steve Smith
    NYG/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    4.08
    TE2
    Dallas Clark
    Ind/7
    FF Extreme
    4.09
    QB7
    Philip Rivers
    SD/10
    My Fantasy League 1
    4.10
    WR17
    Hines Ward
    Pit/5
    Expert
    4.11
    WR18
    Percy Harvin
    Min/4
    Consensus 2
    4.12
    QB8
    Jay Cutler
    Chi/8
    Consensus
    5.01
    TE3
    Jermichael Finley
    GB/10
    Consensus
    5.02
    QB9
    Kevin Kolb
    Phi/8
    Consensus 2
    5.03
    TE4
    Vernon Davis
    SF/9
    Expert
    5.04
    WR19
    Malcom Floyd
    SD/10
    My Fantasy League 1
    5.05
    RB21
    Joseph Addai
    Ind/7
    FF Extreme
    5.06
    RB22
    Ronnie Brown
    Mia/5
    CBS Sportsline 1
    5.07
    WR20
    Anquan Boldin
    Bal/8
    Magazine Average 1
    5.08
    RB23
    LeSean McCoy
    Phi/8
    Draft Slots Study 8
    5.09
    WR21
    Mike Wallace
    Pit/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    5.10
    TE5
    Jason Witten
    Dal/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    5.11
    WR22
    Michael Crabtree
    SF/9
    My Fantasy League 2
    5.12
    RB24
    Reggie Bush
    NO/10
    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
    TE6
    Tony Gonzalez
    Atl/8
    CBS Sportsline 2
    6.05
    WR23
    Mike Sims-Walker
    Jac/9
    Draft Slots Study 8
    6.06
    RB28
    Fred Jackson
    Buf/6
    Magazine Average 1
    6.07
    RB29
    Michael Bush
    Oak/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    6.08
    RB30
    Justin Forsett
    Sea/5
    FF Extreme
    6.09
    RB31
    Cadillac Williams
    TB/4
    My Fantasy League 1
    6.10
    RB32
    Darren Sproles
    SD/10
    Expert
    6.11
    RB33
    Jerome Harrison
    Cle/8
    Consensus 2
    6.12
    RB34
    Clinton Portis
    Was/9
    Consensus
    7.01
    WR24
    Devin Hester
    Chi/8
    Consensus
    7.02
    WR25
    Lee Evans
    Buf/6
    Consensus 2
    7.03
    QB10
    Brett Favre
    Min/4
    Expert
    7.04
    QB11
    Eli Manning
    NYG/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    7.05
    RB35
    Laurence Maroney
    NE/5
    FF Extreme
    7.06
    RB36
    Tim Hightower
    Ari/6
    CBS Sportsline 1
    7.07
    RB37
    C.J. Spiller
    Buf/6
    Magazine Average 1
    7.08
    RB41
    Marion Barber
    Dal/4
    Draft Slots Study 8
    7.09
    QB12
    Matt Ryan
    Atl/8
    CBS Sportsline 2
    7.10
    RB38
    Chester Taylor
    Chi/8
    Mock Draft Central 2
    7.11
    TE7
    Brent Celek
    Phi/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    7.12
    RB39
    Matt Forte
    Chi/8
    Expert 2
    8.01
    WR26
    Santana Moss
    Was/9
    Expert 2
    8.02
    WR27
    Jeremy Maclin
    Phi/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    8.03
    WR28
    Jabar Gaffney
    Den/9
    Mock Draft Central 2
    8.04
    QB13
    Joe Flacco
    Bal/8
    CBS Sportsline 2
    8.05
    WR29
    Dwayne Bowe
    KC/4
    Draft Slots Study 8
    8.06
    RB40
    LaDainian Tomlinson
    NYJ/7
    Magazine Average 1
    8.07
    WR30
    Steve Breaston
    Ari/6
    CBS Sportsline 1
    8.08
    QB14
    Donovan McNabb
    Was/9
    FF Extreme
    8.09
    WR31
    Derrick Mason
    Bal/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    8.10
    WR32
    Robert Meachem
    NO/10
    Expert
    8.11
    WR33
    Donald Driver
    GB/10
    Consensus 2
    8.12
    WR34
    Jerricho Cotchery
    NYJ/7
    Consensus
    9.01
    WR35
    T.J. Houshmandzadeh
    Sea/5
    Consensus
    9.02
    WR36
    Dez Bryant
    Dal/4
    Consensus 2
    9.03
    WR37
    Antonio Bryant
    Cin/6
    Expert
    9.04
    TE8
    Kellen Winslow
    TB/4
    My Fantasy League 1
    9.05
    WR38
    Nate Washington
    Ten/9
    FF Extreme
    9.06
    TE9
    Heath Miller
    Pit/5
    CBS Sportsline 1
    9.07
    WR39
    Johnny Knox
    Chi/8
    Magazine Average 1
    9.08
    RB49
    Montario Hardesty
    Cle/8
    Draft Slots Study 8
    9.09
    WR40
    Braylon Edwards
    NYJ/7
    CBS Sportsline 2
    9.10
    WR41
    Mohamed Massaquoi
    Cle/8
    Mock Draft Central 2
    9.11
    TE10
    Zach Miller
    Oak/10
    My Fantasy League 2
    9.12
    TE11
    Visanthe Shiancoe
    Min/4
    Expert 2
    10.01
    RB42
    Donald Brown
    Ind/7
    Expert 2
    10.02
    WR42
    Devin Thomas
    Was/9
    My Fantasy League 2
    10.03
    RB43
    Arian Foster
    Hou/7
    Mock Draft Central 2
    10.04
    WR43
    Vincent Jackson
    SD/10
    CBS Sportsline 2
    10.05
    WR45
    Kenny Britt
    Ten/9
    Draft Slots Study 8
    10.06
    RB44
    Correll Buckhalter
    Den/9
    Magazine Average 1
    10.07
    RB45
    Steve Slaton
    Hou/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    10.08
    RB46
    Darren McFadden
    Oak/10
    FF Extreme
    10.09
    RB47
    Willis McGahee
    Bal/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    10.10
    RB48
    Thomas Jones
    KC/4
    Expert
    10.11
    WR44
    Eddie Royal
    Den/9
    Consensus 2
    10.12
    QB15
    Matthew Stafford
    Det/7
    Consensus
    11.01
    DEF1
    New York Jets
    NYJ/7
    Consensus
    11.02
    QB16
    David Garrard
    Jac/9
    Consensus 2
    11.03
    QB17
    Vince Young
    Ten/9
    Expert
    11.04
    WR46
    Santonio Holmes
    NYJ/7
    My Fantasy League 1
    11.05
    QB18
    Alex Smith
    SF/9
    FF Extreme
    11.06
    QB19
    Carson Palmer
    Cin/6
    CBS Sportsline 1
    11.07
    QB20
    Chad Henne
    Mia/5
    Magazine Average 1
    11.08
    TE12
    Owen Daniels
    Hou/7
    Draft Slots Study 8
    11.09
    RB50
    Leon Washington
    Sea/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    11.10
    WR47
    Donnie Avery
    StL/9
    Mock Draft Central 2
    11.11
    RB51
    Derrick Ward
    TB/4
    My Fantasy League 2
    11.12
    WR48
    Jacoby Jones
    Hou/7
    Expert 2
    12.01
    TE13
    Chris Cooley
    Was/9
    Expert 2
    12.02
    RB52
    Larry Johnson
    Was/9
    My Fantasy League 2
    12.03
    WR49
    Josh Cribbs
    Cle/8
    Mock Draft Central 2
    12.04
    WR50
    Mario Manningham
    NYG/8
    CBS Sportsline 2
    12.05
    RB58
    Ben Tate
    Hou/7
    Draft Slots Study 8
    12.06
    WR51
    Dexter McCluster
    KC/4
    Magazine Average 1
    12.07
    WR52
    Mike Thomas
    Jac/9
    CBS Sportsline 1
    12.08
    WR53
    Wes Welker
    NE/5
    FF Extreme
    12.09
    WR54
    Pierre Garcon
    Ind/7
    My Fantasy League 1
    12.10
    QB21
    Matt Cassel
    KC/4
    Expert
    12.11
    RB53
    Kevin Faulk
    NE/5
    Consensus 2
    12.12
    RB54
    Toby Gerhart
    Min/4
    Consensus
    13.01
    RB55
    Mike Bell
    Phi/8
    Consensus
    13.02
    DEF2
    Baltimore
    Bal/8
    Consensus 2
    13.03
    DEF3
    Philadelphia
    Phi/8
    Expert
    13.04
    TE14
    John Carlson
    Sea/5
    My Fantasy League 1
    13.05
    WR55
    Chris Chambers
    KC/4
    FF Extreme
    13.06
    RB56
    Fred Taylor
    NE/5
    CBS Sportsline 1
    13.07
    RB57
    Jason Snelling
    Atl/8
    Magazine Average 1
    13.08
    WR57
    Nate Burleson
    Det/7
    Draft Slots Study 8
    13.09
    WR56
    Arrelious Benn
    TB/4
    CBS Sportsline 2
    13.10
    WR58
    Anthony Gonzalez
    Ind/7
    Mock Draft Central 2
    13.11
    WR59
    Michael Jenkins
    Atl/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    13.12
    QB22
    Mark Sanchez
    NYJ/7
    Expert 2
    14.01
    DEF4
    Minnesota
    Min/4
    Expert 2
    14.02
    DEF5
    San Francisco
    SF/9
    My Fantasy League 2
    14.03
    DEF6
    Miami
    Mia/5
    Mock Draft Central 2
    14.04
    DEF7
    Chicago
    Chi/8
    CBS Sportsline 2
    14.05
    DEF8
    Dallas
    Dal/4
    Draft Slots Study 8
    14.06
    TE15
    Jeremy Shockey
    NO/10
    Magazine Average 1
    14.07
    TE16
    Dustin Keller
    NYJ/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    14.08
    WR60
    Roy Williams
    Dal/4
    FF Extreme
    14.09
    WR61
    Darrius Heyward-Bey
    Oak/10
    My Fantasy League 1
    14.10
    WR62
    Kevin Walter
    Hou/7
    Expert
    14.11
    WR63
    Bernard Berrian
    Min/4
    Consensus 2
    14.12
    WR64
    Laurent Robinson
    StL/9
    Consensus
    15.01
    TE17
    Greg Olsen
    Chi/8
    Consensus
    15.02
    DEF9
    Green Bay
    GB/10
    Consensus 2
    15.03
    WR65
    Devin Aromashodu
    Chi/8
    Expert
    15.04
    WR66
    Golden Tate
    Sea/5
    My Fantasy League 1
    15.05
    QB23
    Matt Leinart
    Ari/6
    FF Extreme
    15.06
    RB59
    Bernard Scott
    Cin/6
    CBS Sportsline 1
    15.07
    DEF10
    Tennessee
    Ten/9
    Magazine Average 1
    15.08
    QB24
    Josh Freeman
    TB/4
    Draft Slots Study 8
    15.09
    WR67
    Josh Morgan
    SF/9
    CBS Sportsline 2
    15.10
    WR68
    Early Doucet
    Ari/6
    Mock Draft Central 2
    15.11
    WR69
    Austin Collie
    Ind/7
    My Fantasy League 2
    15.12
    WR70
    Chaz Schilens
    Oak/10
    Expert 2
    16.01
    QB25
    Jason Campbell
    Oak/10
    Expert 2
    16.02
    QB26
    Kyle Orton
    Den/9
    My Fantasy League 2
    16.03
    PK1
    Mason Crosby
    GB/10
    Mock Draft Central 2
    16.04
    PK2
    Nate Kaeding
    SD/10
    CBS Sportsline 2
    16.05
    PK5
    Garrett Hartley
    NO/10
    Draft Slots Study 8
    16.06
    TE18
    Kevin Boss
    NYG/8
    Magazine Average 1
    16.07
    RB60
    Brandon Jackson
    GB/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    16.08
    RB61
    Leonard Weaver
    Phi/8
    FF Extreme
    16.09
    RB62
    Javon Ringer
    Ten/9
    My Fantasy League 1
    16.10
    RB63
    Jerious Norwood
    Atl/8
    Expert
    16.11
    RB64
    Kevin Smith
    Det/7
    Consensus 2
    16.12
    RB65
    Sammy Morris
    NE/5
    Consensus
    17.01
    WR71
    Brian Hartline
    Mia/5
    Consensus
    17.02
    RB66
    Tashard Choice
    Dal/4
    Consensus 2
    17.03
    WR72
    Demaryius Thomas
    Den/9
    Expert
    17.04
    PK3
    Stephen Gostkowski
    NE/5
    My Fantasy League 1
    17.05
    PK4
    David Akers
    Phi/8
    FF Extreme
    17.06
    PK6
    Ryan Longwell
    Min/4
    CBS Sportsline 1
    17.07
    RB67
    Lynell Hamilton
    NO/10
    Magazine Average 1
    17.08
    DEF11
    Pittsburgh
    Pit/5
    Draft Slots Study 8
    17.09
    QB27
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Pit/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    17.10
    QB28
    Matt Hasselbeck
    Sea/5
    Mock Draft Central 2
    17.11
    WR73
    James Jones
    GB/10
    My Fantasy League 2
    17.12
    WR74
    Malcolm Kelly
    Was/9
    Expert 2
    18.01
    PK7
    Nick Folk
    NYJ/7
    Expert 2
    18.02
    PK8
    Lawrence Tynes
    NYG/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    18.03
    WR75
    Mike Williams
    TB/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    18.04
    WR76
    Brandon Tate
    NE/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    18.05
    WR83
    Terrell Owens
    FA
    Draft Slots Study 8
    18.06
    PK9
    David Buehler
    Dal/4
    Magazine Average 1
    18.07
    DEF12
    San Diego
    SD/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    18.08
    DEF13
    New York Giants
    NYG/8
    FF Extreme
    18.09
    DEF14
    Arizona
    Ari/6
    My Fantasy League 1
    18.10
    PK10
    Shayne Graham
    Bal/8
    Expert
    18.11
    PK11
    Robbie Gould
    Chi/8
    Consensus 2
    18.12
    PK12
    Neil Rackers
    Hou/7
    Consensus

    Breaking down the mock draft from the 8th draft position

    Round 1.08: QB Drew Brees

    I could have taken RB Steven Jackson or Rashard Mendenhall here or even a WR Larry Fitzgerald but Drew Brees has the potential to dominate a fantasy game and his selection here allows you to ignore the position until much, MUCH later in the draft. With so many running backs sharing time in this era, it is easier to take a quarterback earlier.

    Round 2.05: WR Reggie Wayne

    This is where it is tough not to select a running back. I almost take DeAngelo Williams here but I see a lot of good running backs that should be available in rounds three through five and landing a top receiver gives me an advantage here so I pull the trigger.

    Round 3.08: RB Shonn Greene

    It is almost impossible not to select a running back. Unless a top talent at receiver is still on the board, you have to look at your top running back here. Fortunately for this squad, Greene has the potential to be a very good fantasy starter in 2010 behind a great offensive line. He shouldn't be available in the 3rd round and he is an easy pickup for me here.

    Round 4.05: RB Jahvid Best

    I am very tempted with this pick to pickup TE Dallas Clark. He is so good at his craft and would give me a big advantage at tight end. However having gone QB and WR early on, I think a tight end is a luxury here I simply cannot do. There are also good receivers on the board here but having a talented rookie runner available in the fourth round is a great selection for the squad. Best may share time but has the potential to emerge as a true fantasy weapon and he gives me a pair of young, dynamic running backs.

    Round 5.08: RB LeSean McCoy

    Having foregone the running back position in the first two rounds, I feel drawn towards the position with the last three picks. I definitely do consider going another route here but I see too many receivers clumped together and McCoy has the situation and talent to greatly exceed his fifth round selection. He could have 1000 rushing yards, 50 receptions and emerge as one of my starting backs.

    Round 6.05: WR Mike Sims-Walker

    Time to land my 2nd receiver and Sims-Walker will fit the bill nicely. He has all the tools to emerge as a top fantasy star in the next couple of seasons and even if he simply matches his numbers from last season, he is a serviceable WR2.

    Round 7.08: RB Marion Barber

    Marion Barber becomes my fourth running back selected in the last five picks. Having taken a receiver and a quarterback in the first two rounds, it makes sense to load up on running back talent in these rounds unless exceptional value at WR or TE is out there. Not taking a receiver here may leave me a little weak at WR3 but having four capable running backs will give this roster depth and could make trades an option once the season begins.

    Round 8.05: WR Dwayne Bowe

    Not picking a receiver next round pays off as Bowe falls into my lap with this pick. He was the 16th best receiver in 2008 before slipping back last season and could rebound in 2010. If he does, he is a steal at this point of the draft and at worse, should be a dependable WR3 for my team.

    Round 9.08: RB Montario Hardesty

    Not having to take a quarterback in rounds seven through ten makes for some nice freedom here. I actually thought I would take a WR or TE here but I believe talent at both will slip into the 10-15 rounds of the draft so I am pleased to add another rookie running back with great upside in Hardesty. He could certainly disappoint but for a ninth round pick, he has excellent boom potential and he definitely gives my team depth and trade ability later on.

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

    Quarterbacks

  • Drew Brees - 1.08
  • Running Backs

  • Shonn Greene - 3.08
  • Jahvid Best - 4.05
  • LeSean McCoy - 5.08
  • Marion Barber - 7.08
  • Montario Hardesty - 9.08
  • Wide Receivers

  • Reggie Wayne - 2.05
  • Mike Sims-Walker - 6.05
  • Dwayne Bowe - 8.05
  • Tight Ends

  • none
  • Place Kickers

  • none
  • Defenses

  • none
  • Wow! This is a roster I am ecstatic about. I have one of the top-three fantasy quarterbacks in the game today in Drew Brees, a top-five receiver in Reggie Wayne along with two receivers with big potential in Sims-Walker and Bowe. Add to that five talented, young running backs with excellent 'boom' potential in 2010 and the foundation of this squad is powerful. I definitely need to locate a starting tight end and capable backup receivers but the squad is already in a great spot to compete for a title.

    Rounds 10-14: WR Kenny Britt, TE Owen Daniels, RB Ben Tate, WR Nate Burleson, Cowboys defense

    I manage to add some good receiver depth here. Both youngster Britt and veteran Burleson are in a good place to put up some nice fantasy numbers in 2010 and the depth at the position is much better after the 14th round. I find a good starting tight end in Owen Daniels whom I believe can elevate into the top-five with a good season and a solid starting defense I also find another young running back in Ben Tate who may emerge as a starter. I consider a quarterback in both round 13 and round 14 but only need a one-week backup and will wait as long as possible.

    Rounds 15-18: QB Josh Freeman, K Garrett Hartley, Steelers defense, WR Terrell Owens

    In the final picks, I find a good #2 quarterback in Freeman, a strong starting kicker in Hartley, an excellent 2nd defense in the Steelers and a swing for the fences receiver in Terrell Owens. If he doesn't sign or impress early on, I'll cut him and pick up a week one surprise at receiver.

    Final Roster (Draft Slot #8)

    Quarterbacks

  • Drew Brees - 1.08
  • Josh Freeman - 15.08
  • Running Backs

  • Shonn Greene - 3.08
  • Jahvid Best - 4.05
  • LeSean McCoy - 5.08
  • Marion Barber - 7.08
  • Montario Hardesty - 9.08
  • Ben Tate - 12.05
  • Wide Receivers

  • Reggie Wayne - 2.05
  • Mike Sims-Walker - 6.05
  • Dwayne Bowe - 8.05
  • Kenny Britt - 10.05
  • Nate Burleson - 13.08
  • Terrell Owens - 18.05
  • Tight Ends

  • Owen Daniels - 11.08
  • Place Kickers

  • Garrett Hartley - 16.05
  • Defenses

  • Cowboys - 14.05
  • Steelers - 17.08
  • Final thoughts on this roster

    I love the make-up of this team. Quarterback is in fantastic shape with Brees throwing the ball. He is a top-three fantasy quarterback and will play almost every game for this fantasy squad. Receiver is a touch weak on depth possibly with only five receivers currently on a roster but the talent is there to put up really nice numbers. Considering no running back was taken until round three, this position is one of strength for my team. All six running backs could lead their team in carries this season. I have a good starting tight end but no backup and that will have to be addressed once the season gets under way. There are some serviceable ones out there still though and it would be easy to add one in.

    Last thoughts on the 8th draft slot in a 12-team league

    If you are in a conventional-minded league that starts RB/WR or RB/RB in the first two rounds, buck the trend with the 8th pick and pick up one of the top quarterbacks. It will enable you to ignore the position until the latter stages of your draft and stockpile running backs from round two to round seven. As this draft illustrated you can even go QB/WR in the first two rounds and still put together a strong, talented backfield capable of big things. Don't lock into a position in the draft, stay flexible, pick the best available player and you'll go far.

    Good luck and happy drafting!

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